COUNTRY CHICKEN SOUP WITH CRUSTY BREAD BY THE COOK’S GROCER There’s nothing our bodies crave…
Hot dawg. That’s how they pronounce it in Brooklyn, New York. They’re fat, juicy, quick, fun.
And on the asphalt sidewalks of the big apple, dawgs take their possie alongside other well-known, delicious street food, like cheeseburgers, pizza and Reubens. Vendors line up selling these New York classics day-after-day to a gazillion hungry customers, including business people wearing designer suits bought at Saks Fifth Avenue. And don’t forget the drivers of the city’s bright canary yellow taxis who know exactly where the best vendors are located.
But we’re in Canberra so what am I going on about? Well dawgs are being served up on the menu at the newest eatery to open in Green Square, Kingston, called Little Brooklyn. And no, it’s not named after that famous mover and shaker in New York’s very active burlesque scene—at least not that I know of.
Like many other dishes at Little Brooklyn, the ‘Brooklyn dog’ is New York-inspired. Here it’s chorizo with charred capsicum, onion and good old ketchup and mustard ($18). The Brooklyn burger is 200 grams of certified dry aged beef with bacon, pickles, onions, cheddar cheese and bbq sauce ($20). And the ‘Brooklyn Rueben’ is made with corned wagyu, sauerkraut and Dijon mustard ($18).
Little Brooklyn is a casual place to hang out—an American-type gastropub with several big screen television for the sports nuts out there. It occupies a major spot in Green Square, where the Holy Grail used to be, and is there for all to enjoy.
But back to the New York-inspired pub grub. My friend ordered sticky, finger lickin’ ribs, slow cooked in Brooklyn’s BBQ sauce ($18) and she agreed with the description on the menu that they were ‘hot and numbing’. Not too hot and numbing, though, so do not fear. These ribs went straight down the hatch.
I went for the Portobello mushroom burger. You gotta love these mushrooms. They’re mini steak size and are fantastic with salsa verde, rocket, provolone cheese (like mozzarella, but with fuller flavour) and oven roasted tomato ($18). It’s a big burger but not too heavy.
And there’s nothing better than hot chips when the temperatures are soaring. Little Brooklyn’s come in paper cups with fun stories written on them, including ‘The secret of the crisp chip’ ($9 with spiced mayo). Did you know that researchers have found that hot chips stay fresher when served in paper cups? I’ll let you read the rest of the story on your visit.
Also dished up is super smooth, super creamy Labneh, made and marinated in-house. This soft cheese, created from yoghurt, appears in a glass jar set on a wooden platter and served with spiced char grilled bread ($14). It’s a perfect starter to share. Other goodies on the lighter side of the menu include a pulled lamb pocket, house-baked pizzettas, grilled squid and croquettes.
If you’re looking for something more substantial, mains include a feisty New York steak (300 grams of sirloin, grain feed for 100 days), served with jalapeno butter, fried chicken, meatballs and spaghetti, and grilled barramundi (not that you’d get that type of fish easily in the pubs or on the streets of New York).
The outdoor area at Little Brooklyn is large with two tall, rectangular, communal tables and a range of other seating types. The inside is massive, and I love the coloured checked carpet and the smaller, more intimate tables lined up at the front adjacent to large windows. The windows slide wide open bringing the outdoors in. And check out the beer garden at the back, created by knocking out part of the wall that faces Highgate Lane.
Speaking of beer … lots on tap. And for wine, Little Brooklyn has a decent selection, including two nice roses, perfect for summer. Chardonnay lovers will adore the Ministry of Clouds drop from Tasmania ($15 glass/$72 bottle), created by two of the wine industry’s bright young talents, Julian Forwood, previously Wirra Wirra, and Bernice Ong, ex Woodstock. Little Brooklyn also carries Ministry of Clouds’ Shiraz ($10.50 glass/$48 bottle).
Cocktail fans can sip on a cool ‘Straight Outta Brooklyn’ with rye whiskey, the ‘Bushwick Basher’ and other sure-to-please creations like the ‘Park Slope Lady’ (all $16).
One of Canberra’s bestest gals in the hospitality game, the hard-working Kayla, is on deck with her big smile, never-ending energy and positive approach. She’s a delight and a great addition to the team.
Little Brooklyn is owned by restaurateurs/businessmen Pawl Cubbin, Frank Condi and Soc Kochinos, who have dibs in various venues in town. Also on deck, in his first hospitality venture, is Zoo Advertising’s Managing Director, Clint Hutchinson, whose creative folks handled the branding. Zoo is expert at branding bars, restaurants and cafes, having designed the look and feel of at least 18 throughout Canberra to date, including award-winning Tongue and Groove in the city, award-winning Konoba at Hotel Realm and the Lava Coffee establishments.
The team behind Little Brooklyn are working on transforming the area upstairs, which housed First Floor for many years. It promises to be a more upmarket venue.
And Pawl and Soc are working with a group of Kingston traders to re-plant green grass in Green Square area. The government has approved that the spikey, unfriendly, drought-resistant plants be removed and replaced with family-friendly, inviting green grass, but its administration challenges have reared their ugly heads causing delays for the traders. Stay tune, though. The Kingston traders are determined to have their green back.
Little Brooklyn has a small stage and showcases live music. Feel free to get up and boogie.
Open 7 days. 6260 8150.