Habitat Restaurant & Bar, West End, Brisbane

1:29:00 PM

Habitat Restaurant and Bar was one restaurant I've wanted to try for quite some time now but didn't have the chance, well, we finally did. The third venture of rugby legend Scott Higginbotham and his business partner, Malcolm Watts after Moose and Gibson in Woolloongabba and Leaf Espresso Bar in Tarraggindi. A much classier venue and relaxing than the other two I may say, maybe my most liked in regards to its design, what you may call it as to be sophisticated.

Both indoor and outdoor seatings are available, an outdoor courtyard offering fresh air, cozy booths, high benches and also an elevated coffee nook. Its use of space is very well thought out not wasting any space they have in the restaurant. The menu changes as season changes so what you may see one season may not be offered the next. May it be breakfast or dinner, drinks or coffee, they have it all here and with the environment, you may not go wrong, though parking can be a bit of a hassle.
Wooden tables with sofa seatings, though when the sun do shine during the day, it can get a bit too sunny..
For those wanting a more bar feel, high stools and tables are available..


'Crispy pork belly' with blue cheese semolina gnocchi wood ear mushrooms and tomato herb salsa. A delightful dish to look at and couldn't wait to dig in. What I found the most interesting was the Blue cheese semolina gnocchi when I laid my eyes on it. What I thought would be little bits of blue-cheese infused gnocchi turned out to be shaped and presented differently too.
Blue cheese semolina gnocchi, I could taste the blue cheese but it did not have that distinct flavour which I thought would have a bit more kick to it. I found it to be quite soft overall and it would have been nicer if the outer layer had a bit of ground to it instead of it all being equally soft. The gnocchi also got cold easily if you didn't finish it quickly.

The wood ear mushrooms and the cherry tomato salsa was a nice addition to the dish, the wood ear mushrooms blended in nicely however, the tomato salsa was quite cold and yes, it may have been supposed to be making the whole dish fresh but I don't think it was quite a good match with the pork belly and the other condiments. However, that said, the tomato was well seasoned.
As for the crispy pork belly, the pork skin was well done but it may have been a bit too much since when you try to knife it through, you would end up having the pork skin being separated from the pork meat, resulting in you having to cut through the meat and skin separately. At the bottom of the meat, it seemed to be a bit oily but other than that, the crackly had that nice crisp and seasoning with the right amount of salt rubbed onto it.
Though the crackling was done nicely, I found the pork meat was dry when cutting into it. It may have looked moist on the outside but it was hard trying to have that nice pork meat and have that feeling of wanting to finish the whole pork belly due to its dry meat and lack of sauce.
I mistook my menu photos so yes, I did lose them so I don't quite remember the full name of the dish but it was a simple 'Chorizo Burger' from what I remembered it to be. With spinach, tomato and a beetroot relish with a side of beer battered chips. The beer battered chips was fried well, crispy on the outside and a side of aioli would have made it nicer but was already good by itself. The chorizo was nicely lightly grilled giving it that smoky taste in the burger, however, I would have liked a little grilled bun instead of just a simple white sesame bun.
The beetroot relish was interesting, though it can get messy when eating beetroot, and we all know that. It is nice to see that the beetroot was not blended or fully mushed up, being able to see the true beetroot texture still intact. It blended in nicely with the grilled chorizo and made the burger quite a refreshing one to bit through.


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