A lot has changed inside Brisbane CBD’s heritage-listed Customs House. The restaurant has a brand new fit-out, menu and bar. But more importantly, it has a new name: Patina.
“Previously it was called Customs House Restaurant … it didn’t really have a name,” says Brian Roberts, the director of Customs House. “[Now it has] a name, and a soul.”
One of the main reasons behind the renovation was to make the restaurant its own entity. While the venue is well known as a wedding and function space, its restaurant wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. The new name and direction is an effort to change this.
“We wanted to create a destination within Customs House,” Roberts says. “It’s a competitive industry out there and you need to evolve and change.”
The renovation includes a $40,000 light installation; a marble bar top; and a blue, gold and black colour scheme. A side entrance has been made more visible, so that customers don’t have to walk through the front of the venue.
Executive chef John Offenhauser’s menu has shifted away from the traditional style of dining (entree, main, dessert) and is now more share-based. For example, you could begin with smoked-brisket steamed buns, chargrilled octopus, scallop ceviche, or grilled oyster mushrooms with shiitake cream. Larger plates include duck breast with pumpkin, slow-cooked lamb shoulder and a one-kilogram OP rib with chimichurri.
The wine list has also changed. There’s now more from small producers and family-owned wineries, and less from large multinationals. Cocktails also have a more prominent place on the menu.
As for the name, Patina, it references Customs House’s iconic copper dome on the roof, which over time has turned green due to oxidisation.
“We wanted to link something back to the historical nature of the building,” Roberts says. “[Patina signifies] our evolution, but it also celebrates our history.”
Patina at Customs House
399 Queen Street, Brisbane City
(07) 3365 8999
Tue to Sat 12pm–4pm, 6pm–late