A little while ago I was invited* to the opening of a new bar in the city. It was full of leggy PR girls in very short dresses and manscaped boys. A galaxy of bright young things and this middle-aged blogger. Plush furnishings and cosy nooks, dangerous cocktails and interesting canapés, lucky door prizes and DJs with thumping beats, all topped up with lashings of Champagne that made for a wonderful and slightly wobbly evening.
But of course a venue is going to put its best foot forward at an opening. To really know what happens when ‘normal people’ dine, you have to return to the scene of the crime. That’s exactly what I did a few weeks later when I was on a lunch break from Jury Duty. Situated alongside the Roma St Transit Centre, Nest Bar & Restaurant is located in Hotel Jen in the former Trader’s Hotel venue. The Nest menu is Asian Fusion, reflecting Hotel Jen’s access to experienced chefs from its parent company Shangri La Hotels.
It’s an all day menu with a variety of snacks (I recommend the calamari), Asian stir fries and noodle soups as well as larger meals. At around $25 the steak is the most expensive item so it’s a well priced menu. I was on a strict time limit and didn’t want to have to explain myself to the bailiff for being late so we went for a quick and easy Pad Thai and a Wagyu Beef Burger. They arrived fairly quick smart despite it being quite busy so the pressure was off.
The burger was large with egg, cheese and bacon in addition to the patty and salad so certainly good value at around $15. Usually I eat my burgers with my hands, as nature intended, but on this occasion I opted to cut it into quarters first. I certainly didn’t want to be sitting in that jury box with a beetroot stain on my t-shirt for the rest of the afternoon. It was a good, juicy burger with plenty of flavour and I also liked the little kick the sprinkle of Sichuan pepper gave to the fat chips. The Pad Thai had some spice to it as well. With the inclusion of chicken and fish cake, a couple of king prawns and topped with crunchy fried shallots it was another flavoursome meal. Certainly big enough for lunch. Meals finished, it was time to return to the court for an afternoon of “I suggest” and “I put it to you”.
I visited Nest a third time in as many weeks to have a quick drink with an acquaintance on the way to the station. Though relatively early on a Thursday afternoon, there was a constant stream of people drifting in for end of week drinks and nibbles. With lounges to drape yourself upon and great design features, Nest has appeal as both a restaurant and bar with plenty of variety to keep people coming back. Certainly worth a visit.
Visited: Wednesday 11th February – Lunch Service
*TIFFIN was invited to opening night as a guest of Hotel Jen but paid for her own lunch and drinks on subsequent visits
Nest Restaurant & Bar
Hotel Jen Level 1
159 Roma St
Brisbane Qld 4001