Relieving post-holiday blues isn’t easy, but we feel somewhat comforted in being now able to throw ourselves back into dining out in Brisbane and ticking off a few more places from the never-ending “to try” list. On our list was Next Door Kitchen and Bar, which opened late last year in South Bank, tucked in between Ole and Ahmet’s. We visited on a very busy Saturday night recently.
Next Door Kitchen and Bar has modelled itself as a 1920′s Prohibition style venue, probably more so in its cocktail list and its very dark colours, rather than the food or actual design. If you think there will be flappers and velvet antique couches then guess again, as the design comes across as modern rather than the theming that they were going for…. however, if you do get excited about drinks being served in jars, then this is your place. What we did find exciting was an excellent share plate menu.
Of course, we had to try these cocktails in jars before deciding on food and noted classics such as Bellinis and various Sours, as well as more modern cocktails with interesting ingredients. Its worth noting for a group you can get 1L “Hooch Bottles” to share of “Giggle Juice”, a potent Iced tea, and a rum punch. We had the Jersey mule; Bombay sapphire gin, home made juniper and sage syrup, lemon juice, apple cider and orange bitters, and Its the Berries; Kettel One vodka, creme de mure, blackberry syrup, peach bitters and fresh orange topped with pear cider.
We were recommended to share about 2-3 plates per person, I would definitely go with 2 per person if you are intending on having dessert. We did start off with these Mount Zero olives first, having been accustomed to having olives with our meals in Spain, it only seemed fitting to continue this tradition back in Brisbane. These ranged from larger green olives, down to itty bitty tiny ones.
Flash fried school prawns, with smoked paprika salt were served with an optional aioli. We actually thought the aioli came with them anyway, but apparently you pay for aioli separately. There’s literally no point in having these without though, you definitely need something to dip the prawns into. The prawns were a surprise, very more-ish and crunchy, and seemed neverending (you will get your moneys worth).
Crushed wagyu meatballs, provolone and sticky onion jam, were very moist and we found ourselves scraping the plate for the sweet onion jam.
Our first larger plate was the Carved peppered beef fillet, served with an extremely smooth pumpkin puree and scrumptious pancetta crumbs. The beef was sitting in a very tasty jus, and was served nice and pink.
Twice cooked duck leg, spiced beet puree, Gluhwein poached pear with roast spuds and onion was our final savoury dish. I always wince at “twice cooked” as it conjures up an image of dryness, but this duck leg was moist and fell from the bone easily. The pear and beet puree was actually very sweet and accompanied the duck well. Cylindrical shaped pieces of potato, onion and spinach soaked up the juices.
Dessert was a MUST after our excellent savoury share plates. L’s Dark Chocolate marquis with salted caramel was prettily arranged with colourful flowers, and was a large serving size that was quite rich. L struggled without any sort of creaminess to lighten it up, but I personally loved it and ate a significant portion (heh heh). More salty caramel was definitely required though.
I finished up with Ricotta and cinnamon pannacotta, green apple puree and macadamia nut biscotti. I got so overwhelmed by the sight of my favourite dessert (pannacotta) that I ignored the fact that it came with my most disliked sweet (biscotti). The pannacotta was wonderfully jiggly and smooth.
We quite enjoyed the food at Next Door Kitchen, and both agreed it must surely be the pick of places to eat along Little Stanley street at the moment. The menu is fantastic, as is the short but delicious cocktail list.
CNext Door Kitchen and Bar Shop B11 Little Stanley Street South Bank Ph 07 3846 6678 Open 7 Days Lunch and Dinner www.nextdoorkitchenbar.com.au