If you can combine dinner and drinks with a bit of fun, why wouldn’t you? I was sold when I heard about Oche Brisbane, the premier electronic darts, bar and restaurant in Fortitude Valley. As I found out upon entry, the place is also uber-stylish and it’s set inside Fortitude Valley’s heritage-listed flour mill, which was used as a barracks for US soldiers during WWII. Why hadn’t I heard about this earlier?
As you can see, the front of the building has plenty of atmosphere and the fact it’s wedged behind a guard rail on a sloping hill gives it a touch of quirk. Once you step inside the doors of the old mill, you’re greeted by a host who checks you into an available booth – if you’ve decided to play darts – or simply a table in the old mill’s centre otherwise. It gets busy some nights so be sure to book!
The place is decked out with wooden floorboards, there’s greenery splashed around various corners, the kitchen is open and the bar is vast and pretty as peach pie. I also love a place with high ceilings, which is an advantage of having a business inside a heritage-listed building. Oche Brisbane also manages to pull off looking very modern, pretty and vintage at the same time – almost like you’d imagine a celebrity hunting club to look.
As I’ve mentioned, you’re advised to book a booth ahead of time as it can get pretty busy, but as it was a Wednesday night, we were told to just walk in. You get a bucket of popcorn with your session too, so armed with our darts and popcorn we wandered through the centre of the old mill to our booth in the back corner. There were a few groups leaving as we arrived, so we had the back section all to ourselves.
There’s also an outside courtyard in Oche Brisbane that looks pretty but seeing as it was quiet, it was closed. However, that didn’t stop me from shooting off a couple of shots over the fence to give you an idea!
Darts and Drinks – Oche Brisbane
It took us a few moments to work out the electronic scoreboard and the games, but the waitress was helpful and the screen gives you a few instructions. Nikki ordered a cocktail – one mellon dollars – while I ordered a Balter XPA. Oche Brisbane has a service button and like most restaurants/bars these days, there’s a QR code in the booths so you can order and pay where you sit. Popcorn, beer, cocktails and we were set for a terribly-executed game of electronic darts!
We paid for a 45-minute session, which we thought would be enough. It was, sort of, as it took us about 20 minutes to sort out what the hell we were doing. Thankfully the time doesn’t start until you’re actually playing darts and it’s displayed for you. Our first game was High Striker, which gives you three lives against your opponent. The idea here is to score big, and as I’m usually one of these people that’s a bit fluky, I stumbled my way to victory with this one.
The second game we played was 201. Here the stakes were quite the opposite – you had to be accurate and the fastest player to get from 201 to 0 and if you went bust – which I did constantly – you lose all your points from that round. Nikki is the non-sporty kind of person who gets low points and this game worked perfectly for her. I was just throwing wild swings that were scoring high. I busted and Nikki marched to victory.
In all, it was fun, but if you’re playing with a large group at Oche Brisbane, I definitely recommend booking more time for this.
The food here is simple but slightly upmarket and even though I eat pizza at home all the time, it felt like a beer and pizza night so I went with the vegetarian pizza. My pizza came with sweet potato, artichoke, forest mushroom and pesto. Being gluten-free, Nikki ordered the sesame sweet potato balls and a side of pimento chips with truffle mayonnaise.
My pizza was really good and I’ll go as far as saying it was the best I’ve had in Brisbane. What made it, was the base, as it was crafted and cooked to perfection. It’s big though and it was a bit too much for me, so I’d recommend sharing it. The sweet potato balls were a little bland to be honest but the sesame seeds gave them a nice after-zing.
We ate after we played darts, as we didn’t want to lose any game time ordering food. We therefore ordered and ate in the middle of Oche Brisbane, on the large tables near the bar. The bonus to this is you’re sitting in front of the open kitchen and you can watch the chefs making food. Everything looks very clean and the lighting around the bar and kitchen creates a nice ambience.
I’ve decided that I’m going to stop doing food reviews on Wednesday nights, as little ole Brisbane, while she’s growing mightily, is definitely still quiet on a Wednesday night! Saying that, we really liked Oche and had a lot of fun in the couple of hours we spent here. I love the idea of darts, as it’s quite non-committal if you’re not too bothered by games or sports and it encourages you to participate.
So even if you’re averse to games, you’ll probably end up having a good time, and the electronic darts factor definitely makes it easier to score and keep track of things. Additionally, the ambience, food, service and drinks were a winner at Oche Brisbane and I’ll likely bring friends back when they’re visiting town, it’s that kind of place. There’s also absolutely no cutlery offered at Oche Brisbane as they’ve cleverly kept the food casual for darts. In all, a big thumbs up from us.
Oche Brisbane caters for special events such as weddings, birthdays and corporate parties in their own private bar and event space. Private spaces are ‘The Next Level’ and ‘The Loft’. You can also book packages for your night, such as 1.5 hours of gameplay, pizza or antipasto board and one drink. There are also drinks and food packages – check out their website for more info.
A Few Fast Facts
- I recommend booking in advance to avoid any disappointment.
- We paid $22 per person for 45 minutes of darts. Again, call Brisbane Oche to check for other time slots/deals.
- There are only two Oches (pronounced ‘occy’ as in occy strap) in Australia. The other one is in Melbourne. There are also Oches in Goteborg, Amsterdam, Oslo, The Strand and Singapore.
- ‘Oche’ means the line dart players stand behind when they throw.
- This one is located at 111 Constance Street, Fortitude Valley.
- No cutlery is offered at Oche Brisbane. It’s dart-friendly dining!