Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: The Bleachers, Brisbane.
The guys behind The Bleachers aren't the type to grandstand. Blink and you could easily miss the narrow-fronted façade opening onto West End's main artery. And with chef Ben Devlin (Paper Daisy, Cabarita Beach) aboard as co-owner/consultant that would be an oversight - there's more hitting tables here than the picture-perfect patties and buns served by The Bleachers' likeable Fortitude Valley sibling, Ben's Burgers. A clipped, clever menu sees a subtle but winning East-West theme at play in several dishes. The mixed salad is a case in point, the description underselling the jumble of wakame, kelp and dried fungus that adds interest to the usual leafy line-up, the flavours intensified by a shiso and sesame oil dressing. Chunky fall-off-the-bone short ribs are topped with vibrant Japanese-style pickles, lacy red slices of lotus root, and ginger and radish adding texture to the richly savoury beef. Green tea soft-serve is sprinkled with dried mandarin zest, and crowns a puff of choux pastry filled with mandarin crème pâtissière. Drinks are also on the money: just five wines but all available by the glass, including a cracking Queensland marsanne. Head for the hidden courtyard out the back replete with a chain-link fence and - yep - timber bleachers.
The Bleachers, 153 Boundary St, West End, Qld, (07) 3846 3005. Open Wed-Mon 11.30am till late.
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