Focus on Flux

Image source: Contributed

Deb Caruso meets a local business owner who literally goes with the flow.

The specials board above the window into the Flux kitchen is updated daily with a new dessert, special dish of the day as well as a counter of how many days Flux has been open. 

When I was there it was at eight years; 236 days and on 13 March 2022, it will tick over to nine years! No mean feat in and industry that certainly epitomises the meaning of the word ‘flux’.

Mal knows how quickly things can change, having recently closed the doors to his Hastings Street venue, Hop & Vine a few months ago. 

“I opened Hop & Vine three years ago to expand our focus on craft beer and excellent wines and to provide a more relaxed option for Hastings Street diners,” he said. “We basically gutted and opened up the old Montezuma’s site to provide a treetop oasis that looked through the fairy lights and onto Hastings Street. It was a great venue and we had a lot of fun and built up some loyal customers.”

Around the same time that Hop & Vine opened, Malcolm and his wife Shannyn welcomed their first baby daughter with another bundle of joy arriving earlier this year.

So when faced with a hefty rent increase and increased operating restrictions, Mal decided to go with the flow and put the focus back on his ‘babies’ – his girls and his first creation, Flux Restaurant & Lounge.

“Flux has always been a special venue with a much more intimate space that makes people feel right at home,” he said. “It was time to return to my roots and spend more time where it all began as well as ensure that I also had plenty of time to play an active role in my girls’ lives.”

He’s a proud dad and will share the stories and pics of his cherubs with anyone who is interested. It’s this personal approach that Mal exudes – it’s almost like Cheers where he has your favourite beer or wine ready almost as soon as you walk in and if you’re new to the Flux hospitality, be prepared to quickly feel very welcome and ‘at home’.

As Malcolm says, “Dining out is meant to be an experience.”

“Throw away the norm and let our menu of modern Australian share plates facilitate your gastronomical individuality! 

“Seasonal, free range, local and ever changing – this is the state of Flux.”

The all-day menu features dishes designed for sharing with most dietary requirements covered. Head chef David Smith has created a menu full of the favourites to be expected from a modern Australian bistro, but with a twist.

Starting at just $4 for two Chinese spoons of Coconut Crusted Tofu with Creamy Green Curry; the menu evolves into a mouth-watering combination of medium and large dishes that are designed for sharing or savouring on your own. Those with dietary requirements are well catered for with GF, DF and V scattered throughout the menu.  

Why not start with a serving of four Seared Hervey Bay Scallops with Fresh Sweet Pea Puree, Grilled Morcille and Prosciutto Crumb; you can always add another for just $5. Yes, really.

Try the Smoked “Mac And Cheese” with Orecchiette, topped with a Gremolata Crumb; or the divine Prosciutto Wrapped Garlic Mash Paired with Roast Vinaigrette. Work your way up to heartier meals such as a Lamb Loin with Sour Cherry and Boysenberries served with a Pistachio, Coriander Yoghurt Sauce; or Twice-cooked Crab and Ruby Grapefruit Soufflé served with a White Wine, Basil and Cream Reduction.

Did I say the dishes are meant for sharing? I don’t think so!

Of course, you should add in a side of Caramelised Pecan, Pear & Rocket Salad with Fresh Horseradish Dressing; and the Shaved Sweet Potato Chips seasoned with house spices; or Craft Fries with lemon aioli. 

Feel like something sweet? How about Crisp Mango Crouquant with a Coconut Foam Served with a shot of Caramel Popcorn Tea? Never boring!

Kids meals are all $12 and range from Salt & Pepper Calamari or House-crumbed Chicken Breast served, both served with Craft Fries; House made Pasta with Double-Smoked Jamon, Cream Sauce and Pecorino Cheese; or a healthy alternative of Vege Stick Bowl with Cheese and GF Wafers.

It’s good to have Mal back at the helm with renewed energy and vigour. I look forward to witnessing his ‘babies’ grow as they go with the flow.

About the Author /

Ali spends her days clicking away and creating print and digital designs for a variety of coast businesses and brings more than 15 years of print publishing experience. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her outdoors with her husband and three kids.

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