Brisbane city’s centrepiece is most certainly our magnificent and occasionally temperamental river. There are several dining venues around the city that offer river views, but none are surely as lovely as Stokehouse, which opened about a year ago in the new dining precinct at Southbank. The original Stokehouse and sister restaurant is situated in St. Kilda, Melbourne.
We visited recently for L’s birthday dinner. A spectacular architecturally designed building greeted us, indoor and outdoor dining become one here with the open space, but the design is such that you don’t get unwelcome river gusts in your face.
We were seated in a prime position overlooking the river. The bar next door was quite loud and busy being a Friday night, and slowly patrons from the bar moved their way into the restaurant for a meal, even an hour or two after our late booking.
We were presented with our menus, and our attention was drawn to an enormous specials board propped up on the closest table near us, which remained until we had ordered. Fresh bread with olive oil to dip provided sustenance whilst we waited for our entrees. The menu here seems heavily seafood oriented, with multiple offerings at both entree and main level.
Tortellini of confit duck, spring peas, beans and legumes with a chicken and tarragon consomme was my entree from the specials board, and served to be a fantastic start to the meal. The consomme was quite heavily seasoned, but flavoursome and a perfect match to the duck within the little parcels and the goodness of the legumes underneath.
L opted for an entree sized squid ink linguine, with local spanner crab, chilli and parsley that was served cool, a refreshing summer meal. There was a generous amount of juicy crab, and a citrus tang which combined with chilli goes so well with anything seafood.
The 200 gram pasture fed fillet steak that was my main was served with onion rings, mash and a charred green relish. The steak was cooked perfectly, and the mash was delicious, but I didn’t care too much for the relish, which just tasted burnt. A more fresh green salsa verde or chimichurri would have been appreciated.
L continued on his seafood journey with Dory fillets, SA clams, white asparagus, brown butter, capers and anchovies. The components were beautifully presented, the clams adding a sweet pop to an otherwise salty dish, especially with the added anchovies.
We ordered a side of chips with chilli salt and aioli, which were incredibly crunchy, moreish and delicious. I ended up skipping the onion rings accompanying my steak in favour of these chips. In hindsight perhaps a more green and healthy side would have been ideal, but that would have meant missing out on these.
Unfortunately our waiter disappeared somewhere between our plates being cleared from our mains, and the dessert menu being offered, which left quite a gap in proceedings.
I was pleased to see a variety of souffles on the menu, for a limited time only celebrating the start of Spring. I had the strawberry souffle with strawberry and mint salad, baby meringue and frozen strawberry yoghurt, a decent albeit small souffle with an impressive rise. L continued on with the strawberri-ness by ordering the Stokehouse signature dessert, the “Bombe”‘; frozen white chocolate parfait and strawberry sorbet surrounded by a thick layer of sweet toasted meringue. Presented as a slice, this was an immensely sweet dessert that provided a huge sugar hit. Desserts here are a little pricier than other restaurants, expect to pay between $18 and $21.
Stokehouse provided a beautiful setting accompanied by a mostly delicious meal, even if the service was a little absent at times. We think the restaurant would be best for a long Sunday lunch in the warmer months, a lovely spot to overlook the Brisbane river.
CStokehouse Brisbane Sidon Street South Bank Ph 07 3013 0333 Open 7 Days, Lunch and Dinner www.stokehousebrisbane.com.au