Iberic Instinct

Foley Lane, a new Tapas restaurant in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, sets itself apart with an understated and charmingly worn space punctuated by curated details.

25 Sep 2012

Starting with the objective of creating an honest and pared back aesthetic, Mandy Edge (of Edgedesignstudio) was very conscious of avoiding the distinctly themed, stylised feel of other venues.

That said, the site was rich with character, and presented a number of opportunities for playful and particular details. Located at the ground floor on the corner of an iconic ocean-liner style building near the Oxford Street thoroughfare, the space is replete with porthole windows, 4m high ceilings and a splayed entry door, where the triangular room tapers to a narrow wedge. Bi-fold doors and sliding windows on two surfaces give abundant access to the surrounding street area, begging for outdoor seating that (we hope) will come this summer.

As part of the concept the fit out aimed to use materials that already felt a little lived in, including hand made wall tiles from Spain, a custom zinc bar top, hand blown glass pendants and recycled timbers and antique leathers. The nautical subtext of the building is lightly referenced in the white, curved ship-like façade and in the brass bunka lights, brass gallery rails and tile trims, adding some flavor to the décor without overtly defining it.

Overall the palette of honest materials in their raw states and restrained colours creates a reassuringly utilitarian feel, which is then softened by the discovery of more nuanced details that speak of consideration and good taste.

This is paired with an equally uncomplicated culinary concept; developed by owners Nathan Moses and Julian Marachetto, the menu is unequivocally Mediterranean and features many single serve dishes. The philosophy with presentation seems to stress more the confident pairing of ingredients that look and taste good together (read Smoked Salmon, white garlic and caper berries) rather than laboriously sculptural arrangements, which further sustains the generally un-fussy feel of the space.

Foley Lane

Photography: Steve Back