Food & drink / Global
Food & drink
A tasty Tasmanian affair and dispatches from Merano, LA and Reykjavík.
The Agrarian Kitchen
Until recently the people of New Norfolk had turned their backs on a former mental asylum that dominates the colonial-era town 35km northwest of Hobart. But stigma is rapidly giving way to pride as the Derwent Valley’s brightest culinary stars replace that dark past with a brighter future.
Severine Demanet and Rodney Dunn have spent the past nine years highlighting the valley’s produce at their Agrarian Kitchen cooking school in the nearby hamlet of Lachlan. They have now opened the Agrarian Kitchen Eatery & Store to bring their craft to a wider audience. You dine under a soaring pressed-tin ceiling in an expansive room, while the fare is mostly wood-fired cooking to highlight the flavours of the produce. “What was the stain on the town can become the jewel in the crown,” says Dunn.
Thai takeover: [Bangkok] Greyhound started as a fashion brand but established itself by opening 15 well-designed and delicious restaurants in Thailand, 12 in Hong Kong and China, plus two in Malaysia and one each in Indonesia and Singapore. Having wound down the clothing line, the group will open in London’s Soho in November.
Restaurateur Sam Christie brought his Aussie sensibility to Tokyo this August. Found on the 39th floor of Ebisu Garden Place Tower, Longrain’s interior is airy and antipodean, with timber flooring and furniture and a picture-postcard view. The dining is geared towards sharing, from finger-food made with coconut, cashews and betel leaf to hearty caramelised pork hock.
Julian Porter and Lauren Johns, a shaggy-haired Aussie and a bubbly Brit respectively, have injected some much-needed flair into London cafés in recent years. In 2012 they opened Milk, a Balham haunt popular with Antipodeans in search of silky flat whites and jazzy breakfast plates. Their latest venture is Milk Teeth, a terrazzo-floored outpost in Tooting.
“Café food is often overlooked in the UK but we want to commit the same attention to detail that you find in high-achieving restaurants,” says Porter. “Just because you’re eating something for less than £15 [€17], and there aren’t any tablecloths, doesn’t mean the food can’t be exciting.” The breakfast is a highlight, with pork-and-beef-fat sausages, black pudding from Gascony, smoked tomatoes and homemade ketchup. Or try a buckwheat pancake topped with nectarines, sea buckthorn and sesame.
110 Mitcham Road
Merano Wine Festival
Now in its 26th edition, this tradeshow from 10 to 14 November includes some 450 producers. Noteworthy participants include Alois Lageder, which is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its cabernet and chardonnay vintages from its Löwengang estate. There are talks on the evolution of biodynamic wine-making, a practice followed by Count Michael Goëss-Enzenberg at Manincor. Another notable name is Terlan, with its sought-after whites that mature in steel tanks. There is also bubbly from Ferrari of Trento, reds from Mount Etna and newly popular orange wines.
Jacob the Angel
Stroll down the alleyway that leads to Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden and you’ll find that it’s a queue of punters rather than pigeons doing the cooing over a whitewashed, 13-seat coffee shop. Layo and Zoë Paskin (the fine folk behind London’s The Palomar and The Barbary restaurants) have turned their capable hands to the concrete-floored space that serves coffee from Square Mile Roasters, as well as colourful salads, pastries and treats from chef Daniela Gattengo. The just-so branding comes from Here Design, interiors are by Gundry & Ducker and the name is from the founder of England’s first coffee house in 17th-century Oxford.
Mezze, a restaurant in Lisbon’s Arroios Market, is run primarily by Syrian refugees. The project came about when journalist Francisca Henriques and Syrian student Alaa Al Harir decided to do something to help migrants to Portugal. Mezze serves Middle Eastern dishes such as fattoush, kibbeh and hummus. “It’s a way for people to share their culture,” says Henriques.
22/23 Rua Ângela Pinto
Gudjon Hauksson may not want to label his restaurant an Italian, exactly, but the time he spent in the bel paese has had a strong influence. “We created a food that matches the simplicity of Italian fare with Nordic cooking methods – we dry meats or smoke them,” he says. Most ingredients are sourced within Iceland, such as the mozzarella at the heart of the caprese salad.
LA bar round-up
The tired (and frankly sad) Walk of Fame is no longer Hollywood’s main attraction. But Filifera, a bar perched high on the 22nd floor of the Hollywood Proper Residences, is grand. Created by US designer Kelly Wearstler, the bar has outdoor mid-century-style furnishings from which you can overlook the Hollywood Hills.
A grittier addition to the ’hood is Girl at the White Horse, an unassuming cocktail club that occupies a one-time dive bar. Inside there are pink tiles, panelled walls and a maze of hallways that lead off to private drinking nooks where hip Angelenos sip unfussy seasonal cocktails.
For a more exotic tipple, tiki bar Lono offers tropical-themed drinks that are better than the teeny umbrellas and swirly straws suggest. The drinking den has various spaces: a dim room lined with banana-leaf wallpaper, rattan chairs and plants alongside white-brick rooms with intimate alcoves and skylights. The entire space borders on kitsch but tips enough in the direction of cool to be one of Hollywood’s freshest additions.
livehollywoodproper.com; girlatthewhitehorse.com; lonohollywood.com