28 January 2022

Five minutes with Joel Tyrrell, Transit Bar

| Lottie Twyford
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Joel Tyrrell on stage

Joel Tyrrell used to travel the world performing. Now he’s running Transit Bar. Photo: Supplied.

Who is Joel Tyrrell? I’m the operations manager at Transit Bar.

Best recent dining experience: Bar Rochford. I’ve got a four-month-old baby and it’s been hard to go out for nice dinners, but the team there were very accommodating of us.

Also, the food and wine there is just 10 out of 10 every time.

Most embarrassing pantry item: I really don’t think I have one!

Must-buy ingredient: Lao Gan Ma Crispy Chilli Oil. Everything that it can go in, I put it in.

Next big thing: Probably the new Miss Van’s. I’ve only had a cheeky little lunch there, but I’ve got an inkling that the guys there will do great things with it.


Miso mushrooms at Cafe Gather get Joel out of bed in the morning. Photo: Cafe Gather.

Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT: breakfast: Cafe Gather in Braddon.

I love the miso mushrooms they do, and I’ve even tried their pancakes – and I’m not usually a sweet breakfast person – and they were amazing!

My Canberra food secret: Fekerte’s Ethiopian in New Acton. It’s just the best lunch you can get, and a lot of people haven’t been there or heard about it unless they work in the area.

It’s a very special operation over there.

Biggest culinary influence: I lean towards all things Mexican. I spent a fair bit of time touring the US and California, in particular, and we’d often end up in hole-in-the-wall Mexican joints.

It’s a very different experience from over here.

Favourite cookbook: I was given a book called Edibles. It’s all about infusing weed into various meals and treats, and that’s been quite lovely, to be honest.

READ ALSO Street dining arrives in Queanbeyan’s CBD

Who I admire on the Canberra food and wine scene: The Bar Rochford team, Mal over at Pilot and the new kids on the block at Corella Bar.

Man behind a bar

Joel wants to try out the new Corella Bar in Braddon. Photo: @ohboicreative.

What’s on the menu this week: There will be a lot of Transit food on the menu actually as we had a soft launch last night and another one today (29 January).

One thing which I like about our menu is there are lots of veggie and vegan options – all of our sauces are vegan and gluten-free, for example – and there’s a lot of pulled jackfruit and pulled mushroom.

As a veggie, the mushroom tacos are my go-to, but I have heard from people that the smashed patty cheeseburger is very tasty.

Where I’m going next: I’m hoping to get to Corella Bar.

READ ALSO The Alby in Woden adds class – and Australia’s first duckpin bowling alley – to the pub recipe

Death row meal: Dumplings – specifically my wife’s.

COVID-19 response: First, having a child – I guess that’s the most important thing that happened.

Then getting involved with Transit Bar. Having spent the better part of a decade playing music, touring and pretty much living in music venues, I’ve been enjoying being on the other side of things – setting up a music venue.

While things have been tricky recently, I’m focusing on not getting down in the dumps and remembering that we aren’t the only ones who have been dealt a bad hand with restrictions etc.

It’s not ideal for us at the moment, and we can’t really provide the service we want right now, but staying positive is important.

My really simple recipe tip: Same as my favourite ingredient – add chilli oil.

Transit Bar is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 3 pm until late in its new location at Baileys Corner.

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