|the newly refurb'ed industrial chic look at Watt Bar|
Surprisingly for a riverside city there are not that many places where you can eat while watching the (brown) waters flow. Unless you want to pay mega bucks in the CBD, you are confined to a tiny number of eating places on the river. One of these is Watt, which is located at the Powerhouse New Farm. It has recently undergone refurbishment, and now comprises New Farmer's Kitchen, and a bar which offers share plates, and tasty morsels.
One recent sunny Saturday, Mr P. and I grabbed the SIL (sis-in-law) and took a drive to New Farm to check out the new surroundings and food. SIL said this was her first time ever at the Powerhouse, but she does live up the coast so she has an excuse.:=)
It was mid-afternoon and we were all starving so we speedily perused the menus. Mr P. kindly headed off to the bar to place our order. The staff were friendly and efficient (he reported back). And he was impressed with their prompt and polite service, which is not always a given these days.
|a glass of Chandon for me - $11|
|you guessed it! ginger beer for Mr P. (oops-didn't get the price)|
|smoked mozzarella and mushroom croquettes $12|
These were delicious; packed full of cheesy, mushroomy flavour, crisp on the outside and unctuous on the inside. I have had my share of croquetas lately at various tapas establishments and these were a darn sight better.
|salt & pepper squid with coriander and citrus $14|
These weren't quite as successful as the croquettes. They were a little limp, and didn't have a huge amount of flavour to them. I am not sure if the coriander was meant to be leaves or ground but I couldn't really taste it (or see it) either way.
|rosemary salted chips w/- aioli $9|
The chips were crispy and hot but once again the flavour was a bit hard to find. I am not sure why chefs are holding back on the seasoning these days, but I like to see salty flakes sparkling on my chips like diamonds. Sadly I didn't get that so I was a teeny bit disappointed. SIL asked me plaintively: "where's the rosemary?" "Dunno," was my answer. Perhaps diners could be given a small bowl with the seasoning so they can add their own to their heart's content?
|buffalo wings w/- Frank's sauce $14|
This was a delicious and generous serving of spicy wings. I think I ate most of them; well, Mr P. doesn't eat meat on the bone (I know!) and SIL is careful with her eating. They had lots of flavour and just enough sauce to coat them. Just a suggestion - perhaps a finger bowl or wet wipes could be provided with this dish?
|prawn sliders on brioche buns $12|
There were in fact 2 of these on the plate which surprised and pleased me. Once again, we thought this was a generous serving. The slider had good flavour, with a soft bun which went well with the prawn filling. A few leaves added a bit of freshness and contrast.
|hot dogs $10|
Mr P. enjoyed the hot dogs which were annointed with mustard and tomato sauces. "Better than average," was his comment after wolfing them down. He also said they needed more mayo; mayo? all I see is cheese:=)
There was a friendly and tranquil atmosphere here. Families with small children, couples and even a student with her books spread out around her were all taking advantage of this riverside establishment. I couldn't help thinking how wonderful it would have been if the restaurant engaged more with the river; for instance having seats built over the water (probably Council regs. against that).
If you are after more substantial eats, try The New Farmer's Kitchen. There is a pre-theatre dining menu, and a child's menu for the "little farmers". The menu proclaims their use of fresh, local and seasonal produce. And if you feel like having an event here, there is a private dining room and function spaces.
|if you are lucky, you may get to see the resident water dragon|