Bubbles Cafe Bar and Dining
190 Albert St, Brisbane City
When I was a kid I didn't have a social life (at all) and so my holidays involved staying home and watching taped episodes of Seinfeld. Over a long time, this basically formed my perception of 'the real world' and it got me thinking about how cool it would be to have a regular circle of friends and a regular place to hang out. If you're unfamiliar with Seinfeld (shame on you!), the main characters are always chatting and gossiping at Monks cafe, which I assume is near Jerry's apartment.
Now, practically a decade later, I don't have any place like THAT. After all, I prefer to try many different food spots so I can write up posts for this blog. However, the closest I have to a regular hang out is Bubbles. Whenever Charlie and I need to kill time at night, before 'something' (like before meeting a friend or before a movie is supposed to start), we'll get coffee. Whilst we're super indecisive about most things, we've taken the pain out of 'where shall we get coffee' by continually opting to go to Bubbles.
For a long time, all we got there was coffee. And cocktails. And milkshakes.
Finally, yesturday we were thinking about places to have dinner and I thought "why not try Bubbles for FOOD?"
The actual thought process involved the fact that I had a huge craving for bangers and mash and remembered seeing it on Bubbles' food menu once. When we actually got there, I realized it was a 'lunch special' and therefore not an option for dinner. All the same, we decided to curb our curiosity and see what their food was like.
I wanted to be somewhat healthy so we ordered the fish of the day (oven-baked barramundi) and a Thai beef salad to share.
Bubbles has a whole lot of magazines and books to keep you occupied. Last night, it was relief for 2 reasons: a) we were too tired to talk to each other and b) the food took quite some time to arrive.
When we finally got our food, I was quite impressed with how they looked. Upon biting into the barramundi fillet, I was disappointed. The meat tasted tough and very salty. The following bites weren't over-poweringly salt but the fish just didn't appeal to me, especially when compared with what I had at Jellyfish.
As for the Thai beef salad, it tasted alright but I think it's nothing I can't toss together at home. It's basically a simple Asian vegetable mix with a steak fillet cut up on top, all tossed together with a Thai salad dressing. At least the salad leaves were fresh... I thought the beef was tough and didn't seem marinated in any way.
Overall, the meal I had at Bubbles last night doesn't make me want to return for food. We had been tossing up between Cafe 21 (at the casino) or here and now that I know the mains are of similar price range, I'd recommend Cafe 21 for food over Bubbles without hesitation.
In its defense though, the other times I go (quite frequently), coffee and service has been reliable. I haven't had a cocktail there in a long time but I recall their pina coladas are what got me into pina coladas in the first place and that can't be a bad thing.
They have a dining area downstairs and an open, lounge area upstairs which is perfect for chatting or even studying. I love that Bubbles is one of those rare environments where you're encouraged to be comfortable and stay as long as you like.
Also, I'd like to add that their hazelnut thick shake is one of the best drink-items I've ever had.