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FOOD & DRINK

Next Door Kitchen and Bar

As one might expect at a prohibition-era venue, you come for the food but you’ll stay for the cocktails. With drink names such as Hootenanny, Giggle Juice and Cotton Club Swinger’s Punch, book your cab home now.
By Daniela Sunde-Brown
December 18, 2013
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Next Door Kitchen and Bar

As one might expect at a prohibition-era venue, you come for the food but you’ll stay for the cocktails. With drink names such as Hootenanny, Giggle Juice and Cotton Club Swinger’s Punch, book your cab home now.
By Daniela Sunde-Brown
December 18, 2013
  shares

If time travel is a real thing, the roaring ‘20s should be first on the agenda. This era rode the wave of jazz music, wild parties and forbidden mischief covered up with a sheer facade of sophistication - something certainly lost today. If cinematic theatre tells any truth, 1920s women are all images of coy perfection and any man can melt hearts using charm, a hat and gelled back hair.

Until the scientists figure out how it’s done, the next best thing is popping by Next Door Kitchen and Bar in South Bank. While hats may no longer be a wardrobe staple, this prohibition-themed venue is bringing back jazz and naughtiness with a modern twist. The first thing you’ll notice is a very dark interior, despite the place being mostly al fresco. Second will be the music - a sweet fusion of swing and jazz tunes remixed for the 21st century.

Next Door Kitchen offers share plates, and while one dish could keep an individual happy, it’s much better to share a few. While tapping your toes, order the ‘gangsta wings’ ($9) to suppress any hunger. This popular dish is served with a blue cheese sauce and topped with fresh chillies.

The sundried tomato and feta arancini ($14.50)  with a basil aioli are a welcome change to a dining world of classic mushroom morsels. They don’t disappoint and neither does the seared quail with a carrot puree, black olive salsa, feta and a carrot cake crumble ($22.50). Yes, carrot cake. A standout dish was the calamari with beetroot three ways, showcasing what a versatile ingredient beetroot is. The calamari is served on a ‘chickpea crush’ and is beautifully tender and flavoursome. You might regret ‘sharing’ this one.

As one might expect at a prohibition-era venue, you come for the food but you’ll stay for the cocktails. With drink names such as Hootenanny, Giggle Juice and Cotton Club Swinger’s Punch, book your cab home now.

On Wednesday nights use your last $50 and join the Rum + Rent party. A pretty schmick deal, it gets you a serve of gangsta wings, two share plates and a rather potent jug of rum punch. Did we mention they put on a live jazz band? Make your regular Wednesday a good Wednesday.

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