So there’s something about the name of the Hoo Ha Bar that is just funny. Or I’m just really immature.
I must be the last foodie/alcoholic in Brisbane to discover this place and was truly disgusted in myself when the bar staff told me Hoo Ha had been open since March. It’s less than six blocks from my house (on Tribune Street near the bus and train stations) and I didn’t know it was there. Food blog fail.
I found out about it yesterday and was there last night. There’s not much room in Southbank for bars that aren’t “in” Southbank and therefore expensive and potentially revolting so I was excited.
I told Ben we were celebrating his new job. But he knows.
We moseyed down about 6.30 and although it was after happy hour, we had a happy time. We perused the beer and cocktails menu and Ben got a Coopers something (beer, pffft) and I was torn between a Bison Shake and a Cuban Espresso. As much as I wanted a Cuban Espresso and my general judgement of a bar’s cocktails rests on the mixing of coffee and alcohol, I didn’t want to be up at 11 pm with foil on my head paranoid about alien invasions. I likes me sleep.
So I went with the Bison Shake (Vodka, Peach schnapps, cloudy apple juice, passionfruit and grapefruit bitters) and was not disappointed. I could have drunk these all night, but at $16 (standard full priced cocktails in Brisbane), I couldn’t afford to last night on our budget. I am happy with the knowledge that many of these drinks are in my future.
We also wanted a nibble and Hoo Ha serves sharing plates in the evening. I think this is a great idea, not just because I don’t like drinking on an empty stomach, but because it’s a great way to offer food without worrying about chefs and the full dining experience for now. They do however offer a breakfast and lunch that looks divine (check out their Facebook page on the link at the top), but that can be a post for another day.
There was a meats board (errr, not for us thanks), a cheese board (3 cheeses for $20!!!) and a bread and dips board for $10. We decided on the dips, which were hummus and babaganouj with warm olives, pickles and Turkish bread. It was a great appetiser for two people (we were going on to eat dinner elsewhere) and we both enjoyed it. I don’t normally like babaganouj but this was nice and simple.
We sat in seats from an old church- upright individual seats with room to kneel facing them. They were surprisingly comfy and made for lots of good elbow leaning. All I needed was a glass or port to swirl.
The rest of the decor is like a great living room (perhaps from a Teneriffe warehouse apartment?): brown leather couches and big wooden tables with dining chairs. I liked the set up because rather than uncomfortable places to perch, the feeling was “Come in and SIT and FACE your friends and RELAX”. A mix of REM and Radiohead was on the speaker system but you could hear your neighbour with ease. The two guys behind the bar were relaxed and friendly and didn’t seem intimidated by my intense cocktail-making watching, which I do without realising it and am sorry. It was a quiet night, but the photo makes it look quieter. More people were sitting around the edges of the room.
Ben’s comment really sums up the vibe: “I feel like this is a place where people come to enjoy themselves and have a chat and laugh without being obnoxious dicks”. I hope so!
Now that Pear Cafe and Bar is not open as much in the evenings, I see Ben and I having many a sit, sip and sup here over summer.