Vue Lounge Review
Vue Lounge sits in the Merthyr Village Shopping Complex in New Farm. It’s a stylish, straight forward Italian influenced café / lounge bar that could be considered a little snobbish, which is probably why the residents of New Farm make it a hang out of choice. It’s definitely one of those places you go to be seen and people watch.
I lowered their standards on a recent bustling Saturday lunchtime, when I headed in with a mate, laptop in hand to smash through the poor guy’s tax return (yes, I have an affinity with numbers and no I won’t help you with your tax). We were surrounded by an interesting mix of young couples enjoying a late breakfast, morning shoppers stopping in for lunch and many people just catching up for a coffee. There was even a couple of families who appeared to have settled in for a couple of hours.
We were seated outside, at the front of the store without issue. The drinks menu has got a couple of standouts, like the mixed berry smoothie ($6, right). Also catching my attention was the espresso smoothie, which I’ll be making a point to try next time.
Our waiter was prepared to linger just long enough to take our food orders at the same time as our drinks but it was clear that he would have rather left and come back, rather than wait for 30 seconds while we poured over the menu. Seriously, what’s with that? I just don’t understand why waiters can’t just chill out a little bit more– in some places they are great, (Verve in the city springs to mind), but far too often lately I’ve copped a little bit of ‘tude when we haven’t been ready to order on the spot.
Breakfast and lunch are served until 2:30pm and although the breaky menu looked good (the breakfast burrito gets rave reviews) I opted for something more substantial–the linguine lamb ragu ($17.9). My companion made a move to go with the late breakfast but made a last minute U-turn and wound up choosing the wagu burger + fries ($16.4), which judging from the tables around us is a popular decision. The menu as a whole is solid, and has variation without over the top creativity or making things out as being more impressive than they are–it covers all the bases. Next time I’ll be trying the Peking duck salad which sounds quite good.
Our drinks arrived very promptly and the berry smoothie was excellent, tasting as good as it looks–cold, thick, and fruity and not overly sweet, perfect for a Brisbane winter’s summer day.
Meals took a while, which wasn’t an issue as we were engrossed in the finer details of the Australian Taxation System, but had we have had merely the weather to discuss I fear we would have become impatient.
My lamb ragu was superb. It was a big bowl filled with coloured pasta, thoroughly mixed with thick red lamb ragu and then piled with parmesan cheese. The tomato and red wine based sauce was moderately rich and the shredded lamb nicely done. I didn’t leave any on the plate and my only suggestion for an improvement would be a slice of crusty bread with which to savour the last of the sauce. Somehow licking the plate seemed inappropriate. Interesting, since I’ve looked at the photo again, it seems I may have been served fettuccine rather than linguine. but I’m not a pasta nazi and really couldn’t care less-but the purists may want to take note.
The wagu burger was also good, and disappeared in its entirety but didn’t blow my friend away. “It’s just a burger,” came the response when I asked him. The chips were crisp and crunchy and the puddle of aioli on the plate worked well.
Prices are excellent considering the quality of the food, and my only gripe is that the kitchen closes at 2:30pm on a Saturday, which could hinder a late lunch. They also do a fine coffee (Di Bella) which isn’t surprising considering the place is owned by the Di Bella family.
83 Merthyr Rd
New Farm map
07 3358 6511
7am till 10pm Tuesday to Saturday
7am till 6pm Sunday and Monday