Promoting Mediterranean cuisine at HNLY

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HNLY, a new restaurant from Angela Papas of Diaspora Kouzina and Peter Louca and Georges on George Kasimatis of Waymouth, offers quality seafood-focused Mediterranean cuisine with a commitment to expanding the range of expected flavors.

On the upper level of a building overlooking Henley Square, a welcoming restaurant has appeared.

Founded by Angela Papas of Diaspora Kouzina, Peter Louca of Louca’s Seafood (and also Diaspora), and George Kasimatis of Georges on Waymouth, HNLY brings together the varied talents of the three owners, producing Mediterranean cuisine paired with a predominantly local wine list.

The team first met in 2020, scouting for space along The Parade, before George was alerted to the vacant spot by Nick and Anesti Mavridis, who run Estia downstairs.

Formerly apartments, Genesin Studio was contracted to create a “simple, clean, somewhat European” restaurant, says Angela.

The color palette is neutral, and the use of soft materials throughout the space provides a warm, homey feel.

Angela hopes the result is that diners will “feel like they’re sitting maybe somewhere in Europe.”

“We have a lot of natural stone and keeping things very neutral is like what it feels like in Europe,” she says.

HNLY opened in December 2021 and the initial menu was designed by Grant Schooling, the head chef at Louca’s Seafood. The team has since recruited Ricardo Plazola, former head chef of the gourmet vegan restaurant Allegra Dining Room.

The menu draws heavily on influences from the owners’ hospitality history.

“We just mixed George’s talent with the Mediterranean and Peter’s knowledge with seafood,” explains Angela.

“Grant likes to work with lots of flavors and lots of sauces, so here it’s very simple, clean and fresh.

“We tried to use the same ingredients as at Louca, in terms of fish and quality, but changing the flavors. So we want people to come to this restaurant and experience something they wouldn’t experience at George’s or Luca’s.

Angela cites the raw scallop dish, which is “served with kohlrabi and lime,” as an example of the kitchen team creating new flavor combinations.

Elsewhere on the menu, there’s salmon pate, king prawns, southern rock lobster, blue swimmer crab spaghetti, yellowfin whiting and Kin tuna.

Non-seafood dishes include burrata, roast chicken, and charred cruciferous.

The original plan wasn’t to have so much seafood, but as the restaurant was built and the menu expanded, feedback from friends and family pushed them towards the ocean.

“We love working with local suppliers, and we love sourcing the freshest seafood no matter what state it’s from,” says Angela.

“We work with Chris Bolton in Queensland, so he fishes early in the morning, like very early in the morning, and ships it immediately. We receive it less than 12 hours after he catches it.

In addition to the mostly local wine list, Twenty Third Street is the first served at the bar.

Angela hopes the venue will become known as a go-to place for Henley lovers, no matter what type of dining experience they’ve come to the area for.

“We want people to come here and have a good time,” she says.

“If they want to stay for a long lunch, they are more than welcome. If they just want to come for a drink, we are very open to anything. That’s why we designed the place the way we did.

HNLY is located on level one at 253A Seaview Road, Henley Beach. The place is open from noon until late, seven days.

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