By: Katie Roberts
The Mad Poet Gastro-bar
20 Cross Street, #01-23/24, China Court
Those familiar with pedestrian-friendly China Court will know it as a popular lunch and after-work spot in the CBD with a wide selection of restaurants catering to hungry, thirsty office workers. Newcomer The Mad Poet adds something different to the strip with posh pub grub and craft beers. A cross between a restaurant and a New York bar, the interior is dark and edgy with exposed wiring and a rough concrete floor. In the back corner, Chesterfield sofas and an enormous high-backed leather armchair add a dash of class.
The food is healthy, fresh, fast, and easy on the hip pocket. Lunches are $10. Good choices include juicy prawns and spaghetti tossed in a creamy garlic butter sauce. The chicken rendang has great flavours and a solid chilli kick, while the grilled saba with sweet and spicy chilli padi is health and tasty.
Fresh juices ($4) are popular at lunchtime, but at $9 a cheeky glass of wine or Paulaner Lager ($6) is a tempting option to take the edge off the afternoon. For after work, there’s a good selection of bar bites (from $7) and dinner choices on offer too.
Must-try dish: Chicken rendang