Outdoor dining in Brisbane during winter is fantastic. It’s cool but never cold.
Last Monday I was invited along to sample (aka eat everything in sight) at Alfred & Constance.
This popular institution has never waned in popularity and only seems to be getting bigger and bigger. It literally grows as Damien Griffiths continues to grow his empire with the recent opening of Kwan Brothers.
We powered through the starters.
Although I was most excited for halloumi sliders with beetroot relish, I felt that the albeit deliciously heavily-buttered brioche buns took up too much of the ratio. NEEDS MOAR HALLOUMI. Like a double or triple stack of halloumi… Sorry! I’m being distracted now. The classic combination of mint and halloumi was over-powered by the sweetness of the bread and the beetroot relish.
Instead, my favourite starter was the Middle Eastern-style flame grilled lamb chops with just the perfect amount of charring. Almost a complete meal in itself as it was served with cous cous and yoghurt and garlic sauce!
The southern fried chicken was the most underwhelming. The thick coating was remnant of hot and spicy KFC chicken. Far less greasy and a lot more tender but it was just fried chicken. I felt that the accompanying bourbon caramel sauce was not enough/not thick enough to really add anything to the chicken unfortunately.
Then the mains..
The alternate drop meant I ended up with the barramundi with a crispy crust of lemon and sea salt. It was a really simple dish packed with light flavours. A nice alternative to the heavier, warmer dishes on the winter menu such as the pork belly. Because in Brisbane, it never really gets that cold and light summer flavours in winter are totally A-OK. I love pork belly a lot and I will have to come back to try it. The caramelised roast pears looks delicious. As did that crackling…
The barramundi dish was complimented by the sautéed peas and brussel sprouts salad which had tender stalks of broccolini, bacon chips and pine nuts. Loads of really fresh greens makes me happy and feel like I’m eating healthily!
The pearl barley salad with lumps of creamy feta and a sweet and tangy honey and sherry vinaigrette was equally delicious. I’ve been cooking with pearl barley lots lately and felt very hip and trendy that pearl barley was being served in such a cool establishment! I may just be stealing with idea for myself..
And then desserts!
I am already a convert of the sticky date pudding having previously eaten it when I sampled A&C’s late night dessert menu. Needless to say, it’s still kicking and perfect on a winter menu.
There was also the Snickers cheesecake which is re-interpreted in a milkshake glass. I love peanuts but I’m not a fan of this one personally although others really enjoyed it. It was far too solid for me and the cheesecake flavour or texture wasn’t there at all.
My favourite that I had to jokingly fight for was the honeycomb parfait. I freaking love honeycomb/honey in general.
I sort of won out and was able to finish this one off once everyone else went for the Snickers cheesecake 😀 The chocolate brownie forms the base for the parfait which was creamy and swirled with chunks of honeycomb and chocolate. The parfait was much less icey than typical ice cream, a sign of a true parfait. The warm chocolate sauce basically turned this into the ideal frozen dessert. My favourite dessert in a long time. And I’ve had a lot of desserts lately (see Chester St desserts).
The new winter menu has some great items – including lots of favourites. All available now! Rug up inside next to the fireplace or the kitchen to keep you extra warm.
Alfred & Constance late-night dessert bar
Opens 7 days a week, until late
Corner Alfred & Constance Streets, Fortitude Valley
I dined as a guest on behalf of Alfred & Constance and Lucid Media.