NKB is an American themed diner located at 100 Coonan Street Indooroopilly….
Let me stop you there.
Because I know that some of you will already have your mouse poised over the ‘close’ button; “Oh no, not another American themed restaurant! Snooooze.” It’s true, Brisbane has been going through a few food fads recently and American cuisine is certainly one of them. But read-on, because NKB express is different and deserves to remain in business once the fad dies it’s natural death along with the inevitable, but already too late, decline of kale smoothies and the paleo diet.
NKB Express (named so as a reference to it’s forerunner Nantucket Kitchen and Bar) is an American 1940’s diner style restaurant that serves burgers, sweet potato chips, onion rings, milkshakes, waffles, and a whole host of other artery-hardening, waistline-expanding, delicious ‘merican delights.
I have never been to America. I have no idea what american burgers are really like except from my isolated experience of Americana themed food from places like Bens Burgers, Carolina Kitchen, and Miss Kays and from my media diet which, like most Australians, is a pyramid unhealthy skewed towards the junk-food end of American TV. So, with that in mind, I have found my experiences with American style burgers to be heavy on the meat, cheese, and grease, while lacking in the most glorious and essential burger ingredient: beetroot. Whilst it still lacked in the beetroot department I’m pleased to tell you that the ‘meat packer’ burger at NBK is the exception to my observations thus far. My burger at NBK was actually very well balanced. It was neither too greasy nor was it a salad, it wasn’t overly dry nor overly wet, and it fell nicely in the ‘goldilocks quadrant’ when it came to texture.
The meat patty was a standout – It was sizable and flavoursome with an interesting ‘herby’ flavour that I haven’t come across anywhere else in Brisbane. There was a liberal amount of pickles, and the mustard was present but didn’t dominate the burger. I washed the burger down with a Malted Vanilla milkshake (you can add Malt to any milkshake – nice touch!) and it was as it should be – uncomplicated and delicious.
The interior of NKB is in the style of a traditional American diner, however they have strayed from the red-black-white colour scheme that’s become a bit of a tired stereotype and have instead opted for a pale green colour palate – You’ll have to trust me when I say that it works better than it sounds. I was struck by how clean NKB Express was – every surface was shiny, the booths were immaculate, and the staff would clean tables immediately after diners left. Even though NBK is primarily a burger restaurant the service and quality of food provided at NKB makes the experience more akin to a casual dining restaurant than fast food (although the food came out quickly too!).
I would happily return to NKB and even make a special trip out there if I was in the mood for burgers and milkshakes. The food is hearty and flavoursome, the atmosphere is a a delightful 1940’s theme, and the staff work hard to keep the restaurant clean and the customers happy.
Review by Andrew Bloyce.