If you needed any more evidence that Brisbane's dining scene has hit its stride, a place like Too Zero and Inn of Indulgence should be all you require.
Crammed into a single shop in a strip shopping centre, well off the beaten track in Stafford Heights, this bar and restaurant must have locals smiling all the way as they walk up the hill. This is no small feat as Farrant Street is an impressive, no-talking-while-walking kinda hill with quite spectacular views over Brisbane's city skyline.
Not that you see any of these views from Too Zero. It's a popular and crowded space with plenty to occupy your eye inside the premises. I was told there are plans to increase the dining area by extending with footpath tables and also into the courtyard at the rear with perhaps a pizza oven.
We sat in the window seat with a narrow bench and those stools that have tops like tractor seats. It's a funky look but not the most comfortable place to perch. There's a long bar lined with stools and tall tables with more stools along the wall with a narrow walk way through the middle. The atmosphere is fun an buzzy.
If you are looking for decorating ideas there's plenty to check out here starting with the wine racks that rise up the wall. The lighting is interesting and the pressed metal ceiling certainly adds.
When it comes to the menu you'll find lots to explore including sea salted pizza shapes, duck pancakes and corn fritters. Old fashioned faves such as potted liver pate and garlic prawns also make the line up.
There's plenty to tempt but we both settle quickly on the cornflake crumbed chicken with prosciutto (pictured top), sage and melted brie. It's every bit as crispy and crunchy as I hope on the outside with tender, moist chicken inside. The prosciutto breaks into shards of flavour and is a great foil against the creamy brie. It's a satisfying dish but later in the evening I have to admit it was too salty for comfort.
Dessert is a changing parade and today's star is a chocolate brownie with ice cream and caramel sauce. It sounds simple but it tasted divine.
The wine list is concise but has enough variety to be interesting, particularly the inclusion of wines from Riversands at St George.
For us this was a quick turn around meal but with the selection of cocktails on offer and an inviting wine list there are plenty of reasons to stay longer next time.
Too Zero Bar and Inn of Indulgence
Ed+bK rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars
Bottom line: Starters/share plates $9 to $18, mains $18 to $29.
Best tip: If you want to guarantee a seat make sure you book.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK paid for her meal