You all know how I love Grill’d Burgers right (just give me a Big Queenslander now and I’ll be your friend for life!)?
Turns out that Mr Grill’d Burger also knew of my love, as I was invited to the launch of their flagship restaurant in the Wintergarden, Brisbane City. A heap of other people were invited, but that’s what makes it fun and exciting right? Woo hoo, party time!
We turned up to the event at 7ish and spied the Grill’d Airstream van outside the entrance to the Wintergarden so we knew were in the right place.
We grabbed one of the last little tables available. The first thing I noticed what that the place was buzzing with people – sitting at the various tables, at the benches towards the front of the restaurant, and most of all in the bar at the back of the restaurant. The decor was pretty cool, with exposed air vents in the ceiling, lots of timber and cool lighting.
I also noticed an open room with a big round table (featuring a very cool spatula chandelier) – it would be great to book with few friends and gives a sense of privacy.
I started the evening by trying one of the new cocktails on offer – a Bundaberg Mule. I love a good ginger cocktail (or mocktail) and this one had ginger beer, lime juice and vanilla syrup. I had never tried a ginger cocktail with vanilla in it, and I was glad I tried it! All the trappings of a good ginger cocktail (I make them at home) and the simple vanilla twist gave it a sweeter flavour.
While Bird & Brie is a staple on Grill’d menus, I had often skipped it for fear of dry and leather-y chicken. What was I worrying about? When I bit into the little slider, the chicken was moist, and was made even more delicious by the slightly melted brie. The cranberry sauce gave the burger a slight sweetness and the herbed mayo.. Well I have to say Grill’d do a fabulous herbed mayo, and really it goes with anything! And yes, the burger was a bit messy. But with succulent chicken what else can you really expect?
Chicken was clearly the favourite at the opening, as we were served with several other chicken burger delights. We tried the ‘Simon Says’ burger, which had the same moist chicken breast, this time accompanied with avocado, bacon, relish and herbed mayo (herbed mayo!!!). I really liked the crisp bacon in the burger, it gave it an extra texture which was enjoyable. I also loved the avocado but it made the bun slide around a bit.
Next came the Tuscan Delight, which is a chicken burger with roasted pepper, basil pesto, cheese, crisp salad, and herbed mayo. What did it taste like? Well, I don’t quite remember, as it was a little forgetful to be honest. The pesto wasn’t strong enough for my liking, the pepper gave it a very mild flavour, and overall it was a little bland. Perhaps it would suit someone else’s taste rather than mine.
Finally we tried the Perfect Pear. I was eager to try the Perfect Pear, as it had the unusual burger combination of chicken with slices of pear, fig paste, avocado and rocket leaves. Oh and parmesan. It sounded delicious and I confess I salivated a little bit when I got my little hands on this one. How did it taste? Sweet. Very sweet. There would be no way I could eat a regular sized Perfect Pear. The paste in combination with the poached pear was too sweet. I couldn’t taste the parmesan and I couldn’t taste the slight bitterness of the rocket. While I was glad that I got to try the Perfect Pear, I don’t think it will be a regular for me.
And if I am perfectly honest, my favourite slider taster for the evening was the humble Simply Grill’d burger. Nothing beats that smoky beef flavour with a hint of spice and herb mixed into the ground beef. The herbed mayo shone through as the burger is quite simple. But delicious.
Sometimes it’s best to stick with the simple things on the menu I suppose…
All the burgers were served on ridged plates, to ensure that the bottom of the burger doesn’t get soggy. But I’ll be honest – I’ve never had a soggy burger from Grill’d.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to try anything on the nibblies menu, which was a real shame. So I can’t tell you any more about that. I would be curious to know what the usual serve size is.
The bar at the back of is a really smart move, as I can see plenty of office workers there on a Friday afternoon or evening, chilling out after a week’s work, having a few drinks and nibblies, followed by a burger that takes their fancy.
Grill’d in the Wintergarden is a great spot for a casual, inexpensive dinner after a hard day at work. The decor is funky, it has a great vibe, and will be a hit with city workers.
PS – guess what??? Grill’d Burger is just about to launch their next branch in Brisbane in the Emporium!!! Go and check it out on June 30 🙂