South Brisbane’s Gauge unveils a new look and menu
No matter the field, the secret to sustained longevity is savvy reinvention. David Bowie found mainstream success after his transformation into Ziggy Stardust (and then the Thin White Duke) in the 1970s, Netflix evolved from a humble DVD delivery service into a streaming juggernaut, and Copenhagen’s noma regularly overhauls its menu offering to capitalise on the most intriguing ingredients of the moment. One of Brisbane’s best restaurants Gauge has recently undergone a pivot, giving its interior a sprucing while shifting its menu and service style with some tasteful tinkering.
If any restaurant has an excuse to rest on its laurels, it’s Gauge. Since opening in South Brisbane in 2015, the eatery has scooped up accolades galore, including Chef’s Hats and even a glowing write-up in The New York Times. Gauge has perched at the peak of Brisbane’s dining scene for some time now, but the brains behind the operation aren’t content to sit idle. Owner Jerome Batten has elected to shake up Gauge’s formula, putting his head together with head chefs Cormac Bradfield and Phil Marchant, and the front-of-house manager Jack Brooks to pivot its approach slightly to make Gauge a more accessible, all-occasion dining option. First came a quick interior redesign – gone is the teal, which featured behind the bar, the window stools and trimming the furniture. A palette of burgundy, dark timber and tan leather has been implemented in its stead, while sea-green marble tables have replaced the central communal table that dominated the space.
Gauge’s menu has shifted to offer a mix of a la carte and share-plate dining, catering better for the theatre crowd seeking a spot to dine pre or post show. The kitchen is showcasing some new producers in the mix, including Byron Bay’s Boon Luck Farm and Falls Farm in Mapleton. Make no mistake – Gauge’s fare is top notch. Snacks such as blood tacos with mushroom and bone-marrow duxelles, nori tarts with almond and spanner crab, and seeded sourdough with smoked ricotta make for tantalising tasters, but don’t go hard too early. Dishes such as yellowfin tuna with devilled-egg dressing, barbecued Fremantle octopus with salsa macha, steamed diamond clams with fish sauce, coral roast beef with burnt garlic oil and hand-rolled sourdough noodles with ‘nduja and prawn bolognese shows that the kitchen crew has not lost a step. Rounding out the menu is a selection of cheeses and desserts, including Gauge’s famous garlic bread with brown butter and burnt vanilla – an unimpeachable crowd favourite.
There’s never been a better time to try Gauge (or revisit it)! Head to the Stumble Guide for opening hours and booking details.
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