Saying Hola to Smith & Daughters

It’s been a long six months in the making but Smith & Daughters is finally saying “hola” to Melbourne.

Smith & Daughters has been a pondered dream for business partners Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse. Their roots are well planted in the Melbourne culinary scene, particularly well-known in the city’s vegan circles. So, it’s no surprise that they’ve converted an old Spanish restaurant in this cornerstone building into a destination for gourmet, plant-based Spanish and Mexican-infused dishes.

Part of their dream was to create a space where plant-based, local, organic meals can be prepared with passion and care. There are no “big name” brand names, dairy or other animal-derived processed products here. Rather, there’s a menu filled with “small plate” or “big plate” choices to share amongst friends. Smith & Daughters deal with suppliers who are friends to ensure that excellent fresh plant-based cuisine is assured. Everything here is made in-house and, as the menu puts it, “with lots of love”.

The space is decked out in a rockabilly vibe; framed band posters and retro pictures fill every spot on the white walls. The wooden stools at our table are so new that you can smell the crispness of the raw timber. Chilli plants crown the centre of the table, each laden with fruit for guests to wonder whether they can pick a cheeky one to add to their meals.

All the décor has been carefully placed around the space and diners line up to grab an early table or a bar-stool along the walls. Staff pace the space to the beat of 60s soul music above and the smiles on their faces accentuate the inclusive appeal of this place. It’s a far cry from the fluorescent cantina-style restaurants of yesteryear.  

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