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Nickel Kitchen & Bar, Brisbane

Chicken and waffles

Chicken and waffles

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be, as the saying goes - and in the case of this plush Fortitude Valley newcomer, that's no bad thing. Nickel Kitchen & Bar tilts at reviving a notional golden era of dining. The result is a twist on the trope, not a period-piece. Miles of dark wood panelling, a striking zinc-topped oak bar and soft leather upholstery in teal and camel tones create the backdrop for a boozy weekend brunch, say, or a Martini-fuelled Mad Men-style lunch - with Caesar salad, tossed and dressed tableside to boot.

A 300-gram Tajima wagyu sirloin is the base for a steak Diane juiced up with sherry vinegar, with the retro-appropriate but perfectly unnecessary option of a lobster tail for $17. There are oysters Rockefeller and Kilpatrick, plus a spin on chicken Kiev, which arrives looking like standing bone marrow: two cylinders of Barossa Valley chook breast wrapped around a punchy molten garlic butter filling. An eye-catching chandelier made from Champagne flutes sits centrestage and on the walls are images of Craggy Range, the family vineyard of co-owner TJ Peabody. Starting this week, a chalkboard detailing "wine of the week" lists regularly changing runs of big-ticket pours such as Cheval Blanc, Sassicaia and Romanée-Conti by the glass. In the meantime, there's a highly workable list of around 250 bottles, with much to pique interest by the glass. To finish? A share-size portion of bombe Alaska, of course: torched meringue around lemon curd, with vanilla parfait and a tart cherry gastrique. Swell.

Nickel Kitchen & Bar, 757 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, Qld, (07) 3252 5100, nickelkitchenbar.com.au

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