It might be easy, on first visit, to miss the somewhat nondescript office building that houses Eleven Rooftop Bar on its roof. 30 seconds in the elevator and stepping out into the expansive space though, you can be sure you’ll remember it for next time.
The most striking quality about the Bar is its versatility. I could easily see this place as a destination for a family lunch in the bright summer sunlight, nestled into their comfortable booths (complete with pillows), and could just as easily see people booking out the standing space near the bar for a birthday or engagement party. Full of sandy exposed brick, light wood and greenery, the overall feeling of the venue is of simple and approachable sophistication.
A rule of thumb I follow whenever I visit a new city is to find a high point so I can look out over the city. Boasting a gorgeous view of the Brisbane CBD from its glass-enclosed balcony, Eleven Rooftop Bar is definitely a good place to go for your introduction to Fortitude Valley’s urban layout.
Just like its venue, Eleven’s cuisine boast a mix of influences, but all are presented with careful regard for beautiful plating and colour. It’s simple and minimal, but that serves to highlight the food. Many of the plates were best shared, and many are gluten-free, which I will mark ‘GF’.
My favourite of the tapas, without a doubt, would have to be the baby squid ($16.50 – GF), which was lightly coated in crispy rice flour and incredibly sweet and tender, without any of the oily heaviness you might expect from a more traditional batter. The Thai chilli and lime dressing gave the squid a bit of a sweet kick, but I would have happily eaten three more plates of the squid alone – it was that good. The pulled pork arancini with romesco sauce and herb salad ($10) was a hearty ball of cheesy, meaty flavours that would be hugely popular in group or party settings. Give me a plate of these and I would also be set for the night.
Of the mains, I will have to go with the seafood offering as my favourite – the pan seared market fish ($35 – GF). This was just an incredibly light, summery dish that worked so well with the warm weather. The lemon creme fraiche really added a refreshing note to the fish and the lightly cooked greens served to subtly enhance the flavour.
The twice cooked pork belly with roasted garlic mash and baby carrots ($35 – GF) was also a solid rendition of pork belly and creamy mash, though it was a little difficult to share nicely between multiple people (you basically need to take the skin off and cut it separately to the other layers). The fig and pedro ximinez paste provided adds a dense, sweet note to the pork belly, though I personally prefer eating the pork plain.
I probably snuck a lot more of the beer battered chips ($9) than I should have, but Eleven Rooftop Bar knows how to do a good, solid chip. But the star of that dish was the housemade tomato ketchup was amazing, a vivid punch of flavour that was a little smoky so that it tasted almost like a cross of tomato and barbeque sauce. The other sides – rocket salad with apple, grana padano and balsamic ($10 – GF) and the green bowls ($10 – GF) gave us some much-needed greens
We were pretty much full to bursting at that point so I could only manage a few bites from the daily cheese selection ($24) with the same fig and pedro ximinez paste as the pork belly dish. I have to say, the paste really shines by itself on lavosh crackers or the slightly burnt ciabatta slices.
If you are in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, this would make a worthy addition to your meal rotation or as a destination for a Friday unwind from the office. Good food, paired with good friends and conversation, a well-stocked bar and Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley spread out below… it’s pretty hard to top that.
Eleven Rooftop Bar
Phone: (07) 3067 7447
Level 11, 757 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, QLD
Web: Eleven Rooftop Bar
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Eleven Rooftop Bar and Brisbane Airtrain