Our latest food finds and scoops, from Brooklyn brewers to a Melbourne mainstay and a new Japanese joint in Hong Kong.
Danish furniture brand Frama’s new restaurant is set in a well-preserved pharmacy from 1878, which also hosts a shop and studio space. The menu features seasonal dishes from by chef Chiara Barla, accompanied by coffee from Aarhus-based roaster La Cabra. You’ll also find jams, preserves and fermented drinks, all made onsite. It’s a smart spot to grab a bite to eat before having a browse of the brand’s well-designed wares.
This new art deco-inspired bar makes the most of its space on the top floor of a Victorian-era building, which it shares with a downstairs bar and bistro (named Poodle, in case you were wondering). The intimate space on Gertrude Street in the bustling Fitzroy neighbourhood is atmospheric and warm. Think comfy leather banquette seating, dark-wood tables and an open fireplace (good weather isn’t Melbourne’s most dependable feature). Expect classic cocktails and great grub, including cheese plates and oysters. Meanwhile, the bar snacks, including the tempting house-made crumpet with kefir cream and salmon caviar, always hit the spot.
The notoriously rigid licensing laws of Toronto were relaxed during the pandemic to allow closed restaurants and bars to sell takeaway alcohol. A trickle of fine new vintners have since opened up in Trinity Bellwoods, including this new bottle shop set up by Nicole Campbell and Krysta Oben that specialises in natural wine.
Ensconced in the rolling hills of El Coll, Agreste de Fabio & Roser serves European fare from a former bus station that dates back to 1925. Italian chef Fabio Gambirasi sources herbs from the restaurant’s rooftop garden to include in his dishes, which range from tortelli stuffed with pork ribs to grilled ray with beurre blanc. Catalan wine, such as that of organic producer Bàrbara Forés, top the drinks list.
Williamsburg has a new brewery and taproom called Talea, a portmanteau of the names of founders Tara Hankinson and LeAnn Darland, who met in 2018 working at beer start-up Hopsy. The vast new space boasts tiled interiors by local ceramicist Helen Levi and 11 taps containing craft beers ranging from fruity ipas to crisp ales. Those wanting a little less hop can plump for wine from Long Island’s North Fork vineyards.
In 2020, Portuguese chef Leopoldo Garcia Calhau doubled up his presence in Lisbon’s Mouraria by opening a wine bar next door to his restaurant, Taberna do Calhau. Bla Bla Glu Glu offers up plates of petiscos – Portuguese-style tapas – including an egg-and-truffle twist on the croissant. The food here is paired with a selection of reds and whites, many from natural-wine vintners such as Aphros from the Minho region, as well as from producers in Spain and across Europe.
1351 910 163 649
Nestled in Wan Chai, not far from monocle’s bureau and shop, the The Hari hotel opened in late 2020 and brought with it one of the city’s best new Japanese restaurants. Perfect for a casual business lunch or dinner date – and relishing the fact that restaurants here have remained open throughout much of the pandemic – Zoku’s smart decor matches the simplicity and sophistication of the fare. The miso-marinated Alaskan black cod is a must-try.
1852 2129 0338
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Images: Sydney Butler, Courtesy of The Hari, Kim Høltermand, Derek Swalwell, Arden Wray