Next Door kitchen and bar has a cool vibe, a nice selection of share plates, an eclectic mix of beverages to suit all tastes and it’s a great place to sit and watch the world go by.
The restaurant website talks about Next Door kitchen and bar being a nod to the 1920s and yes, there are plenty of cocktails that take their inspiration from the 20s. A choice of ten cocktails including the Flappers Fizz (house made Bucks Fizz Shrub, topped with Prosecco), The Girl Next Door (fresh watermelon and strawberries, Tanqueray gin, Lemoncello, finished with pear cider), The Jersey Mule (Bombay Sapphire gin, house made sage and juniper syrup, lemon juice, apple cider and orange bitters) and a house-made hooch served in one-litre bottles. The wine list, although small, is interesting with almost everything served by the glass.
While perusing the menu our group of four chose wine and beer with some organic Mount Zero olives. The cocktails sounded delicious but we didn’t want to get too tanked on moonshine before taking a walk around the Asia Pacific GoMA exhibition.
We settled on;
- Gangster chicken wings which are one of the signature share plates
- Crushed Wagyu meat balls, provolone and sticky onion jam
- Beetroot and blue cheese aranchini with black garlic aioli
- Carved peppered beef fillet, caramalised pumpkin puree and pancetta crumbs
- Truffle parmesan fries
Although our lovely waitress assured us the chicken wings were delicious, they were actually our least favourite of all the dishes. The skin just wasn’t crispy enough for our liking.
The Wagyu meatballs were moist, full of flavour and really tasty with the provolone cheese. The aranchini balls were a lovely pink colour, light and crispy. My fav was the peppered beef fillet. Melt in your mouth beef, the pumpkin puree was silky and the pancetta crumb provided the perfect textural topping. The truffle fries were so popular that we ordered another serve. With really cute presentation, the truffle flavour was subtle and moorish elevating plain old fries to another level of potato goodness.
We definitely had room for two shared desserts. I chose the Toffee Pineapple upside down cake with pistachio ice cream and Mr P chose the Campari and strawberry jelly, white chocolate mascarpone and almond friand. Both were well executed. I’m usually not a huge fan of pistachio ice cream. I often find it overpowering but this one was beautifully balanced with the toffee sauce and caramalised pineapple. The campari and strawberry jelly was a big whack in the mouth (in a good way), although I’m not sure the almond friand was the best accompaniment. I think I would have preferred just a larger serve of jelly! I think next time we’ll have to give the 1920s classic ice cream sandwich a try.
Prices for the shared plates range between $9 and $20. It’s good value for money. We finished our meal feeling full but not uncomfortable.
Our only criticism is that the plates and cutlery don’t work well for a shared plate menu. Sounds crazy I know but the shape and size of the plates and the heaviness of the cutlery meant knives and forks kept clunking onto the table, as they wouldn’t sit properly on the plate. It’s a small criticism but I wonder whether this will get remedied over the coming months.
I don’t think the shared plate menu or the smart, sexy décor particularly references the 20s but that’s not a criticism. Mr P and I fell in love with the copper light fittings and the shiny/matt black combination of tiles. Next Door kitchen and bar offers high quality food and attentive service and that’s what people will keep coming back for. Ohh and truffle fries are sure to make a name for themselves among Brissie chip lovers!
Next Door kitchen and bar
Shop B11, Little Stanley Street, South Bank
Ph: 3846 6678