This is reflected in the eclectic interior, from the sublime tiling, which is perfectly fitted, to the cracked white Johnson tiles filled with gold leaf, placed irregularly around the bar counter and the coffee station in the main bookstore. There is also a green couch bought on auction that sits next to a huge fireplace with a collection of books built into its frame. With the books seeping into both sections, you can’t quite tell where the restaurant ends and the bookstore starts. Trisk was also inspired by his own comforting memories around food.
“I remember as a child sitting at my mother’s table, using my fingers to clean the cake bowl when she was baking.” A white metal table exactly like the one his mother used also sits in the restaurant. The open kitchen, headed by acclaimed Australian chef Russell Armstrong, formerly based in Brisbane, is a wonder to watch. The Josper, a state-of-the-art charcoal oven from Spain, takes pride of place among the cooking utensils.
Being one of only a few in the country, it works solely on ash, giving the food its smoky taste. Trisk’s personal favourites off the tapas inspired menu include the lamb, which comes out of the Josper, the cold-pressed tomatoes, which he describes as being “very digestible”, as well as the goose liver pâté with sherry foam. While it is not quite tapas Spanish-style, Armstrong and his team make the kind of dishes that encourage a communal sense of sharing.