Virtuoso Life - May/June 2018 - 38
FOOD & SPIRITS
Simple preparations, frequently sparked by Asian
spice, are winning Australian chefs acclaim abroad.
"I fell in love with the food scene in Singapore and wanted to
be here," says chef Clayton Wells. He still runs the red-hot
Automata in Sydney, and last fall introduced Blackwattle, a
60-seat hit in Singapore's Chinatown, where dishes such as
mussels with stracciatella cheese and marigolds demonstrate his creativity. 97 Amoy Street; blackwattle.com.sg.
In Mexico, Australian chef Paul Bentley oversees restaurants in Tulum and Guadalajara, as well as San Miguel de
Allende's just-opened Bovine, which shares a historic
building with a collection of upscale boutiques. The simple
but hearty menu focuses on beef that's dry-aged in-house,
house-made charcuterie, and a seafood bar with oysters,
clams, and ﬁsh ﬂown in from Ensenada. 16 Canal Street;
This summer in West Hollywood, Strings of Life will
combine coffee culture with a menu of tartines and
Vietnamese noodle bowls. The project is a collaboration
between Aussie-Fijian chef Louis Tikaram and down under
expats Grant Smillie and David Combes, owners of the
popular E.P. & L.P. restaurant and lounge in Los Angeles.
609 West Knoll Drive.
Lovers of down-home Texas honky-tonks who would
rather pass on flavorless drafts and greasy hash: Say
hello to Goodnight Charlie's. Houston's latest hot spot
may be the world's first gourmet honky-tonk. Master
sommelier David Keck has kept the live boot-scootin'
music and dance f loor of traditional roadhouses, but
focuses on top-shelf cocktails, with an emphasis on
bourbon (nearly 40 choices line the back bar) and drinkspaired tacos starring house-made tortillas. 2531 Kuester
V I RT U O S O L I F E
Clockwise from top left: Blackwattle's stracciatella cheese with tomatoes, kombu,
and shellfish oil, and its dining room; Bovine and chef Paul Bentley; and a noodle
bowl at Strings of Life. Far left: Goodnight Charlie's hot chicken tacos.
(TACOS) RALPH SMITH STUDIOS