Next Door Kitchen, Southbank, Brisbane

Damian’s eldest son turned 24 this week and we all met up for dinner in Brisbane.  He had heard great reviews about this restaurant and decided that we should all head there for his birthday.

Well, what a great choice!  The food was amazing, the service was terrific and the ambience was great.

Next Door Kitchen and Bar  is a wonderful restaurant tucked away in the food and wine area of Little Stanley Street, Southbank.  There is a strong 1920’s speakeasy theme evident with the naming of the drinks including ‘House Made Hooch’ (we tried the ‘Giggle Juice’ – yum); ‘Bootleggers and Baptists’ (classic cocktails); ‘Moonshine and Marketplace’ (cocktails made with fresh ingredients) as well as red, white and rosé wines and a nice range of beers.

The night we went it was packed to the rafters. Our booking was for 8pm and at exactly 8pm we were shown to our table on the footpath – a nice breeze blowing and a very comfortable place to eat, enjoy a nice conversation and people watch.

I did think though, that with the number of people there our meals would take ages to arrive.  We were all hungry and were pleasantly surprised to find that the order we placed with our very friendly and happy waitress was on our table within 15 minutes.

Now, this restaurant uses the ‘share plate’ system.  It’s almost like a degustation.  You choose the meals you want (usually left to the women in the group) and then the food is bought out as it is ready and placed in the middle of the table.  You then help yourself to what’s there.

And let me tell you the food was absolutely divine.

We sampled:

  • Oysters, smoked whiskey and chive vinaigrette (or rather 2 of the table did)
  • Sundried tomato and feta arancini, with basil aioli and harissa salsa
  • Crushed wagyu meatballs in provolone and with sticky onion jam
  • Spiced baby back lamb ribs with broken new season potatoes and pickled green chilli
  • Lamb cutlets with sweet potato puree (this was a special on the night)
  • 2 serves of the truffle parmesan fries – served in dinky little fryer baskets 🙂

So, the idea is that you get a plate with one of each for the group (there were 5 in our group) – 5 arancini, 5 meatballs, 5 ribs etc.  While it doesn’t sound a lot, really, by the time we’d finished, we were all completely satisfied.  It was incredibly hard to pick the favourite dish of the night but I think I’m going to have to say the lamb cutlets.  Damian just couldn’t pick which was his favourite.

But wait – there’s more!  We had yet to choose dessert.  Goodness, we were all so full but we simply had to make room for some dessert.  And not the usual dessert menu here – oh no!  And you don’t share this – no, no, no…you get your own plate 🙂

We enjoyed:

  • Dark chocolate marquis with salted caramel
  • Butterscotch semifredo with caramel fudge and honeycomb crumble
  • Toffee pineapple upside cake with pistachio cream
  • Vanilla blancmange with house spiced rum jelly, summer berries and a lace biscuit

Wow! Just – wow!  The presentation was gorgeous (I didn’t have my camera with me and the camera phone just didn’t do it justice)

Admittedly, this dinner was a tad expensive (it worked out to about $60/person) but it was a special occasion and we wouldn’t usually spend that much money on a dinner.  It is a gorgeous place to go on a date night or to celebrate a special occasion or you know, just because you feel you deserve to spoil yourself occasionally.  Do yourself a favour and go – but you need to book 🙂 Head to the link and check this place out for yourself.

And is Brisbane’s Southbank underrated as a destination for foodies?  Absolutely it is. I adore Melbourne and her restaurants, but Southbank is equal to Melbourne in my opinion.

So – a rating out of 5?  Definitely a 5 – for food, drinks, service and ambience.


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