First look: Darling & Co, Brisbane

Author: Fiona Donnelly

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Darling & Co, Brisbane.

Popular wisdom says you can't be everybody's darling, but the team behind this recently opened hybrid all-day venue, a replacement for Paddington's cavernous Iceworks, is giving it a red-hot go. A speedy renovation has injected a splash of local whimsy, with banquettes now clad in a vibrant leaf and parrot-patterned fabric, adding warmth to the vast space. An equally full-of-character wine list offers a swag of minimal-intervention wines. Smallfry Tangerine Dream rubs shoulders with the likes of Mac Forbes pinot noir and Shobbrook's biodynamic Tommy Ruff Clarott. Menus are a rollcall of some of the state's top produce picks: Noosa spanner crab, Mooloolaba prawns, South Burnett olive oil, Darling Downs wagyu and more. Noise levels soar quickly - particularly when Suncorp Stadium is in full roar over the road - and the personality of the space shifts accordingly, with the ebb and flow. Skip ho-hum pizze in favour of a brace of snacks: Borrowdale pork belly teamed with a flavoursome pâté and sriracha-laced mayo on bijou banh mi, perhaps, or diced marinated Sunshine Coast yellowfin tuna crammed into crisp taco shells with pickled jalapeño, coriander and radish. Just the ticket, darling.

Darling & Co, 157 Given Tce, Paddington, Qld, (07) 3367 9800.

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