Brisbane is building up a stock of multipurpose eateries that offer a variety of drinking and dining options for any time of the day or night. Of these, Malt is one of the best.
Malt sits within Market Street’s Wenley House, erected in the 1800s to house the first incarnation of the produce markets now found at Rocklea. It is easy to appreciate the olde worlde charm of the locale, and the interior of the place retains some of the history and nostalgia so immediately evident in its exterior.
In a move that is very of the times, Malt has opted not for minimalism, but an enthusiastic mix of old and new. Though not quite a hole in the wall, there is a real warmth to the fitout. Rather than cold industrial lighting bouncing off blindingly white tablecloths, the Attic restaurant is warmly lit with exposed brick walls, original timber flooring and dark wood tables and chairs. The service is as inviting as the surroundings.
Accepted wisdom would be to start with the beetroot cured salmon with Pommery cream and fennel lavosh ($20), and finish with the popular Malt brownie with salted caramel, chocolate textures and peanut brittle ($15). For mains, you are unlikely to find a dud amid the lineup, which at this point in time includes smoke wagyu sirloin sous vide brisket with confit potato, vine-ripened tomato and goat's cheese eschallots ($45).
If you’re after just a quick nibble with a tipple, try the Malt steak tartare with 64° egg yolk and fennel lavosh ($15) from the bar menu. The moody downstairs bar has found an enthusiastic patronage, with the small space made cosier by the low lighting and economic (but not too squashed) seating arrangement. The atmosphere here could almost convince you that you’ve found yourself an exclusive little drinking hole, except that the secret is well and truly out.