BentSpoke has been a mainstay of Braddon’s nightlife since 2014, but now they’re looking to capture the interest of the daytime crowd with their new Lunch Sprint specials.
It’s a very different vibe heading into BentSpoke during the day.
I’ve spent more than my fair share of evenings in the brewpub with a couple of mates, a large Crankshaft and some mac ‘n’ cheese balls or a bowl of chips. It didn’t occur to me to go there for lunch, and certainly not in the middle of the workday, but I was more than willing to see if they could change my mind!
There are three Lunch Sprint specials on offer, all under $18 and guaranteed to be served in under 15 minutes.
The special menu items will all rotate fortnightly, which gives the chefs the opportunity to flex their creative muscles and try out new ideas. The specials aren’t a watered-down version of their regular menu – they’re distinct dishes that have been created specifically with the lunchtime office crowd in mind. They’re a little lighter – dare I even say healthier? – than typical ‘pub food’ with a real emphasis on flavour. And, of course, there’s still that trademark BentSpoke flair that adds a cheeky beer-y twist to the classics.
I tried the Red Nut Moroccan Braised Lamb shoulder with burnt eggplant, yogurt puree, freekeh tabouli, almonds and toasted tortilla. Red Nut is one of BentSpoke’s many award-winning beers. It’s a hoppy Red IPA which they describe as having ‘caramel malt character’, which is a great pairing with the braised lamb.
The meat is tender and juicy, and the beer has added a touch of dark sweetness to the dish. The accompanying freekeh tabouli is really tasty. Freekeh is toasted green wheat, which has a really nutty taste when cooked. I often find the texture of traditional cracked wheat tabouli a bit mealy and course but freekeh is a nice substitute.
Fresh pomegranate seeds add a fabulous pop of sweet and sour juice, and the eggplant base is smooth and creamy with juuuust the right amount of smoke. It’s a delight to mop up with the warm toasted tortilla. I finish the meal feeling satisfied, but not over-full or heavy.
Chatting with the manager on shift, I was a little surprised to hear that most people coming in for the lunch sprint will still have a beer with the meal. I guess when in Rome …
Tempting as it is to pair the lamb with a glass of the Red Nut, I suspect the higher alcohol content might not be a good call if I want to be productive for the rest of the day! Instead, I opt for a small glass of the low alcohol Easy Ale, which at 3.2% is unlikely to affect my workplace performance in the afternoon.
The other lunch sprint options this fortnight were a vegan poke bowl with red cabbage, edamame beans and an avocado and miso dressing, or a dish of Sprocket-cured salmon on toasted sourdough with citrus kraut, beetroot and capers. The seasonal Spokey Soup from the main menu is also available as part of the lunch sprint.
The sprint lives up to the speedy name: I was in and out within half an hour, and I could see other tables around me also received their meals promptly before heading off back to the office.
The Lunch Sprint Specials are available Monday to Thursday from 11 am to 3 pm at 38 Mort St, Braddon, Canberra (entry from Elouera St). Follow BentSpoke Brewing on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with the fortnightly changing specials.
Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.