On Thursday last, one half of Sunshine and Gin went to personal training, one half went to a cocktail bar. If you know us, you’ll know who did what.
Milk Factory Kitchen and Bar has opened in the heritage hotel that formally housed The Joynt on Montague Road, West End.
I had a soft spot for The Joynt. A lot of people didn’t know it existed but for many drinkers – mostly in Brisbane’s art scene I suspect – we loved the simplicity, the grungy vibe and the good old-fashion pub that was The Joynt. I was sad to see it go. That didn’t stop me from paying Milk Factory an after-work visit on Thursday – the day the bar opened – to suss it out.
It may seem a little mean to be reviewing a place on the day it opens, but owner Dan Gregory has had a lot of practise of opening and running top-notch drinking holes such as Baxter’s Inn, Shady Pines and Black Pearl cocktail bars in Sydney and Melbourne. The bar staff were hectic, they only took cash but really the place already feels like it is up and running with pros behind the bar and in the kitchen ready to make this place the next great venue.
Inside, Milk Factory hasn’t changed a lot for the change of name. It feels like The Joynt closed up shop, took a long sea voyage and has returned with a love of rum and a penchant for nautical-themed interior decor. There is a mural of a ship, portholes into the kitchen and an impressive array of amber liquors behind the bar.
Seeing as it posts itself as a cocktail / rum bar, we picked out an El Presidente ($18) and a Gin Garden ($18, not on the menu but offered by the barman) to start with, followed up by a glass of prosecco and a Ranga Tang red ale. Both cocktails were delicious. There are 8 cocktails on the menu at present and limited wine list but the beer and rum offerings are plentiful.
Milk Factory has a ‘floating’ menu which will change every three months to explore new cuisines. I rather like that the grub will change around but too-bad-so-sad if you fall in love with a particular dish. The menu is brief but interesting, offering ‘duck and chestnut gyoza, black vinegar, green tea and ironbark smoke’ ($12) or ‘sweet n sour pork and sticky rice tempura, toasted seaweed, fermented chilli kupi ($16). We ordered a bowl of tamarind bbq hot wings with grapefruit and chive mayo. You got five big meaty wings for $12 and the flavour was delicious.
The Joynt may have slipped off the radar of Brisbane’s bar-loving culture, but I suspect people will now be making the trip down to the dirty corner of Montague Road for a Don’t Give Up The Ship at some fried cuttlefish at Milk Factory Kitchen and Bar. I know I’ll be back for another round of wings before they disappear.