Mod Oz

30 july 2013 / interior / words adele chong

Known for discerning culinary appetites and a love of fun nights on the town, Australia’s cities are seeing an explosion of fashionable new resto-bars.

 

Dagwood

Designer: Mandy Edge Design

City: Wollongong

    

    

Images by Steve Back

 

Even with faithful adherence to recipes, there’s often something that gets lost in translation when street food is replicated in a restaurant space. Dagwood does what it can to ensure that won’t be the case at this sunny and eclectic new venue. Wollongong’s latest night-out favorite gleans inspiration from its sibling founders’ globetrotting adventures; fashioned by Sydney-based firm Mandy Edge Design, the familiar haphazard typology of neon signage and industrial surfaces dominates the compact premises. Featuring all manner of dining nooks, tables, booths and benches are deliberately mismatched to lend an impromptu feel. Elements such as recycled brick and robust wooden floors are paired with more refined surfaces, resulting in a quirky, unpredictable space that feels wonderfully estranged from the day-to-day decorum of the city’s CBD.

 

The Little Hunter

Designer: Eades & Bergman 

City: Melbourne

  

               

 

If the idea of foraging for forest-fresh herbs and stalking game in the wild appeals to you more than the physical act of doing so, then make haste to The Little Hunter. Housed in the distinguished Georges building in Melbourne, this chic basement gem specializing in locavore cuisine comes across like a dark and handsome stranger that you’d like to bring home to your parents. Aside from the ruggedly sexy countenance – smartly coordinated swaths of timber, copper, brick and chocolaty leather come courtesy of Aussie designers Eades & Bergman – The Little Hunter advocates for easily-traced provenance and the fair treatment of animals.

 

The Old Library

Designer: Hecker Guthrie 

City: Sydney

     

     

Images by Shannon McGrath

 

Situated in a seaside Sydney suburb, this monochromatic eatery is named after its previous manifestation as a haven for book-lovers in the 1970s. Prior to that, the 115-year-old building served as a Methodist church, offering the faithful sanctum amidst its hallowed high-ceiling premises. Making the most out of its definitive framework, exposed beams and timber details, Victoria-based interiors studio Hecker Guthrie elaborated the space into a series of cozy rooms that exude intimacy. Revolving around a modern bar rendered in blackened steel, areas bedecked in a pleasing combination of oak and white timber were designed to visually charm the senses without overpowering them.

 

GB Espresso

Designer: Mr. Mitchell 

City: Melbourne

             

Images by Andrew Wuttke

 

A vibrant addition to Melbourne’s St Kilda strip, textural finishes and ambient spaces feature heavily in the design of this newly-opened venue. Wanting to inject a touch of elegance into the everyday activity of grabbing a cuppa, the owners of GB Espresso looked to interiors specialists Mr. Mitchell for guidance. Of note is Dutch designer Piet Boon’s striking wallpaper which spans the length of one wall before dipping dramatically into the ceiling; the feature, depicting pressed metal ceilings, is evocative of Victorian-era St Kilda architecture, lending a sense of refined ruggedness to the premises. A black-and-white color scheme is interwoven with pops of yellow, reiterating the coffee bar’s new brand identity palette. A minimalist foundation reigns it all in, fortified by beautiful add-ons such as eclectic furniture and a scintillating powder room decked out in pressed chrome wall-coverings.

 

Fat Noodle

City: Brisbane

Designer: Luchetti Krelle 

             

 

Housed in the former Queensland Government Treasury Building in Brisbane, the design for Fat Noodle brims with both contemporary and historical references. Sydney designers Luchetti Krelle address the combined Vietnamese, Malay and Chinese theme with aplomb, moving forward with a bold contemporary approach underpinned by traditional motifs. An illuminated dragon sculpture is a visual highlight, weaving its way from the entrance to the dining area and kitchen, and making an arresting impression on diners along the way. The venue’s combination of conventional and unexpected elements give rise to a whimsical flair – really, there’s nothing quite like a custom chandelier fashioned entirely out of chopsticks and woks to perk up the otherwise straitlaced experience of fine dining.

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