Get a slice of the action at California Lane’s new Kill Bill-inspired bar Kiddo
Of contemporary cinema’s pantheon of visionary directors, Quentin Tarantino is perhaps the most singular of the bunch. His knack for crafting visceral filmic masterpieces has earned him a huge following, and his two-part saga Kill Bill is a cult favourite for many. A martial-arts epic that has endured thanks to its stylised cinematography, iconic action scenes and effortlessly cool aesthetics, the film’s impact continues to materialise in unforeseen ways. Fortitude Valley’s newest bar and eatery Kiddo (named after Kill Bill’s lead character Beatrix Kiddo aka The Bride aka Black Mamba – played by Uma Thurman) is taking some cues from QT’s blood-soaked tale of revenge, creating a unique hospitality experience that channels QT’s style through its vivid decor, menu of Japanese-fusion eats and selection of creative cocktails.
California Lane’s newest resident is the byproduct of some savvy COVID-19-induced innovation. Earlier this year Kane Sala, Rah Nelson, Marc Grey and Peter Gray launched community-oriented delivery service The BLK PKG as a sustainable and low-cost alternative to larger meal-delivery groups. As restrictions eased and eateries pivoted back to dine-in service, The BLK PKG morphed into a hospitality solutions company, with the crew bringing their collective expertise to the fore to consult with food businesses on everything from e-commerce to marketing practices. It was under this guise that the team was approached with an opportunity to step into the bar game themselves. The laneway tenancy that formerly housed Shishou Sake Bar had become available, presenting the crew with an opportunity to put their operational nous to the test with a concept they could call their own. After putting their noggins together and brainstorming ideas that could feasibly be applied to the venue’s small footprint, the team opted to open a movie-themed bar – one that paid homage to their shared favourite genre-hopping auteur Quentin Tarantino. Of QT’s body of work, Kill Bill provided the right kind of in-your-face potential for the bar’s conceptual framework, something with an edge and a sense of thrill that could translate into an engaging drinking and dining experience. In order to evoke Kill Bill’s stylised aesthetic, the team spent a four-week period transforming the cosy space into a moodily-lit hideaway, which is now accessible only through a red door at the far end of California Lane. Beyond the threshold the crew has implemented a slick vibe boasting dark tones accented by red lighting, mirrors, eye-catching murals from artist knivesxonly, a postered ceiling featuring movies that inspired Kill Bill as well as Japanese versions of theatrical posters for Tarantino’s various films. What results is Kiddo – a bar with a flair for the unexpected.
Seeing as Kill Bill itself was a sensory overload in and of itself, it’s only fitting that the menu follows suit. Kiddo’s selection encompasses a range of mouth-watering morsels inspired by Japanese cuisine. Each dish draws its namesake from the films, including the likes of Boss Tanaka Potstickers (brisket potsticker dumplings served with ponzu sauce), Yellow Kawasaki Corn ‘Ribs’ (charred corn quarters lathered in butter miso and dusted with Asian herbs), the Gogo Open Prawn Sando (a crouton open sando with prawn and spiced-mayo slaw), The 5 6 7 8’s (twice-cooked mapo grilled octopus) and Crispy Chicken O-Rib Ishii (crispy fried single-bone chicken ribs served with chilli jam). Likewise, the cocktail list is similarly inspired, with an interactive element offering a theatrical energy to proceedings. Highlight sips include the Beatrix: 4 Years on Ice (peach liqueur, vodka, strawberry puree, lime and simple syrup served in a light bulb on a bed of dry-ice mist), Vernita’s Popcorn–Cawfee (coffee liqueur, vodka, popcorn syrup and espresso with a popcorn topper) and Pai Mei’s Revenge (Campari, sweet vermouth, gin, orange skin and a hollow ice sphere). The bar team is upping the ante with syrups made in house and top-tier names for its first-pour spirits. In addition to Kiddo’s signature concoctions, the bar also stocks a variety of craft beers plus Sapporo on tap, as well as a selection of eight wines by the glass. Over time the team will launch a secret menu, with hints and names incorporated into the decor for guests to seek out. The Kiddo team is also looking to activate the laneway for private dining and family-friendly sittings earlier in the week (those seeking the bar will soon be able to follow instructions that read like the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique), while the group’s long-term goal is to open more movie-themed bars around Brisbane under the Written and Directed By hospitality group moniker.
Kiddo is now open! For contact details and operating hours, head to the Stumble Guide.
Images courtesy of Kiddo
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