Lennons Restaurant & Bar, Brisbane CBD

Who would have thought that fish tails would taste like this? Tender, fine white-fleshed fish rolled into ovals topped with spiced yoghurt and a dash of coriander and ginger to complement, but not overwhelm the delicate fish flavour.

It was a dish almost too pretty to eat, but eat it I did along with a good selection of others from the kitchen of  Executive Chef Todd Adams in Lennons Restaurant & Bar, Brisbane.

Lennons Restaurant is in the newly rebadged and refurbished Next Hotel Brisbane. It's very a 'smart' hotel and has features frequent travellers have been moaning about for years like free Wi-Fi access through the hotel, not just the lobby, occasionally, when there's not too many people. There's also a very generous free four item a day allowance on the mini bar and sleep pods for when you arrive early in the day after a long flight and your room isn't available until 3pm.

Of course this hotel has all the latest smart check-in technology including their own app for mobile phone check in and out.  You can also use your phone to unlock your room door, turn up the air conditioning and order cocktails by the pool.

Chef Todd Adams in the open kitchen at Lennons Restaurant

The restaurant is named after Lennons Hotel which was Brisbane's premier accommodation for many years.  There's been a Lennons Hotel in Brisbane since 1884, a gracious old building which was knocked down and replaced with a plain jane 1941 which also made way for the most recent building in 1972. Do you remember the revolving restaurant, the Hibiscus Room, on the top level that took in Brisbane's skyline views?

Chef Adams has been working hard to source prime local produce and you'll find Mooloolaba spanner crab, Moya Valley chicken from near Gympie, Stradbroke Island whiting and  Northern Rivers veal on the menu.

As well as flat head tails, I enjoyed a coconut sorbet dessert which came with ginger mouse and lime jelly.  There were torn pieces of sponge cake that looked identical to sea sponges.  The flavours were intense and sharp, contrasting strongly with the smooth texture of the coconut sorbet.  A light but extremely refreshing dessert.

There were a couple of goodies to follow - real fruit jellies dusted in very fine sugar and shards of Valhrona dark chocolate toffee.  Weak, I am, when it comes to this type of sweet goodness.

Find Lennons Restaurant on the first floor (access via escalators or lifts) of Next Hotel at 75 Queen Street, in the Queen Street Mall.  That's the top end of the mall, nearly next to George Street.

Best tip:
Bottom line :  Pasta is around $28, burgers $18 and pizzas $18 - $22. Mail plates vary from $29 to $35. Grill prices range from $28 to $48.
Best tip: Make sure you check out the roof top pool bar on a Friday night.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a lunch guest of Next Hotel.

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