The Middle Eastern oasis known as The Green, that sits nestled in the heart of Fortitude Valley’s James Street precinct, is opening up its Dark Green Dinner Series to a weekly affair! 

Beloved as a brunch institution, this leafy paradise opened its doors for a once-a-month dinner series where guests could dine after dark on an array of favourites and elevated dinner-only fare. Thanks to the wild success of this dinner series, The Green has decided that, come March 1 2024, these mouth-watering dinners will be happening every single Friday and Saturday night.

Embrace Brisbane was lucky enough to get along to one of the Dark Green nights, and believe us when we tell you that you need to clear your calendar to attend. 

One of our very favourite thing straight up is the price: $55 per person for a set menu (plus add ons if you like). When the cost of living is pinching as much as it is, the price is incredibly good value, especially when the quality of the food is so high. 

The menu has been curated specifically to keep it accessible as the team at The Green just loves welcoming large groups and families to dine on their sumptuous fare. 

The Dark Green set menu riffs off their lunch time share plate offerings, but is more elevated and has offerings that are only available at the dinner sitting. Each week, the food on offer will feature a choice between a rotating list of proteins such as lamb on the spit, charcoal roasted whole fish and porchetta as well as highlighting seasonal vegetables like heirloom tomatoes in summer and roasted cauliflower and cabbage in winter. This is alongside their housemade bread and dips.

Our Dark Green Experience

We were lucky enough to snag a booking at one of The Green’s endlessly popular dinner seatings recently and it is definitely a must-do dining destination. 

When we arrive, we’re greeted by a lovely host who takes us through a stunning urban jungle of the outdoor seating area and inside to our table. We’re seated right near a window but it already feels a world away from the James Street precinct outside. 

The menu is simple and elegant, with set options for $55 per person, and add ons as you wish. And with the mouthwatering descriptions of said add ons, just TRY to not add something. We had to try a few extras. There’s also an option to do paired wines but we were in a cocktail kind of mood. 

drinks The Green
There’s always time for cocktails.

The cocktails we order are as pretty as they are tasty. One of them tasted like the sweetest rose Turkish delight (with an actual bit of Turkish delight on top!), and the other was a refreshing (and delightfully boozy) slushie. Yum!

Then it was onto our dinner—the set menu kicks off with homemade Lebanese bread, za’atar with extra virgin olive oil, hummus, pomegranate, fried chickpeas and basturma oil. 

When I tell you this bread was light and fluffy as air, I feel like I am downplaying it—there’s something quite fabulous about homemade bread and the simplicity of extremely well made dips. Plus, it’s so very beautiful even to look at. 

dips the green
Have you ever seen a prettier hummus?

At this stage we add on a serve of falafel and cucumber yoghurt, because when at a Middle Eastern restaurant, one can’t not have the falafel. 

Next up was a dish called Shanklish Borek, which are basically cheese filled spring roll type things, with burnt honey and pickled grapes. The pastry was delightfully flakey and crispy with the oozy cheese melting out the middle. The sweetness of the honey perfectly offsets the saltiness of the cheese in this one. 

We also chose this course to add on the harissa hot sauce quail with Persian lime and tahini sauce. I’ve not tasted quail before and this was a wonderful first experience. The hot sauce has a pleasant kick that isn’t overwhelming but adds a lovely depth to the flavour. And because add ons look so delicious, we also add on a roasted cauliflower with an accompanying yoghurt. I always forget how much I love cauliflower until someone else makes it for me. And then, SO yummy, especially when coated in delish spices. 

cauliflower quail the green
This cauliflower still sits in my dreams.

Of the main proteins, we had a choice of either charcoal roasted whole market fish or lamb backstrap. Since I don’t eat seafood, I opted for the lamb which came with blackened eggplant, coriander and pomegranate. Alongside the lamb, we enjoyed a fatoush salad with sumac, pita and local heirloom tomatoes, as well as the crispiest roast potatoes I think I’ve ever tasted. 

The lamb itself tasted like butter—it was cooked to perfection and melted in my mouth, with the sweet pops of pomegranate perfectly offsetting the saltiness of the meat. 

lamb potatoes the green
Look how juicy that meat is… and the potatoes. GOSH it’s all so good.

The portion sizes at The Green are extremely generous so before we know it we are full up. I briefly think maybe we shouldn’t have ordered the add ons but, as there wasn’t a single one that didn’t taste scrumptious we quickly quashed that thought. 

All in all, the base $55 per head set menu is extremely good value for money and is definitely enough food for dinner without the add ons… but when there’s so many tasty things on the menu, we dare you to not add on at least ONE thing. As The Green’s marketing says: Come. Sit. Eat.

The Green, G1/27 James St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, (07) 3177 2044

Elizabeth Best

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