Simon Livingston (Piaf, Sardine Tin) was one of the first restaurateurs to move into Burnett Lane and reawaken the industrial back street from its slumber. Housed in an old warehouse, The Survey Co references the laneway’s forefather, James Charles Burnett, who sketched the city’s topography from an office here in the 1840s.

Hints at Brisbane’s past abound: from the historic maps that line the menus, to the draughtsman’s dining tables and the crumbling architecture of the old morgue in the 18-seater internal courtyard.

In the dining room, the aesthetic is far more contemporary: floors, bar-tops and benches are lined with high-gloss cork and draped with leatherwork by Melbourne’s IE Francis.

The menu is a vagabond-ish collection of share plates and mains. Sample Shaoxing scallops; cold cut brisket; cauliflower cheese puffs; and mushroom money bags. Whole duck of the day, meanwhile, is a constant Survey Co. special. For a bit of fun, try the Death Row Meal: a daily edit of comfort food (maybe corned beef) served on a metal prison tray.

Make sure you hunt down the old lift shaft. The refurbished carriage is parked on the ground floor and it’s the perfect hideout for sipping a Survey Sour (armagnac, lemon and sugar) or an Autunno Negroni with raspberry-infused gin.

Updated: October 22nd, 2018

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