It’s no secret that the journey towards Detour has been uphill – numerous fit-out setbacks meant that the restaurant opened almost an entire year after Damon had originally planned. But it was definitely worth the wait. Despite its industrial aesthetic – think steel beams, exposed brick and recycled roadworks signs – Detour is remarkably warm. Timber finishes (also recycled), natural light and growing vines soften the harsher elements, welcoming in passers-by. The restaurant’s centrepiece is its open kitchen – Damon and his team work from a large timber bench amongst diners, framed by striking copper panelling. Head to The Street Photographer for a closer look!
The food and drink
Let’s be honest though – the space isn’t really why people have been hanging for Detour to open, they’ve been waiting with bated breath for the food. Perhaps the biggest selling point of the menu is its inclusiveness – the kitchen is entirely gluten free and only three menu items contain gluten, with those glutenous elements prepared off site. Vegans, vegetarians and meat lovers are all equally catered for too – the menu is split into omnivore and herbivore dishes, with a small selection of sides. While Damon’s style has certainly evolved since Public, he’s brought back many of the curious ingredients and much-loved dishes that once featured on his menu. For the omnivores, black ants are scattered over gunpowder salmon with green curry, succulent star-anise pork belly is paired with bean sprouts and DIY pancakes, and emu tartare is served with burnt shallot, chilli and yolk. On the herbivore side you’ll find Hawaiian curry with sweet potatoes, coconut and lychees, fossilised carrots with smoked almond, roast carrot and chia, and seawater potato with garlic, saffron and sea lettuce. The drinks list is concise but curated, featuring just six whites, six reds, three rosés, three champagnes, plus cocktails and beers.
The roadworks signs aren’t the only recycled element in the space – sustainability was a huge driver of Damon’s vision. Much of the timber you see is recycled. The kitchen is partially decked out with reconditioned equipment. The menus are printed on recycled paper. Even the water is recycled – Detour pours AquaBotanical, which harvests the naturally occurring water from Australian fruit and vegetables at the same time as juice concentrate is made. Damon also has grand plans to better activate the outdoor dining area – stay tuned for more details on this soon. It should also be known that the restaurant is open late – for real – the kitchen closes at 11:00 pm. For complete opening hours and contact details, head to our Stumble Guide.