The Varnished Culture spent a (very) warm week in Brisbane sampling, inter alia, some of the very nice eateries. From restaurant to cafe, Brisbane serves good food in elegant settings and a relaxed mode. Here’s a sample.
(Shop 1, River Quay, Sidon St, Brisbane, Qld)
Very posh. A short walk through the steamy riverbank gardens and then seats in the bar with delicious cocktails (a “Sicilian Sunset” – Vodka, Limoncello, Lemon sorbet, Vanilla and soda; and an “Arancia Sour” – Johnnie Walker Black, Lemon, a Chinotto reduction and whites). Then in to lunch. There we encountered some Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve and (from memory) a refreshing bottle of Roussanne (the wine list is extensive, and not cheap).
We had Sydney rock Ostriche al Naturale with lemon; Spaghettini with champagne lobster, garlic, chilli, white wine, lemon butter, and bottarga; a delectable serve of Black Angus beef, and a Caprese salad. Otto is a special occasion joint but pleasingly casual in the easy-peasy-lemonsqueezy Brisbane manner.
(130 William St, Brisbane)
We strayed over the river to visit Archives Fine Books (40 Charlotte Street, in the heart of the CBD)…
…with its ominous sign:
On a tip, we went to the old treasury building and blundered into Ryan’s, a nice lounge bar overlooking Queens Park. After a morning of bibliophile-ing, it was a welcome respite to hoover-up some fish and chips and champers, and a club sandwich and beer.
(184 Grey St, South Brisbane )
Funky, appropriately weird in the Japanese style. You order on your electronic device, which does not seem to enhance things but then again, your reporter is a Luddite. We had Prawn Gyoza with Ginger and Spring Onion Dressing, Grilled; Duck Gyoza, Grilled; some tasty chicken; Japanese beer and a Watermelon Sour cocktail.
Service snappy and friendly. Whilst it was just over the street from our hotel, it was not mere propinquity that drew us back a 2nd time.
(Sidon St, South Brisbane)
Next to Otto. Even less formal, but friendly and nice.
We had Escargots de Bourgogne with a baguette and confit garlic; a duck terrine with braised and fresh endive, puffed grains and a white onion soubise; a sous-vide lamb rack with preserved lemon puree, sweet potato dauphinoise, lamb belly bacon, charred spring onion and a spiced jus; and a wild mushroom risotto with morel cream, pickled chanterelles and whipped lemon thyme cream, all washed down with a crisp sauvignon blanc from Sancerre.
Emporium – Terrace Room
When in Brisbane, TVC staff choose to stay at the Emporium on Southbank. We didn’t get to their restaurant (“Signature”) but their Terrace Room on the 21st floor is a nice place to eat, drink, and watch the weather roll in.