Thanks to our incredible capacity to over-regulate everything that lends itself to fun and spontaneity in Australia, we are not afforded the delight of street food. This Anthony-Bordain-favoured underdog of the culinary world has become as hot as Michelin starred dining for foodies the world over in recent years. Australia’s lack of options in this arena has thus become more pronounced.
There are a few little pockets of untapped brilliance, however, that often go unnoticed by our dining elite, and they are thankfully filling the hole.
Café Wrapture is one such haunt. Unsurprisingly, this ramshackle cafe of prayer flags and pillow-adorned benches specialises in wraps. And before you roll your eyes, no, these are not of the dry, rammed with overcooked lamb or slimy ham, sprinkled with pre-packaged grated carrot and smothered in cheap sauce variety. In fact, I would venture to call them anything but a wrap, purely to avoid the nasty Coffee Club connotations that spring to mind.
The beauty of Café Wrapture’s immaculate wraps is the home-made bread. A doughy, stretchy, fresh flat bread that more closely resembles an authentic naan or Italian pizza base than the usual flakey, card-board-esque jaw buster of the 90s.
The bread is filled with locally sourced, fresh ingredients - from the gooey haloumi and crunchy salads, to the crisp bacon from local pigs (sorry Babe) - and the sauces are all home-made and flavourful, including the outrageous I-would-prefer-to-scoop-it-by-the-spoonful satay.
The ingredients are combined so ingeniously that I am frequently tempted to eat in AND takeaway… How a humble haloumi wrap can induce such shameless addiction, I will never know.
The owner of Café Wrapture, Alec, has as much heart as his beloved wraps, and has been known to advise on wrap-shaped hangover remedies, or brew surprise pots of steaming chai or home-made iced tea to soothe weary souls.
His café feels lifted from the back streets of the esoteric, free-spirited-hippy-filled streets of Northern Thailand’s hidden town, Pai, and his little menu of love comes close to competing with the life-changing street food you’d find there.
Until now, Café Wrapture has remained a little piece of heaven that I was reticent to share, but it is seems unfair to hide such delicious haloumi-infused goodness away.
Presenting Café Wrapture, Brisbane’s answer to street food. Please be gentle on her.
Where: 71 Russell Street in West End
Contact: 07 3844 4444
Read about one of our other West End favourites.... The Burrow.