“It’s unpretentious, it’s comfortable and it’s a place where guests can swing by for a glass of wine and oysters, or the works,” says Magan.
Matthew Leighton (who has worked across Mangan’s Asia-Pacific restaurants including Glass Brasserie, Salt Tapas & Bar, and Chicken Confidential) will head up the kitchen and serve dishes such as Tasmanian ocean trout sashimi with nan jim and coconut yoghurt; roasted organic chicken with cauliflower purée, asparagus and preserved lemon; and barbequed West Australian marron with peach and truffle honey. Whole fish and roasts will be carved at the table.
This style of cooking is a departure from Mangan’s KFC-style Chiefley Plaza chicken-burger stall, Chicken Confidential, which is now available across the country.
This is not the end for the Mojo brand, though. Mangan has plans to relocate it later this year. “Mojo has a big-city vibe that belongs in the CBD, while Luke’s Kitchen is a true neighbourhood eatery. We wanted to introduce the flagship in our Waterloo home,” says Mangan.
The space will look entirely different, trading its New York industrial feel for a colour palette of blush pinks and earthy greens, with a backdrop of warm pendant lights, beaded curtains and a floral screen. A new window-facing benchtop looking directly onto the street has lazy weekend brunches written all over it.
Cocktails will be light and fresh, from The Australian (with gin, Cointreau, Hennessy, lime juice, ginger-and-lemongrass syrup, cranberry juice and lime), to The Dank, which comes with Cachaça, apple liqueur, pineapple juice, agave, and coriander root.