The Kitchen at Bacchanalia

Contemporary French Cuisine

The Kitchen at Bacchanalia

Why we're moving to Hongkong Street

In recent weeks we have been asked the question of why we are moving from Coleman Street to Hongkong Street a lot. I guess over time, people have grown quite fond of our comfy chairs and dimmed lights…

We opened Bacchanalia in the Masonic Hall on Coleman Street two years ago. Those two years have taught us a lot about our beliefs as cooks. This time has opened our eyes to restaurant dynamics and how the kitchen and the front of house work together- how that correlates to a guest’s experience, but also how it impacts the development of a dish. These relationships show us time and time again that a restaurant is, before anything, a place of and for people.

Often, the line that separates a great restaurant from an exceptional one is murky and confused by so much smoke and mirrors that ending a meal with a clear sense of what happened is almost impossible. Today we eat concept, as much, at times often more than we eat food. Ideology, style and ideas often overshadow the experience of a dish, an unexpected taste or a meaningful connection with one another.

In the past, successful restaurants were places that provided great food, drink, service and experience at a perceived matching value. Restaurants these days, however, stand for things, they must have a concept and a philosophy to both thrive, and survive. In an increasingly competitive and heavily publicised world, many restaurants have become about what a chef wants and many chefs have become more concerned with self-expression and concept than the people they cook for. The industry has become, in many respects, pretentious.

Simple or creative, expensive or affordable, we believe that food has the power to bring people together and connect them directly to product and the present moment. To make that connection authentic is the goal of any development that happens at Bacchanalia.

Our time on Coleman Street, happy as it has been, always presented us with physical restrictions. We felt, simply, there was too much distance between the dining room and the kitchen, between the chefs and the guests. At our new space on Hong Kong Street, we aim to break down those barriers, to bring the dining room into the kitchen, the kitchen into the dining room.

To reconnect; that’s why we’re moving.

Ivan Brehm