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Tasmanian ocean trout at The Lex

The W Brisbane restaurant has changed, with a new name – The Lex – and a fresh vibe and fit out that channels the W hotel brand’s birthplace in New York City, combined with the warmth and effortless style of a Queensland summer’s afternoon spent by the Brisbane River.

Chef De Cuisine at The Lex, Pawel Klodowski, makes the most of Queensland’s seasonal produce, focussing on what’s in season on the W hotel in Brisbane’s restaurant menu. The kitchen team provide delicious meals and a show thanks to the open kitchen which features a New-York inspired grill that allows the flavours of what’s on the plate to shine.

On the night we dined, our waiter encapsulated the attentive and accomplished service style of a New York ‘career waiter’ and was in his element as he explained dishes or wheeled a trolley table side to toss a Caesar salad with professional flair. Our salad was fresh and crisp and the perfect accompaniment to one of the restaurant’s flavour-packed steaks.

Dry aged Warwick MB3 tomahawk steak at The Lex
Dry aged Warwick MB3 tomahawk steak

It was a close-run thing but the tomahawk steak got our table’s vote as the dish of the night. This was also one of the few times I’ve refused the offer of mustard and other accompaniments as I wanted to fully appreciate the rich flavour of the meat which was served pre-cut alongside the bone.

We also particularly enjoyed the cauliflower steak for mains and the smoked maple and bourbon pork belly which we shared. The latter was served as a starter, but we felt this would also work as a small mains if you weren’t that hungry and ordered a side dish to go with it – like the moreish mac and cheese (another huge hit on the night)!

Desserts tasted as good as they looked. So good, in fact, that the self-confessed chocoholic at our table (willingly) traded his peanut butter chocolate bombe for the pretty floral pavlova featuring coconut meringue and a rich molten, raspberry centre, declaring the not so humble pav “too good to miss”.

Peanut butter chocolate bombe at The Lex
Peanut butter chocolate bombe

If you’re dining as a group, an in-house mixologist is available to serve up champagne cocktails tableside on a cocktail cart for an added touch of flair. We stuck to the restaurant’s extensive wine list on the night we dined, but the Bridge 40 cocktail, made with Brisbane Gin, house-made limoncello, and Champagne and inspired by Brisbane Story Bridge which was built in 1840, sounded great.

If you can take your eyes off the action in the kitchen and what’s on your plate, you’ll be rewarded with views of the Brisbane River. By day, when The Lex at the W Brisbane serves breakfast and lunch, the airy dining terrace makes the most the breezes and Brisbane’s weather. At night, with the lights sparkling on the river, The Lex is perfect for a little ‘date night’ romance.

Disclosure: The writer dined as a guest of The Lex and W Brisbane.

If you’re looking for accommodation in Brisbane, we have reviewed the Treasury Hotel, The Calile, Ovolo The Valley, W Brisbane, Capri by Fraser Brisbane, Hilton Brisbane, The Johnson, NEXT Hotel Brisbane, Sage Hotel James Street, The Westin Brisbane, Oaks Brisbane Festival Suites, Royal on the Park, Ibis Styles Elizabeth Street, Sofitel Brisbane, Crystalbrook Vincent, The Inchcolm by Ovolo, Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments, and Pullman Brisbane Airport.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.