Discover Honeysuckle’s Mediterranean restaurant
Right on Newcastle harbour sits our city’s newest dining experience – Blanca.
Inspired by the coastlines of Greece, Sicily, and Turkey, Blanca – the first of its kind for Newcastle – invites you in for a European summer dining experience in the harbourside Honeysuckle precinct.
“I love Honeysuckle. I’m a bit bias to Honeysuckle but we love it. We knew we needed waterfront, and we knew we needed alfresco. For us, that was Honeysuckle,” Garry said.
Opening its doors on Saturday, 2nd of December, the elevated Mediterranean restaurant already has the town abuzz. The food, the drink, the interior, the vibe – you name it, Newcastle is hyped about it.
“My wife and I are both from Europe. Blanca is an amalgamation of the Greek Islands, the Turkish Riviera, and Sicily. Think all-day dining, sunshine, cocktails, and spritzes. It’s about sharing multiple courses, drinking, celebrating, and staying.”
With nothing but dedication and passion poured into the opening of the new venue, Garry and Melissa spent a full month in Europe earlier this year. Visiting the Greek Islands, Sicily, and the Turkish Riviera, and bringing the best bits back with them.
“There are touches on the menu that we have brought back with us from the Mediterranean. We wanted to make sure all of the little pieces of Blanca were done.
“Not just the décor, the renderings, and how the tables flow, but every single part of the menu, down to how the octopus is cooked, our Turkish coffee, to even the Mediterranean-inspired playlist. We want people to feel like that’s where they are.”
Without a doubt, Blanca has met this standard, and from setting just one foot inside the venue, or even doing a quick drive-by, you can tell that this spot is pretty special.
Working with the hospitality fit-out guru, Adrian Deboucherville of After Dark Design, who has been a part of the project before the lease had even been signed, Blanca exudes European summer vibes with its whitewashed walls, stone terrace, and open plan alfresco dining space.
Pair Adrian’s signature eye for detail with the equally talented eye of the team from Something More Design, and both the physical fit-out and the soft furnishings work perfectly together. From the curved-back bar nooks and the custom-made seat cushions, the soft pink linen napkins, and exposed timber beams, no detail has been spared.
Thirsty? Oh you are going to LOVE the in-house curated drinks menu, brought to you by Executive Bartender Wayne.
“We’ve got some great Mediterranean touches in there. We’re drawing from Sicily, Turkey, and Greece. There is rakija in the Turkish cocktails, there is ouzo in the Greek-style cocktails, and there is limoncello in our Italian cocktails.
“We’re focused on those three regions, and those regional ingredients are featured in the cocktails, plus we can sell them by the nip.”
The Mediterranean vibes don’t stop with the drinks, with the wine list heavily focused on Greek, Turkish, Italian, French, and Spanish wines as well as select drops from the Hunter Valley and across Australia.
“We’re creating a haven where people can gather, meet, and immerse themselves in the enjoyment of shared moments. A place that promises to be your go-to destination for Mediterranean delights and elevated experiences.”
Last but certainly not least, let’s explore the menu. The Risteski Group has been fine-tuning this menu alongside Executive Chef, Tomislav, for the past six months, collaborating with local producers to present some of the freshest Mediterranean dishes in the city.
Like all things on the menu, the wood-fired flatbread, dips, and burek starters are house-made, while the grilled octopus with spiced chickpeas, lemon, oregano, and romesco sauce sings with their signature freshness.
For those looking for a heartier taste of the Med, the baked lamb moussaka with grilled eggplant, tomatoes, potato, and kasseri cheese is a menu highlight.
Open from Tuesday through to Sunday, with reservations quickly booking out well and truly through to the end of the year, get in and be amongst the first to experience Blanca in Honeysuckle.