By Sacha Delfosse
Drink & Dine has recently opened the doors to its latest venture, Santa Barbara, located in the former Piano Room site in Kings Cross.
Santa Barbara’s food menu provides a mix of “American diner dishes made with Asian flavours and a few Asian dishes done with American flavours", according to Drink & Dine’s Jamie Wirth.
“It's good drinking food, simple, tasty, generous serves, food you can eat with one hand. It’s meant to just be casual, there is no table service, you order at the bar.”
The venue’s décor and fit out works with similar influences to the food, described by Wirth as looking like “a mom and pop Chinese takeaway shop meets LA mansion meets Mexican shack”.
“We gutted the whole place, the only thing we kept were the bars and toilets, everything else was done new,” said Wirth.
“The place looks drastically different. We added a lot of walls and made a lot of separate areas for people to use.”
For the drinks list, the Drink & Dine team looked towards 80s holiday resorts for their inspiration, coming up with 'Santa Coladas', 'Singapore Slangs' and 'Mekong Iced Teas'.
“The drinks are meant to be fresh, colourful, big and fun,” said Wirth.
Drink & Dine has also opened up a new Jamaican-inspired bar and kitchen on level one of The Forresters, called Queenie's, with a jungle-inspired fit out that features checkerboard floors, floral light fittings, wood laminex tables and colourful artworks.