Just when you thought you knew everything that dining in New Farm has to offer, you stumble across a gem like The Balfour Kitchen.
The Balfour Kitchen is the restaurant component of Spicers Balfour, a boutique hotel tucked away on Balfour Street and best described as an inner-city sanctuary. Blink and you'll miss this place twice over, but behind its unassuming façade is a tranquil, top quality dining experience and maybe even a room for the night if you're in the mood to imbibe.
The trend of highly stylised, themed spaces and 'hipster' trimmings has passed the Balfour Kitchen by, which is a refreshing change. The building itself is a classic Queenslander at heart, with a wide timber veranda that makes the most of Brisbane's long summer evenings. Lush greenery and the bamboo-lined driveway create a tropical feel that lends itself nicely to a Mojito or a Long Island Iced Tea.
The Balfour Kitchen has received rave reviews for its breakfast and high tea for quite some time now, but only began a dinner service in recent months. Dishes are priced between $10 and $35 and are designed to share, making it an ideal destination for group dining.
The tropical theme finds its way onto the dinner menu with Asian-influenced dishes such as chilli caramel tofu with green pawpaw, coriander and pine nuts ($15), chicken spring rolls with lime and coconut dipping sauce ($16) and pan fried salmon with pak choy, shitake, grapefruit and rice noodles ($30). If comfort food is more your thing, try the cider braised pork belly with white bean puree and pickled apple ($19), which is an inspired combination of flavours and textures.
Other larger meals include a classic eye fillet dish with potato and caramel onion mash, asparagus and red wine jus ($34) and a wild barra with asparagus, leek and pea risotto and tomato pinenut salsa ($30). Sugar lovers will delight in the chocolate brulee ($15) and the Frangelico affocato ($14) dessert options, or choose a selection of cheeses. While the meal may be over the night is still young, so pop upstairs to the rooftop bar, which has a well-stocked fridge plus sprawling views over residential New Farm and Brisbane city. Ah, the serenity.