Nest, Hotel Jen, Roma St, Brisbane CBD - my name is Food.

Nest, Hotel Jen, Roma St, Brisbane CBD

September 10, 2016

Situated conveniently at the second level of the Roma Street Transit Centre as well as Hotel Jen being in the same building, Nest offers an all day dining with a mixture of heavy Asian influences from Chinese to Indonesian to Vietnamese. Having their own organic Sky Garden allows them to pick daily Aromatic herbs allowing guests to enjoy the meals knowing its freshness.

Both lunch and dinner menus offers a range of classic Asian dishes that even maybe we could find them when we go to street stalls in Asia. From their entrees or shared plates to their Wok or Grilled even to their sweet plates, they all are infused with a touch of Asian fusion and creativity involved.

'Twice Cooked Pork Belly' (AUD$16) was an entree we shared which caught our eyes as we have had other twice cooked pork belly before which since then, still topped it for us compared to the others we have tried. Though this was an asian fusion, we knew it would have a unique taste in a way that it had Chilli Caramel, Grapefruit and peanuts. Presented nicely on a black round plate allowed the dish itself to have a bright pop of colour and contrast when it arrived on our table.

It was somewhat sweeter than I'd originally thought it would be, having the chilli caramel at the bottom of the dish with roughly chopped nuts sprinkled on the plate for both texture and look. There were also mint leaves as well as freshly sliced red chillies and thinly sliced long strings of grapefruit giving it all a pop of colour once again. Having the mint leaves allowed us to cleanse our palates after every bite yet it also did add abit of freshness too.

The pork belly had a distinct sweetness and was cooked well having a slightly charred exterior but soft on the inside and surprisingly having the grapefruit acidity balanced it out nicely. I wonder how they made this dish work as I wouldn't have thought of combining grapefruit with chilli caramel. The hint of chilli was there amongst the caramel sauce but was not overly strong. The grapefruit gave the dish a nice punch while the peanuts gave a crunch here and there.

'Crispy Pressed Duck' (AUD$34) was a grilled dish that caught my eye when I read the words, Crispy Pressed. Other than Peking Duck, I don't frequently order duck dishes when out.. Not that I don't like it, I do believe me, but usually something else on the menu do attract me more that makes me not choose it as a dish to have. Crispy pressed duck with caramelised mandarin sauce, ginger and asian soy greens was presented beautifully again with the different elements and colours to shine with a black oval plate as a base.

The asian soy greens were well cooked, not too well done until it becomes soggy and still had their crunch. Four pieces of Mandarin gave it a pop of yellow as well as thinly sliced red chilli skin on top of the duck. The caramelised mandarin sauce was quite strong in terms of the mandarin which is great but I thought that it did overpower the duck itself abit.

The crispy pressed duck had a crispy skin with a slight charred at the top which I appreciated, showing the smokyness of the duck meat being pressed. What was great was that there were no bones attached so you could just eat it as is. The caramelised mandarin sauce had smothered the crispy skin of the duck but did not make the skin any less soggy but instead absorbed it well allowing the duck itself to have the aroma of the caramelisation.

'Pad Thai' ($22) is a classic Thai dish consisting of thin rice noodles, chicken, prawn, tofu, eggs, garlic chive, tamarind sauce and peanuts. Having had a long thought of whether we should be ordering a Pad Thai here took a while but we decided to give it a try anyway.. who knows, it might surprise us. When it arrived on our table, it seemed as if it was the only coloured plated on our table with a bright yellow round plate for the dish.

What got me having the errr moment was the fact that I was fine with having the chopped peanuts, a lemon wedge on the side of the pad thai but having the raw chilli flakes being all placed alongside it made it very hard to scoop out cleanly when I, myself isn't a big chilli eater. Of course, if you like your Pad Thai spicy, then you can go ahead and mix it all up, sure, but if you're not, you would need to use your spoon and try to move the chilli flakes out of the plate which would mean having to ask for another small plate to put the chilli flakes in. What was hard was that no matter how neat or how much you try to get them out of the plate, there would already be chilli flakes sticking onto the noodles which would make you having to eat it as is with the tad of spicyness anyway in the end when you do mix it altogether. So somehow, that was one of the biggest downside of this dish for me. What would be great would be that they could seperate the chilli flakes to a little side bowl or so which allows diners to take as much or as little chilli as they possible would like to suit their own wants.

Overall, the dish lacked the punch of the usual Pad Thai kick, not the chilliness but it may have needed abit more of that tamarind sauce as well as the soya sauce. The combination of tofu, eggs with the chicken and prawn were great together and I would have to say that the meat were in chunk portions too.

Having a proper dining area as well as a lounge area allows everyone to dine and relax with having great views of the city skyline. Don't forget the unique decoration in the restaurant in which when you look to your left or right would be something different and won't bore your eyes while having a chitchat or drinks or even while waiting for your dishes to arrive.

Nest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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