Step inside The Loose Moose and you feel like it’s been there forever. Or maybe it just should have been!
There’s an ‘old but new’ feel to the joint – a heady mix of Romania’s steampunk Enigma Bar and a Canadian taphouse that belongs in both the Old and New World, its detail meticulously aged with care. It’s as though the bar has landed – Plonk! Straight out of the pre-prohibition era onto the most vital street corner in Broadbeach. This little gem is tucked away, just around the corner, at the meeting point of two eat streets. Journey complete. Here I am!
Sophisticated in its casualness, nothing looks staged. There is no ‘wannabe’ establishment, no pretence. There’s even an agelessness; a sense of cross-generational appeal.
The Loose Moose’s location, slightly hidden from the street, only adds to its sense of mystery. Inside, though, it’s immediately clear that there’s nothing accidental about this establishment. Opened by the clever team from Koi (owner Patrik Gennari with Head Chef Michael Dragosevic and GM Shannon Dean as partners), there’s every indicator of clear purpose: a top shelf drinks list and smart trending food, clipped efficient service and great live music. Action-packed, this venue has been a hit since the doors opened. Crazy good!
Revved by the sounds of Downtown Secret Society playing in one corner, we settle in, completely relaxed as we peruse the day’s menus.
Following Melbourne’s trend to sweeter breakfasts, The Loose Moose follows suit, not just with healthy options such as Granola, Seasonal fruit salad or the Pitaya Bowl (all loaded with ‘buzz’ culinary terms – house made, activated buckwheat, coconut and soaked chia), but also in far more decadent dishes such as Red velvet pancakes sandwiched around mascarpone, Waffle sandwich or French toast with vanilla mascarpone and dulce de leche (caramel sauce) finished with toasted pecan and maple syrup. All we’re missing is the hat of Persian fairy floss!
For all their indulgence, breakfasts are keenly priced. Even The Loose Moose Feast, which promises a huge ‘morning after’ tummy-filling plateful of Bacon, eggs, bockwurst, mushies and caramelised apple potato rosti with sourdough comes in at only $19. Huge!
The Lunch/Dinner menu is no less decadent. A trumped up street menu of Dawgs, Buffalo wings, Burgers, Salads, Grill and Smoker items, it’s a sheep in wolves’ clothing; a case of ‘give them what they want but make it better for them’. All dishes are made from top ingredients: local king prawns, organic milk or sourdough buns, house made gravy and sauces, and grass fed, hormone-free free range Black Angus beef, provenance included!
While appearing to be mainstream, the menu will entice foodies to let down the barriers, its flavours bashing at the door. From Hush Puppies (zucchini donuts with chilli lime jam, whipped lemon scented goats’ curd and sweet paprika) to Chargrilled slow-braised lamb ribs in sticky sauce with chimichurri, there’s plenty of options to share as snacks, meals or dessert.
And then there’s the drinks…
Although branded as Prohibition, to us the establishment is truer to the Pre-Prohibition era, with its Victorian/steampunk theming; a time when little was off limits. Pre-Prohibition was the golden age of cocktails and saloons, a time sporting great skills in mixology, much of which was lost during Prohibition, when cheap spirits were common and the habit of ‘downing’ drinks (in case of a raid) carried over into Post-Prohibition.
The Loose Moose’s drinks list grabs our attention with its expansive spread of quality choices: fourteen pages covering 130 whiskies of the world (Scotland, USA, Japan, Canada, Ireland and Australia), fifteen beers on tap, a range of other spirits, cocktails including shared delight like the Grizzly Bear Picnic and Motörhead, which sound like so much fun to share!
Diets be gone! Prohibition has no meaning when it comes to The Loose Moose’s food menus. They’re past the age of right wing food holiness and judgmental condescension; even relatively ‘-ism’ free. While there’s a free sprinkling of dishes marked as gluten-free, for most other food preferences it’s a case of ‘inform your waiter’.
If anything, The Loose Moose Tap & Grill House shows off a ‘free-ranging’ street-savvy menu; politically correct modern American-influenced nosh and free-flowing top notch grog grazing at will in the forest of decadence. ‘Come in and enjoy yourself,’ it demands, ‘no matter what sustenance you desire.’
75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach Ph: 07 5613 2356
Open Mon – Sun 7am – late
NOTE: This review has also been published in Blank GC.