Caneca Espresso & Bar heats up New Farm’s all-day dining scene
The recent closure of sun-soaked cafe The Brunswick Project left New Farm’s brunch scene reeling, but no sooner had the doors closed than hoarding appeared promising a brand-new concept to fill the coffee and poached egg-shaped void. Caneca Espresso & Bar is the name of this South American-inspired newcomer – a multi-faceted eatery that is delivering breakfast and lunch during the day, and tapas, wines and cocktails in the evening.
The inspiration for New Farm’s newest coffee and cocktail spot came from owner Kayhan Tabrizi’s love of travel. The seasoned builder and developer became enamoured with the various cuisines of South America, falling particularly hard for the mouth-watering fare (as well as the surplus of ambrosial wine) served at the various late-night parlours across the continent. Such feasting is bound to have a lingering effect on anybody, and when Kayhan returned to Brisbane the thought of a hybrid coffee-joint-meets-tapas-bar was lodged firmly in the back of his mind. Although not initially seeking out opportunities to open a spot of his own, when a gorgeous Queenslander became available on Brunswick Street (the former home of The Brunswick Project), Kayhan saw that New Farm was crying out for a venue that could not only cater to the weekend brunch set, but could also offer more options for time-poor professionals and locals in the evening. And so, Caneca Espresso & Bar entered its infancy. With the keys in hand, Kayhan and his team got to work sprucing up the interior with a brand-new look and feel. Take note, this isn’t some quick makeover – the venue was gutted and rebuilt, from the repositioned bar (made using recycled timber) and new kitchen to the little touches such as the eye-catching hanging lamps and gorgeous original leadlight window on the building’s northwestern wall. A chic palette of navy, white and copper gives the space a modern feel, while the deck – arguably the building’s best feature – has remained, perfect for sun-soaked brunching or breezy late-night snacking.
While the foundation for Caneca’s South American-influenced fare is comprised of Kayhan’s favourites, the menu as a whole has been assembled by head chef Daniel Cossart. Given the brief to blend Australian classics with a bit of South American flair, Daniel is revelling in the chance to meld punchy flavours with recognisable bistro winners. Caneca’s breakfast menu starts with cups of Dimattina Coffee and a selection of familiar favourites (eggs your way, avocado toast, organic berry and cocoa granola), but dishes such as the sweetcorn and manchego croquettes, fijoada (eight-hour slow-cooked bean cassoulet) and the Portuguese French toast with cachaça-poached strawberries showcase some flavoursome experimentation. As the day progresses, Caneca’s menu morphs into a share-style affair, with tapas-style plates intended to facilitate social eating (i.e. to keep conversation flowing – no food silences, people!). Freshly shucked oysters with 25-year-old Ximénez sherry vinegar, braised-beef empanadas, escabeche of mussels, and Black Onyx skirt steak with chimichurri offer plenty to pick at with pals, while the evening service adds artful charcuterie and cheese boards to the mix. Post sunset, Caneca’s bar really comes into play – Australian and international wines (including a collection of Spanish sherries), Green Beacon beer off tap and some intriguing cocktail twists offer plenty of sipping material to take you into the late hours.
Caneca Espresso & Bar is now open to the public. For contact details and opening hours, check out the venue’s entry in the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.