Anything but the fiasco it’s entitlement suggests, Debacle in Braddon displays a bustling atmosphere of considered chaos, warm vibes and comforting cold ones. The crackling fire slicing between the bustling dining space and chalk arted bar, casts glowing heat without eerie shadows, evoking an inner fist pump of triumph when we were seated for lunch right in front of aforementioned flames.
The furniture is fun and quirky, a consistent contrast between doll house vintage (think adorable spindly wooden chairs, scrubbed lovingly to antiquity), and chic contemporary industrial (brushed metal stools as lofty as they are alluring). Aesthetically inscribed chalk boards dotted about the space give off a welcoming informal sense amplified by the supersized projection screen, exhibiting a lunchtime screening of an incontestable sports channel.
The menu was fun to peruse, as were the chalk scribed specials. Seemingly big on globalism, there is an offering from most favourite western adopted cultures. Feeling Spanish? Go the chorizo. Mexican? I’d recommend the Nachos. Add Middle Eastern dips and Kabak, American Spicy Buffalo wings and Asian inspired prawn gyoza and you could have yourself an internationally inspired banquet. Not too many bars in the area offer such simple and tasty diversity for reasonable prices, so we were happy to furrow brow in thought to pick through the fabulous offerings.
In due course, we selected Spicy buffalo wings and the special of Prawn Gyoza off the tapas menu, Coopers pale ale battered fish and chips from the enticing list of mains and, the Bombay Chicken Pizza off the extensive and sincerely intriguing page long pizza list.
Arriving speedily and lined up like little soldiers in sticky orange jackets, the buffalo wings looked hot from the get go. The thin layer of spice coated skin was moreishly tasty, but didn’t hold a candle to the juicy sweetness of the chicken lying closest to the bone. The creamy gorgonzola dipping sauce accompaniment had a lovely soothing effect on the subtle but noticeable heat, and added that extra oomph – bringing the dish firmly past ordinary to the inner realms of memorable.
The steamed prawn gyoza with lemongrass and ginger broth arrived simultaneously and was my favourite flavour pairing of the two tapas dishes. The gyoza were softly crimped pillows of slick texture, wading effortlessly in a still pond of lemongrass and ginger infused stock. The broth pooled in every delicate frilled crevice and coral flashes of tenderly cooked prawn jump out strikingly from nests of vibrant green coriander leaves and finely diced chives. At only $11.90, I’d happily recreate the medal contending sprint from my office to enjoy this mid-week plate of necessary satisfaction.
Large fillets of Cooper’s pale ale fish meandered our way next. The encasing batter was crisp, puffed and golden, giving that satisfying splintered crack when pressured with metallic utensils (or torn apart in haste with impatient fingers). Parsley was lightly scattered as a refreshing confetti over the battered tendrils, which rested on a lively salad of mixed leaves, lemon wedges and chips actually reminiscent of a potato in scale (I become a little dubious about chips the size of the Titanic – where do people find potatoes that large?). The batons of fish carried lovely bitter tangs of Cooper’s pale ale, chips were hot, fluffy and lightly salted and the added elements of citrus and generous greenery gave a fresh edge to what is usually badly over done pup-grub.
The diva of our meal had to be the Bombay chicken pizza. Exuding “wow” factor with a central tower of delicate pappadums cemented gently with cooling raita, It was that dish you see emerge from the kitchen and hope it’s destined for your table. The luxuriously thick duvet of crispy bottomed pizza base had creased, creviced and succumbed to the generous toppings of unbelievably juicy tandoori stained chicken (charred to flavorous perfection), thin slithers of Spanish onion and, tasty tendrils of soft, gooey cheese. For $14.50 (we ordered the smallest size), it’s the best value-to-topping taste pizza ratio in the city.
If you work in the city or just meander around Braddon at midday, Debacle is a great choice for a relaxed and fulfilling lunch. I know I’ll be making multiple return trips just to sample every pizza on the long and sincerely exciting list! It sure makes the Hawaiian of take-away pizza chain stores look rather pathetic, not to mention the fact a glass of artesian beer is much better to wash down pizza than Coke or Fanta. Cheers!