Blanca Bar & Dining

Blanca’s Bar & Dining’s Tomi Björck and Samuel Cole, both co-owners and chefs, describe their food as simple and honest. If the menu says octopus and Romesco, that’s exactly what you’ll see on the plate. Although their style is not delicate or pared back. Also, the dishes pay no real attention to cuisine or tradition. Björck and Cole’s vibe is more irreverent and inventive.

The pastrami bonito is the perfect example. It’s soft and punchy from an overnight cure; rich and tart from a yuzu, soy and brown butter dressing; sour from kombu pickles; and sweet from two flakes of candied kombu. The Bondi Sands is textural, with chocolate, caramel, praline, nuts, coconut and pannacotta ice-cream; on the plate it looks like a bowl of extra-coarse sand.

The walls are pure white but sporadically textured like torn paper. Some people are eating with chopsticks and others with forks. And there’s a long share table, a more formal raised section and a bar under the front window with beachy stools. It is modern but comfortable and relaxing.

So, depending what you want and where you sit, you could either get a midday manchego brioche sandwich and a coffee, or a several-hour dinner involving a Szechuan lamb sausage; wakame-sprinkled burrata; dashi-flavoured raw scallops; and one of Björck’s eight different gin and tonics.

Updated: July 10th, 2020

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