Stoke Bar, Stokehouse Q, South Bank

With the Brisbane River so close you can hear the water lapping the bank, Stoke Bar at Stokehouse Q certainly offers an attractive place to enjoy a cocktail or two.

Richard Ousby, who is now Executive Chef for all the Stokehouse Restaurants, has an interesting new cocktail and bar menu that provides plenty of options for anyone who just wants a casual graze with a hard-to-beat view.

Stoke Bar has a great river view.

While Ousby’s pick from the Stokebar menu is the pared back grass -fed Wagyu cheese burger, which comes with bacon, iceberg and dill pickle, I’d line up again for the slow braised beef cheek, that comes white polenta and gremolata.

Richard Ousby

Bite-sized golden cubes of fried mozzarella with tomato chutney on the side are an easy dish to share as are the perfectly crumbed prawns with a smoked chilli mayo for dipping. Don’t forget to eat the prawn tails – they are a flavoursome crisp crunch of flavour and one of my fave parts.

Bite-sized golden cubes of fried mozzarella

The spiced sausage, yoghurt, parsley with farro salad (pictured top) is an interesting mix of texture with crunch and certainly flavour packed.

Crumbed prawns with a smoked chilli mayo

Ousby’s new role will see him continuing to oversee the Stokehouse Q kitchen with the support of his team there, along with taking the reins at the flagship St Kilda restaurant. He told me he has no plans to give up his house at Kedron and move to Melbourne. Isn’t there something delicious about a Brisbane born and based chef overseeing the kitchen of a popular Melbourne restaurant. I just love it. Stokehouse St Kilda is expected to open in 2016.

“My approach to food is simple; I love using local and high quality produce to create fresh flavours that are not overworked, just really casual and approachable dishes, and I very much look forward to creating a menu at St Kilda that old and new clientele will really love,” he said.

Lady Jane - Beefeater 24 gin, Aperol Carton Elderflower, Licor 43, orange

Winter Julip - Bulleit Bourbon, orange, honey peppermint, mint

You can start or finish your evening with a cheese selection which includes muscatels, fruit and nut loaf, quince paste and lavosh or there’s also a chocolate and malt ice cream sandwich. If you are really into sweets, like me, head back to try the Bombe – a concoction white chocolate parfait concoction with strawberry sorbet and meringue.

Want to taste Richard Ousby’s flavours? On September 16, Stokehouse Q has a culinary adventure evening created Ousby. A flavour artist extraordinaire, he’s planning to rogue up for an evening of fun and flavours that will surprise, particularly when it is revealed what they actually are. It will be a five course dinner with a difference, where what each dish is will only revealed after it has been eaten.

The evening has its own MC, with wine connoisseur, sommelier and Brisbane bon vivant Peter Marchant, to take diners through each dish. A food equivalent to the famous Wine Options Game will be hosted, putting pay to the off-script menu and encouraging diners to be creative with their tastebuds! Creative cuisine, good company and stunning views of the city from Stokehouse’s riverside location – what more could you want in an evening?

RICHARD GOES ROGUE – a culinary adventure at Stokehouse Q will be held on Wednesday September 16, from 6.30pm Cost: $140 per person

Ed+bK rating: 3.8 /5

Best tip:  With the river and the city lights, this is a very romantic setting.

Bottom line: Small plate prices range between $9 and $25 for a plate selection.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Stokehouse.

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