A shard of light fell across our favourite little den of darkness recently, illuminating a large, midday-shaped hole in its polished, industrial exterior. That’s right - emerging from the tequila-infused shadows of night, Super Whatnot finally struck a chord with revelers of the light last week, and opened its doors for lunch.
This hip laneway bar certainly loses none of its appeal by daylight. Unlike its big, commercial, beer-soaked contemporaries, slinking into Super Whatnot by day does not incite waves of nausea, but instead draws sighs of relief.
Light gushed through the gaping front window and helped chili-rimmed cocktails slide down all too smoothly. Central American music blasted, complementing the generous plates of flavourful food and placating the midday tremors of some of the coolest kids in town.
Flashes of ever-so-on-trend neon scoped the room for more lashings of ceviche, accompanied by smartly suited youngsters carefully cradling craft beers. The bar was awash with a Spring-like fervour that the hearty Central American fare and free-flowing drinks only served to bolster.
The aforementioned ceviche was pungent, with a generous kick of lime, beads of pomegranate and fresh coriander mellowed by ripe avocado and the beautifully textured fish.
The little deconstructed burritos of charred chicken, slow roast wagyu or slow roasted pork and chorizo with zesty salsa and jalapeños overcame diners with a child-like refusal to share, as did the delicate but hearty pulled pork, Serrano and pickle Cuban sandwiches.
In truth, the fact that the vegetarian black bean and cheese tortilla with fresh slaw and smoked chili salsa almost trumped the lot really speaks volumes for the quality of this menu. If "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members" (Gandhi), then a restaurants greatness should be measured by how well it feeds its vegetarians.
Sticking to a small selection of fresh, uncomplicated but inspired Central American dishes, Super Whatnot has not only become a player in Brisbane’s ever-growing CBD lunch scene, but also elevates Brisbane’s small bar culture to compete on an international scale. Super Whatnot would happily sit in one of New York’s hidden away downtown streets, or down one of Melbourne’s sprawling laneways, as much for the food, as for the impeccable design and atmosphere.
For more pics of stylish so & so's at Super Whatnot's new lunch menu launch have a squiz at The Urban List facebook page.