Jam Jar, West End
Sometimes good things happen in the most unexpected way.
Friday night loomed and I thought I was going to be stuck in front of the television watching a boy's choice movie, pretending to like it while I secretly read my iPad. (Love those back lit screens.)
Then I won a double pass to Up Late at GOMA courtesy of James Street's Facebook comp. So we headed into South Bank in another one of Brisbane's torrential storms arriving around 7pm after heavy traffic and hoping to find a park under the art gallery/library. Wrong - no parks any where close with queues of hopefuls lining up at the car park entries. As we drove away I considered the option of parking in the South Bank Little Grey Street car park and walking to GOMA in the rain without an umbrella. Yes, in torrential rain we had left the house without an umbrella - please explain because I can't.
The gods must have been smiling on us because Plan B, find a park in West End and have dinner at a restaurant then try for a park again, actually came off. We found a park in Boundary Street, miracles of miracles, and walked into Jam Jam for dinner.
Jam Jar has been on my list since it opened so this was a real treat. It's a quirky space with pop graffiti decorated walls, tables made from old VJ boards and local art on display. The drum of rain on the roof and the occasional drip of water was a pleasant reminder that we were in a very cool, but very Brisbane place.
We wandered through the drinks list, intrigued by the small but interesting offerings and ended up with an beguiling Italian wine and a new beer to try.
The menu is divided into smalls, middles, big and end. Resisting the pork belly main special, we decided on a combo of smalls and middles which the wait staff described as tapas size.
The two pork and water-chestnut wontons with crushed peanuts and chilli jam were nice, but lacked a little punch. I'm not a great chilli fan but I would have amped the heat here.
Loved the chorizo, green pea and manchengo croquettes. The apple and snow pea salad was a great crunch foil for the soft croquettes and tangy romesco sauce. Also impressed by the potted free range duck which came in a jam jar topped with micro herbs. The toasted ciabatta and apple and rhubarb chutney were great foils.
Sadly, although sorely tempted by the freeze dried licorice which accompanied the poached stone fruit tartlet with lemon verbena ice cream, we resisted.
Jam Jar's credo is "From a single notion, ‘food, drink, think’, sprouted a menu touted with fresh produce and local ingredients. Share plates and main meals that are designed to satisfy and hold court alongside a thought-provoking selection of boutique beers and quirky varietal wines." I think they live up to that.
If you are a lover of a bit of boogie piano, then you'll enjoy resident pianist, Oztinato , who plays every Friday and Saturday nights while you sit sipping cocktails or downing a beer at the bar at the front of Jam Jar. Ozinato plays from 6pm until he stops.
Jam Jar 138 boundary St, West End
ph: 07 38443395