The Survey Co.

IMG_1504The Survey Co. is the name of a restaurant that honours the explorer and surveyor James Burnett.

Before I go on, remember I do not review, I just tell it as it is and if I go anywhere where I feel the restaurant falls short of my expectations I just don’t blog it.

The restaurant and bar is in the narrow lane behind Brisbane’s Queen Street, for those who do not live in Queensland, it is the main street of the city, most of which is a Mall.  Burnett Lane was just an access lane for deliveries but now it has become a cool address. It is directly behind the back entrance of the Chifley hotel so should not be hard to find now that I have told you that. I was only armed with the number and caught it on a square of brown metal angled on the side of the building as I walked up from the Albert Street end.

IMG_1503The lane has been gentrified with various art works, the patterns on the road are a nice touch to liven up a boring lane.IMG_1508

The materials used for the patterning must make it impervious to car tyres.

IMG_1483Now to the restaurant. We loved the design, rustic finishes where the walls are stripped bare. We liked the bespoke crafted tables, chairs are classic Bentwoods and the banquette although a little hard when I first plopped down was covered in whole dark leather hides.

We shared everything and for two people the servings were ideal. The generous serve of two soft shell crabs plated up San Choy Bau style so we made our own crispy parcels. That mayo with quince and jalapeno was masterful simplicity.

IMG_1486Ready to fold and devour.

IMG_1491The Three Little Pig Taco was also arranged so we just had to garnish with fried shallots and pickled cucumber.

IMG_1493Spinach Brik Pie served on chevre and topped with fresh-cut salsa. Brik is so much nicer and crisper than Filo pastry.

pork shoulder

Just when we thought we have stopped and left room for dessert we were served the orange braised pork shoulder surprise.


I know it looks mushy but what a wonderfully weird concoction. We did not mind that we skipped dessert but chef be warned, we will be back for dessert another time.

Something that we noticed was that the kitchen ran very smoothly and although we could see straight into the kitchen, there was no fuss, no hysterics or orders being barked. Owner Simon Livingstone of restaurant Piaf fame at Southbank should be pleased. It has been open for over a year now and not being a full-time resident of Brisbane anymore, it has taken me some time to get there, now I want to go back very soon.

As we departed we noticed a coat, bag and umbrella rack, something Brisbane restaurants overlook.

The Survey Co, 32 Burnett Lane, Brisbane

Phone 07 3012 8725


  1. #1 by bmarydary on April 19, 2013 - 2:58 am

    Burnett Lane is so groovy now and we too love Survey Co.

  2. #2 by Debra Kolkka on April 19, 2013 - 6:30 am

    I have only been once…I thought it was great.

  3. #3 by liz cooper on April 22, 2013 - 5:34 am

    You ate all that!! Have been with Alex and we had a similar experience – it was lovely but almost had to leave as they didn’t have a chardy by the glass!!

    • #4 by tastetravel on April 22, 2013 - 11:34 pm

      Cannot believe they left it of the wine list for people like you.

  4. #5 by Sonia pitt on April 22, 2013 - 8:40 am

    I have been to Survey Co around 4 times and it has been consistently good on each occasion. Agree with your thoughts on Survey Co.

  5. #6 by Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on April 23, 2013 - 3:03 am

    What a nice find Roz! I keep hearing about all of these places in Brisbane that I must try 🙂

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