With the temperature in Brisbane having plummeted to cardigan-appropriate in the last few weeks, it is nice to see bar and cafe Artie & Mai embrace the cold change with their new evening menu.
The British-influenced fare (attributable to head chef Anthony Gordon's stint in the UK), is comprised of dishes simply prepared, and flavours left to speak and fend for themselves. To enjoy the full effect, choose a selection of small share plates (all hover around the $11 mark) like the rabbit and pork terrine with piccalilli; mushroom arancini with truffle oil and gorgonzola fondue; scotched hen's egg; and fried duck egg with chicken liver, wild mushrooms and soldiers. Large plates include a 500g wing rib of beef, bone marrow and duck fat kipflers ($38).
Let the rich, earthy flavours continue with cereal milk panna cotta, served with caramelised cornflakes and crunchy peanut chocolate, or opt for the cinnamon doughnuts with chef's filling (which on past occasions has included banana and rum, and apple and cinnamon).
A bright star of Albion's budding food quarter, Artie & Mai certainly strives to serve the varied needs of those who live and work nearby. Open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday, they also open their doors seven days a week for breakfast and lunch. Their coffee is Belaroma, the selection of wines and (especially) beers is considered, and their cocktails aren't to be scoffed at. Banquet-style private dining is available, as is a breakfast feast for groups. Wednesday (from 3pm onwards) spells $20 pizza and beer night, and if you want takeaway, the menu includes slow roast lamb shoulder roll with tzatziki and rustic chips ($12).
Though the takeaway options do sound very appetising, dining in means you can escape the Brisbane chill and enjoy the fit-out. Taking up the fire engine red building on Sandgate Road vacated by Stockholm Syndrome, Artie & Mai have retained many of the design features of their predecessor. Apart from the eye-catching exterior, the stripped brick walls and the penchant for old wood furnishings remain.