Scott Hoskins isn’t messing around. Since opening his first Junk in Maroochydore in 2014, he has since unveiled two more locations for the Asian street-food restaurant in Toowoomba and South Bank, with another to open in Broadbeach in December.
Right now, though, it’s Coorparoo’s turn: Junk is one of the first tenants to move into the highfalutin Coorparoo Square development. The new location feels reminiscent of a neon-lit cityscape, with film posters collaged on the ceiling and a projector silently flicking ’80s film scenes onto the wall. Hoskins wants the space to feel approachable.
“We’re not about a wine list or traditional restaurant service,” he says. “We’re fun, food-focused and trying to keep the price down. We get a lot of people coming out, enjoying each other’s company and sharing some food. That’s what it’s all about.”
The menu is a conglomeration of foods from different parts of Asia (Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, China) with a shared-meal focus. New items for the Coorparoo location include a Thai-style grilled pork belly and grilled king prawns on a crispy mantou bun (a sweet milk bun Hoskins sources locally). Elsewhere, Junk favourites like the satay chicken and the twice-cooked crackling pork belly make a welcome appearance.
Hoskins explains that dishes often come from a conversation with the staff about what they’d like to see on the menu. “The food is a representation of all our people, our kitchen staff,” he says. “We’ve got so many great kitchen staff that have a childhood of eating Asian street food, so those conversations happen a lot. That’s really who we are.”
Drinks are Junk’s typically efficient list of beers – Tiger and Monteiths on tap; Bintang and Boags by the bottle – a clutch of wines and a daily bubble tea, which you can spike with either gin or vodka.