Mode Kitchen and Bar
Mode Kitchen and Bar is an opulent-looking restaurant. The design is Art Deco inspired: green velvet, brass, leather and polished stone. Many will no doubt see it for the first time and assume it’s a high-end fine diner with a degustation menu and the prices to go along with it. Not so.
It’s by head chef Francesco Mannelli (ex Est. and Balla). A signature dish is an aged T-bone steak done Florentine style (a massive cut grilled over charcoal) with just olive oil, salt and mustard on the side. From the wood-fired oven there’s a whole fish (whatever is fresh on the day); and a few tentacles of Freemantle octopus served over a reduced potato and leek soup thick enough to be considered a puree, seasoned with paprika-infused olive oil.
After that you might eat a macadamia-flour carrot cake with fresh citrus and crunchy shaved carrots. As you’d expect from an ambitious, produce-driven kitchen, a lot of the menu is rejigged as the weather shifts. The approach, roughly defined by Mannelli as modern Mediterranean, will stay the same, though. Also expect aged meat and charcuterie.
Drinks are poured from an open-air stone bar with plush stools. An extensive wine list (international but Australian dominated) accompanies twists on classic cocktails; the star is the signature gin and tonic made with Archie Rose dry gin and StrangeLove’s rosemary-and-orange-infused tonic.