Yin meets Yang, North meets South to open Lona Misa – Shannon Martinez and Ian Curley collaborate to open vegan and vegetarian bar & kitchen.
Opening in April 2021, Lona Misa will be South Yarra’s newest vegan and vegetarian bar & kitchen. Bringing Lona Misa to life are hospitality legends and renowned Melbourne chefs Shannon Martinez (Smith & Daughters, Smith & Daughters Deli) and Ian Curley (French Saloon, Kirk’s Wine Bar).
In the kitchen, yin meets yang, North meets South, oil meets vinegar. With decades of experience in European fine and bistro dining, Curley along with vegan chef and author Martinez will curate a heavily vegan and vegetarian menu offering. Lona Misa will be produce led, paying homage to Martinez’ Latin roots, and will see the duo collaborate as Creative Culinary Partners.
Enter an all-day venue from café to wine bar – a warm space taking you from lunch to dinner. Home to 90 seats and sustainably crafted to be shareable, seasonal and flavourful, Latin fare and bistro dining collide against the norms of the classical medley you know of vegan and vegetarian dining.
Lona Misa on all fronts is artfully combined, rich in history, unchartered in territory and designed by award-winning agency, Luchetti Krelle. Located in the new designer hotel, Ovolo South Yarra, on the famed intersection of Toorak Road and Chapel Street in Melbourne’s cultural hub, guests of Lona Misa will enjoy a rebellious renaissance from root to stem.
“When approached with the opportunity to continue to work with Ovolo on this new concept in Melbourne, the best person in the country for this I thought would be Shannon,” says Ian.
“Shannon is a real pioneer for plant-based dining. For what she brings to the table, taking on some of Australia’s most unconvinced carnivorous chefs, she has set a foundation for vegetarian and plant-based dining to be taken seriously.”
“I’m excited about working with Curley. My style could not be more opposite from his! This restaurant is going to be a different take on my food. My flavours, inspiration paired with his polish – a bit of nip-tuck,” says Shannon on working with Ian.
“It’s funny, I’ve known Curley a long time, and we’ve both always refused to come across the river. Melbourne hospitality will get what I mean when I say he is 100% southside, I’m 100% northside. Finally, the meeting of North and South – it’s going to be something else, a collaboration Melbourne will love.”
Martinez and Curley will oversee the menus across the restaurant and bar, working closely with local farmers and producers to source all fresh ingredients. The drinks programme, will celebrate the liveliness of La Bamba, liberating libations day to night, accompanied by seasonal cocktails, house-made sodas and adventurous wines sourced from some of Australia’s most progressive producers, with a strong focus on natural, organic and carbon neutral wines.-
Take what you know of vegan and vegetarian dining and think vibrant, loud, and unapologetic.
Lona Misa is located at 230 Toorak Road, within Ovolo South Yarra, and will launch in April 2021.
Main image: Lauren Bamford