New Zealand’s solely restaurant devoted to up to date Samoan delicacies, TALA, has introduced it has secured a website in Auckland’s Parnell and can open in late October.
TALA is the creation of Samoan-born chef Henry Onesemo (ex-Meredith’s, Apero and East St. Corridor), and spouse Debby. It would mix conventional Samoan hospitality with a recent interpretation of Samoan flavours for a brand new eating expertise.
The brand new TALA restaurant might be at 235 Parnell Street (previously the location of Pasture). It would seat roughly 28 diners inside, and a bar deck will open in Summer season 2023/24. Affirmation of the location follows a sell-out TALA pop-up eating collection at Auckland’s Bar Magda in June this yr.
“It’s a unbelievable house and we’re excited to remodel it right into a model new expertise for TALA. I can’t wait to welcome our friends right into a enjoyable eating environment the place they’ll be capable to see all of the motion of the kitchen, and to introduce them to a contemporary perspective on the varied vary of Samoan flavours and components.” – Henry Onesemo, TALA Chef/Proprietor.
Custom meets modern-day at TALA
Open-fire cooking and an umu (a conventional Samoan above-ground oven of scorching stones) might be central to TALA. The Samoan phrase “tala” means “story” or “story” and Henry will mix these historic practices with fashionable cooking strategies to inform his personal tales of Samoa via dishes impressed by his Samoan heritage and childhood, however revisited and refined.
Structure and interiors studio Seear-Budd Ross has created the brand new design for TALA, which is refined and up to date.
“Restraint was important to make sure the house stayed away from cliché and tokenism. Friends are enveloped in a cave-like environment whereas deep textured timber, smooth earthy materials and intimate lighting artfully direct one’s focus to the beautiful meals. It’s an area you can fortunately get pleasure from for hours and hours. After which return to repeatedly. The lasting impression of TALA is of a eating expertise that’s particular and can endure within the reminiscence.” – Thomas Seear-Budd and James Ross of Seear-Budd Ross.
The eating expertise is enhanced by the sparkle of flames from the open-fire vary and delicate smoke aroma of the umu. Friends seated for the Chef’s Journey may also be handled to an up-close expertise of TALA with views into the kitchen as Henry and his staff put together every dish.
Award-winning stylist Fiona Hugues is bringing particular ending touches to the TALA house, which can replicate the mix of Samoan tradition and traditions with Henry’s up to date method to its delicacies.
A eating journey
The TALA menu will supply a alternative of eating ‘journeys’, with every one a collection of dishes impressed by totally different parts of Samoan meals heritage from Henry’s personal expertise rising up in Samoa, in addition to conventional story-telling.
Conventional facets of Samoan life might be woven into the TALA expertise too, starting with friends
receiving an providing as they arrive into the restaurant house.
Menu highlights will embody showcase dishes cooked within the conventional umu in entrance of diners, comparable to ‘Spatchcock Rooster’. The brined and spatchcocked rooster might be wrapped in banana leaves with herbs and citrus and cooked within the scorching stones in view of the restaurant. “The timing of this dish needs to be exact and leaves no room for errors as a result of it’s to be unveiled in the midst of service as one of many fundamental dishes on the menu.” – Henry Onesemo.
Different menu gadgets will embody a dish impressed by childhood snacks of uncooked ramen, taro and banana chips; the contemporary flavours of cured salmon with coconut, wasabi, sago and inexperienced banana; the feasting dish of ‘Sapasui’ with lamb and pork stomach; Henry’s shocking tackle Wattie’s Combined Veg; and ‘Umu Sweets’ as tasty treats to complete.
Debby and Henry Onesemo have additionally constructed a relationship with the Hospitality school at MSL Coaching in Manukau, and had been thrilled to work with their Pasifika college students on the Bar Magda pop-up dinners.
Going ahead, the couple plans to supply college students employment alternatives the place potential at TALA.
Portrait and meals images by Manja Wachsmuth.