Earlier this year, restaurateur Jonathan Barthelmess (The Apollo in Sydney and Tokyo, and Cho Cho San in Sydney) revealed he had snatched up the available tenancy next to his top-flight Greek eatery Greca at the Howard Smith Wharves precinct, with plans in motion to transform it into a Japanese izakaya-inspired bar and restaurant. Well, after a few months of secrecy, Jonathan and his team (which now includes ex-Aria head chef Ben Russell) have revealed a few more details on the anticipated arrival, including its name. Yoko Dining is currently undergoing a fit-out ahead of its tentative mid-November opening date, and Jonathan has revealed that it will boast a strong Tokyo accent done in an Australian way. As a fan of Japan’s lively izakaya culture (Jonathan visits the country regularly to oversee The Apollo’s Ginza location, and his Cho Cho San restaurant boasts a minimalist interpretation of the concept), Jonathan has been collecting various found objects with the purpose of decorating a more vivid take on the concept – one that is warm, fun and quirky, yet sophisticated and luxurious. Yoko’s look is being spearheaded by longtime collaborator and interior architect George Livissianis, and will boast an eye-catching geometrically designed 60s retro-futurist aesthetic (think something akin to the Space Age and Atomic Age-inspired architecture depicted in The Jetsons) with an interior palette heavy on yolk-hued yellow, browns, concrete and blond timber. Attention is being paid to the little details, from the custom-made plates and chopsticks to grander features such as retro refrigerators, slushy machines and an old-school self-playing perspex piano. Above the main dining area will sit a mezzanine vinyl bar, where guests can listen to a curated selection of wax while sipping whisky highballs, yuzu slushies or drops from Yoko’s 100-strong wine list. On the food side of things, Kitak Lee (The Calile’s Lobby Bar, The Table at Kuro Kisumé and Sydney’s Momofuku Seiobo) has been recruited to head up the Yoko kitchen, working with Jonathan and Ben to finalise a menu that emphasises value for money, top-tier local produce and a sustainable zero-waste approach. Yoko’s menu will boast a raw section featuring sustainable seafood, hibachi charcoal-grilled dishes and other Japanese-inspired delights. Bar snacks will include the likes of seasonal gyoza, tempura, noodles and light textural salads, while large-format plates will offer share-style feasts of whole local fish, a premium wagyu selection and roasted duck. Keep your eyes peeled for more information on Yoko ahead of its November opening.
There’s never been a better time to fly, especially for folks departing from Brisbane Airport’s domestic terminal. The options for pre-flight feasting have expanded this year with the arrival of The Lord Lamington, and soon a new first-of-its-kind food hall concept will open at the northern end of the terminal in November. The SSP Group – a leading operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations – has signed a seven-year deal to open and operate a hawker-style market called Food Collective at Brisbane Airport, featuring a mix of local and international food-and-beverage outlets. Five foodie kiosks will call Food Collective home, including leading burger-bar concept Ze Pickle, New York-inspired sandwich and bagel dispensary Upper West Side Deli, sushi, sashimi and Japanese outlet YO! Sushi, noodle-soup hotspot Nippon Ramen, and Mexican eatery Mi Casa Burritos. Food Collective will transform the domestic terminal’s northern cafe court, boasting a large centralised seating area and on-site self-order kiosks to allow express ordering across all five restaurants. SSP will rotate Food Collective’s offering mid-way through the seven-year contract, keeping things current, fresh and exciting. We’ll have a closer look for you once Food Collective lands in November.
Little Red Dumpling
From one anticipated food precinct to another, UPSTAIRS at Toombul has announced another tenant for its forthcoming dining and entertainment playground. Little Red Dumpling will be opening its seventh Brisbane-based bar and restaurant at Toombul, joining already announced concepts such as Dapple + Waver, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq and Niku Ramen. If you haven’t savoured the salivation-worthy morsels on the Little Red Dumpling menu, then you can expect to experience delights such as tender braised beef and rice, pork-and-chive pancakes, cumin lamb ribs, colourful rainbow dumplings, xiao long bao and more. UPSTAIRS at Toombul will be officially unveiled in November.
James Street RESORT
Calling all free thinkers, innovators and tastemakers – James Street RESORT is back for another year of trailblazing action! The annual summit returns to Brisbane’s most stylish precinct from October 10–12, bringing with it a whole host of creative conversations, collaborations and out-of-the-box experiences. The sixth instalment of the wildly popular event sees an Australian first, with acclaimed inclusivity activist Sinéad Burke making an exclusive appearance – she will be spreading her message of acceptance and empowerment at a series of engaging events. RESORT After Dark also makes a triumphant comeback, helmed by Vogue Australia Editor-in-Chief Edwina McCann and bolstered by a selection of the street’s finest designers. This is just the tip of the iceberg – we’ll have more details for you in the coming weeks.
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