Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Ploughman Bar Alderley - Review

The heat is really getting to us here in Brisbane at the moment.  We are having endless days and nights of high temps.  The nights stay hot, we swelter under the ceiling fan, and we sleep with the squeak of the pedestal fan at the foot of the bed.  (I call it the stalker fan; sounds so much more fun.) 

So cooking is not much on the radar, except for salads and quick pastas.  It's currently staying at around 33C each day - way too hot for the kitchen - so I suggested to Mr P. that we check out a local bar that opened early last year instead.  The online reviews have been good so I was hoping for a pleasant evening.

the front street entrance of the bar 

I love this old shop entrance.  There are so few of them in Brisbane. I remember to my horror a restaurant that updated theirs to just a plain glass wall, and got rid of the front step entirely.  I have a feeling the Heritage people would not have been happy.  Anyway, I digress.  This one is intact and gorgeous. 

We walked in the back entrance from the carpark.  It was early, it was quiet people-wise, and it was very much plywood heaven - floors, walls and counter.  While it may be "effortlessly cool" as The Weekend Edition has it, it is a wee bit lacking in ambience.  I think we both expected something a bit more traditional with that Olde English-y name. There was some (increasingly) loud music playing, which Mr P. and I found rather nerve-jangling.    

I ordered a glass of rosé, which was very cold and very delicious on a hot summer's evening.  Okay, here's my usual whinge - mean, you guys!  Yep I know a standard drink is 100 mLs, and a standard restaurant drink is 150 mLs (gee, generous), but to me it just seems so mean in a big glass.  I sloshed this down in moments.

rosé $10

Guess what Mr P. drank?  Yep you guessed it!  Ginger beer. He said this was a good one.  It had a bit of bite but not too throat-burning. I love the name and the logo.

ginger beer $4

Then he had a bottle of blackcurrant sparkling water.  This was so delicious.  It had so much colour and flavour and sparkle.  A bit like Ribena on steroids.

full of flavour and colour  $4

We shared the Ploughman Board, which had cheese, pickles, meats and bread.  Mr P.'s only quibble here was he wished they'd given us an even number of slices of bread; 5 between us meant I had to rip one slice in half:=)  But it was all delicious.  The pickled veg. are house-made, and they taste it. Fresh and tangy and perfect with a drink.

Ploughman Board $22 - perfect with drinks

the slightly phallic sign on the street entrance  

Never fear, I was not standing in the middle of the road; it just looks like it.  Surprisingly, the bar is not overpowered with street noise inside. Mr P. says it is because the old glass is very thick. This building was erected in 1882 and was the old general store/saddlery.  I wish there were more features from those times like pressed metal ceilings as many of the old stores in Brisbane still have.  Perhaps the saddlery didn't have them originally?

cute beehive water jar

I wish I could show you the grilled cheese and ham on sourdough ($12), or the toasted pastrami ($12) or the deluxe cheese board ($13) but we left before we could get around to those.  The music was getting thumpier and more nerve-jangling for us oldies.  I kept telling Mr P. we are not the target demographic here, so this wouldn't bother the average punter.  This place would suit the younger crowd very nicely, (and us if the music was more soothing).

In spite of the small quibbles, this is a pleasant place for an after-work drink.  Come and enjoy the "small batch beer, wine and spirits, paired with pickled veg."  There is also a new outdoor area; they suggest you buy Indian from the restaurant next door and hunker down for a while. Many of the reviews mention the friendliness and welcome here. Sadly we didn't feel the joy!  No one greeted us or said goodbye. The bar lady was efficient but not effusive.  Maybe next time...

Ploughman Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


  1. Oh I love heritage buildings and it's so great when they integrate the original facade and pieces with a new business. I need to be able to talk to my friends, otherwise I just get the urge to flee. I do feel like it is possible to have buzzy ambience without being too loud.

    1. it was just that the music was so ...putrid:) really got on our nerves. very discordant. hubby said it was a mix of jazz and some other thing. otherwise it is a great place to sit and sip.

  2. Sounds worth checking out Sherry. I love cafes and restaurants in older buildings, really adds to the atmosphere. Also very over this relentless heat :(

    1. Apart from the music we really liked it here Jem! Perfect for a quick drink.


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