We were recently invited to a dinner for Brisbane foodies/bloggers at the Red Hen, West End. We’ve eaten there once before, quite a while ago and were quite impressed with the food, and so we felt that a revisit here was particularly timely.
The Red Hen is tucked in amongst a plethora of Vietnamese restaurants along Hardgrave Road, West End. In other words, you may not quite expect nor be aware that there is a fantastic little Italian restaurant here.
We shared in several entrees, before choosing a main each from the pasta menu.
Our starter was Bruschetta al pomodoro, toasted sourdough with standard bruschetta topping.
Polpettine di pollo was chicken meatballs with a white wine sauce and crostini. This was particularly flavoursome with the sauce reminding me a bit of a hearty chicken soup.
Calamari fritti were very tender and lightly battered. Even as a person who does not eat a lot of seafood, I really enjoyed this dish.
Involtini di melanzane al fomo; oven baked eggplant parcels filled with ricotta and fresh herbs, served with napoletana sauce and topped with parmesan cheese.
L decided on Penne con panceetta e broccolini; penne with pancetta, broccolini, garlic, chilli, white wine and pecorino. This dish was an effective combination of simple flavours.
I had Strozzapreti al ragu di cervo, which was short twisted pasta with a slow cooked venison ragu. This dish wasn’t quite as expected, I thought it would be more of a saucy, shredded meat, however the flavours were rich and mouthwatering. The venison, being quite lean was a little chewy in larger chunks, however the dish was quite enjoyable.
We couldn’t leave without sampling dessert, and whilst just about everyone on the table ordered a brownie, L and I had to be different and order the pannacotta and tiramisu respectively. Pannacotta is fast becoming my favourite dessert and this one was richly creamy with a caramel sauce and rum soaked sultanas. L’s tiramisu was enormous!
The Red Hen serves up home styled, generously sized Italian meals. It is a great place to come with a BYO bottle of wine for a cheap and tasty casual meal with friends.
**Brisbane Devoured dined as a guest of The Red Hen**The Red Hen 63 Hardgrave Road West End Ph 07 3846 2233 Open Breakfast Sat-Sun, Lunch Wed-Sun, Dinner Tues-Sun www.theredhen.com.au