Sitting proudly alongside The Larwill Studio, North Melbourne’s newest restaurant, Smith + Singleton takes its name from the founding doctors of the Royal Children's Hospital, John Singleton and William Smith.
Open from 7am seven days a week, the cafe is your morning pit stop welcoming visitors and guests alike. Drop in for a coffee to go or stay for brunch in the light-filled café. With a chic, modern interior and internationally-flavoured menu that draws on influences from Europe, Asia and The Middle East, Smith + Singleton is the vision of chefs Paul Dunlop and Lucas Sansome.
Featuring a semi-open kitchen and flexible dining spaces, the cafe and restaurant will welcome up to 100 guests. With a slick, industrial design and sun-drenched interiors, the space looks as dashing as the menu on offer, which draws on Paul and Lucas’ travels across the globe.
Having previously worked together at Maha and St Katherine’s, both Paul and Lucas say they have a good relationship and similar working styles. Lucas says this made it an easy decision to say yes when Paul asked him to collaborate on Smith + Singleton.
"We get stuff done together and there’s no big dramas – it’s a good partnership," says Lucas.
With international flavours on the menu, both chefs bring their love and experience of global cuisine to the table, as each dish is designed around their own foodie favourites. Not wanting the restaurant to be typecast with one offering, Smith + Singleton fuses Asian, Middle Eastern and European flavours, leaving it open to attract a wider palate of customers.
Using the best local and seasonal produce available, both chefs believe it’s important, when they can, to work with local, smaller companies and support their business.
"It’s important to know where your produce comes from, especially seafood, to keep those industries going," says Lucas.
Smith + Singleton also be have a take-away menu on offer with freshly made sandwiches, pizzas, salads and sweet treats, ideal for lunch-breaks. Available to pre-order are Bento style lunch-boxes with homemade cakes and a savoury side dish of choice, under $20. Paul advises that customers can pre-order their take-away meals so they are ready to pick up fresh.
Coining himself as the Sandwich Master, Lucas says it was his idea to have a selection of appetising sandwiches on the menu even though it’s not something you’d usually find in a restaurant. When pushed to choose his favourite, Lucas says it has to be the BBQ Pork or the Ruben.
Decadent, drool-worthy desserts are also there for the tempting, including a chocolate ganache tart and pavlova roulade. However Paul’s favourite is the lemon tart, "A classic dish that doesn’t go out of style."