PM Eat Drink

Corner Knucky Street & Austin Lane, Darwin

Found in a building that once housed Woolworths, PM Eat Drink is today a modern bar and eatery that is bringing the cool back to the Darwin CBD. Owners Ji and Alana Matthews, both well-seasoned restaurateurs, chose to fill their menu by searching close to home, using their own backyard and local area as the focus. This method has worked, with PM Eat Drink being full most nights, bookings are a must.

Ji has been working as a chef for over 14 years, while Alana’s family have owned restaurants all over Australia. Together they previously owned a cafe in Mount Isa. As they both love fishing, their Darwin restaurant looks to an array of local seafood to be the stars of the show. Since opening in 2016, PM Eat Drink has been paying close attention to its menu, ensuring that they offer a polished selection of tapas and share plates, with their meticulously prepared seafood remaining a firm favourite.

Dedicated supporters of the “Support NT Caught” movement, Ji and Alana regularly visit local Darwin fishermen first thing in the morning to suss out the haul and select the best of the catch. From here, Ji, as head chef, creates a menu that is shaped by only the freshest and highest quality seafood available in Darwin. His dishes, whether they hero local squid, Spanish mackerel, prawns or mangrove red snapper, let the natural flavours of each catch sing.

However, if you are not partial to seafood then do not fret, Ji has ensured that his menus are always well rounded, looking to the land as well as the sea for his inspiration. High- quality meats and carefully chosen seasonal vegetables are strongly represented alongside the fish offering.

PM Eat Drink’s main point of difference, compared to its local competitors, is its refined drinks list. More often than not, Darwin locals come off second best when it comes to wine, and with few nearby wineries or vineyards, they have to search further afield. However, Ji and Alana have curated a list that could have stepped out of a top-tier venue in Melbourne or Sydney. The well-thought-out wine list offers drops from much-loved Australian and

international winemakers and also a selection of quirkier bottles that offer PM Eat Drink diners a taste of something different from a distant land made by interesting, up-and-coming winemakers. Natural and biodynamic wines sit alongside more classic options giving the people of Darwin a taste of what is available outside the world of cold beers and icy cocktails.

The fit-out is also something that you would not imagine from the top end. Enormous paintings fill the walls stretching from the floor all the way up to the high ceilings. Ji and Alana also sourced many of the fittings from Melbourne, eager to stick to a sleek black and rose gold industrial-style theme.

Photography by Charlie Bliss

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