Thursday, 2 October 2014

Cheap Eats Lunch - Hive Coffee and Eat House

I was inspired by my trip to the new Bread and Meat Co CBD location (see post here) and wondered what other gems were around the CBD for lunch.  I’m pretty sure there are 100’s of great little spots around our river city that need to be explored and I’m just the guy to do it.  I’ll have my ear to the ground as well as my eyes on the lookout for those great little lunch spots, but I’m keen to hear if you’ve got that special little spot that you want me to visit.

Last week I went and checked out a breakfast spot that specialised in meat and I‘d really enjoyed my visit to The Cutting Board (see post here).  It was at this breakfast that I got a bit of an idea on where to visit next, with the boys from The Cutting Board having recently set up a new venture down my end of the city.  Hive Coffee and Eat House is the sister restaurant and has been up and running for about five weeks in the newly redeveloped food court in the Riverside Centre. 

Hive Coffee and Eat House has The Cutting Board owner Anthony Attard involved in the set up and his influence is clear and, boy, he sure does love his meat!  Both of the ventures he is involved in feature meat quite heavily and for a carnivore like me, that is quite gratifying to see, especially with his liberal use of chorizo.

It had been literally years since I had stepped into the Riverside Centre, which is surprising since I live just up the street and walk by and around the space so often.  The last time I was actually inside the Riverside Centre, it was much more of a traditional food court with a heap of little eating spots that were mainly forgettable.  I was pretty surprised to walk into the space and see that it had been redeveloped to feature fewer dining options, but those that were there were at the upper end of ‘carvery’ and starting to approach restaurant style food.

There was still some development and building occurring in the Riverside Centre, but Hive was easy to spot, it was down the back wall and had some funky yellow neon lights with HIVE everywhere.  I’d describe HIVE as an up market carvery and sandwich spot, with many pre-made but delicious looking options for those wanting a quick bite to eat.  There was also a decent sized kitchen out the back that catered to the freshly made options on the menu.

The menu is prominently displayed along numerous white boards at the back of the serving area and I noted a heap of meat options called ‘cuts from the oven’, which could be ordered in a roll, or on a plate with a couple of sides.  Options included beef brisket, lamb shoulder and pork shoulder, all slow cooked as well as glazed ham off the bone and schnitzels.  The other main part of the menu seemed to be for the pre-made speciality sandwiches, a couple of them featuring my beloved chorizo!

I skipped all of those options and went for one of the three burgers that Hive had on offer.  I also spotted the fresh juice section and chatted to my server about putting together a smoothie, which weren’t specifically on the menu, but the team were able to accommodate.  Getting a little crazy and creative, I thought that beetroot would work well with apple and low fat yoghurt.  The girl behind the counter was a little sceptical, but went ahead and did it anyway, one part beetroot, two parts apple and one part yoghurt.  I was a little nervous when the purple smoothie was placed in front of me, but after a sip…..  Winner!  The only thing missing was some ice cream or a bit of ice to cool it down.

Shortly after my successful smoothie experiment, my burger and chips was brought over in a covered container.  With a little trepidation, I opened up my container to see some crispy and golden chips surrounding an old school looking burger.  I’d ordered the HIVE burger, which came with double angus beef patties, tomato, iceberg lettuce, jack cheese, pickles, mustard and tomato sauce.  Oh, there were no hassles to remove my pickles (see hassle post here).  The flavours of the HIVE burger were really good, the mix of mustard and tomato sauce was just right and the double beef patty worked well with the cheese.  I didn’t really like the texture of the beef patties though, they were too firm and a little over cooked.  Reflecting back on the burger, I think that one thicker patty cooked to a medium rare would have allowed the beef flavour to come through, so perhaps something to consider.

I’d arrived pretty early for my lunch and it was still pretty quiet at HIVE, but it looked like they were gearing up for a big  lunch, there were staff everywhere.  With a name like HIVE, it was no surprise that there were a lot of cool looking peeps around and I even spied owner Anthony, who has the full Ned Kelly hipster beard going, marshalling the troops for a big day.

I think I probably missed out on an opportunity on my visit to HIVE, I’d been considering getting one of the beef brisket rolls, but held back because of my visit to the Bread and Meat Co the day before.  I’d also been seduced by the awesome breakfast burger that we’d had at The Cutting Board but the burger was not as good as some other specialist burger places around town, like Miel and Howzat.  However, if you’re looking for one of those old school burgers that you ate as a kid, the HIVE burger will probably bring up some pleasant memories.

I was pretty interested in the setting at the Riverside Centre, which obviously has a beautiful view of the Brisbane river and Story Bridge, but also had a few restaurants that had closed.  There were a couple of vacant spots that needed to be filled and with the introduction of HIVE Coffee and Eat house, are surely destined to be opened soon.  

I might need to head back and check out some of the other spots in my quest for that perfect CBD cheap eats for lunch…

Hive on Urbanspoon

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