Like most things, travel is best enjoyed with good friends. Once in a while, there’s nothing quite like meeting new people randomly, getting to know them and actually taking up the offer in seeing them if you are in the area.
On my travels to Brisbane to meet a friend, I met a great couple here in Sydney and they were so much fun to have a chat with. It was them who recommended, Watt Brisbane restaurant. I, like some people love to try out different cuisines when checking out new places.
Imagine, gazing over the Brisbane river and taking a bite into a peppered Otago venison when one of them whispers “have you tried the Manchengo croquettes?”.
Located underneath Brisbane Powerhouse on the river, Watt Brisbane brings the outdoors in, with sun-drenched dining and outdoor seating. Boasting urban chic finishings, polished concrete flooring, vibrant social vibe and soft tone furnishings. From my understanding the venue is quite large and is split into five areas. Who knew! I thought I was just having dinner in the restaurant. The Refinery by the park, The Social casual dining area, The Playground overlooking the river, and The Sunroom and The Dining Room, both of which form part of stand-alone restaurant New Farmer’s Kitchen.
The menu focuses on fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce sourced from local farmers and suppliers. Opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The kitchen aims to please a variety of taste buds, with firm pub favourites for hungry-thirsty patrons who may come down for a pre or post event from the Brisbane Powerhouse.
On the shared menu this evening, with forks at the ready. The idea of the selection is to have a variety of different meals to the plate, ie. paddock to plate, sea to plate and to continue the trio, sugar to plate. On a side note, they do have a little farmers choice for only $14, which includes a choice of main and dessert. Not bad when the portion size are decent and the fillings are the same products used. Eg. baby wagyu burger in a brioche bun, to a cheesy curly wurly pasta bake.
Manchengo croquettes, Za’atar aioli and fried basil $14
Peppered Otago venison, davidson plum jelly, horseradish cream, beetroot and cress $21
Beerburrum farm zucchini flowers, tempura batter, witches creek goats curd and tomato ragout $21
Highlights: If you are a fan of mozzarella sticks, prepare to have your life changed. There is no comparison to the creamy sauce, loaded with sharp Manchengo cheese, encased in crispy bread crumbs and fried. These little babies are the perfect sharing companion for the group. Little morsels of gooey molten cheese with the Za’atar aioli and fried basil. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix that contains sumac, dried thyme, lemon juice, garlic cloves and mayo.
Pappardelle of wild Bendigo rabbit, smoked speck, hazelnut, watercress pesto and parmesan $29
Mediterranean fish stew, prawns, clams, mussels, barramundi, brushetta and rouille $34
Highlights: Yes, there were other items to choose from the menu. But the waiter did highly recommend the fish stew. I find the real challenge is developing a good fish stew recipe, lies in the building of the broth with enough flavour to carry the fish. A cozy dish made with all the right seafood ingredients, barramundi, prawns, mussels and clams. A crispy brushetta to mop up any leftover juices from the bowl. I couldn’t tell you what the broth mixture was, but it had a hearty base down pat, the Rouillie is traditionally a French sauce used to garnish a bouillabaisse, but it complemented the stew and took me away (so I guess it’s a European twist).
Lemon doughnuts, milk chocolate, freeze dried raspberries and fairyfloss $14
Creme brulee, caramilised banana, vanilla $15
Trifle, forced rhubarb, rum soaked parkin crumbs $15
Highlights: Our patience has been rewarded and the perfect timing for everyone to sample the sweet plates on offer. I wasn’t too engage on the Trifle with the forced rhubarb. But in terms of presentation (not for being simple as I’m sure it took time to prepare it), was the Lemon doughnuts filled with milk chocolate. A dish that (love the fairyfloss) was sweet and light at the same time. Perfectly cooked and flavours tantalising the tastebuds.
With so much on offer, from delicious food specials and signature cocktails, Brisbane’s relaxed riverside restaurant is top on the list. I didn’t get to meet the Head Chef but both the service and kitchen team did an amazing job. Even the oohs and ahhs from the other tables showed it wasn’t just us making inappropriate noises. From paddock to plate philosophy which shines thorughout the restaurant, with a focus on rustic and seasonal produce from the sea, farm and garden.
Located in New Farm, recommended by locals to kick back for a few drinks and eats on the weekend is one of my top choices, definitely passing it forward.