Located at the end of South Bank’s Grey Street in a heritage listed house is one of the most interesting new openings you’ll find anywhere up and down Australia’s East Coast. Little Big House, from Solotel and Matt Moran, takes place in the former Collins Place: a beautiful two-storey house shining with timber and separated into multiple spaces, spanning two bars, a lounge with a pool table, veranda seating and even a karaoke room. Solotel have obviously looked at what has been working in some of their other venues, like Sydney’s Japanese-leaning Goros, where promises of neon-lit karaoke sessions have been drawing capacity crowds for the past few years.
The breezy, casual atmosphere coupled with the prime spots out on the veranda overlooking Grey Street is reason enough to fall in love with Little Big House, with a successful shot at providing Brisbane locals and visitors with a distinctive house party vibe without the trappings of a nightclub. Free karaoke is just a bonus here, although with only one room the offering feels quite limited, especially when it picks up in popularity moving into the thick of summer.
Head Chef Mathew Fulford takes care of the limited but likeable menu here, although the hero dish – a whole rotisserie chicken – is nothing to write home about. Much more satisfying are all the casual sides to stock up big tables with, from standard bowls of spiced mixed nuts ($6) and olives ($7) to kingfish and avocado tostadas ($14) and chunky, light fish fingers with tartare sauce ($14). Best of these are the chicken parmi spring rolls ($15) and lamb sausage rolls with tomato chutney ($11).
You can grab some rotisserie chook for ($18 half and $34 full) or porchetta ($22) if your group is particularly famished, but don’t go expecting anything fancy. The chicken, at least mine, was in dire need of seasoning and if this is the standard here then I’d suggest sticking to the smaller eats. Or just skip both and grab an ice cream sandwich for dessert.
Much more impressive is the drinks list, which includes an exclusive brew from Sydney legends Young Henry’s, a well-curated selection of wines, and a tight list of simple cocktails including a Garden Tonic, a twisted-up espresso martini with popcorn and toasted marshmallow. Stay away from the cocktails-in-a-can unless you like your drinks excessively sweet (the “Like Apple Pie” does go down a treat though) or just ask the bartenders to mix you up some classics.
It’s really all about the atmosphere here though, and I’d be quite interested in checking out their breakfast sessions next time – as starting the morning from that veranda on the way to or from South Bank station seems like a good idea. Smart decor certainly helps move the good times along, featuring custom-painted murals of Australian flora and fauna to playful palm trees and umbrellas providing shade to those who want to sit outside on the ground floor.
Little Big House
Address: 18 Southpoint, 271 Grey Street, South Brisbane
Contact: (07) 3727 3999