As the name suggests, this quaint two-storey heritage-listed building was originally home to an apothecary, dispensing all manner of potions and medicines to the ailing. Fast forward more than 150 years, and it is once again a place where tinctures are created – albeit far tastier ones. Cocktails come in those darling little old-fashioned medicine bottles with handwritten labels. The Apo’s version of a Bloody Mary is infused with porcini and wild mushroom along with secret herbs and spices – available both upstairs in the bar and in the restaurant at street level.
The bar menu includes fun options like a fancy toastie with three kinds of cheese; parmesan and pea croquettes with chipotle chilli; and Ortiz anchovies with brown butter, black bread and smoked tomato. Beautifully sweet, fresh Moreton Bay sand crab is as pretty as can be as a starter, served simply with finger lime, nasturtium, herbs and flowers. Heartier share plates include suckling pig with prune, dried milk crisp, leek and celeriac; whole market fish with spiced butter, sorrel and purslane; and a 700 gram T-bone to share. Unlike the Apothecary of old, there is nothing here that is hard to take.
Location: 690 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley; (07) 3164 4000; theapo.com.au
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Atmosphere: Industrial-chic décor attracting hip-as-hell clientele
Seats: About 60, spread over two levels
Open: Tuesday for dinner, Wednesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner
Big tick: The bar menu
Must-try: Chicken liver éclair