Marty Brown is a Gen Y Renaissance man. 

Skilled at running a contemporary bistro, crafting exquisite objects, creating music and film and developing brand strategies, he firmly believes that it is natural for humans to have expertise in numerous areas. Together with Raffaele Persichetti, Marty is the brains and brawn behind Holloway—a contemporary bohemian hub on Hardgrave Road.

The shopfront is typical 1930s—dark timber and glass. A clever sculpture of piano keys makes a window above the door, and the quirky handmade theme continues inside. Holloway operates as a restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights, welcoming diners into its charming dining room or alfresco in the Summer breeze (our choice).

We settle in to peruse the menu, which reads like a travelogue. It is seasonal, and meals are listed according to their style or place of origin; the entrees are oysters from Kangaroo Island, lemongrass charcoal grilled pork collar (Vietnam to Indonesia), and a salad of fresh buffalo mozzarella from Italy. There is pizza too, and Marty tells us the dough was made at 10am to be perfect for evening dining. We share a pizza as a starter, with salami, buffalo mozzarella (getting the best of both worlds), parmesan and basil. The base is thin yet solidly chewy and the topping well balanced with meat, cheese and seasoning. Joining pizza on the Secondo menu are ravioli, salmon, and a Tasmanian t-bone.

The distinctive taste of the ravioli is magnificent—delicate pasta pillows filled with ricotta and goat curd spread across the plate, lightly covered with mint and lemon sage. This is seriously fine Italian food made to a very high standard, apparently at 4pm to be precise for the evening. Marty must have constructed a time/space contraption behind the mysterious kitchen doors, because it seems as if the food is arriving directly from around the world. Our salmon is named ‘Pacific to Japan’, and tastes like it. A sumptuous salmon steak falls apart on the plate and in the mouth, teamed up with spicy wombok salsa and creamy smoked chilli mayonnaise.

Paris is the destination for the `Gâteau au Chocolat’ dessert: a hazelnut and dark chocolate cake. Even with my indelible sweet tooth, I was unable to conquer the deeply rich flavours and fudge-like density of the gâteau. The other dessert is a fresh seasonal fruit platter, which looks popular around the other tables. Returning to the bar in the dining room, I notice an exquisite display of non-food wares: glasses and watches made from timbers, stone and metals and leather goods. The multi-talented Holloway duo is creating marvellous objects and experiences, worthy of Leonardo da Vinci himself.

Words by Chris Hassall | Images supplied by Holloway


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