Country comes to the city in The Croft House, a bar-centric, bistro-style eatery that brings new dining style to Brisbane's CBD.
Located on the corner of Albert and Charlotte Streets, its central position makes it an easy pick for a city lunch or dinner. The food is shared plate style and the look is styled country elegance.
What I like about this venue is the heavy presence of local produce. It starts with the first sip of coffee from local supplier, Wolff Coffee Roasters.
The slow cooked Darling Downs beef brisket was fall-apart tender with a memorable flavour.
Signature dishes include the TCH breakfast – quattro stelle smokehouse streaky bacon, grilled tomato, field mushrooms, fried eggs and organic sourdough.
Also on the breakfast menu is house cured salmon with toasted rye, avocado, Binnorie (Hunter Valley) goat cheese and a soft poached egg.
For lunch, try the slow beef brisket on a soft milk bun with aged cheddar, spicy sauce, and fries and don't go past the ricotta gnocchi which were so light and tender it was a crime when they disappeared before my eyes.
Head chef Richard Mellor also recommends the selection of fresh house made salads and gourmet sandwiches – the ideal option for anyone who wants a grab and go lunch or a fast and healthy dining experience.
Bypassing the charcuterie menu would be a sin with The Croft House’s array of cured and aged meats and selection of cheeses from Woombye, Gippsland, Milawa, France and Spain; all served with fruit chutney, walnut and rye bread and crisp bread crackers. The Butcher’s Board is perfect for grazing, with cured & smoked meats, farmhouse terrine, Italian bread, pickles and chutney.
For dessert, the Buderim ginger and date cake with Pedro Ximenez poached pear, salted caramel and cinnamon ice cream absolutely captured the spicy ginger notes.
There’s a heavy focus on craft beer with Newstead Brewing, James Squire and Two Birds available alongside ciders and a few international favourites. The wine list has been curated by venue manager Jessica Lyon who has skillfully captured a mix of well-known local and international wines. Local winemaker Robert Channon's delicate Pinot Gris.
It was a 12-month transformation by Melbourne-based interior designers BrandWorks to create The Croft House which is attached to The Sebel Brisbane. The name comes from the Scottish croft which is a patch of arable land and translates here into a focus on locally sourced and local suppliers. This is showcased in The Croft House’s coffee, ceramics, art pieces and the food; much of which have been sourced throughout the Queensland region with even the gold drop leaf marble mined from quarries of Cairns.
Collaborations with Queensland local artisans such as Susan Simonini has seen a beautiful rustic ceramics collection hand built exclusively for The Croft House’s signature dishes.
The restaurant also features works by Kirralee & Co who focus on mindful and sustainable botanical pieces. Creating flora vessels from recycled materials, Kirralee with her husband designed, made and curated a selection special items for the project including a new octagonal design that has become the banquette feature.
Croft House opens every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Ed+bK rating - 3.7 stars
This is an eatery that proves casual bistro food can stand up proudly against high end restaurants.
Bottom line: small plates $13 to $16; mains $26 to $48; dessert $15.
Best tip: You can order a takeaway Wolff coffee from the window on the way to work and pop in on the way home from 5pm to 8pm to enjoy live music on Fridays.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of The Croft House.