Watt Park Lounge at the Powerhouse Review
I freakin’ love the Powerhouse. There’s just something about the place that makes me feel at home. It’s great to chill on Sunday afternoons – you can sit, grab a beer, talk shit with your friends and when you’ve run out of stuff to talk about you can go and watch some comedy or live music for free. I can’t think of another venue in Brisbane where there is so much to do and so much variety.
The downstairs river walk area is constantly bustling with traffic as people ride bikes, walk dogs, run and it’s ideal for just sitting back with a coffee or a beer and people watching.
To keep you on premises when the hunger pains kick in, there’s also 3 different options for food; Bar Alto (upstairs) which features Italian fare, Watt Modern Dining (downstairs) which is a formal white table cloth kinda restaurant and Watt Park Lounge, a cut down café style menu and our choice for a recent late lunch.
Park Lounge is definitely the ‘entry level’ option at the Powerhouse as you order over the bar and the menu is compact and affordable – most options are around $12 – $16. But that’s not to say they haven’t made it interesting. I can’t recall the last time I saw a Croque Monsieur ($12) (fancy French ham & cheese sandwich) on the menu and Gravalax of Salmon with Dill and Mustard ($18) is not your standard café grub. After suitable deliberation over the first round of beers we settled on 2 of The Watt BLT ($12), a Salt and Pepper Squid ($16) and Roast Pumpkin Pide with Red Peppers, Goats Curd and Rocket ($15).
The crowd at the Powerhouse on a Sunday afternoon are a diverse mob. People seem of fit in no matter what they’re wearing and I dare say t-shirt, boardies and pluggers would effortlessly blend with those in a suit and tie. The young family with kids on scooters mingle with those that have dropped in for a coffee break on they’re Sunday afternoon cycle – in full bike kit.
But back to the point of this post… our food arrived in a timely manner and it’s clear that the kitchen goes to a little bit more trouble than many other places when it comes to presentation. The plates were sparkling and the food looked delicious. My Pumpkin Pide (pronounced pee-day as I was reminded when I went to order) sat in the middle of the plate, and the vivid colours of the capsicum, rocket and pumpkin just screamed take a picture.
I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed by the portion size though. Both the pide and squid dishes didn’t look like they should of cost as much as they did, despite the artistic flair.
My pide was delicious – the creamy goats curd and pumpkin working especially well together and it took a conscious effort on my part to savour the flavours rather than wolfing it all down. The flat bread was crisp and the whole package was spot on – I just wish there was more of it.
Around the table there were nods and smiles as the BLTs and squid received equal praise. The squid was served with capsicum and a little onion as well as a dipping sauce, the flavour of which now escapes me – the whole lot was cooked well with the squid nice and tender.
If being able to sit back with a beer (these start from about $6) or a glass of wine ($9 – 14) and laze away a Sunday afternoon with some good food is your style then definitely get along to the powerhouse – it’s not perhaps the best value in Brisbane but it’s certainly got a lot going for it.
Watt Park Lounge
119 Lamington Street
New Farm map
07 3358 5464
Tuesday – Friday: 10.00 am – Late
Saturday – Sunday: 8.00 am – Late
Visited on Sunday 19 July 2009