A new restaurant is aiming to open by Easter at the Esplanade, on the site of the Little and Oliver’s bistro. Aptly named The Arsonist, this eatery will specialise in smoky, gourmet and wood-fired delights.
There’s still a lot of mystery behind The Arsonist, which was registered with the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) on 20 Jan. 2021. But it is from the same group that owns Tide on the Jetty, which is just a short distance down the bayside.
The Arsonist will be supervised by Chef Mat Fulford in the kitchen. Mr Fulford said that Manly Esplanade doesn’t have enough flame-grilled restaurants and this new restaurant hopes to fill the gap.
The chef said that he has always loved this cooking method using direct heat, wood chips or charcoal. He hints at a menu where meals like whole suckling pig, roasted bone marrow or bistecca are meant to be shared. Diners will also get to try a signature bespoke charcuterie featuring free-range cured meats.
In the next few months, the site that housed the bistro and cafe will undergo a transformation. The Arsonist will have a custom-built wood-fired oven and grill installed in the kitchen, as well as several dry-age meat cabinets.
Customers who love drinking whisky may order a bottle or two to be stored in the restaurant’s safe, which they could drink on their next visits.
Meanwhile, it’s still unclear what’s next for Little and Oliver’s. The BYO cafe and restaurant has been trading in the area for more than three years.