I've not had a lot of luck when dining over at South Bank and over the last few years have had some pretty mixed experiences. Ranging from the superb, Stokehouse (see post here) and Aquatine (see post here), to the fairly average and to the really poor, most of our dining experiences in the precinct had not been brilliant. So when we decided to go out with our usual dinner buddies, I was a little bit hesitant when I saw Next Door Kitchen and Bar on the list. I'd heard mostly good things about the little restaurant in Little Stanley Street, so I thought that I'd take the chance and get in and test it out.
Next Door Kitchen and Bar poses as a 1920's style restaurant and while I could picture it in my mind if I tried really hard, I didn't really get the connection. Sure, the tables and chairs could have resembled furniture from the '20s, the fit-out of the kitchen and main dining area more closely resembled a contemporary style restaurant with mismatched and stylish black tiles and dark wood panels. It was a freezing winter's night, so I suspect that the very modern 'mushroom' heaters didn't help with the theme either.
We'd been to Regional Flavours earlier in the day (see post here), which had taken over a large part of Little Stanley Street and Next Door Kitchen had been pretty packed at the time. It was also really busy when we arrived for our 7:30pm reservation and it looked as if it hadn't let up all day, so I was feeling a little more comfortable that we could be onto another winner at South Bank. We'd arrived a little earlier than our dining companions as were able to have a look over the menu and get a bit of a feeling on what we'd order.