Who is Louise you might ask? Or you might not. You will very possibly be too preoccupied with your spatchcock and apricot tangine with couscous, or Vinho Branco, sourced from Douro, Portugal to let the name of this newly opened cafe, restaurant and wine bar trouble you. And that’s exactly what owner Benjamin Grant intended.

After some years working in VIP events in China, Grant, along with his wife and business partner Judy Hu, opened Crate Louise just over a week ago on a busy strip in North Bondi. It’s a spot among a number of venues offering quality fare for both day and night. “We wanted to be mysterious, for people to ask: ‘Who is she?’ It also ties to the wine list, because wine can be a mysterious thing.”

The wine comes first here, but everything else comes a close second, with an easy breakfast menu of favourites such as smashed avocado on toast and rice-flour pancakes with marscapone. There are sittings until the late evening on the weekends and dinner from Tuesday during the week. The eclectic list of drops includes a 2009 Domaine Barmes Buecher Reisling from Alsace, France and a single-vineyard Cabernet from Coonawara, SA. Tastings from lunch onwards are also available and are a result of Grant’s desire to "bring people here to do something different."

“We’ve intentionally left, sav, blanc, and full-bodied shiraz off our list because those wine trends have been done a lot.”

Chef Thomas Fletcher has worked under James Mussillon at Canberra’s Courgette and did a recent stint at Canberra's Boathouse by the Lake. Local interior designer Amy Hulst provided the sturdy wooden tables, white painted fixtures and charming upholstered benches that hone the everyone-is-welcome vibe.

Crate Louise
144–148 Glenayr Avenue, North Bondi
(02) 9130 4668

Hours
Tue to Fri 5pm–late
Sat & Sun 7am–late

cratelouise.com.au