Sardine Tin at Southbank, Brisbane

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The SO foiled my plans to cook dinner for our friends. I was aiming to whip up one of Jaime Oliver’s 30 minute meals, but after several beers (on everyone else’s part) at the pub, it seemed easier to find somewhere to continue the conversation in the city.

After some consideration – because it was a Friday evening in the city, we thought we might stop in at Sardine Tin on Southbank.

Sardine Tin has been on my list for awhile, so I was excited and was not sure what to expect. Given it was a Friday evening, I worried we might not be able to get a table, but the wait staff kindly put us up at the bar. That made for a much more pleasant dining experience, as some of the tables are too low and would make for difficulties when eating.

Sardine Tin is not large by any means, so it is quite clear they run a tight ship. The cooking is done in front of customers, so there is little room for error or tantrums a la Gordon Ramsay. I kept stealing glances at the kitchen to watch them at work and it’s a delicate dance, where everyone seems to know and play their part well.

Sardine Tin‘s menu is predominantly for sharing. The regular menu items are divided between the tapas and the light meals, so nothing comes out on large dinner plates. I recommend keeping an eye on the chalkboard specials, as it would seem these change quite regularly.

Wagyu cheek with vegetables, lemon goat’s curd and liquorice. AUD$14


Spiced pork albondigas with romesco. AUD$12

One of our friends was very taken by the Wagyu cheek, but liquorice? Bleh. I’m not a fan of liquorice, so did not touch it till the SO waved a sliver in front of my mouth. The liquorice flavour was subtle and the beef was succulent.

Smashed Kipfler potatoes with peppercorn honey. AUD$8

I love love LOVE these smashed Kipfler potatoes. They are moorish and arrived piping hot, so you might burn your tongue a little popping them straight into your mouth, but it’s worth it.

The day’s snapper special. AUD$18


Mussels with spicy tomato, fennel and charred crusty bread. AUD$16

I saw this mussels with spicy tomato, fennel and charred crusty bread as a chalkboard special and would not be wavered.  This is a light meal and while the mussels are not the plumpest I’ve encountered, the flavour cannot be faulted. The sauce is flavoured with chorizo as well, so there is a pool of spine-tingling yumminess to soak up with their bread.

Lemon panna cotta with caramelised banana puree and almond praline. AUD$12


Broken sticky date with vanilla custard and caramel tuile. AUD$12


Chocolate fondant with pedro ximenez ice-cream and poached pear. AUD$12

By the end, I was hankering for chocolate to finish the night off, so the chocolate fondant had my name all over it. The waitress did warn me it would be a 15 minute wait and asked everyone else at the table if they would like their desserts served at the same time, which I thought was a nice (and considerate) touch.

The 15 minutes flew by quickly enough and I was drooling when I caught a whiff of the warm chocolate snaking up from the ramekin placed in front of me. Digging my spoon into the fondant, my heart pounded with anticipation for the oozy chocolate interior. The sweet reward was a thick sludge of dark chocolate in the very middle of the ramekin.

But the surprise was yet to come! The salt flakes sprinkled over the firm chocolate fondant top were a tastebud kick. They enhanced the chocolate and I will definitely have to try that at home.


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