I'm a creative writer living in my hometown of Brisbane. I'm inspired by beauty in nature and stories of the human spirit.
Published December 30th 2013
O'lea, O'lea, O'lea
On a weekend afternoon, a hungry belly and a thirst to quench have recently taken on a new meaning for me: O'Lea Food & Bar. Whether you're dropping in for a quiet beer, an afternoon snack or something more substantial, this East Brisbane restaurant steps up to satisfy every time. The food is tasty and reasonably priced and the service is genuine and down-to-earth. Owner chef Bryan Wong Lea Kit makes you feel completely at home and will go the extra mile to ensure your stay is memorable.
The menu is a confluence of Asian and European cultures, with starter/share dishes like Kentucky Fried Quail (goes very nicely with saki), Italian cured meats platter served with caramelised onions and pipperas and pork bao steam buns with pork belly, cucumber and Asian BBQ sauce.
Larger dishes include seared sea scallops with chicken ragout, melted Gruyere and puffy stick, and 'HOLCO' wagyu striploin with chips and mustard seeded aioli. And if they're not an accompaniment to your meal, you must order a side serving of the beer battered chips with spicy aioli, I dare-say they are the best in Brisbane! To finish, the saffron and cardamom crème brule will not disappoint.
For those of us who enjoy a nice cold ale, there are two craft beers on tap: Holgate and Franziskaner, with other Australian and imported bottled beers and ciders and a carefully selected wine range available.
On Sundays and Mondays there are specials of O'lea burger and chips or pork schnitzel and chips with a tap beer for $15. On Thursday nights it's 'Sangria Night for 2 @ $38' (includes a jug of Sangria, Japanese fried chicken (JFC) wings, batter chips & crispy risotto ball with spicy aioli).
While the restaurant is relatively small, the tables are geared for communal dining and larger groups are well catered for. The wooden benches give the place an earthy feel and dimly lit exposed light bulbs set a mood that you could find yourself easily settling into for the afternoon and into the evening.