Luke Mangan is one of Australia’s most respected restaurateurs, but he’s not above informal dining and simple, tasty food. In fact, Luke’s latest venture, Luke’s Kitchen, is proof that casual venues with exceptional menus are something he excels at.
The space that was formerly MOJO, Luke’s warehouse restaurant and bar in Sydney’s Waterloo Precinct, has been given a new lease on life.
The menu is geared towards Luke’s style of shared plates, incorporating influences from opening restaurants across the globe. Dishes on the opening menu include Tasmanian Ocean Trout Sashimi, Organic Chicken and Barbecued West Australian Marron.
“It’s my type of food,” said Luke. “We’re focusing on beautiful products with a bit of fragrant spice, delivered in a way that is clean and healthy.”
Leading the kitchen team is 29-year-old chef, Mathew Leighton, who cut his teeth working in Luke’s restaurants internationally, including Glass Brasserie (Sydney), Salt Grill & Sky Bar (Singapore), and Luke’s Sydney burger joints, Chicken Confidential.
The urban décor of MOJO has been swapped out for a new classic-yet-cool look. While the venue’s polished concrete floor remains the same, the new forest green and blush pink colour palette, alongside quirky finishes such as pendant lighting and a floral feature wall, are all part of the venue’s updated design. A new window benchtop allows patrons to look out onto leafy Danks Street, while tall potted plants bring a splash of nature inside.
MOJO is slated to relocate to the CBD later in the year while its old location will become the flagship of the Luke’s Kitchen restaurant concept – one that you’ll likely be seeing more of in 2018.
“It’s unpretentious, it’s comfortable, and it’s a place where guests can swing down for a glass of wine with oysters, or the works,” said Luke. “We’re here for everyone.”