Best of est | New Australian Hospitality Destinations

Australia’s hospitality scene rivals the best in the world, and to add to its allure, industry veterans are collaborating with the country’s leading architects and designers to craft immersive, one-of-a-kind dining and drinking experiences. In this instalment of our Best of est series, we delve into five of the latest design-forward hospitality venues across our capital cities. From a restaurant reminiscent of Lake Como in Brisbane to a Parisian-inspired bakery in Melbourne, each is a testament to the rich, globally-infused offering on our shores.

Proudly supported by Elton Group 

Como Restaurant by CG Design Studio

Yuggera Country / Brisbane, Queensland

CG Design Studio have designed an immersive new space for the celebrated ‘Como Restaurant’ in South Brisbane, capturing the restaurant’s elevated yet humble aesthetic. In keeping with Como’s culinary offering, which is synonymous with Lake Como’s, the studio took cues from classic Italian architecture, pairing rich burgundy Venetian plaster with marbles in subtle green, beige and rust tones. Intimate dining settings surround a centrally-located bar and are dimly lit by subtle architectural lighting, such as the &Tradition Como SC53 portable table lamp. The central bar, theatrical and welcoming in its design, becomes the beating heart of the restaurant, anchored by custom burgundy steel posts.

Yiamas by Adyn Kelly

Whadjuk Nyoongar Country / Perth, Australia

A group of hospitality veterans engaged designer Adyn Kelly to fashion a sophisticated home for their newest hospitality venture, a Greek-style eatery in Subiaco, Perth, ‘Yiamas’. “It was important to the owners that the design be the antithesis of the kitsch and familiar ‘Santorini white and blue’ so often associated with Greek food, eschewing tired concepts in favour of a more traditional aesthetic informed by Greek culture, history and landscape,” Adyn says. Drawing from the timeless symbol of Greece, the olive, the designer curated a material palette featuring various shades of green, complemented by earthy elements such as oak, walnut, linen, natural stone and copper. Continuing this approach, textured white walls and a curvaceous micro-cement bar pay homage to quintessential Greek architecture in the main dining space.Stepping into the outdoor area, diners are transported to the Greek countryside, surrounded by linen-upholstered banquette seats, organic brickwork and fragmented stone flooring.

Fugazzi Basement by studio gram

Kaurna Country / Adelaide, South Australia

In the heart of Adelaide, studio gram have created an experiential new space for the New-York-inspired Italo-American restaurant and bar ‘Fugazzi Basement’. Descending the stairs into the dimly-lit space, patrons are transported from the mundane-by-comparison streets of Adelaide to a rich underground lair, reminiscent of the decadence and glamour 1950s New York. “As you take a seat, you’re consumed by a sense of intrigue, wondering what secrets this hidden basement may hold,” studiogram director Dave Bickmore says. “It’s a physical manifestation of a bygone era,” he adds. Reflective surfaces, sleek two-toned timber panelling, and patterned marble tiles are layered to evoke a sense of nostalgia and mystery.

Laurent Bakery by GOLDEN

Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country / Melbourne, Victoria

‘Laurent Bakery Ivanhoe’ marks the fifth collaboration between the French artisan café and bakery and GOLDEN, this time to refresh their brand ethos through a new design approach. Like previous locations, the store’s concept pays homage to Australian café culture while capturing the essence of a classic Parisian patisserie. Unlike previous locations, however, GOLDEN have infused this new venue with a youthful edge to attract a wider demographic, while still maintaining the sophisticated brand image they’ve meticulously cultivated. A prime example of this is the prominent use of the colour yellow, seen in leather stool covers and velvet banquette seats, serving as a playful motif against textured neutral-toned walls, sweeping ceilings, large-cut terrazzo floors and marble-clad benchtops. “This extension of a beloved bakery has provided the local community with a new gathering place to pause, share, and celebrate French artisan baking,” GOLDEN director Kylie Buhagiar remarks.

Canteen Pizza by studio gram

Whadjuk Nyoongar Country / Perth, Australia

In Perth’s riverside neighbourhood of Applecross, a pizzeria has received a makeover from studio gram, reemerging as a mid-century-inspired, uplifting Italian-style eatery. The brief for the fit-out was to create an inviting space that evoked feelings of nostalgia: “a place around the corner that you can call home, to entice both the casual and the serious diner,” studio gram director Dave Bickmore says. The concept takes cues from idyllic summers in Italy and classic Mediterranean design, fostering a light and open environment for families and friends to gather and enjoy authentic pizza and wine.

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