Bistro Livi, founded in 2022, is owned and operated by Ewen Crawford and twin sisters Nikky and Danni Wilson. He’s a chef who spent more than a decade at Melbourne’s Movida and now shares the kitchen with Danni, who used to be a chef at another top Melbourne establishment, Carlton Wine Room. In Melbourne Nikky managed Movida. Here she looks after front-of-house for the 36-seater, as well as the wine and drinks list.

The two chefs have a less-is-more approach to cooking, choosing to pair single ingredient like a fish fillet with a Meyer lemon dressing, or a pork chop with shiitake mushrooms. The result of that simplicity is often exquisite. Fraser Island spanner crab might be gently poached in house-made curry butter and served with spelt bread. Buttery, tender bonito could be seared so the skin is crisp, and finished with chardonnay vinegar and olive oil. Produce comes from local markets and farms including New Brighton, Mullumbimby, Mooloolaba and Boon Luck Farm.

For a snack, or as an accompaniment to a glass of wine from the concise list of small producers from Europe and Australia, the trio suggests jamon with anchovies, a ritual they carried over from Movida and reckon is a great way to start a meal. The restaurant, in a double-brick art deco building, pairs white marble and dark timber tables in a modern, minimal room with textural plastered walls, and herringbone tile floors.

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Updated: December 15th, 2022

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