Living in Brisbane enjoying food, wine, art, health and life!
Published November 30th 2014
Fine dining that doesn't quite match the hype
If you live in Brisbane, chances are you've heard someone you know raving about Stokehouse. On face value, I can understand why. The location is spectacular. Nestled on the banks of the Brisbane river, right beside South Bank's Maritime Musem, Stokehouse takes in beautiful views and lovely breezes. The decor is tasteful and chic but I doubt that most people pay too much attention to the inside as they're too busy watching the river life float by.
Our table of four opted to try a couple of the specials for entree. A serve of the duck rillette - of which the duck rillette was no where near as as exciting as the duck liver pate; and a entree size serving of the blue swimmer crab and scampi pasta which was apparently delicious. I also sampled a small serve of breaded olives served with aioli which I found to be a very tasty starter.
For mains we tried a bit of everything. I personally went for the braised milk fed veal with buckwheat gnocchi - the meat was tender and the gnocchi light but I felt overall the dish lacked a little seasoning somewhere. A word of advice on the gnocchi as well is that if you're not a huge eater you can definitely get away with an entree sized portion. My partner went for the roast pork rump served with cumin peaches and a small side salad and he thoroughly enjoyed his entire meal.
Our friends we dined with chose the eye fillet and the herb crumbed whiting and both also seemed fairly happy with their meals, especially the steak. I personally found the addition of pickled vegetables with crumbed whiting to be a little odd, but I guess its fine dining so they couldn't just have chips and salad could they? All four meals were beautifully presented and the portion sizes generous so there were no complaints on that front.
Eye fillet, char-grilled asparagus, onion tarte tatin, potato crisps
We would have stayed for desert but unfortunately our table had a second sitting booked in so we had to leave. Be prepared also for the eye wateringly expensive drink prices that we have all come to expect in establishments such as this. If you are considering dining at Stokehouse I would recommend booking well in advance, we booked three weeks ahead and still could not get a sitting time we were happy with. Parking is also an issue on weekends so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get there.
So all in all Stokehouse is good but in light of me being picky I'm going to say that I wanted to like it a whole lot more than I actually did. When I spend that kind of money on a meal I really want to walk away absolutely wowed and for me, last night Stokehouse just didn't quite get there. Maybe you shouldn't believe the hype, but as always I'm happy to be proved wrong.