Tobi, Cal and Miles from ARLO are about artful intimate dining experiences that prioritise openness and social interaction whilst serving up seasonal, satisfying and expressive food alongside organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wines.
With a shared (deep) love for bringing people together to enjoy delicious food, wine and company, ALEX AND TRAHANAS teamed up with Sydney-based communal dining team, ARLO COMMUNAL for an utterly enjoyable Mediterranean-inspired lunch.
Photo by Nick Tsindos
Arlo was inspired by the supper clubs (small, intimate dinners usually held in the comfort of
one’s home) popping up in Europe and North America. This idea of intimate and communal dining – eating to bring people together spoke to the three of us. It was also an opportunity to express our individual taste for food, wine and hospitality without external voices. Arlo began in a photography studio in Chippendale. Miles and Cal would spend all day shifting the space from an office into a restaurant, while I would spend all day working in the ‘kitchen’ (a space with one induction stove and a timeworn oven). The first event sat 12 of our closest friends and family. Although they had a great time and loved the concept, we found the opening to be quite a stretch. From there, we have tried to fine-tune our process and grow with each event. We are now seating up to 40 people at our events as well as working with like-minded brands to connect and inspire people through the dining experience.
Favourite cuisine to cook?
One would be ‘modern Australian’ which is a collection of cuisines (French, Japanese etc.) with an emphasis on creativity and novelty. The other would be Italian – simple and nourishing food that one would eat every day.
Favourite dish you like to cook?
I love cooking whole fish over coals. Whole flounder or john dory with a beurre blanc would be up there for me.
What is the simplest dish to impress someone with?
Seafood in my opinion is always the simplest way to impress a crowd - seared scallops with brown butter, lemon and chives are a favourite.
Tell us about your dream dinner party?
Scallops, beurre noisette
Primo: Pici, amatriciana
Main: Pork chop, leeks, jus & fennel salad, almonds, anchovy, pecorino
Cheese: Asiago, honey, grapes
Dessert: Panna cotta, date, cocoa
Location: Lake Como, Italy
Music: Arlo playlist
Any tips you can share when planning the menu for a dinner party?
I’d suggest having multiple courses – start off with bread and butter, then onto a light seafood dish, then a cheese (stracciatella is a favourite), then main course with a salad (whole proteins like a steak or salmon will make your life easier). The best quality of a dinner party is being able to share the food and therefore the experience with your guests.
Do you have any dining rituals that you are particularly fond of?
Tasting the food before we serve our customers.
Favourite restaurant at the moment?
Café Paci, Fratelli Paradiso & The Old Fitz Roy
What do you love about what you do?
Working with and serving like-minded people in a creative and challenging environment. The culture and people make what we do most enjoyable.