Sip and snack from day to night at East Brisbane newbie Neesh Bar & Restaurant
Usually describing something as niche is to remark on its specialised and specific appeal – for example, choosing only to eat Hawaiian-style pizzas would indicate you have niche tastes, while the films of John Waters boast a niche audience. Neesh Bar & Restaurant – East Brisbane’s new go-to for brunch, lunch and evening snacks – is playfully flipping the word on its head, serving up an inclusive menu of fare imbued with a dash of creativity.
In early December 2019, keen-eyed East Brisbane locals would have noticed a fresh face among Stanley Street’s famous corner cafe line-up. Long-running brunch haven Foxy Bean had been replaced by a new light-filled haunt, one promising a menu of eat and drink that stretches from sunrise to after sunset. Neesh Bar & Restaurant is the name of the newcomer, and is the brainchild of locals Katie and Dale McMullen. The couple have worked in Brisbane’s hospitality scene for more than a dozen years, and have held the catering contract for the Brisbane German Club‘s Zum Kaiser Restaurant in Woolloongabba for the entire time. Though pork knuckles continue to be a lucrative avenue for the couple, Katie and Dale still yearned for a secondary outlet that would afford them more creative freedom over the food they served. The answer to their prayers presented itself during their daily commute, when they noticed ‘for lease’ signs hanging in the windows of Foxy Bean – a few phone calls later and the couple were already planning their takeover. Neesh’s crisp and bright interior makeover is markedly different from Foxy Bean’s rustic and recycled timber-heavy aesthetic – Katie and Dale have opted for a palette of white, green and concrete, adding some new bells and whistles including a new coffee counter, a wood-fired pizza oven in the kitchen and a new-look external courtyard, which is currently being transformed into a beer garden.
With no restrictions to what he can create, Dale (a chef with 20 years of experience under his belt) has gone bananas with Neesh’s daytime menu, breaking the mould when it comes to day starters. While you will certainly be able to scarf down classic faves like big breakfasts, eggs benny and avocado on toast, if you keep searching you’ll spot more extravagant options. We’re talking black-rice pudding with vanilla-bean cream anglaise, creme brulee French toast with deep-fried custard, smashed wood-fired Moroccan butternut pumpkin with smoked baba ganoush and poached eggs, and traditional ratatouille with fried eggs, prosciutto and wasabi relish. Lunch adds the likes of banh mi steak sandwiches, crispy chicken subs and power bowls to the mix, while the drinks list includes caffeine from Coffee Supreme, loose-leaf tea, vegan-friendly hot chocolate, shakes, smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. Come February, Neesh Bar & Restaurant will debut its nighttime trade, with an evening menu featuring a collection of wood-fired pizzas and share plates. Over at the bar, thirsty punters will be able to sip on craft and mainstream beers, a worldly wine list and cocktails – the perfect combo for post-sunset socialising.
If you’re curious to try Neesh Bar & Restaurant (pets and little ones are welcome!), seek out all the essential details in the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.