From the man who brought you Kentucky-fried duck and edible insects comes Detour, a new, 140-seat restaurant due to open in Woolloongabba in early December.
Damon Amos made his name cooking award-winning cuisine as head chef of CBD fine diner Public. Now he’s branching out on his own. But opening your own venue comes with a considerable amount of risk. “It’s make or break,” Amos says. “If this doesn’t work then I’m going to have to hang up my chef’s hat and do something else.”
First scheduled to open in January 2016, the restaurant has faced many setbacks, most of them attributable to the premises’ heritage-listing and a collapse of the kitchen ceiling. Visiting the space, it still feels far from finished. Equipment sits in the dining area, waiting for plumbing to be installed. Hoarding remains unpainted and materials are scattered about the place. But Amos is now confident enough to predict he’ll have the doors open by early December. “No-one wants to open in December,” he admits. “But the reality is, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.”
The restaurant slots into a site previously occupied by one of the last-remaining antique shops in the Logan Road precinct. It will feature open glass windows, exposed brick, a large hanging vine behind the bar and an open kitchen.
Amos will present an innovative menu, split into two sections: “Omnivore” and “Herbivore”. There will be a strong focus on catering for all, be it vegetarians, vegans, gluten-intolerant people and the like. “Anyone that has dietary requirements, they’re going to have half of the menu to look at,” Amos says. “It won’t be an afterthought, it will be a forethought.”
The menu hasn’t been finalised but diners should expect to see rare and interesting ingredients such as insects, gun-powder and food-grade sea water, as well as techniques made popular at Public such as fossilisation (where ingredients are dried over a number of days). “Everything that interests me, I want to put into a restaurant,” Amos says. “And hopefully that interests other people too.”
Drinks will be a concise, rotating selection of six whites, six red, three rosés and three champagnes, backed by beers on tap and in the bottle.
Detour will open at 11 Logan Road in early December.