because I can't cook

BearBrass in Southbank

Address Shop G3A on the river, Southgate


Opening Times         

Mon-Sun  8am-late

Cuisine Modern Australian, Pizza
Visited 24 April 2012

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Up for something a little different on a boring Tuesday night, I went to Southgate for their open-air cinema experience which on that evening was showing Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It was a pretty unique concept where they aired random (mostly old) movies, and it was silent as everyone was equipped with a device that could connect to the audio wirelessly (please excuse the lack of technical terms here).

You could just show up on the night just before the movie began or you could book in advance. Their reservation system, however, was a bit silly; they had no record of our booking despite the email confirmation they sent out, and we still had to pick up the tickets a couple of hours before the movie started (which could be quite a hassle especially if you didn’t work in the area). And the supposed headphones turned out to be very cheap-looking earphones that did not look new (eww). They also did not allow you to bring into the premise non-Southgate food and hot food in general (which made it quite inconvenient as it was raining, windy, and plain freezing that night).

But anyway, I did not mean to review (ie. complain about) Southgate cinema at all! In fact, this post is about BearBrass (and their pork belly dish).

So yes, picked randomly for dinner after the movie was BearBrass.

At a glance, there was nothing extremely special or unique about BearBrass – ambience was modern and cozy; dim-lit with fairly contemporary décor, so overall not quite high end but certainly not low end either. Think Crown casino’s mid-tier restaurants.

Their menu was one of the most random ones I’d seen – but not necessarily in a bad way; it consisted of Western style dishes ranging from modern Australian, tapas/Spanish, pizza/Italian, and Greek. It could be a bit confusing as well given the portion varied a lot between each meal, but the friendly staff was happy to guide you and let you know whether or not what you were going to order would be sufficient.

Our random selection (for 2 persons) which the staff ‘approved’, consisted of grilled Spanish chorizo (with lemon and parsley), chicken breast (stuffed with leek and bacon on garlic potatoes and baby carrots), whole barbequed quail (with seared lime, coriander, and nam prik num), and master stock pork belly (with candied mandarin and chilli salad).

The grilled chorizo was decent; not spicy at all (which could be good or bad depending on your preference) and it was great for sharing and could be very filling.

The non-tapas-style chicken breast was very nice; juicy and tender served with ample greens (and orange) and potatoes, making it a plain yet sophisticated balanced meal.

The quail, despite being ‘whole’, was being its typical tiny and boney self that was not quite my taste especially served with the nam prik num salsa dip which I found rather unusual.

But the pork belly was one of the best I had ever had! It was simply divine. The crunchiness of the skin, the tenderness of the meat, the savoury-and-sweet flavour combination, the mandarins (mandarins and pork belly? So wicked!), even the mini greens on the side and the serving temperature – were all perfect. So I decided to ditch the chorizo and ordered a second helping of the pork belly. And it was still as heavenly as the first one!

Definitely worth checking out BearBrass if you’re at Southgate. Even if it’s just for the pork belly dish! Wink

Bear Brass on Urbanspoon

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