“For us, it’s all about great produce, local seafood, care, consistency, and growing our own oyster and shiitake mushrooms in the cellar, which has the perfect humidity as moisture feeds from the grass above.”
Spanner crab with sweetcorn, finger lime, grapefruit, and almond; fried eggplant with sweet and sour onions and roasted peanut cream; and Darling Downs eye fillet with Customs House mushrooms, pommes dauphine, and bordelaise sauce.
The colonaded façade and mottled green copper domes of the historic Customs House loom large on Brisbane’s skyline, and a table on the front lawn comes with what must be the city’s best river and Story Bridge views.
Chef John Offenhauser’s contemporary Australian menu has a strong focus on sustainable seafood, featuring Cone Bay barramundi with smoked mussels, leeks, celery, and anchovy butter, as well as a seafood platter starring local Mooloolaba prawns and Moreton Bay bugs.
Land-based produce is sourced close to home, too, from food bowls such as the verdant Lockyer Valley. Then there are the food-mile-negative mushrooms, which are grown in the Customs House cellar, with the compost fed back into the gardens or packed up with the kitchen scraps for John’s own home vege garden. Food waste is minimized, and any excess is donated to the City Mission and OzHarvest for those in need.
“A piece of Brisbane’s port history that over time has transformed into the house of celebration it is today.” Time Out Brisbane