Freelance writer and blogger living in Brisbane's inner city. Follow my social media, photography, technology and food blogs at www.acarrick.com
Published October 24th 2015
A fun self-service bar and kitchen
A new bar and kitchen opened up in the Fortitude Valley Mall recently with a unique difference – self-service. Taps Fortitude Valley is located in the middle of the Valley Mall on Brunswick Street next to the TCB Building.
Looking into Taps from the Valley Mall
They have self-pour taps located at a few tables around the bar and set of taps along the main wall of the venue. You can use the self-pouring facility or grab a full glass at the bar as you would normally, both ways are charged at the rate per millimetre. The self-pouring facility requires a $5 deposit at the counter for your tap token and you can pre-pay any amount you'd like to be applied to your token (they'll refund you any unused funds with your deposit when you finish). The system will automatically calculate an RSA limit and stop when it thinks you've had enough, at that point you may see the staff who will assess you.
The self-pouring process is simple enough but can be a little tricky at first so there are staff on hand to assist keep the place running smoothly. First, you place your token on the magnetic reader and the screen shows your remaining balance. Press "Go" on the screen and then pull the tap lever. Note that the meter counts the cost backwards from the amount remaining on your "account", not the amount you're filling.
Their self-service taps with screen.
Their drink selection rotates each week with around 15 to choose from. They are priced between $8 to $13 for a pint or whatever fraction you buy, so you can choose to have either a full glass or try a few different beverages.
When my companion and I went, it was Wings Wednesday so they had 10 chicken wings for $5. We ended up getting 3 sets between us – each set was well cooked, and came quickly after ordering them. First we ordered the "Hot Wings", which were very hot even for us, and we used to eating spicy food, but I'd still recommend them if you can handle chilli or like a challenge. I figured we should get a cooler flavour next, so I ordered us the "Honey Sesame" flavour, which were ever-so-slightly crispy with a good mix of sweet honey and sesame seeds. Then my companion ordered "Buffalo" flavour, which thankfully was only about half as hot the first set, while still having a side-flavour in with the chilli. I found the amount of wings was enough – not too much and not too little. Even at the full price of $13, I'd still be happy with the quantity and the wings themselves. We both agree that they are one of the better wings we've had in Brisbane.
We didn't try the other menu items, though they mostly seemed consistent with other fancy bars in the city – finger food and pizza for $10 - $13, burgers with a side of chips for around $15, and main meals around the mid $20 range. They also have some desserts and a share plate.
Fun additions are the self-serve music play-list at the counter and a few games like Giant Connect Four around the tables. Taps provides plenty of seating options both inside and out, so it should be a pleasant afternoon or night out with plenty of options to eat or drink.