by Lucie on August 31, 2012
15A Cnr Claremont St & Yarra Lane, South Yarra 3181
(03) 9827 0399 or www.claremont-tonic.com.au
Last month, Claremont Tonic opened in South Yarra’s new ‘Yarra Lane’ precinct.
The new project by Maison Davis, the group fresh from giving Mexican a Melbourne edge at the newly opened CBD cantina Touché Hombre, is the creative vision of Maison Davis owner Davis Yu and his head chef Dylan Roberts.
The Claremont Tonic space was a collaboration between Maison Davis and design studio Hecker Guthrie. Relishing the coming together of their two distinct philosophies, the design houses produced a space that unites an aesthetic and structural sensibility with the more experimental and cinematic concerns of a perfect hospitality experience. Rough and raw with a ‘movie set’ edge, Claremont Tonic represents the balancing act involved in injecting lifestyle and culture into design.
The darker tones of black and grey in the fit out directly influenced by its Melbourne location, a city in love with black. For energy Claremont Tonic draws on Melbourne’s famous rocking live music scene, long a hallmark of its famous nightlife. “There is a strong and fun Asian-inspired graphic language; commissioned neon artwork, combined with an eclectic and diverse collection of found objects and paraphernalia which adds another complex and cinematic layer to the room,” says Paul Hecker. “Working together on the Claremont Tonic space was as much about pushing creative boundaries as having fun, and crafting a distinct dining experience.
“It’s the interior you wouldn’t take home to meet your mother.”
The construction process was a response to the limitations of the space, and with the external facade dictated by the already standing building. Davis and Hecker Guthrie had to be flexible with their choices to activate a seamless flow from the external to internal. Davis is thrilled with the result: “The design feels close to my heart, it feels real. I think we’ve succeeded in giving Melbourne culture and life a physical form, connecting with the city. We’ve put in custom designed sculptures and art pieces to really complete the space.”
Every city has its distinct Chinatown, a strip that blends Asia with the host culture; the team behind Claremont Tonic believe that it is the embodiment of this.