A bit of background…
If you’re going to make a list of iconic Brisbane venues Jimmy’s on the Mall would be high up on the list. Built in 1982 it’s as old as the Queen Street Mall itself, and for over 30 years it’s faithfully served the Brisbane public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
With that kind of service record it’s not surprising that by 2014 things at Jimmy’s were starting to seem a bit… tired. The menus were standard cafe/bar/restaurant fare, pleasant but not particularly adventurous. It seemed like the foodie revolution that had overtaken Brisbane in the last few years was about to pass them by.
But then everything changed…
In November 2014 Jimmy’s owners, Brisbane hospitality company The Mantle Group, made the epic decision to revamp their old stalwart. And after a whirlwind 13 week renovation the new Jimmy’s emerged, one story higher and with a gorgeous new facade.
But what about the food?
I’d been lucky enough to attend an “Eat Brisbane” Instagram event at Jimmy’s earlier in the month and had been blown away by the sophisticated vibe, warm service and most especially the FOOD.
It was clear to me that the new Jimmy’s would make a great destination for our next date night.
The Chef however took a little more convincing.
Having worked in the Queen St Mall for over 8 years as the executive chef at the Tattersalls Club some years ago, he had vivid memories of Jimmy’s previous incarnation as a place you went if you’d “had a few” and needed a feed.
So with two very different sets of expectations we set off on our date…
What we had
|Brook had…||I had…|
|Scallop Ceviche with lime, chilli & coconut, spanner crab, avocado, shizo||Caramelised Crispy Pork Spare Ribs, sticky black pepper sauce|
|Sichuan Pepper Chilli Prawns, with smoked chillies, black vinegar, candied walnuts||Roasted Pork Belly, with pumpkin, green beans, morcilla sausage, sauce vierge|
|Dessert Platter for Two: chocolate tart, panacotta, pistachio macarons, vanilla ice cream|
What I Loved
I’d been thinking/dreaming about the caramelised pork ribs since I’d tried them on my previous visit, and they didn’t disappoint the second time around. The combination of juicy twice cooked pork, sticky caramel sauce and crushed peanuts is to die for – in fact it could actually be my death row meal.
As for the Sichuan prawns, they practically exploded with flavour. The characteristic kick of the chillies was complimented nicely by the sweet nuggets of candied walnuts.
Unlike many prawn dishes I’ve had, this was an extremely generous portion. I you’ve ever felt ripped off by getting six sad looking prawns in a big dish, then Jimmy’s will definitely restore your faith in humanity!
What Brook Loved
Over the course of the meal Brook went from being a Jimmy’s skeptic to a raving fan! His ceviche was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the spanner crab, chilli and lime lifted the dish to the next level. His comment? “I can’t believe I’m eating this at Jimmy’s!”.
If there’s pork belly on a menu then nine times out of then that’s what Brook will order. He was impressed that they’d gotten the skin to that perfect level of crispiness, leaving the meat falling-apart soft underneath. I’m sure he had more to say about the meal but I think the fact that conversation ceased entirely while he was eating this spoke volumes!
Why we’ll be back
Basically to try the rest of the dishes we didn’t get to taste! We both had a hard time choosing mains in particular so we are dying to get back an try out a few of the runner-up options that we didn’t choose on the night.
I also have to give Jimmy’s service big props – on both occasions I was looked after by duty manager Chris and he was the consumate host. It’also easy to see that the service in general was up to scratch. A restaurant full of happy looking guests tells it’s own story.
So in summary our evening proved beyond a doubt that Jimmy’s is most certainly a date-worthy venue.
If you’ve been to the old Jimmy’s I’d urge you to put any preconceived notions aside and give the new Jimmy’s a try. I can guarantee you wont regret it!
And if you’ve never been? Well what the hell are you waiting for? 😉
Jimmy’s on the Mall Contact Details
Queen Street Mall
Brisbane QLD Australia
GPO Box 2866, Brisbane QLD 4001 Australia
T: +61 7 3077 7126
F: +61 7 3210 2878