Australian restaurateur Luke Mangan will bring his eponymous new brand Luke’s to Waterloo this summer, with the opening of the first Luke’s Kitchen on Thursday 15 February.
Luke’s Kitchen will take up residence at 8 Danks Street, formerly occupied by the New York City-inspired wine bar MOJO by Luke Mangan, which is slated to relocate to Sydney’s CBD later this year.
“MOJO has a big city vibe that belongs in the CBD, while Luke’s Kitchen is a true neighborhood eatery. We wanted to introduce the flagship in our Waterloo home,” says Mangan. “It’s unpretentious, it’s comfortable, and it's a place where guests can swing down for a glass of wine and oysters, or the works. We're here for everyone.”
The menu will span moreish snacks, share-friendly plates and sides with modern Australian influence, as well as a few Mangan classics given a twist. A daily specials list rounds out the offering, including whole fish and hearty roasts for two, carved at the table. The kitchen will be headed by 29-year-old chef Mathew Leighton, a Sydney native who’s honed his culinary skills across a number of Mangan’s Asia-Pacific restaurants including glass brasserie, Salt tapas & bar, Salt grill & Sky bar, Luke’s, and Chicken Confidential.
“It’s my type of food,” says Mangan. “We’re focusing on beautiful products, with a bit of fragrant spice and delivered in a way that is clean and healthy.”
Dishes from the opening menu include:
· Tasmanian ocean trout sashimi with nam jim and coconut yoghurt
· Roasted organic chicken with cauliflower purée, asparagus and preserved lemon
· Barbecued West Australian marron with peach, celery and truffle honey
The Waterloo space has undergone a facelift to inject new energy and a pop of colour into the inner-city hub. A contemporary palette of earthy green and blush pink is the backdrop to warm pendant lighting, and retro finishes including a beaded curtain and a floral screen. Flexible seating now includes a new window benchtop looking onto leafy Danks Street (perfect for weekend brunches), spacious wooden tables, and a bar.
The back portion of the restaurant has been transformed into a dedicated function space with an open-style kitchen, able to cater for events large and small.
A balanced cocktail list, curated by group mixologist Karl Higgins, complements a vast selection of top-shelf spirits, an extensive spread of wines by the glass, and bottles featuring a diverse offering of varietals and regions.
Signature cocktails include:
· The Australian by Luke Mangan – Gin, Cointreau, Hennessy, lime juice, Luke Mangan syrup (lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime), cranberry juice, lime zest
· The Dank – Cachaça, apple liqueur, pineapple juice, agave, fresh pineapple, coriander root
Luke’s Kitchen is the latest restaurant concept by Mangan, with further rollout and expansion of the brand in sight for 2018.