I have a confession to make. Today, I went out to eat, I ordered dessert and I didn’t finish it. For anyone that knows me, this is just about unheard of. I blame this all on Brooklyn Lounge, and their unashamedly decadent menu. Hot off the press, this venue in Claremont is about as close to the New York vibe that you can get in the western suburbs on Perth. And you know, I’m an expert, because I spent 5 whole days there (New York that is, not Brooklyn Lounge).
We arrived there at about 1pm on Sunday afternoon, and for once in my life I had been organised enough to book a table well in advance. Thanks to this, we were seated on one of the outdoor tables, and I would thoroughly recommend sitting out here on the comfy cushions on a sunny day. There is also an outside bar to sit at along down the other side, and plenty of space inside.
There was some old school r’n’b/hip-hop/rap tunes playing, and Biggie Smalls was around to let you know the location of the bathrooms
The menu is out of this world. I had looked at it online earlier in the week, and was actually concerned that I wouldn’t be able to choose what to order, even with the advantage of being able to share with someone else. I even wore my stretchy pants instead of my jeans because I knew it was going to be a big one. Excitingly enough, when I got there it was like Brooklyn Lounge had read my mind and put on a ‘hangover platter’ as a Sunday special.
Listed as being suitable for one epic hangover or two moderate hangovers, and weighing in at a very reasonable $18, it came with ribs, wings, meatballs, arancini, spaghetti frittata and chips. So we ordered this to share as a starter, and I ordered a Notorious B.I.G cocktail – raspberry, blueberry and mint julep with Makers Mark and Hennessy VS ($18). Ollie had driven us there so he ordered a chocolate milkshake ($5 I think?).
My cocktail was delicious – fruity, with a strong alcoholic hit (well, strong for a Sunday maybe)! The mint kept it zesty and fresh.
Ollie’s milkshake was a little disappointing – nice and frothy, but could have done with a lot more chocolate.
Then it was time for food!
Where do I even start?? The spaghetti frittata was cheesy and tomato-y, and made me wonder why I had never thought to make one before. The lamb and beef meatballs, which I got to eat ALL of due to Ollie’s chickpea allergy, were in a rich sauce with chickpeas (obviously), and the meatballs themselves were generously sized, moist and delicious. The bread that accompanied them was fluffy and light, with a crunchy crust. As a trade-off for the meatballs, I gave Ollie all the chicken wings, and he said he enjoyed the way the tangy sauce was offset by the blue cheese sauce (which you can see under the arancini). On that note, the arancini had a deliciously crunchy outside and was also complemented really well by the blue cheese sauce. Last but certainly not least, the BBQ ribs were smoky and falling off the bone at the lightest touch – my favourite on the platter. And of course, the chips which were your fairly stock standard pub chips but the paprika sprinkled on top was a nice twist.
Ollie had also ordered two oysters, one with parmesan herb butter and one with pork belly – very intriguing. He enjoyed them, but did comment that it was weird having warm oysters, and that he preferred them traditional.
WOW – that was a lot of food to talk about! However, between the two of us it was a reasonable amount of food for an appetiser and our stomachs were ready and willing for more. We had ordered the crispy skin pork belly with a pork BBQ glaze ($40 for 250g), and the Brooklyn burger, which came with a wagyu pattie, aioli, pickles, tomato and lettuce, and a side of chips ($22) to continue with.
The pork belly was absolutely glorious. Like, out of this world phenomenal. The crackle was crunchy and brittle, with a small layer of fat underneath to keep it moist, although we did need to add a little more salt. The meat itself fell apart on the fork, and submerged in the BBQ sauce it almost brought a tear to my eye. Lucky that 250g of pork belly is quite a lot of pork belly, otherwise there might have been an argument over who got the last bit.
The burger wasn’t too exciting – basic meat, cheese and tomato, but the bun was light and fluffy and the pattie had a nice taste to it. A good version of a classic, but there are lots of more exciting things on the menu.
By now, it was time for another cocktail, and we were starting to think about dessert. This time I went for something a little bit lighter, the ‘Busta Rhymes’ – west winds saber gin, muddled with blueberries and thyme, shaken with lemon juice and honey and finished with creme de cassis and more blueberries ($18), while Ollie shook things up a bit with a lemon, lime and bitters. He was reluctant for dessert, but I talked him around. The dessert menu came out and I was tempted by the banoffee pie, but we eventually decided on s’mores – choc chip cookie sandwich with nutella and marshmallow ($10), and the malteser popcorn ($8).
The second cocktail was a lot lighter, with a much fruitier taste and I have to say I enjoyed it a lot more. The thyme was a really interesting twist as well!
My eyes just about popped out of my head when I saw this. Warm, salty popcorn tossed with melted chocolate, with some maltesers strewn about on top. But my awe was a bit premature, because the popcorn was followed up by this.
This is where it all came undone. Lashings of nutella and rich caramel, with sweet, dense chocolate chip cookies, gooey warm marshmallow and some fresh mint on top which just cut through all the sweetness perfectly. This dish was heaven on a plate. Thank god I wore the stretchy pants. But even sharing between the two of us, we couldn’t quite finish it. I tried really hard, I did, but one lone cookie with some marshmellow and nutella had to be left behind. It still breaks my heart a little thinking about it. We also couldn’t finish the popcorn, but took most of that home.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Brooklyn lounge. Italian-American inspired food, funky tunes, really friendly staff, a chilled out outdoor seating area and an awesome cocktail list all combine to make it one seriously cool venue. A must visit!