RE­VIEWS

De­tour, Bris­bane, Qld Ca­mus, Mel­bourne,Vic Thou­sand Lakes,Tas No­tel, Mel­bourne,Vic

Australian Traveller - - Contents -

DE­TOUR IS HOUSED IN an old in­dus­trial build­ing within the an­tique precinct of Lo­gan Road in Bris­bane’s Wool­loongabba. The at­mos­phere is warm and in­ti­mate, and my part­ner and I soon for­get the com­mo­tion over the road: Adele is play­ing to 60,000 peo­ple at the Gabba. Opened in Jan­uary, this 140-seater is the muchan­tic­i­pated restau­rant from Da­mon Amos, for­mer ex­ec­u­tive chef at Bris­bane’s hat­ted eatery, Public. The space it­self is con­tem­po­rary yet faith­ful to its in­dus­trial foun­da­tions; cop­per and wooden pan­els have been in­stalled with a light touch against ex­posed brick­work and metal sup­port beams that bear orig­i­nal sig­nage – it all feels very tex­tu­ral. The menu at De­tour is split down the mid­dle be­tween om­ni­vore and her­bi­vore op­tions (meat-, egg- and dairy-free). The premise be­hind this is one of in­clu­sive­ness; Amos wants ev­ery­one to be able to en­joy his food, re­gard­less of their di­etary per­sua­sions. This works for me: I’m veg­e­tar­ian, so we order three dishes and a side from the her­bi­vore menu. It’s a shame there aren’t more of us din­ing, be­cause I would have hap­pily sampled all of the nine dishes on this suc­cinct menu. The first to ar­rive from the open kitchen – coal­roasted broc­coli with miso, spinach, sea­weed and quinoa – sets a high stan­dard. Its flavours and tex­tures pop against each other: smoky and salty; slip­pery and crunchy. A side of beet­root with gin­ger and man­darin is sim­i­larly pleas­ing in the way its sim­ple in­gre­di­ents play off each other; the jux­ta­po­si­tions of tex­tures is clearly not lim­ited to the in­te­rior de­sign. Cauliflower with cashew curry and lentils is rich, creamy and hearty, with a kick; but the smoked pump­kin with maple, mus­tard and pepi­tas leaves it in the cold. Pump­kin is the ubiq­ui­tous veg­e­tar­ian fall­back, om­nipresent in frit­tatas and sal­ads ev­ery­where and, of­ten enough, an un­der­cooked con­so­la­tion prize. But not this one; it’s de­li­cious. The sweet­ness of the pump­kin and maple is off­set by the smoky flavour and the bite of mus­tard, but fur­ther still by the red wine we choose from a menu of Aus­tralian of­fer­ings. A bio­dy­namic tem­pranillo from Barossa Val­ley small-batch pro­ducer Small­fry Wines, it’s more savoury than I’m used to but proves to be a good coun­ter­bal­ance. Though we stick to the her­bi­vore menu, the om­ni­vore of­fer­ings look no less in­trigu­ing: K.F.D. (Ken­tucky fried duck) with jalapeño corn­bread and sour cream; emu tartare with burnt shal­lot, chilli and yolk; and gun­pow­der sal­mon with green curry and black ants (Amos is a big ed­i­ble in­sects ad­vo­cate). The din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is so­phis­ti­cated but ca­sual, with var­i­ous mem­bers of the team check­ing in through­out to see how we’re track­ing and prof­fer notes on their favourite dishes. It’s an un­con­trived touch that adds to the con­vivial at­mos­phere. Dessert comes de­con­structed. Juicy mango, firm macadamias and pow­dery de­hy­drated man­darin bal­ance out a creamy slab of panna cotta, the com­bi­na­tion of flavours and tex­tures as bril­liantly ex­e­cuted as ev­ery­thing that came be­fore. So what if Adele’s at the Gabba? The head­liner in Bris­bane tonight is the menu at De­tour.

All AT re­views are con­ducted anony­mously and our writ­ers pay their own way – so we ex­pe­ri­ence ex­actly what you would.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: De­tour’s in­dus­trial digs; The cock­tails list, like the whole menu, is con­cise and cu­rated; An ‘om­ni­vore’ dish of gun­pow­der sal­mon.

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