The brainchild of Davis Yu, creative and lifestyle studio Maison Davis (also behind The Millswyn and Touche Hombre) and designers Hecker Guthrie, Claremont Tonic is another gem on Melbourne’s ever-expanding gastronomic scene.
Head chef Dylan Roberts, whose repertoire of dining establishments includes Ezard and Cutler & Co., has created a menu inspired by travels around Asia, where a modern interpretation of Pan Asian flavours take centre stage. Roberts cites the Cone Bay barramundi with coconut dashi, squid ink and truffled edamame hash as a sure crowd pleaser, and the ‘King of the Chimichichangas’, where Mexican and Japanese cuisine meet with raw king salmon, nori tacos and a box of condiments that one would find in a sushi roll. An extensive bar menu, inspired by survival in the jungle includes Tiki-style cocktails and a ‘C-Bomb’ (a cleaved whole watermelon replaced with vodka, organic vodka, rhubarb juice and mint leaves).
The space is decorated with bric-a-brac and oddities collected from travels around the world, with custom design pieces designed by Maison Davis. Much thought and precision has been put into contrasting these elements and utilising the space to produce a memorable dining experience as it “evokes the sixth sense, that intuition and feeling you get upon entering a space”. A mixture of nostalgia and the now – old rock music and a modern environment – Claremont Tonic represents the heartbeat of Melbourne culture at its best.
NOTE: Mostly a dinner spot, Claremont Tonic is also open for lunch Tuesday- Friday offering a reduced menu with a special emphasis on Bentos – 'express lunches' with a certain Claremont Tonic take.