Propaganda - Express Lunch Review


After closing in November last year, ‘Propaganda Club’ (see previous review Friday Night Drinks) has recently revived and reopened under the simple ‘Propaganda’. Under the new title, the venue has made exciting changes to their menu and changed their opening hours to something a little more in sync with the nearby office crowds. Today On The Chopping Board (OTCB) was invited by Propaganda to try their Express Lunch, with all food provided by Propaganda.

The Express Lunch - 5 courses, $20
The steep stairs of their entryway lead down to a space much more expansive than their Grenfell based wooden fa├žade would suggest. A large bar area offers a space for those seeking to relax with an after work beverage, with cocktail specials ($12 espresso martinis when we visited), local wines and tap beers. Enclosed within windowed partitions, the dining area offers a mix of intimate two-seater tables, cosy red velvet booths and long tables for groups. Each table is precisely set with silver, shining wine glasses and cloth napkins.

Sliding into one of the booths we explore the options on the new menu. Earlier opening hours have allowed Propaganda to offer a breakfast for those with a little extra time available before they clock in for the day. The standard avocado toast, granola and benedict make an appearance, though with French toast for $6 and eggs on toast for $9 the venue offers an affordable option for those wanting a little bit more atmosphere for their first meal of the day.

The ‘small’ dish options on the menu have a definite Asian influence, with Peking duck spring rolls and brioche wagyu sliders. The ‘big’ plates include some cultural variety as well as increased size, with slow roasted lamb shoulder served with pomegranate pesto and chicken, chorizo and avocado ravioli.

Today we tried their Express Lunch, served Monday – Friday 12pm – 3pm. For an impressively frugal $20 you can enjoy a 5-course lunch, and for an additional $5 a selected wine or beer from the bar.

Course 1: Natural Oysters

Natural oysters with lemon – briny-fresh oysters are served straight up - raw, bright and clean. They need nothing more than the splash of lemon juice. 

Course 2: Silken Tofu

Silken tofu, cucumber, ginger soy chilli, pickled ginger, crispy shallot - I always feel like tofu gets a bad rap. Raw tofu is rich and filling, but can lack flavour. Propaganda do a great job of adding uncomplicated elements to boost the simple base. The tofu they have chosen is a medium firm which sits at the Goldilocks level for density and texture. The soy-based sauce is quite salty, but the cucumber and ginger help add a refreshing note. Crispy shallots add some crunch.

Course 3: Prawn filled betel leaf
Prawn filled tempura betel leaf, ponzu sauce – my favourite of the 5 courses is the crisp betal leaf surrounding a thick layer of minced prawn. Ponzu is always a perfect choice to accompany seafood and the Asian citrus sweetness cuts through any residual oiliness left from the tempura fry.

Course 4: Black Angus porterhouse

150g Black Angus porterhouse, red wine sauce, pommes frites – a very generous portion of steak, which is cooked as ordered - perfectly medium rare. The quality of the beef was surprisingly good considering the price. It could have easily been mistaken for a Fillet Steak instead of a porterhouse cut. The red wine sauce is used sparingly and melted seamlessly into the juices of the meat. The chips were also very liberally served. I’m a crispy chip fan and was very pleased that there was nothing soggy about Propaganda’s frites. They served them lightly browned and crunchy, without too much seasoning or salt.

Course 5: Sago
Sago with lemon sorbet, mango puree, fresh berries – not too sweet and pleasantly zesty, this dish helped cleanse the palate and round out the meal. The tropical flavours of fruits and tang of the lemon were balanced out with a sweep of coconut yoghurt. A delightful finish.

The express lunch menu at Propaganda will be seasonally based, with the summer update due in a couple of weeks. Despite the ‘express’ moniker this lunch option has the feeling of a mini degustation. If you don’t have the time to slow down and spend your time savouring it, you’ll enjoy the fact you’re spending less of your money instead. Those with dietary requirements will need to stick to the main menu, but if you love to embrace your inner omnivore then treat yourself above your usual sandwich or sushi and add some style and quality to your lunch hour.

The Propaganda Club Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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