Electric Avenue | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Electric Avenue

We’ve been buried in smartphones and Netflix for far too long to be surprised that the world is changing. It’s becoming pretty rare to stumble upon a book stores while out and about, and don’t even get us started on the novelty of discovering a tucked-away video rental place (or as the kids call them these days, ‘what the hell is that?’). But now it seems that even some of the culture of Brisbane is changing, with the long-loved antique outlets of Woolloongabba finally shutting their doors. Enter the team from Canvas, who are tossing the ‘out with the old, in with the new’ adage by opening doors on a decidedly antique-themed bar and bistro across the street from their usual haunt. Dubbed Electric Avenue, the ‘new’ Woolloongabba spot is a revamp of the old Crosstown Public House. The casual drinks-and-nibbles spot is dressed up in vintage bits and bobs as a reminder of the storefronts that once bedecked the cul-de-sac – but that’s not where its only charm lies. With head chef Will Quartel (formerly of ‘Sourced Grocer’ fame) at the helm, Electric Avenue is good for far more than the average after-work appetite. Even the bar snacks offer more flair than your everyday watering hole, fronting plates of pork crackling with pecan salt and pepper, charred corn with a house XO sauce, and Tennessee hot chicken. Yeah, it’s OK to be a little breathless right now. Moving on from nibbles, a list of over 70 wines and collection of beers has been designed to pair with thoughtful, lip-smacking bistro plates. Diners can gather over lunches and dinners of ashed damper bread with aged beef fat honey, grilled quail basted in mushroom caramel, and melt-in-your-mouth rib fillet. Oh, and let’s be clear about something: dessert is a must-do, so keep that on your radar. Will Quartel finishes the night in a flourish with flavour blends like honey shortbread and goat’s cheese ice cream, and black garlic crepes with caramelised white chocolate and mushroom mascarpone. If you’re not already half out the door, we have a feeling the cocktails will do it, with their house espresso martini mixing dark rum, sherry, dark chocolate liqueur, house bitters, espresso and an absinthe-misted glass in a sinfully death-by-chocolate concoction. Feeling electrified? Words by Samantha Chariton