Champ Kitchen + Bar (Southbank, QLD)

Recently when I've been jogging, I always pass the sleek Champ Kitchen + Bar, a new addition to the South Bank restaurant scene.  Located right on Grey Street, Champ's ambience is a marriage between utility and modern, giving the open air restaurant an upscale yet comfortable ambience.  I love rustic modern decor (especially if it's handmade), and was rather taken by their "lamp shades" across the ceiling, as well as the floral touches around the restaurant.  The open air-ness of the restaurant closed in by tall glass windows makes it the perfect place for a latte, drink, or a light meal on a sunny day in South Bank, or even on evenings during the weekend, perhaps before a show at the Performing Arts Centre.

I'm really not a fan of public transportation, but it gives me an excuse to make fooding-stops.  Since the weather's been warming up, I've averted myself from the heavier foods, and Champ was the perfect place to lunch.  When I first arrived, there was a bit of a confusion of whether or not I could seat myself, and what they had to offer for lunch.  The waitress asked me whether I was in for lunch, and pointed out their pastries, muffins, and sandwiches in their glass cases, which isn't a great selection.  It wasn't until I asked if they had an actual lunch menu that they brought out the actual menu. Weird.
I had a flat white, as per usual, and decided go for something from the kitchen, rather than pre-made.  I was torn between the Peking Duck Dumplings in Duck Consomme with Shiitake and Scallop Mushrooms and the Capellini Pasta tossed in Sea Urchin Butter with Morton Bay Bug, Ikura Caviar and Truffle Cream, but went for the latter.  Though the portion was a bit smaller than I had expected, the pasta was the perfect texture (which never happens when I make pasta) and the sauce tasted awesome!  I originally thought the pasta was supposed to come with ikura caviar, but realized it was part of the truffle cream.  I was a little disappointed, as the dish would have had more points of interest if there was actual ikura caviar on top.  The Morton bay bug was meaty and not fishy, and was actually better than what I had in Cairns [but still not better than lobster!].  The pasta was satisfying (and perfectly salted for my taste), and did I mention, I received an entree courtesy of the chef? (the bread and salmon) The only thing I regret is that the servings are dainty and that the service was a bit messy at the beginning, but I like the place otherwise.
Price: 20-30 AUD pp | $$
Rating: 3.5/5

Champ (tumblr)
114 Grey Street
Southbank, QLD 4101
#: (07) 3844-4470
Champ Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon

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