Monday, 29 August 2016

Brewhouse - Woolloongabba

Last Thursday, Espresso and Matcha and some enthusiastic foodies were invited to Woolloonggabba’s revamped Brewhouse, which has long been an icon in the area since its first opening in 2005 and is famous for its freshly brewed beer, made locally at West End. 

There we were treated to some of the highlights of their new menu matched with some of their infamous beers. The menu we were offered was a four course selection featuring an entrée, a starter, a main and a dessert. It should be noted we were served via alternate drop. Luckily for me I was able to bring my co-blogger and which ensured we were able to sample all the courses. However I must confess our arrangement was not ideal as it meant we could not fully enjoy the dishes we were offered. 

Being a tavern, it would be improper if the first thing we were offered was not a beer. True to their form our first sample was the Brissy Pils. “Pils” being short for Pilsner is a type of pale lager from Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic. It was introduced as an inhouse home brew lager. I found it bitter yet it was very cool and with a sharp crisp taste which I really liked. Perhaps I was thirsty (and hungry!) But to me it definitely looked like a good choice after a hot summer's day at the beach. 

The first course we were offered was our entrée, which was either Queensland Scallops or the Prawn Cocktail. 

The Queensland scallops were served pan seared with crispy chorizo, basil pesto in a raspberry balsamic reduction. I found the scallops and the chorizo to be a good contrast of both soft and rough textures along with both strong and mild tastes. My co-blogger however, thought the Chorizo was a bit too overcooked for his preference. Having said that we both agreed the contrast of the flavours and the textures was a positive mix of the mild and strong. It was to me a dish of contrasts. 

My co-blogger was offered the Prawn Cocktail which was a char-grilled paprika marinated Queensland tiger prawn served with fresh avocado salsa and chipotle mayo. The salsa had an Asian twist with zesty lime and a salty and peppery taste. The prawn had a good texture texture, being neither overly dry nor undercooked and was seasoned with delicious spices. The meat was tender and the flavours were well emphasised. It was a very inviting dish that got my appetite going. 

Our second beer was the BPA Brisbane Pale Ale, a group favourite and apparently a popular choice of the Tavern. The Pale Ale had a  passionfruit fragrance giving it a fruity sweetness that balanced the bitterness. Our host explained that crystal malts was used in giving it a fruity and sweet flavour. It was definitely milder and not as sharp as the pils. 

For our second course we were treated to beer battered barramundi and the bacon and brisket bruschetta. 

For the bacon and brisket bruschetta it was served on toasted corn bread topped with fried streaky bacon, beer braised cape grim brisket, house smoked tomatoes and crumbled hop feta. I found the brisket a bit chewy, but did enjoy what bacon I could find in the mix. My co-blogger appreciated the toast like interpretation of the traditional Italian bruschetta and found it quite filling. With its soft meats, warm bread, soft feta and dash of bacon it was a very comforting experience. 

The beer batter barramundi was a fresh cone bay barramundi, filleted in house and served in a crispy batter with a side of citrus raspberry vinaigrette. I found the batter to be very crispy and light. My co-blogger was surprised that it was easy to cut through, I on the other hand was impressed that it was not oily, but remarkably crunchy. However we and almost all of our companions agreed the vinaigrette was a bit out of place being extremely strong in the raspberry department minus the sweetness, much like a jam without sugar. 

For our third course accompaniment we were offered the Clarence Old Ale. Our host advised us this was a celebratory brew named in honour of the old Clarence Corner Hotel. As rich in heritage as it was in deep in colour, it had a strong caramel flavour to it. I found the ale rather dry and warming, which suited the cool winter's night very well. 

For our third course we were treated to either the Barrowdale pork belly or a duck dish “that bloody duck”. 

The Barrowdale pork belly was a free range Queensland pork, slow cooked in an 8 year old Chinese master stock served with asian herbs in an udon noodle salad, chilli jam and palm sugar caramel. I found the pork was very comforting, my co-blogger enjoyed the nice mixture of tender meat and fat, however we both considered the pork and the skin to err on the side of chewy, but loved its strong flavoursome stock marinade. As for the side of udon herb salad my co-blogger and I considered it a very light and was a stark contrast to the heavy flavour imbued pork, we would have liked it to come with a bit of dressing. 

That bloody duck was a confit duck Maryland, twice cooked and served with a spiced blood orange reduction. My co-blogger was captivated by the strong aromas and the sight of the dish as soon as it was set before him. We noted the meat was tender and the skin was crispy despite its strong blood orange fragrance. Here I can say the flavours were light and played a supporting role to the tender meat of the duck and the infused flavours. The sweet potato chip offered a rounded balance being softer and lighter in flavour to the duck

Having had such rich dishes we were offered the Toasty Oat Stout. More restrained in alcohol, there were strong flavours of vanilla and chocolate. It was a stark contrast to our opening Pils, with its sweet mellow tones. 

For our dessert we were offered Macadamia brownie and the beer malt dumpling. 

The Beer malt dumpling is served in nanna’s golden syrup dumplings, in beer malt syrup with a side of lemon curd ice cream. What looked like a simple dish was quite a surprisingly delicious treat with its soft malt layered pastry the soft ice cream offering a cooling contrast to the warm, comforting interior I found it very enjoyable. 

My co-blogger had the macadamia brownie which was a rich gooey Swiss chocolate brownie served with chocolate ganache, raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream. My co-blogger noted all three could be tried separately, paired or for the adventurer all three at once. The brownie I found was surprisingly crumbly, with the option of mixing the sorbet or the ice cream, I found it was a versatile dessert that could be whatever you wanted it to be. 

Overall I found our experience enjoyable at Woollongabba’s Brewhouse. With the friendly staff, the HD television and the three pokestops nearby, I consider the Brewhouse to be a solid choice for those looking for a little bit more. With over a hundred and twenty years of history, the Brewhouse has plenty to offer.

Espresso and Matcha were invited guests of Zomato and Brewhouse Brisbane, but as always, our opinions are solely our own.

Price Range: $20 - $30

Taste: 7/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10
Brewhouse Brisbane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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