Our oldest cocktail bar has a brand new look, feel and taste.
Brisbane’s oldest cocktail bar has undergone a recent revamp as new owner Peter Bierton makes his mark on West End’s iconic Lychee Lounge.
“Lychee Lounge is steeped in Brisbane history and while I have no plans to shy away from the elements that have made the bar an icon… I do have plans to steer the cocktail bar in a new modern direction in terms of décor and entertainment,” said Peter.
Gone are the old barbie doll chandeliers, and in their place are fittings that have a quirky take on modernity. Soft floral birdcage lanterns contrast nicely with metal cubes each sporting large red flowers. The ceiling’s piece de resistance is a nest of sticks and peacock feathers with tassels hanging off the feature light, creating a warm atmosphere with a healthy dose of eccentricity.
The drinks and food menu have been updated as well, and we settled in to try out the new offerings from this established bar.
Being a cocktail lounge first and foremost, we started with a Malena cocktail, made on rye whiskey, Campari, ruby port, orange bitters and orange blossom. This was served in a small antique-style bottle to pour over a large ice ball, which added a bit of fun to the experience. The orange bitters and blossom enhanced the slight bitter citrus of the Campari, and the rye whiskey gave the drink a lovely depth.
Our next cocktail was called Flowers on the Vine, which incorporated Encanto Pisco, Manzanilla, pineapple, lemon and chamomile. This was served with fresh flowers floating in the glass, which immediately conjured images of fresh spring fields. This was a beautifully balanced cocktail with a lovely blend of fresh citrus and pine needle tastes from the Encanto Pisco. The inspired addition of chamomile stopped this drink from being overly sweet.
We also tried a Passionfruit and Black Tea Sour, made on Jameson, passionfruit, black tea, honey, citrus, and egg white. This was one of the most unique and well balanced sours I’ve had, with the tannins of the tea adding an earthy taste to the sweetness of the honey. The tart passionfruit and citrus ensured this sour still lived up to its name without being overpowering.
The food menu has also undergone a shake-up, with an array of share-plate delights on offer.
We tried the lamb and fetta koftas and the chorizo and manchego croquettes, with both dishes turning out to be little balls of deliciousness. The koftas used excellent quality lamb mince and came with a creamy sauce. The croquettes were crisp and cheesy and featured generous amounts of chorizo.
A range of slider burgers are on offer as well. We couldn’t go past the chicken katsu burger with Kimchi mayo as well as the decadent brie cheeseburger. As a side came some triple cooked chips with honey and chilli. These tasty burgers were packed full of fillings and were extremely moreish. The chips were soft and fluffy on the inside, with a super crisp exterior.
For dessert, Lychee Lounge now serves up a princely portion of cinnamon dusted churros with a rich chocolate brandy sauce. These came with popping candy which added yet another delightful element to a night out here.
While the cocktails remain world-class at Lychee Lounge, it’s worth a visit to this quirky bar just for the outstanding food on offer.
Lychee Lounge is on Boundary St in West End and is open from Monday to Sunday weekly.