They say good things come to those who wait. Still, after numerous setbacks, including a collapsed ceiling and endlessly negotiating curly heritage rules, it was easy to wonder if Damon Amos’ Detour would ever come at all.
But finally, last week, it did. The slick 140-seater is now open in Woolloongabba’s Logan Road precinct. “I’ve had to write the menu over and over because of all the delays,” Amos says. “We first looked at this place in November (2015), and we thought we would be in there by January last year.”
You might recognise Amos’ name from his time heading up the kitchen at fine-diner Public, where he created his iconic Kentucky Fried Duck (KFD), and challenged diners with exotic touches such as black ants and worms. It’s not only Amos who’s making the move. He has brought across ex-Public alumni Benjamin Deacon as general manager and Sean Lowry to fill the bar manager role.
The restaurant’s interior retains rustic elements from its former life as an antique store, with copper and timber additions acting as striking modern highlights. Pockets of foliage break up the dark tones, and large open windows bring the busy precinct inside.
The open kitchen’s centrepiece is a large timber bench, where Amos busily plates up his dishes. “We had it custom built,” he says. “The idea is to have something breaking up the kitchen and dining room space. The table does that.”
The menu is split into two parts: omnivore and herbivore. The former features dishes such as gunpowder-seasoned salmon with green curry and black ants, and pork belly with star anise, bean sprouts and pancakes. Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for, with the herbivore menu including fossilised (slowly dried over a number of days) carrots with smoked almonds and chia, and Hawaiian curry with sweet potatoes, coconut and lychees.