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Local Shout Out | Victory Lane, Ascot

Originally posted by Courier Mail (QWeekend) and written by Anooska Tucker-Evans

Blue swimmer crab for just $16, a duck main for only $34 and a steak for a mere $32 in one of Brisbane’s most affluent suburbs. Considering the price of ingredients, staffing, electricity and rent these days, such prices seem almost too good to be true.

But not at the newly opened Victory Lane in Ascot.

The restaurant space at Victory Lane, Ascot. Picture: David Kelly

Taking the space once home to Racecourse Rd dining institution Baguette (and a string of other eateries in more recent times), the modern Australian restaurant and bar is the work of hospitality group Muragh Operations, behind South Bank’s Jetty and Newstead’s Botany.

They have given the bewilderingly long, narrow tenancy a mini makeover, with the front bar, which guests walk through to enter the restaurant, lighter and brighter; while the restaurant at the rear feels slightly more luxe yet still approachable thanks to fresh furniture and a large mural in the indoor courtyard that could either be Hayman Island in North Queensland or somewhere in the Mediterranean with its green mountains and boat-lined ocean.

Head chef James Clarke and the group’s executive chef Sebastien Legendre have devised a globally influenced, contemporary menu with six entree, six mains and three desserts running from chicken parfait with brioche wafers or ponzu and sesame flamed salmon with wasabi foam to flank steak with a barbecue glaze or barramundi with compressed celery and lemongrass and ginger oil.

Our sweet waitress, who is trying hard but not yet quite across every aspect of the food and drinks, runs us through the specials and takes our order, with entrees arriving fast enough to give you whiplash.

The blue swimmer crab entree ($16) arrives with the crustacean meat sheltered beneath a prawn cracker sail, which cleverly transforms from artwork to spoon to scoop up the dashi and citrus cream-lacquered seafood and accompanying seaweed custard and lemon gel. Bright, balanced and boasting an abundance of technique, it’s a serious bargain.

The blue swimmer crab entree. Picture: David Kelly

Leaning into the European side of the menu are the ham hock croquettes ($14) with two crispy crumbed cylinders recumbent in a puddle of vinegary sauce gribiche that provides necessary sharpness against the rich nuggets.

Roasted duck breast ($34) is on the smaller side for a main, but is expertly prepared with the two thick wedges of game blushing pink under a hazelnut crust, alongside swollen cherries, squirts of silken celeriac puree and a classic Madeira jus. Add a side of sweet, buttery roasted baby carrots ($12) and you won’t be hungry.

Significantly more substantial is the lamb main ($35). Braised into submission over 12 hours, the fatty, rich meat drips with jus and is balanced by a tangy caper and olive gremolata, while kernels of puffed wild rice provide textural contrast.

The roast duck breast. Picture: David Kelly

The couple next to us rate the chocolate brownie with hazelnut chocolate soil ($14) over the Japanese cheesecake ($12) for dessert, but we’re more interested in the cocktails from the cheekily old-school drinks list which features ’80s favourites likes Sex on the Beach and pina coladas alongside five styles of margaritas where you pick the tequila, spritzes and more.

For those who like a sour, the Monkey Sour based on a German sloe gin from Monkey 47 satisfies with a good kick of lemon juice balancing the sweet spirit, while a classic margarita is rimmed with an ocean of salt.

There is also a tight, predominantly Australian wine list with most available by the 150ml and 250ml pour, as well as by the bottle.

With affordable food and drinks that are based on familiar classics given a modern spin, Victory Lane is sure to appeal.

Victory Lane

150 Racecourse Rd, Ascot

3123 7123


Wed-Fri 11.30am-10pm; Sat 7am-11pm and
Sun 7am-5pm

Must eat dish

Blue swimmer crab

Verdict – Scores out of 5

Food 3.5

Service 3

Ambience 3.5

Value 4

Overall 3.5