The last time we reported on Lady Carolina was in March – and we were told the restaurant would open in July. Of course, nothing good in hospitality happens on time.
This weekend, all will be revealed at Lady Carolina Kitchen, an anticipated Latin American diner in Brunswick with a Peruvian cevicheria at the front and a street-food barbacoa joint at the back. Chef Paul Wilson (executive chef at Newmarket and Acland St Cantina) has partnered with Alby Tomassi, the man behind Feast of Merit, for the new project. It will take the place of middling pizza joint, Jimmi Jamz.
Tomassi is pretty frank about why the former venue, of which he was a part owner, didn’t work. “Lygon Street is pretty pizza populated. Having a restaurant just 300 metres away win the best pizza in the world didn’t help our cause.”
Taking its cues from legendary Lima restaurant, Astrid y Gaston, which presents both a high-end degustation menu and a relaxed diner in the one venue, Lady Carolina is offering fine-dining at the front and a party vibe at the back. Wilson is going all-in, sourcing Andean and Amazonian produce such as purple corn, varietal chillies, tree tomatoes and South American yams from hobby farmers in the Queensland hinterland and Tasmania. While the menu is still officially under wraps, expect smoked kingfish ceviche with horseradish; finger lime and yam sauce; a purple-corn ceviche with clams out front; and anticuchos-style meats cooked on skewers over aromatic woods out back. Chef Cameron Dening, (previously at Circa and Acland St Cantina) will be heading the kitchen, and Wilson himself promises he’s going to be on the pans, at least for a couple of months.
Lady Carolina Kitchen is expected to open its doors on September 18 at 175–177 Lygon Street, Brunswick.
(03) 9381 0898