The brainchild of Davis Yu, of creative and lifestyle studio Maison Davis (also behind The Millswyn and Touche Hombre), along with renowned multi-disciplinary designers Hecker Guthrie, Claremont Tonic is the latest restaurant on Melbourne’s ever-expanding gastronomic scene, opening its doors to the public today.
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 philosophy behind Claremont Tonic is a mishmash of food, jungle elements and rock and roll, with a nod to the Melbourne fashion scene,” 22-year-old owner Davis Yu explains. The interior and fittings are dark and slick, with “lots of black cut metal, rough cut wood”.
“Music plays a big part of this project as well,” says Yu. “We would imagine this would be a place where Keith Richards would go for cocktails.” Bric-a-brac and oddities collected from travels around the world line the centre shelf of the restaurant, 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 contrast of nostalgia and the now – old rock music and a modern environment – Claremont Tonic represents the heartbeat of Melbourne culture at its best.
15a Claremont Street (Corner Yarra Lane), South Yarra
(03) 9827 0399
Tues to Sat 5.30pm-midnight