I am a creature of habit. Most weekends, D and I have all these grand plans to go somewhere new, to try one of the dozens of new places that have popped up over Brisbane in the past year.
And yet, every weekend, 5pm rolls around, and we find ourselves sheepishly looking at each other before we mumble, “The Scratch?” and off we go. Like, ALL THE TIME.
So, an invitation to try Alfred & Constance in the Valley made us feel both relieved and slightly uneasy. Relieved because we finally had to go somewhere new, no excuses, and uneasy because – well, the Valley? Somewhere that wasn’t a 15 minute walk away? Somewhere that actually required Effort, not just throwing some Havs on and waddling down the road?
Luckily, Jessalyn from Lucid Media made us feel right at home. As we perused the menu, Jessalyn told us that Alfred & Constance had recently started seven day trading. I know that A & C is packed on the weekends, so it was nice to relax on a Monday night and not be jostled by swarms of people. Having said that, there were still a good 25-odd people there, so it wasn’t totally dead (probably testament to how popular the place is – they’ve barely started seven day trading, and already word’s gotten out!)
The ambiance and decor at A & C is insane. It’s like six venues in one – a Tiki bar, a late-night dessert bar, a beer garden, a restaurant…there’s truly something for everyone.
I nearly had a heart attack when Jessalyn said the owner had originally considered knocking down one of the Queenslander houses that A & C sits in. Thank God he changed his mind, because the old-world charm of the houses creates a real cosy vibe throughout the whole venue.
We were in The Vanguard that night, and sat inside in the slightly Gothic/Victorian-inspired black room (above).
The Alfred & Constance beer list is solid – there’s White Rabbit, James Squire, and a few other craft brews – and the cocktail list favours unique fruity, tropical drinks.
Three of us started with a chorizo scotched egg ($9 each), while Jessalyn had her standby, the lamb cutlets ($12). I’d never had a scotched egg before, though I knew what to expect – basically, an egg covered in a crunchy, deep fried shell.
A & C’s scotched egg had a layer of chorizo underneath too, which gave it a little more punch and flavour. It was surprisingly filling, and would be a perfect snack to have with a beer.
Onto the meaty stuff – the mains. I had heard good things about the pig at A & C.
So I went with the Roast Pork Roll ($11.90). D ordered the seafood special -Barramundi, prawns, pumpkin puree, and candied prosciutto - from the Specials menu ($26.90), Jessalyn went for the pork belly ($13.90) and Corrie ordered a serve of roast pork with a side of roasted veggies (from $29).
For $11.90, I couldn’t believe how huge my meal (above) was. A soft, fluffy white roll barely contained the mountain of piping hot roast pork. Served with a big pile of fries, plus coleslaw, I barely got through half of it. The pork was super tender, and was a nice mix of fatty and lean pieces. I passed on most of my fries as while they were nice and crunchy on the outside, the inside was a little hard and under-cooked. But no worries, I had a pile of pork to plough through.
Alfred & Constance’s pork belly
D loved his seafood special, which came served in a little clay pot. The pumpkin puree was super creamy and surprisingly was a good match for the seafood. Two Tin Can Bay prawns were the cherry on top, and were D’s favourite part.
So, yeah, A & C do damn good pork and all that, but you KNOW we were holding out for dessert.
Alfred & Constance’s Sticky Date Pudding
I tried the Soft Centered Chocolate Pudding, the Sticky Date Pudding, and the Pear and Plum Crumble (all around ~$14.50). The choc pudding was intense. Now, I can’t stand those people who say “ooh, that’s too rich for me” – so, I gave the pud a fair crack. If you like thick rivers of dark chocolate flowing out of a moist little chocolate cake, this dessert is for you.
D won with the Sticky Date though (above). It was swimming in a ‘Vanilla Sauce’, which can be best described as thick, melted ice cream. I think next time I’m going to ask the chef to just give me a bowl of that sauce and a spoon.
I was really impressed with the quality and portion sizes of A & C meals. Get a cosy seat in one of the venue’s little nooks, grab a couple of those pork rolls, and you’ve got one sexy, cheap date.
My laziness means I rarely venture outside of my home postcode – but I think I’m going to have to make some room for 4006.
Alfred & Constance
Corner of Alfred & Constance streets
Ph: (07) 3251 6500
Black Room photo credit
We were guests of Lucid Media and Alfred & Constance. We received no compensation for this review; all opinions are our own. Thanks to Jessalyn and A & C for hosting us!