Walking along Grey Street in South Bank you almost don’t notice the understated, sleek exterior of new Brisbane cafe, Gauge. It’s the smell of coffee that grabs your attention first, the deep rich aroma of roasted coffee beans begging you to come inside and grab a cup. It’s intoxicating and completely irresistible.
The cafe is warm, earthy and welcoming. Its interior is modern and comfortable; wooden surfaces mixed with pops of gold, aqua and black. The effortlessly chic surroundings appeal to your secret interior-design nerd and make you feel like you’ve somehow wandered into a Melbourne café, only better because it’s Brisbane.
Everything about Gauge has been carefully considered and well thought out, from the decor and chilled-out music to the fresh produce, coffee beans, and team of talented chefs including Executive Chef Cormac Bradfield and Head Chef Ollie Hansford. Everything works together in harmony and just kind of clicks, to make a really enjoyable fine-dining experience. When something comes together this well, you know it has been created by experienced professionals with a real love for what they do.
Gauge is the latest creation from Jerome Batten, the man behind Newstead’s Sourced Grocer. As Jerome explains, the focus for Gauge was on attention to detail and creating a breakfast and lunch menu that showed technique and thoughtfulness. By sourcing the very best fresh local produce and preparing as much as possible in-house, Gauge has developed a seasonal menu unlike any other.
All bread served in the cafe is baked freshly in-house each day and the chefs make their own pasta, relish, and cure meats on-site too. The counter top displays a mouth-watering selection of freshly-baked pastries, muffins and croissants.
The all-day breakfast menu at this new Brisbane cafe is completely different to what you usually find in a cafe, which means you can’t go on breakfast-auto-pilot and choose something you normally would. Gauge is bringing fine-dining to your breakfast table with items like cucumber kimchi, house seeded bread, soft egg, cured pork cheek, skyr, and confit heirloom tomatoes.
Exciting and intriguing creations like brown rice pudding, wattleseed, poached quince and shaved shortbread also grace the menu, as does smoked kingfish, spied pearl barley, soft egg and parsley. An interesting take on a favourite is the sourdough waffle with almond, artichoke custard, bee pollen and freeze dried honey, supplied by Bee One Third.
When you bite into it, the food tastes exactly as it should. There’s no overwhelming hit of sugar or sauce from a bottle. Instead, what you taste is the natural flavour of beautiful fresh produce that has been treated with care and respect. While the menu sounds fancy, the food is honest, skilfully prepared and beautifully presented. It’s the kind of meal you savour.
Aside from the yummy breakfast menu, Gauge are also serving up great coffee, too. The beans used are supplied by Coffee Supreme, making a rich and creamy cup of coffee that is smooth and strong. Also available are a selection of cold-pressed juices, fresh juice creations and herbal teas including lemongrass and ginger.
Equally as exciting is the lunch menu, offering tasty dishes like house spaghetti, parsley and whey sauce with black garlic, cured egg yolk and crisp cabbage. The slow roasted pork belly with fermented corn and buckwheat salad, puffed mustard seeds and roasted baby corn looks and tastes just as good as it sounds.
Over the coming weeks, Jerome is looking to include a seasonally driven, constantly evolving dinner menu for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Gauge has a relaxing, comfortable and easy vibe about it. It’s the kind of place you could lose a few hours enjoying a delicious meal, removed from the busy streets of Southbank. The experience of visiting Gauge is a special one, where you enjoy a carefully considered and beautifully prepared meal in a great setting. This unique dining experience is unlike any other in Brisbane’s cafe scene and a must-try for food lovers; it really is a wonderful food experience.
Want to find opening hours, contact info, and all the details? Head to Gauge's listing in our Directory.
Image credits: Esteban Rivera