Head chef Joel Manton has joined forces with Sydney restaurateur Tony Mowad to launch Forty Licks, a modern Vietnamese restaurant and cocktail bar.

The venue, which is set to open on York Street in Sydney’s CBD on 30 April, will showcase classic Vietnamese techniques. The menu will feature a range of traditional Vietnamese dishes with a modern twist, with both small and large plates on offer. Dishes will include braised eggplant and tofu with tumeric; sizzling kingfish and noodles in the style of chả cá lã vọng; and bún bò Huế, a complex soup that packs a punch with a combination of spicy, salty, sour and umami flavours.

“The food comes from my years as a chef living in Vietnam, our shared love of the
cuisine, and of course strong family ties with Vietnam where my wife is from and where we’ve raised our young children,” says Manton. “We want to show people something beyond phở and rice paper rolls, by adding another dimension to the great Vietnamese food around the city and the suburbs.”

Kurtis Bosely will design Forty Licks’ cocktail menu to complement the food offering. Think Vietnamese inspired numbers such as the red lotus with Secco vermouth, Calvados, amaro, lemon, bitters and Bird’s Nest; and the Hanoi sour with bourbon, ginger liqueur, Chichi Morada, lemon and pecan bitters.

Henry Goodwin and Rob Scarfone from GSBN Studio have worked with the team at Forty Licks to create a 75-seat venue. Utilising existing architectural elements of the heritage building, the space includes a dining room, bar and raised seated dining areas.

Forty Licks will be open Monday–Friday, from 11am to late.

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