King Jorg White


203 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North VIC
(03) 9482 3002 or

Photography: Josh Wayn
It seems all fine dining chefs want to do nowadays is strip off those pristine white tablecloths and uncover their darker, more ‘casual’ side. And who can blame them? After years of 14-hour days slaving over a hot stove chasing hats like an Oaks Day filly on a windy day, what’s not enticing about relaxing the finer points of dining? Think: George going back to his provincial roots with Hellenic Republic, or Guy Grossi slipping on a pair of Converse at Merchant. Michael Smith, Bryce Bernhardt and David Cristiano are a bit ahead of the curve with Jorg. It’s their first restaurant as owners, but already they’ve settled into that casual-yet-still-quite-fine dining mode like veterans. Jorg was originally intended to be a more manageable proposition than the 6m-high open plan space the boys found. But it’s already paying off, with the realisation that the four of them (including Dave’s father Vince who handles the administrative side of things), needed to pull a wage from the business. But they’ve resisted the urge to pack every square inch with more seats, opting instead to increase the size of each table to allow for the excess crockery required for a sharing menu. The plates themselves are a brown ceramic topped with earthy glazes, a unique match for the uncovered American Oak timber tables supplied by James Richardson. When Feras Raffoul of FGR Architects tore back the false ceiling to reveal the stunning apex and wooden beams, he was a little worried the white-walled, concrete floored space would feel cavernous. Hanging a few Jielde Augustin Pendants from Euroluce helped to bring down the eye level and up the intimacy.

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