Once upon a time someone served high-quality food at a drinking establishment and the gastropub was born. Lucky for us Brisbanites, Hop & Pickle has embraced the growing trend, opening their kitchen and tapping the keg on Little Stanley Street. A stone's throw away from the South Bank parklands, Hop & Pickle is a prime location to spend an easy, breezy evening, revelling in Brisbane’s beauty. Wrap-around benches allow customers to sit side by side and enjoy the views across the breezeway and over the parklands, while tables fill the interior to accommodate larger groups.
Great food, great drinks and great service is what Hop & Pickle strives to deliver. Although they are still finding their footing on the South Bank dining and drinking scene, Hop & Pickle don’t miss the mark by far. A solid menu sees mainstay bar food served daily, revolving mains during the week, pub classics pumped out on Saturdays, and a Sunday roast to round out the weekend.
Generous portions make the bar menu perfect for sharing without the fear of having to fight for the last crumb. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, the ham hock croquettes served with a wholegrain aioli ($10) might just be the best we’ve eaten outside of Europe. With five of these deep-fried hot morsels — on a plate — good luck stopping at one. We're going to go out on a limb and say they are the best croquettes we've dined on in the River City — no easy feat given the tapas trend around town.
Hailing from the opposite side of culinary world, the Asian glazed pork belly ($12) also puts up a mean fight. The plate is piled high with sweet but salty, crispy but tender glazed pieces of pig. And we mean piled. The cucumber relish offers a refreshing relief from the rich, porky goodness. Deep fried spicy pickles and chargrilled corn with spiced butter ($8 each) are just a few more of the internationally inspired delights that grace the bar menu.
Each weeknight sees new mains and a dessert chalked up on the specials board. We spied the lamb pot pie and knew there was no turning back. The pastry was the flaky and the meat was tender, but it lacked the wow factor we were hoping for. Stil, anyone who attempts a new menu five nights a week deserves a high five for trying.