Jonathan Barthellmess’ latest venture takes shape

Yoko Dining to open in Brisbane’s Howard Smith Wharves precinct

Jonathan Barthelmess owner of Greca Restaurant will be opening a new Japanese restaurant Yoko next door at Howard Smith Wharves. He will open it with the help of chefs Ben Russell and Kitak Lee and operations manager Nick Ingal. Photo by Sarah Marshall/The Photo Pitch

Restauranteur Jonathan Barthellmess, owner of Greca Restaurant, will open a new restaurant in the Howard Smith Wharves precinct in Brisbane in November 2019. The Tokyo-inspired Yoko Dining aims to translate the energetic experience of Tokyo’s izakayas, music bars and pop-infused counter culture into a raucous split-level bistro on the river.

Set over two levels of dining, drinking and fun classics on vinyl, Yoko marries Brisbane’s breezy lifestyle with all the highlights of Japan’s sophisticated and sustainable cuisine. Drawing inspiration from the heritage waterfront space located beneath Brisbane’s Story Bridge, longtime collaborator and interior architect George Livissianis has transformed the “beautiful old shed” on the water into a sensory, intriguing and geometrically designed space.

Chef Kitak Lee

Chef Kitak Lee (Cho Cho San, Kisume, Momofuku Seibo) will be at the helm of the new restaurant, cooking a menu that is seafood-leaning and heavily influenced by the restaurant’s hibachi charcoal grill.

Abundant bar snacks such as seasonal gyoza, tempura, plentiful noodles and light textural salads are all on the menu, making an excellent accompaniment to a well-chosen cocktail. They accompany large-format dishes including whole local fish, a premium wagyu selection and roasted duck, all designed to share between friends over yuzu slushies, wine on tap or bottles from Yoko’s 100-strong wine list. Japan’s signature desserts will appear as the meal winds down with favourites like shaved ice kakigori, mochi and sweet waffles.

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