As cliché as it may sound, the cuisine truly is, almost too beautiful to eat.
Exteberria was the pop-up that sent waves through the gastronomy scene when it opened in Avondale earlier this year. But it recently closed to make way for chef Javier Carmona’s latest venture — something a little more permanent. Offering the same level of ‘extraordinary’ is inner city, Spanish inspired restaurant, Inti.
Residing on the corner of Chancery and O’Connell Streets, where Meat Fish Wine once was, the covetable spot has been given a gussy up — the walls have received a fresh lick of white paint that is interrupted only by speckles of gold and wall mural by artist, Flox. There’s also a lighting feature that pays tribute to the ancient mythological love story of the Incan God of the Sun, Inti, and his wife, the Goddess of the Moon, Quilla. Together, they communicated through the stars, so each panel above the concrete and copper bar reflect different coloured moving lights.
At the helm in the kitchen is Carmona (previously of Mouthful Group) who will be serving a contemporary spin on pre- and post-Hispanic fare. From Central to South America, it is the cuisine from these regions that have been a leading influence for the chef. The menu is designed to be shared and will change to accommodate seasonal produce and Carmona’s own experimental desires. For now you can expect dishes such as the Salsa Tarasca; fermented corn tortilla with cricket panucho and concha; Tamale huitlacoche (which is the fungus that grows on corn) with raw mushroom and liquid Oaxaca cheese; and the Tostada morcilla with pitaya, peanut and black ants (which are crunchy, sweet and tangy all at the same time).
There are so many different elements, colours and textures that come together in each dish to make (what appears to be) an effortless ensemble. As clichéd as it may sound, the cuisine truly is, almost too beautiful to eat. To accompany each meal, there is a succinct list of cocktails and an abundance of international and local wines. So if it’s a bold new culinary experience you seek, it’s safe to say that Inti will be just that — a true game changer.
Tuesday to Friday: 12pm – 3 pm, 5pm – late
Saturday: 5pm – late
2 Chancery Street
(09) 374 0981