During his fifteen years in hospitality, Izaac King has worked in some of Adelaide’s best venues and after opening his first cafe in Blackwood last year, he knew exactly what his next venture would be. “I wanted to open a Spanish bar in the city,” he recalls, but then he visited a property on the Stepney section of Magill Road and everything changed.
“As soon as I walked inside I fell in love with it and I knew I had to have it here,” he says as he gestures around the former Libertine by Louis site. High ceilings and plenty of natural light mean the main dining room is a naturally inviting space but the clincher was a breezy courtyard filled with greenery that includes seven olive trees and a creeping fig wrapped around the side of the building so that you can also see it from inside. And because the site was a lot bigger than he initially wanted, Izaac’s vision expanded and now includes a Mediterranean-inspired cafe and restaurant.
He did much of the fit out himself, including an eye-catching section of wall covered with 24 carat gold leaf, which fits perfectly with the venue’s name. “Cachemira means cashmere in Spanish and that’s a real luxury product, which is what we want this to be; something decadent and highly sought after.”
In early September he launched breakfasts with Toby’s Estate coffee (including a playful limited edition blend each month – the first is lemon meringue pie) alongside Spanish-style baguettes with fillings like 18 month aged Jamon Serrano and Manchego with tomato and confit garlic aioli as well as tarts and cheesecakes from Mayfair Bakery; “they’ve been around for about 150 years now, so they’ve got it down to a fine art,” says Izaac.
On September 27, he’ll follow that up with a brunch menu that imparts a distinct European twist onto classic Aussie brunches through additions including truffle mushroom ragu, sobrassada (spreadable Spanish salami) and patatas bravas alongside his signature dish: a toasted open baguette with spiced salt and pepper squid, red chilli, chervil, dill, salsa verde and a medley of cherry tomatoes. By late spring that will also be joined by a tapas menu to coincide with the launch of the bar, which will serve a mix of local and European wines as well as cocktails highlighting some of the area’s growing number of distilleries.
It’s a lot to take in, but far from being overwhelmed Izaac is full of energy and he’s been thrilled with the initial response. “We’ve already got a lot of regulars,” he says, and customers are loving the piazza out back – he’s had so many enquiries for functions there that Cachemira already has a dedicated events coordinator. “I’m going to put a bar outside for functions and set up stages for musicians,” Izaac says excitedly. “And I’ll add a roof so people can bring dogs around – we’ve got big plans for this place!”