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AM to PM

It started as an idea for a café called ‘AM’ – commemorating the early hours of the day — but thanks to good timing and the perfect space, husband and wife team Alana and Ji were able to achieve the ultimate dream of being restaurant owners. Celebrating the hours post meridiem is PM – Darwin’s newest tapas kitchen and bar.

Hailing from the Gold Coast, PM owners Alana and Ji describe Darwin as a city of opportunity. With a background in hospitality, the pair found themselves in Darwin after a brief career change.

“After the GFC hit, lots of Gold Coast restaurants and cafés really suffered so we moved to Mount Isa to work for about two and a half years. Ji worked for a security firm on a power station and I opened up a small café. We heard about INPEX and that’s how we ended up in Darwin. We were always on the lookout for our next venture and having our own restaurant is something we both always wanted to do,” Alana explained.

The shop front features floor to ceiling windows and you can make out the gorgeous fish mural by a local artist on the wall through the glass – as if it were a giant aquarium. The decor has an industrial flavour with respect shown to the original bricks – salvaged from the original Woollies building – as they proudly take on their new role as the long, modern bar. The bricks make up one of the walls giving the space an industrial warehouse vibe with lofty ceilings – um, hello Melbourne, London or New York!

“We wanted to set up a space that was a bit unique to Darwin. Initially, we were going to start up a café – I love the smell of espresso first thing in the morning! We wanted to call it AM to celebrate the morning hours and it’s also my wife’s initials, but the goal was always to have our own restaurant. When we found this space we decided to set up our dream restaurant. We thought, ‘why not call it PM’?” Ji explained.

The menu is crafted by tapas share plates with a focus on locally sourced seafood. With a family history of fishermen and having completed his chef training in a seafood restaurant, it was the obvious choice for Ji.

“Nothing on our menu is imported – why would you import when we have this treasure trove of seafood surrounding us? We also stock SA seafood because it’s some of the best you’ll find in the world and we buy all of our seafood fresh every day,” Ji said.

The combination of smart décor, tying in elements of cement, copper, wood and indoor plants, with natural light, tantalising aromas and chill out house music, makes for a unique and inviting space.

“The kitchen is open from 11.30am and doesn’t close it until 10pm or when people stop coming in. Not everyone is on the same routine, and there’s nothing worse than not being able to find something to eat at 3pm because the kitchen’s closed!  We have one dinner booking for 6.30pm and accept walk-ins. We want our guests to feel comfortable – like they’re catching up at a friend’s place with great music, drinks and food,” Alana said.

Happy hour kicks off at 3pm and cocktails are created with a signature PM twist, including crowd favourite Coconut, Elderflower and Bombay Sapphire Slush. You can still get your caffeine fix too with coffee available from 7am. 

For a truly unique experience, complete with taste, sound and vibe, head along to PM for some afternoon, evening and night time delight! | | 8941 3925

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