The regeneration of suburbs is cyclical. As economies change, families move on and the complexion of the community alters, so too do the suburbs of the city. In Brisbane, Teneriffe is the new James St which was the new Fortitude Valley which itself is in the process of being re-invented for the G20. South of the river, Annerley is nipping at the heels of Stones Corner which is already the new Gabba. Brisbane is going through a rapid period of expansion and seems to have a insatiable appetite for new restaurants and bars, pop ups and laneway parties. Brisbane of course, is the new Sydney in the same way that Brooklyn is the new Williamsburg that was the new East Village. So it comes as no surprise to find Moose & Gibson hiding out in a back street of Woolloongabba, in amongst the panel beaters and just behind the Honda service centre. Edgy. Urban. Deserted after 6pm. It might seem like an odd location but M&G has already carved out a name for itself in the breakfast club. Now, it has its sights set on dinner. I was invited* to try out the new tapas menu at a Silent Cinema evening.
M&G is tucked away and is small with a few tables inside and some bar seating outside so it’s first in best dressed. The silent cinema shows on the back wall of the bar, adding to the low key vibe of the subtly lit room. As we know, shared plates are all the rage and M&G has also gone this route for its first foray into evening dining. It was a small but wide ranging menu that were offered a selection of tapas. A highlight of the early nibbles to enjoy with drinks were the Mixed Olives ($6.50) and a few tiny cornichons, served slightly warmed in a dressing with just the faintest hint of sweetness. These were well received and kept on the table throughout the night, to come back to again and again.
I’m no fan of oysters but was bold enough to taste one of the Oysters garnished with a Pomegranate Tea Jelly ($2.50 ea). Pretty to look at with a creamy oyster and slightly tart dressing, one was enough for me but others enjoyed them so much that a second plate was delivered. House Cured Salmon ($10) was served gravlax style, cured with whisky with traditional accompaniments of black bread and dill cucumber. Chorizo ($9) came sliced, dusted with paprika and drizzled with a balsamic. No time for jokes about huge sausages as it was swiftly despatched by the group. For me, the chorizo was neither spicy nor sizzling enough but the rest were happy enough to order a second plate.
Larger shared plates included the cut of the moment – slow cooked Beef Short Rib ($10), served on this occasion off the bone but meltingly tender and probably the dish of the day for me. Popcorn Chicken was served with a twist. Rather than small pieces of chicken crumbed and fried to replicate popcorn, it was actually goujons of chicken crumbed in dehydrated popcorn before cooking. Tasty but I really couldn’t discern a popcorn or corn flavour on the coating. It’s hard to complain at only $9 a serve and they were fresh as can be.
Co-Owner Malcolm visited the table throughout the evening. This was one of the first outings of the tapas menu and he was interested in feedback. Some dishes were enjoyed by all (Beef Ribs) while others divided the group (Pork Belly Cabbage Rolls) so he was keen to know more about what could be done differently. As the world of social media starts to become more focused and grow niches, I’ve noticed a trend away from the full-scale TwEAT Up with two dozen bloggers coming together to tweet and eat, towards smaller, more intimate gatherings where chefs and owners road test menus and concepts to get some early feedback.
All of the food was simple, well cooked and not over styled to within an inch of its life. It’s early days for the menu and they are hoping to expand it though I am a fan of the short menu where you could, if you so desired, order every dish on the menu to share amongst a group. Our waitress for the evening was a delight. Knowledgeable and friendly without overstepping the mark, she was a real asset to the team and helped the evening to run seamlessly. If you’re in the not so mean streets of Woolloongabba or just getting your car serviced, I can certainly recommend dropping in to Moose & Gibson for a no fuss meal.
*TIFFIN was invited to participate in Moose & Gibson’s slow but inevitable domination of the Gabba back streets as a media guest of the P4 Group
Moose & Gibson
77 Jurgens St
Woolloongabba Qld 4102
Visited: Thursday 27th Feb 2014 – Dinner Service