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Lunch Sized Adventures – Nest Bar & Restaurant

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.

Nest Trio 1

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”.

Nest Quartet

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

Nest on Roma St on Urbanspoon

10 comments… add one
  • Joanne T Ferguson March 10, 2015, 6:40 pm

    G’day! I love that you returned to the scene of the crime after the opening night Fiona and the food and atmosphere does indeed look like a quirky, eccentric, interesting place to visit!
    Cheers! Joanne

    • Fiona Ryan March 11, 2015, 9:18 am

      It’s a vast improvement on what was there previously and there food and drinks are keenly priced so I think they’ll do well.

  • Jan Rhoades March 11, 2015, 9:48 am

    Yes, well, I think anything would have to be an improvement on what previously existed. Good that your return visit did not disappoint. I probably would have ended up with beetroot on the front even if I’d cut it into bite-sized pieces.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime March 11, 2015, 2:03 pm

    It’s always good to go back to a place as a normal customer to see how the service and food will be for the man on the street. Great review Fiona 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan March 11, 2015, 7:06 pm

      Thanks Tandy. It’s good to see what happens when the cameras are turned off!

  • Surely Sarah March 11, 2015, 4:09 pm

    I am excited that this place has opened as it’s right near my work! I walked past it the other day and it is indeed a tad trendy for my usual tastes but I’m keen to get there for lunch or some drinks soon. Thanks for this review, I always want to know what things cost!

    • Fiona Ryan March 11, 2015, 7:04 pm

      Hi Sarah. It’s worth a visit. There were a couple of big work groups there on the day I visited so it’s well priced I think. Glad I could keep you informed! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 12, 2015, 12:45 pm

    I much prefer to go back a second time, especially if I’ve been invited to dine. When I’m invited I always get top service and I go back to see what real people get. I’d like Nest too. 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan March 13, 2015, 4:26 pm

      And whilst the Champagne and canapes are great, it’s the day to day that will make or break a business.

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