Lapinou is a French term of endearment and the name of this neo-bistro and wine bar.
The restaurant serves dinner and Sunday brunch accompanied by an extensive, thoughtful wine list with a robust selection of champagnes by the glass.
Lit by flickering vintage oil lamps and chandeliers, plus fixtures by Concord Lighting, the space centres around a 360-degree Dreaming Green marble bar with stools spaced at even intervals so there's lots of room to stand and mingle, as well as sit.
Seating is also provided by custom couches, with a semi-private table at the back seating 10.
Bread ($5) is made in house using a rye starter, spelt and bread flour to produce a fibrous, crusty, tangy loaf, sliced and accompanied by butter made in house.
The butter is sprinkled with a little Maldon salt, and paired in its dish with cold pressed canola oil combined with a subtle spatter of birch syrup (similar to the way balsamic might be).
Ham ($15) makes for a luxurious addition to the bread, coppa that's been cured, brined for four days and smoked in house.
Comte, a creamy crunchy celery remoulade and a somehow subtle grating of truffle on top are the ideal finishing touches for this fatty, smoky, buttery plate.
Crab on toast ($18) sees a house crumpet sectioned into four and topped with Fogo Island snow crab, a green peppercorn vinaigrette, a foamy crab shell hollandaise and a little cured egg yolk and chervil. An airy yet sumptuous star on the menu.
Gnocchi ($22) is done Parisian-style, made of choux with no potato, lightly toasted for a crispy exterior. Artichoke, chanterelles, fermented carrot, cocoa nibs and hazelnut provide textural contrasts to the fluffy pasta swimming in a vin jaune sauce.
Mennonite Muscovy duck ($28) is encrusted with puffed buckwheat, wild rice and coriander seed and plated on top of rye berries and Swiss chard that soak up a fragrant stock made using duck frames. Salt-baked turnip on the side adds a crisp, Asian-feeling element.
A 70 per cent dark chocolate ganache tart topped with Maldon salt and accompanied by a lighter-than-air cream infused with toasted sesame is an appropriately-indulgent end to a meal here.
When it comes to cocktails, a Claudine ($12) is a representation of a vermouth highball. Dry vermouth, creme de cassis, club soda and lemon combine for a tall refresher.
The Avignon ($15) is a clean dry martini of sorts, made with gin, fino sherry and Lillet.
There's always a list of rotating open bottles of sparkling for consumption by the glass.
Whole fish and cote de boeuf dishes accompanied by seasonal sides cap off the menu.