Nestled in, one road back from West End's busy Boundary street, Lokal + Co, a Nordic-inspired gem is delivering a truly unique dining experience to the Brisbane food scene.
Owners Helge Olsen and Corey Thomas represent the “local” and “co” with Corey a Brisbane Boy and Helge bringing the Nordic influence from his heritage.
With the release of their new menu comes new trading hours too. Friday and Saturday evenings will now feature a Bar menu with a diverse range of drinks to cater for a casual catch up, or to perfectly accompany the distinctive flavours in their meals.
The venue is set out in a stunning minimalistic design created by the owners themselves.
The bar is brightly lit with hanging pendulum-like lights with a brass globe mirror finish contrasting the simple lighter tones throughout the rest of the area.
With a spacey interior, a deck plus a terrace outside, Lokal & Co features a dining area for any kind of weather. Whilst the fit-out is very modern, the service and homely, yet sophisticated, food mellow out any aspect of a clinical atmosphere with their warm and inviting nature.
In fact, some of the plants featured in the restaurant are actually from owner Helge’s home.
He adds that not having fake plants reflects an underlying philosophy about not having imitations in the kitchen either. This is displayed perfectly with so many things being made in house; from their delectable lefse breads and sauces to their lingonberry jam and of course their house gravalax, which is cured for in excess of 72 hours.
Each item on the menu mirrors both Corey and Helge’s love for food with such thoughtful creation to produce flavours that work harmoniously together. The new licensing now means that this compliment of flavours can be taken to a whole new level with drink pairings.
What we sampled
Baba ghanoush, mushrooms, goats cheese and rocket
Char grilled chorizo, house BBQ sauce, watercress and avocado
Pulled pork with pickled radish
The 3 drink pairings on offer for this course were; Asahi, Estrella or a Pale ale from cricketers arms, all of which are available on tap.
Sticking to what we knew, the Pale ale was the drink of choice. It accompanied all three items so well without any detraction from the dish at all. This was another excellent display of the thoughtfulness in their menu and what bar food should be like. The stand out being the chorizo and house BBQ sauce - a sweet initial taste that developed a bite without overpowering the taste of chorizo and was justly mellowed by the creaminess of the avocado.
Next on the menu was Lokal and Co’s Sweet potato and cured gravlax croquettes with a seeded mustard sauce.
This was easily the dish of the day with incredibly matched taste, presentation and texture profiles. The croquette itself was fluffy, light and clean, without a drop of oil in sight. Upon complimenting Helge on this he attributed it to not deep frying a single thing on their menu nor using oil, instead preferring to panfry. It had a beautiful crunchy exterior with a delicately soft interior. The salmon did add an element of oiliness in conjunction to the mustard sauce but this was cut through beautifully with their pairing of Forbes & Forbes’ 2015 Riesling.
Finally we sampled the “Kjøttkaker” (Lokal + Co's meatballs) with pickled red cabbage and lingonberry jam that was featured with a Vigna Cantina Tempranillo.
The meatball was flavoursome alone but really came to life with the addition of the jam (which was surprisingly savoury, not sweet) and the acidity of the sauerkraut. Interestingly the tones of sweetness followed the dish with the coupling of the red wine.
Lokal + Co intelligently caters for diners of all ages and palate preferences. Whether you’re out with the family, catching up with friends, or even just chasing a really good coffee, they have you covered. The team really know coffee and use the ever consistent Allpress air roasted beans. They offer a variety of milk as well to help meet almost everyone's requirements.
The food menu is split into both light or substantial options and features their interesting twist in every pick. Whether you go for the classic “Avo on toast” that is jazzed up with baba ghanoush and pistachio crumb or a unique option like their black rice breakfast congee made on coconut cream, with fruit and banana caramel, you’re definitely in for a treat.
Boasting seriously tasty dishes across the breakfast to dinner spectrum, the menu features classic and unique dishes ranging from:
- Wholemeal sour cream waffle with banana cream, berries and pecan praline.
- The incredibly popular pork belly, kimchi and crispy fried egg.
- Vegetarian options like their miso caramelised eggplant with spinach spiced dhal, braised carrots with lefse
- Plus, generous items like a tarragon and parmesan chicken schnitzel, with rosemary sweet potato puree and greens or a 250g rump with celeriac remoulade, green pepper sauce served with thick potato chips.
While you may not be able to pronounce some of the menu items, you’ll certainly be talking about them for days to come. The food has a favourably unique twist that really divides Lokal + Co from the rest of the cafés and restaurants in Brisbane and will be what keeps you coming back time and time again.
Black Book Recommendation
House cured gravlax, sweet potato and goats cheese croquettes, horseradish cream, baby kale and a soft poached egg
6 O'Connell Street, West End Qld 4101
Phone - (07) 3844 1675
Mon-Thu - 6am-4pm
Fri - 6am-8pm
Sat - 7am-8pm
Sun - 7am-4pm