What was once seedy pub the Evening Star Hotel is now Gweilo, a venue serving a pan-Asian menu in a retro-futuristic space.
Dishes include a saucy and spicy Wagyu beef shin rendang cooked with Tooheys New, and pho-flavoured beef meatballs.
For lighter options, there’s the kingfish sashimi with roasted coconut, chilli, lime, coriander and kaffir lime leaves, and the watermelon salad with goat’s cheese, shiso (otherwise known as perilla, which is part of the mint family) and furikake (dry Japanese seasoning). But to get the best bang for your buck, go for the $49 banquet that comes with seven chef’s-choice dishes, rice and dessert.
There’s also a decent vegetarian selection, and those with food sensitivities are covered; there are at least four or five dishes for people with allergies.
Like the food, the cocktail list uses Asian flavours. Expect a bit of theatre when ordering the Dragon’s Breath. It’s made with coriander-infused tequila, mezcal, amaretto, orange bitters, palm sugar and a waft of applewood smoke. There’s also the Hadouken, made with Roku Gin, rosemary Aperol, grapefruit and yuzu.
The venue has a Blade Runner-esque vibe. There are printed-mural backdrops reminiscent of the lights in Tokyo, dramatic arches, and moody, intimate seats softened by pastel-pink chairs and mint-green walls.