It is one of my last nights in Australia and we visit Bar Alto with my good friend Kerrie. Bar Alto is located at The Powerhouse — a decommissioned power station in New Farm on the northern bank of the Brisbane River.
The restaurant is packed and quite loud, so I’m glad the hostess leads us into the back room, allowing us a quieter space to enjoy our meal in.
I am enticed by Fritti Di Baccala (AUD$12) although I am not a fan of croquettes, but love bacalao. It’s one of those things I am conflicted about, but usually, will order because I want to be surprised. These bite sized salt cod croquettes are soft on the inside with a decent exterior, but don’t leave them too long as the texture and flavor are compromised the longer you leave them sitting. They are tasty, and though I detect bacalao here and there, I definitely want more than what’s offered.
There is no going around ordering octopus if I see it on a menu. Polpo In Umido (AUD$21) is a plate of tender braised Fremantle octopus, finished in a red wine jus, on top of polenta. There is a hint of char, adding a nice smokiness to the octopus and the result is ridiculously tasty.
As we move on to entrees, Agnello (AUD$33), an fork-tender oven roasted lamb shoulder, is served with polenta, heirloom carrots, and rosemary jus. My son enjoys this very much while my friend and I share one of the specials.
Per Due Special of the Night (AUD$63) is a whole roasted snapper served with chimichurri sauce on the side. Your server will offer to de-bone your fish, however, I want to do it myself. It is so moist and tender with subtle aromas of citrus from the lemon slices stuffed into the belly.
The dish also comes with a side of broccolini and roasted fingerling potato discs. The portion is generous and we are not able to finish it.
I didn’t need dessert, but my friend is adamant we order some. She is enticed by the Dessert Special (AUD$13.50) of doughnut holes with ice cream and poached pear quenelles. I do not care for this item. The doughnuts are dense and not hot as I expected, considering how long it takes for it to get to our table. The poached pear quenelles are delicious though.
Our second dessert of Crostata Di Mele (AUD$13.50) is absolutely mind-blowing, and I am happy we order it. A flaky apple tart, flavored with anise liqueur caramel, with crunchy walnut crumble and a scoop of milk ice cream is a definite keeper. I am surprised I liked it so much considering I’m not much of an apple fan.
Bar Alto has a stellar menu with solid food offerings. The food is simple but extremely well executed and it is no wonder the place is packed. They also have great pricings on wines by the glass (under AUD$10) or cocktails should you choose to indulge in them.
119 Lamington St
New Farm QLD 4005
Tel: (+61 7) 3358 1063