Fiona was invited to Phoenix Bar at the Bracken Ridge Tavern but she was delayed in our nation’s capital so Mr Tiffin took her place. So, this is a ‘Guest post by Mr Tiffin’*.
I grew up in Brisbane’s northern suburbs and I remember the Bracken Ridge Tavern being a ‘no go zone’ for a gentle man like myself. Until recently there was a nightclub there called the ‘Rum Jungle’, which said it all really. Fortunately, there has been a complete remodelling of the Bracken Ridge Tavern (BRT) and Phoenix Bar is the sleek and stylish heart of the complex.
Rather than go alone I invited my good friend Andrew, for extra muscle. To my relief, no muscle was required. We were both impressed by the decoration and layout of Phoenix, much like an inner city bar. A large venue, there is a fairly open beer garden and bar, but just around the corner are some cosy quieter areas. In addition to Phoenix, there is a family restaurant, sports bar, gaming area and a large bottle shop.
Andrew and I sat at a table in the quieter area. There are menus on the tables and food and drinks are ordered at the bar. The drinks menu is long with cocktails, craft beers, premium spirits and an extensive wine list. I had an El Diablo (Patron Silver Tequila and Chambord black raspberry liqueur topped with ginger beer, fresh lime and crushed ice) and Andrew had a Holgate Mt Macedon Ale (a pale ale). Both very enjoyable.
While talking of drinks, there is an Enomatic Wine Dispenser at Phoenix. One of the supervisors took great pleasure in demonstrating this wine dispensing machine that keeps opened wines fresh for up to a month. At Phoenix it’s currently stocked with eight premium Penfolds’ wines. No Grange ’59 was available. A card is purchased at the bar then you serve yourself at the machine by selecting either a tasting serve, small glass or large glass of wine. A great ‘big kid’s’ toy, and there are detailed wine notes for the serious vinophiles.
Now for the food. The menu has a range of options from small to medium share plates up to larger meals. Andrew and I started with the share plates – from Small Share – Grilled asparagus, crumbed hen’s egg w/ rocket & shaved parmesan – and from Medium Share – Duck, apple & walnut cigars w/ a spicy tomato chutney.
The grilled asparagus with crumbed hen’s egg was a good start with fresh asparagus cooked well, complimenting the crumbed egg. The duck cigars looked like spring rolls but were packed with flavour and went very nicely with the tomato chutney. Delicious.
Phoenix has themed nights throughout the week and Tuesday night is Ribs & Ruby Tuesday. Basically, this offer is purchase a drink and you can buy the ‘all you can eat’ Maple and BBQ glazed ribs deal for $25. Well I love ribs so I had to try these… and I wasn’t disappointed. Perfectly cooked ribs with their delicious glaze, accompanied with fresh coleslaw and wedges.
To accompany the ribs we ordered two smaller portions, another Small Share – Crispy polenta cubes w/ garlic & rosemary salt & aioli and a Wagyu meatball roller w/ tomato ragout & Parmesan. A roller is like a slider but served on a dinner roll instead of a small hamburger roll. Unfortunately, the Wagyu meatball roller was a little dry, however, the crispy polenta cubes were just right, crispy golden on the outside and went perfectly with the aioli.
Summing up, Phoenix has a great range of drinks, very good food and friendly knowledgeable staff. Andrew and I had a very enjoyable night and were pleasantly surprised to find the complete transformation of the BRT. I’ll return to Phoenix, a great venue for the locals but also worth the trip up to the Northside for others.
*Mr Tiffin was a media guest of the Bracken Ridge Tavern and appreciated the hospitality extended to him as Tiffin circled the skies above.
Bracken Ridge Tavern
154 Barrett St
Bracken Ridge Qld 4017
Visited: Tues 8th April 2014 – Dinner Service