Luxe (Fortitude Valley, CA)

Getting to James street is a bit difficult without a car, but I guess it's not too bad since it's not hilly like every other part of Brisbane!  Me and Jo, continuing our foodie date nights, decided to give Luxe a try after convincing ourselves it would be worth $20 for all you can eat tapas.  After checking out the ratings on Yelp and Urbanspoon, we weren't too impressed with the ratings, but at least it's on James street? ie. bougie streets of Brisbane?

We started with the Montado Spanish bruschettas and the Spiced baby calamari, as we were limited to one dish per person.  I really liked the bread throughout the night (and it came up in several dishes), and the Spanish bruschettas were good for that reason.  The calamari came with basil and tomatoes, and the dish kind of reminded me of something in Chinese cuisine. The calamari was not overly chewy, and the basil complemented, but it didn't stand out in any way.  Next, we had the Southern Style Buffalo Wings, which wasn't exactly in buffalo sauce, a bit on the oily side, and just wasn't very flavorful for the most part.  The skin was nice and crispy, but the flavor didn't quite hit the spot.

One of the better plates of the night was the Sauteed Tiger Prawns, which came with the crusty bread that I liked.  They were in a chili, garlic, white wine, and olive oil sauce, but again, I couldn't quite taste the spices - something I'm typically pretty good at.  The prawns, however, did taste fresh - no fishiness, with a nice crunch, so I was actually a bit impressed.  Since their service was terribly slow that night - their trick to not serving as much for the AYCE - we didn't get to try everything we wanted, so we ended with the Thai Chicken Spring Rolls and the Salt Cod Brandade.  The spring rolls were average - the skin a bit too hard, and the filling a bit dry.  The ratio was just a bit off, so the spring rolls came off a little dry, but the lime aoli balanced it out.  Again, there wasn't any flavor to the spring rolls itself, but the aoli did add that punch of flavor.   Possibly the best dish of the night (tying with the prawns), was the brandade, which is pretty much a salt cod and olive oil dip eaten with bread.  I could taste the cod, which wasn't fishy, and I think it was mixed in with mashed potatoes, which I liked.  Again, it came with bread...

Overall, this place is very average. Each plate on the tapas menu averages 17AUD, which can add up quite quickly, and the service was pretty terrible...(the waitresses seemed a bit cold and barely ever tended to the table).  I liked the fact that it was an open air restaurant, but so are all the other restaurants along James Street!  In other words, I probably wouldn't return...
Spanish Bruschetta
Spiced Baby Calamari
Buffalo Wings
Sauteed Tiger Prawns
Salt Cod Brandade
Spring Rolls
Lemon Lime Bitters + Ginger Ale!
Price: 17AUD/plate | $$$
Rating: 3/5

Luxe (Website)
39 James Street
Fortitude Valley, QLD
#: (07) 3854-0671
Luxe Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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