From November, the plant-based pair will be amalgamated under one very big roof with the opening of Martinez’s ambitious new all-day, all-occasions vegan hub in Collingwood. Behind a floor-to-ceiling glass facade on Cambridge Street, the new venue is “double the size of both [Daughters and Deli] combined”, Martinez tells Broadsheet. “It’s huge.”
As is this moment for plant-based dining in Australia. “I’m always trying to elevate [plant-based food] and change the mentality of it being this hippy, DIY thing, which is what Daughters and Deli were at the start. But I think vegan food in Australia is some of the best in the world, and I don’t think we get enough credit for it. And I don’t me mean me; I mean us.
“I’m really hoping that, with the scale of this thing, people will start paying more attention.”
From left to right, there’ll be the restaurant, grocer, deli and then something else entirely. Martinez’s master plan also includes a low-key cafeteria-style serving station – “like you’re in prison, you know?” she laughs. A purpose-built induction cooktop (she went to the depths of the internet to find it, inspired by one she saw in New York) will be strewn with enamel pots; you’ll grab a tray, shuffle along and be served up whatever you like. Expect mains such as curried sausages, beef stews, pot pies and rotisserie meats (there’ll be a vegan carvery out back) and sides like mashed or scalloped potatoes, and braised greens. For breakfast, the pots will be filled with the likes of scrambled eggs and hash. The cold section will be loaded up with salads, yoghurts and desserts, and at the end of the station there’ll be a Strangelove soda machine with rotating flavours.
In the former Rosella space – an old red-brick fire station – will be Smith & Daughters 2.0, with a U-shaped open kitchen. Local interior-design studio Resident Avenue “is bringing all my Vivienne Westwood fantasies to life”, Martinez says – with chain-mail curtains, tartan carpet and tweed upholstery. “It’s still gonna be goth as fuck, but fancy too.”
Meanwhile, the new Smith & Deli will be “reminiscent of old tapas bars and European delis” (minus the meat), Martinez says, with rich wood panelling and – for the first time – a dining area. You’ll be able to perch on repurposed church pews or at high benches. The offering will also be expanded, with more fresh produce from Northside Fruit & Veg, plus all the usual suspects: vegan cheeses, cold-cuts and take-home meals. A cabinet for pastries and the deli’s beloved doughnuts will be set in a marble benchtop.
There’ll also be a spacious production kitchen, glass-walled for a reason. “I want people to see how much work goes into what we do,” Martinez says. “We have to make most things from scratch; we don’t have the luxury of just buying butter, cheese, you know?”
With at least another month of hard lockdown ahead of us, “it seems wild to be doing it now”, Martinez admits. “But you never know what’s gonna happen – I didn’t fucking know I was gonna get cancer! So, I have to try … and even if it fails, I can die knowing I gave it shot.”
The new Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli are slated to open at 107 Cambridge Street, Collingwood, from November.