Deus Bar & Kitchen
The former Deus Cafe looks as if it was wheeled, like a haggard motorcycle, into Deus’ own workroom for a complete overhaul. Owner Dare Jennings teamed up with (Bucket List)’s Andy Ruwald, chef Tom Walton (ex-Bistro Moncur), bar manager James Prier and designers Studio Gram for the makeover.
The homely vibe stayed, albeit with a few modernising touches, namely a giant neon sign, greenery, a few tiled bars (all equipped for dining) and some beautiful asymmetric crockery by Ode ceramics.
The food isn’t revolutionary, but it certainly isn’t boring. At lunch you can get a great sandwich or soup (the pumpkin, pistou and crisp brussels sprouts is ace), or some of Walton’s drink-friendly bar snacks like kombucha-pickled cucumbers with black-olive labne or gooey-centred eggplant fritters with chilli mayo.
The best combo is probably Walton’s chicken-skin crackers topped with raw kingfish, baba ganoush and togarashi (the spice mix you see in little orange jars in Japanese restaurants) with Prier’s beautifully layered Scorpio V1, a margarita twist with Herradura Plata tequila, jalapeños and a spiced rhubarb syrup.
The bar snacks double as sides at night to match some deluxe Sunday-night roast–style share plates. One caramel-skinned lamb shoulder (from Mirrool Creek) is so absurdly soft it can be shaken off the bone.