Address: 43 Alfred St Fortitude Valley, QLD
I have been dying to go try Kwan Brothers since first hearing of its opening a couple months back as the idea of Asian fusion restaurants has always attracted, and at the same time, confused me.
But beneath the confusion of why would someone change the flavour of already divine dishes, there is also the acknowledgement that, yes, ingredients can alter their tastes in different countries (disagree with me if you will, but pork tastes significantly different in Australian compared to other Asian countries) and certain things would have to be approached differently.
Anyway, after much whinging and pleading with Z (as I did not want to go by myself), we finally made it to Kwan's Brothers last night.
Located next door to Alfredo's, on the block I generally known as the Alfred and Constance block, Kwan's Brothers adopted its sibling establishments' ambience with loud funky music and decor (There's a reason why my photos all had a red under tone as I didn't want to use my flash to ruin the dining experience of others in the restaurant).
Z and I were seated quite quickly despite that the restaurant was quite full already and unlike previous review I've read, the waiters were all quite friendly and attentive.
After much deliberation on the menu (since Z doesn't like rice and I don't eat lamb), we narrowed down our choices. For that night, we tried 6 dishes (and 2 drinks) from Kwan Brothers. They include Pork Bao Bao, Pork and Pineapple Skewers, Shaking Beef Salad, Deep-fried Cauliflower, Peking Duck Spring Rolls and Salmon in Banana Leaf.
At this point, I'd kindly ask readers to not judge us on our gluttony, we did enough of that after the meal...
Food came fast enough; the first to arrive was the Pork Bao Bao.
In essence, if anyone has tried Bun Mobile, very similar concept of delicious roast pork filing inside of plain steamed bun.
However, the baos are simply divine! The pork was juicy and so very well flavoured and when combined with the soft bun, it was simply sensational. I was blown away after the first bite.
The pork and pineapple skewers were also delicious. It adopted the similar flavour of the pork from the bao bao, however, there was an extra sense of bitterness and sweetness as it was barbequed with pineapples.
The deep-fried cauliflower was Z's favourite. In his words, "deep-fried batter coated with honey and sesame... how can I not love that"!
For me, the dish reminded me somewhat of the Korean deep-fried spicy chicken (except not spicy). I quite happily munched away on this dish as it went superbly with our drinks (although, it's probably better with a beer).
The shaking beef salad (we ordered the small one) was probably the least fusion-esque dish we ordered that night. It tasted exactly like the shaking beef salads I've tried in many Thai restaurants. It's sharpness and a hint of spices really hits the note. However, if you are not a fan of sour or sharp foods, this is probably not for you.
Following from Pork Bao Bao, my other highlight of the night was the peking duck spring roll with hoisin dipping sauce.
I do admit that there may have been some bias in that judgement as I am a big fan of peking duck and freshly made spring rolls. Rolling them together into one dish is pretty much a guarantee for success in my opinion.
The salmon in banana leaf was the last to arrive. But that stage, Z and I were so full, we are starting to look at food with apprehension.
But as the earlier dishes, the salmon, coated with its special satay sauce was also just beautiful. The salmon was perfectly cooked and the sauce was so delicious, if I had more room in my tummy, I'd eat every single bite!
Anyway, after stuff ourselves to the point of near explosion, Z and I ended rolling out of Kwan's Brothers rubbing our food baby in delight and our wallets (Z's really), lighter.
Recommended: Pork Bao Bao & Peking Duck Spring Rolls