Nantucket Charcoal Kitchen & Bar

Nantucket is an island about 50kms by ferry south of Cape Cod in the north east U.S. state of Massachusetts.

Its Brisbane namesake may be located in the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, but the lush green interior and contemporary New England decor that strikes patrons on entry through its Station Rd doors, faithfully remembers the invigorating feel of the secluded coastal haven.

The sanctuary of Nantucket was even more welcome on this occasion as the birthday being celebrated fell on a very hot and humid Friday evening.

Our party of three was quickly seated with waters poured and menus open in under a minute.  The heatwave we were sheltering from called for some cold bubbles to toast the birthday girl and send packing the work week woes.

Glasses charged, we asked the friendly wait staff for starters to share and they arrived just as the chatter and buzz of the restaurant was picking up.

NKB crab cakes – lightly fried on the outside and full of sweet flaky crab meat on the inside – served with fennel slaw were well presented. I enjoyed the crab flavour and crispy texture but found the fennel slaw to be too heavy on the mayo.

Jalapeños served with the fried calamari – lightly coated, crisped to perfection and served straight from the pan – offered an original take (though perhaps a bigger kick was called for) on what otherwise can be ubiquitous and tawdry fare.

The spinach and artichoke dip, served in a small cast iron dish that oozing with melted cheese on top, was spectacular.  Dunking the grilled flatbread into its creamy center was accompanied by a fleeting glimpse of the treadmill hours needed to work it off.

We took our time over the well crafted entrees and the place was in full swing as they were cleared. The service was still attentive and there was no rushing us through, by the staff.

Bubbles empty, we moved to the Craggy Range ‘Te Muna Rd’ Sauvignon Blanc.  Its hint of lemon, lime and tropical fruits should match the two seafood mains on their way. For the 200g Great Southern grass fed Eye Fillet, our companion chose a Pico Cuardro Tempranillo.

The steak came with a side of shoestring fries, salad and green peppercorn sauce. Served medium-rare, its eater testified to a magnificent flavor that was well complimented by  the crunchy sweet apples in the Waldorf – and the Tempranillo.

The Tuna Nicoise with anchovy, potato, green beans, black olives, roasted capsicum and egg in a basil dressing looked magnificent. I had a taste of the just-seared, raw tuna strips. Magnificent. Again though, I thought the salad suffered from too much dressing.

I ordered Bugs. Wow! The charcoal oven lent the sweet crustaceans a slightly smoky flavour.  The wild rice and herb and avocado salad that came with it was a well judged accompaniment, giving the dish a 4 Hat rating (out of 5) – the highest I have scored anywhere since Jamie Oliver went naked.

While the classic American apple pie a la mode sounded amazing we made a unanimous decision to skip the dessert and meet at the gym the following morning instead.

Only of course, so we can try the apple pie and and NKB banana pie with dulce de leche and chocolate ice cream on our next visit to Nantucket!


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