Super Chef Ben Williamson reveals Brisbane’s next cult dishes!
With less than two weeks until the official opening of the ultra-modern social experience bar Oche Fortitude Valley, chef consultant Ben Williamson has unveiled his remarkable menu. So, put down your phone and read on, because this is a culinary bullseye!
From December 6, Williamson, along with Head Chef Tom Swapp, will deliver a menu like no other, in a venue like no other – an ultra-modern darts bar that celebrates local produce and beverages, at home in the heritage brick walls of the beautiful 115-year-old Old Flour Mill Building in Constance Street.
Williamson, the former Head Chef of Gerard’s Bistro has a fine reputation for creating dishes that pack a punch and the Oche menu is no exception, all designed to be eaten with one hand, and without traditional cutlery (Oche Fortitude Valley is an “environmentally considerate venue”).
From Charred Lamb Cutlets with fenugreek, sumac and pickled peppers through to Seared Wagyu Rump Cap (Maquarie Downs 8+) with perilla, shredded daikon and onion cream and Roasted Broccoli with crispy rayu and broccoli lemon cream to Fried Whole Squid with sobrassada aioli and lemon, there’s no shortage of flavour, or ingenuity.
It goes without saying that the Popcorn Bekka Chicken with harissa emultion, kishk yoghurt and rose as well as the Fried School Prawns with tom yum dust will both become cult-ordered dishes.
It’s not just the food that’s impressive at Oche, even the serving plates are an adventure. The Cobia with charred mandarin, jalapeno, radish, seaweed and tortillas is served on a beautiful Himalayan pink sea salt block that has been brought in from Himalayan Salt Factory on the Gold Coast, with its purpose to self-season.
Williamson has designed a range of pizzas (handmade with love) that are the canvas for a whole range of tastes, including the Middle Eastern (confit onion, tomato, basturma, labne, pinenut and mint) and the Hellfire (N’duja sausage, stracciatella, pickled peppers). There is also a Charcuterie Board (available until close) curated for extended grazing without interruptions to your throwing game and featuring a selection of locally sourced, cured meats, preserves, pickles, bread and crackers. For those wanting something a little lighter to snack on, popcorn is available all night with the flavour changing each day!
Oche Fortitude Valley is an ultra-modern social experience bar, inviting guests to put down their phones and share 85 action-packed minutes playing darts with their squad, fuelled by this range of culinary adventure.
Cocktails paying tribute to Brisbane sit alongside a considerable premium gin and wine list. There’s also a stunningly designed outdoor terrace and two dedicated bars – one being a seasonal sipper showcasing local brews – and it’s all at home in the Old Flour Mill Building on Constance Street.
Oche Fortitude Valley Managing Director Dafydd Evans said, “Oche signals the renaissance of the analogue social experience, where the phone is no longer the centre of the universe and instead real-life experiences are given the priority they have long been denied. We want Oche customers to talk, play, taste, sip, laugh and connect, to engage in an age-old game that’s modernised, supported by a cool checklist of experiences – cocktails, local brews, food to suit, chill tunes in a venue that could tell a thousand tales!”
Oche Brisbane opens on Friday December 6; and anyone can play (it’s an over 18 venue) – singles, couples, and groups.
Oche Fortitude Valley
Opens Friday December 6. TAKING BOOKINGS NOW!
111 Constance St, Fortitude Valley
Phone: 07 3556 1446
A brief history of the word ‘oche’
A few theories abound when it comes to the origins of the dart term ‘oche’. Some say it is derived from the Old Flemish meaning ‘a notch’. The second theory is a little less hygienic. The infamous News of the World paper sponsored darts competitions from the 1920’s and used the word ‘hockey’ for the throwing line in their tournament rules. ‘Hockey’ is derived from the old English ‘hocken’ meaning ‘to spit’. You see, spitting competitions were held in public bars and it was the ‘hockey line’ which determined the distance a player, standing with back to the dartboard, could spit. Gross. We have conjured our own meaning: “where the fabulous people of Brisbane stand to throw their dart and impress, or otherwise, their friends!”