The allure of flavoursome small dishes paired with great wine and salty air is endless – a trifecta that Manly Greenhouse has tapped into with the transformation of their second level into a Basque-themed wine and tapas bar.
The recently opened Wine Room has behind it a simple but refined mission statement. The focus here is on European flavours, share-style small plates, an extensive wine selection and well-matched interior design.
The menu is a mash-up of French and Spanish influences, with many of the dishes gaining additional flavour from the charcoal grill. On the wine list are more than 400 wines from around the world, making it a safe bet that there’s something to pair with most orders.
Behind the scenes, Wine Room has a lot of hospitality experience driving it. The venue is the brainchild of general manager Craig Hemmings (Quay, Guillaume at Bennelong, Black by Ezard, Chin Chin) and restaurant manager Maureen Er (Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse, Soi 60, Cure Singapore). To lead the kitchen they have brought in chef James Evangelinos (The Musket Room New York, The Centennial, Guillaume at Bennelong), whose menu at The Centennial gained the venue a hat.
“I like to eat small dishes, complemented with great wine. Craig and I got talking about what we could do with the space and the idea for a Basque-themed tapas bar started to formulate,” says Evangelinos of the menu concept at wine room.
In keeping with the theme, the interior design – completed by Catherine Thompson from Five Foot One design – channels the idea of a “Basque oasis”, with a contemporary dark palette that is undercut by bursts of citrus orange and playful organic shapes.
“We found that Manly was missing an affordable, full-flavoured, sharing style concept in a comfortable and intimate environment. Catherine was able to execute our brief expertly, from the colour palette down to the light fittings,” says Hemmings.
Wine Room will offer their Basque-style menu from Wednesday to Friday from 5.30pm, and on weekends from 12pm until late. A set menu will be available on Friday and Saturday nights, while weekends will offer guests a bottomless brunch option.