Good question. Bear with me.
New on the Brisbane dining scene, Lodger Kitchen and Bar takes its name from a David Bowie album. In particular, the album Lodger is where Bowie really shunned the expectations of popular music and struck out in his own unique way.
In a similar vein, Brisbane dining scene veterans Blaire Gillespie and Daniel Collins have ventured out on their own from the likes of Bacchus and Stokehouse Q, creating their own restaurant that combines the likes of fine dining with a casual atmosphere.
So is there a starman waiting in the sky for this new venture? What does that even mean? Let’s find out.
The combination of beautifully crafted food and a relaxed setting has made Lodger a bit of a go-to place for first dates, which anyone on the likes of Tinder (or whatever the kids are using these days) will be very happy to hear.
Being mindful of this, the good peeps at Lodger have made their entrees easy to share, because that’s what a lot of couples do when they go out; split an entrée, order a main each, and (sometimes) split a dessert. As such, entrée dishes like the Beetroot Ravioli is served in an even number- very thoughtful!
This wasn’t a problem on my solo visit, where I had a whole plate of Chicken Pate, with Cress and Crusty Bread all to myself.
House-made pate is always a treat, and at Lodger they were indeed generous with the cream and butter in their decadent blend. A splash of bourbon cut through the richness of the pate nicely. Adding in the fresh cress lifted each mouthful with a very welcome sense of lightness as well.
I mentioned that the mains menu is on the compact side here, but it covers all bases as expected. Options include Beef Cheek for the carnivores, Barramundi for the nautical lovers, and Ratatouille for the vegetarian in your life.
Personally, I couldn’t go past the Tea Smoked Duck Breast with Parsnip Puree, Parsnip Crisps, Chinese Greens, Cherry Jus and Duck Crackling. Yes, duck crackling.
This dish had a lot to live up to after its mouth-watering description, and it did not disappoint.
The duck had a lovely light smoky taste to it that didn’t overwhelm other gamey flavours. The parsnip puree was lovely and creamy and honestly I could have eaten that by the bowl-ful. The duck crackling was such a treat- each piece was crisp and ridiculously tasty and gave a really unique textural element to a duck dish.
The wine list at Lodger is thoughtfully crafted with some really interesting drops available by the bottle in particular. The Lethbridge “Menage a Noir” Pinot Noir from Victoria was a wonderful herbaceous pairing with the duck.
The dessert menu included a Tart Tartin, or Mango Panna Cotta, but instead I opted for the Chocolate Nemesis, Raspberry Coulis, Mascarpone and Orange Zest.
The nemesis is like a flourless chocolate cake, and pairing with a glass of Pedro Ximenez made this the perfect ending to a meal.
The nemesis itself was simultaneously rich in flavor and light in texture. The slight tartness of the raspberry coulis perfectly cut through the decadent chocolate, and the orange zest was a nice touch too. Do yourself a favour and make friends with this nemesis.
For anyone who likes to throw a few more drinks into the mix, Lodger has its own cocktail cart. This allows them to make your concoction at your table, which adds a bit of theatre to the plain old predictability of eating out.
Ground control to Major Tom: try the duck.