Aria, Brisbane

I recently had the fortune to visit Brisbane a couple of months ago, with good friend iMac.  She had wanted to see Driving Miss Daisy, and the marketing people had told her it wouldn’t be coming to Melbourne.  Ahhh… sneaky little marketing people… because, of course, it came to Melbourne – but by that stage she had bought tickets and airfares!!

Aria - Entrance

Never ones to let a minor technicality get us down, we looked forward to the getaway. Included in this magnificent weekend away, was dinner at Aria.  It took all of 2 sips of champagne, and 30 seconds to decide to do the degustation!

Menu

Amuse bouche

Amuse Bouche

The amuse bouche was a gazpacho soup with some goat’s cheese and powdered olive. That got our tastebuds dancing!

Tuna

Tuna: Seared and tartare with pickled cabbage, enoki mushrooms, pear and black sesame

2012 Lark Hill, Grüner Veltliner, Canberra District, NSW

This first dish was one of my favourites, two types of beautiful tuna with accompaniments that made the fish sing.  Divine.

Jamon

Jamón: with tomato, dried olives, shaved jamón ibérico and toasted brioche

2011 Chateau de Segries, Grenache, Tavel, France

This jamón just melted in the mouth – it was amazing.  A truly magnificent rendition of a cured meat that can sometimes be disappointing.  Served at the perfect temperature, it was just lovely.

Crab

Crab: Spanner crab salad with avocado mousse, ginger, and puffed rice

2004 Frankland Estate, ‘Poison Hill’ Riesling, Frankland River, Western Australia

I love spanner crab – and this dish proudly presented it in style.  It was a delicate dish, but with the crab as star of the show. What I liked about this dish was that the crab did not make a token appearance, but graced the plate in beautiful moist morsels. A quenelle of avocado mousse sits proudly on top, and the puffed rice adds a textural contrast to the dish.

Duck1

Duck2

Consommé: Peking duck consommé with duck dumpling, shaved abalone and mushrooms

Henriques and Henriques, Rainwater, 3 Y.O, Madeira, Portugal

Duck dumplings! Hello!! Who can say no to that???  The dish was served with a bit of theatre, as the consommé was brought to the table and poured deliciously over the ingredients.  Again, not sure about that abalone – I still find it over-rated, but it didn’t detract from the dish. And I loved the pairing of a beautiful madeira – great touch.

Pork

Pork Belly: Twice cooked sweet pork belly with green tomato, jalapeño and celery salad

2012 Domaine Lucci, Sangiovese, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Pork belly is another weakness of mine – and this rendition was fabulous.  Gorgeous, unctuous, fat layered, tender meat was paired beautifully with a refreshing salad.

Beef

Beef: Roast beef fillet and braised beef cheeks, asparagus, gnocchi and red wine jus

2010 Koltz, ‘The Pagan’ Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia

I guess this dish was the main event – very rich but portioned so that you didn’t feel overwhelmed.  A tender beef fillet was paired with shredded beef cheeks and accompanied by gnocchi and asparagus, and lovingly caressed with some red wine jus.  Ah – mazing!

Cleanser

Cleanser

We were presented with this amazing cleanser – gorgeously presented in an egg shell, it was a delicate lemon custard. So divine.

Salad

Salad of melon with white peach purée and passionfruit sorbet

2011 Massolino, Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy

And something light and clean to finish off the evening – the “salad” was fresh, subtle and rounded out the evening of indulgence.

Petit fours

Petit Fours

Some peppermint tea was now in order to help us digest all of our sins!  But…. Ooh la la… what should come along but some lovely petit fours.  It would have been rude to leave them…

Sommelier

Our wonderful sommelier

Wine montage 1

Wine montage 2

Les Vins

Aria is a wonderful restaurant – we had a fabulous night, and were well and truly spoiled by our sommelier and server.  If you get the chance – just go, enjoy the food, the ambience and the view of the Brisbane River – it’s a fantastic way to while away a few hours.

Aria - Dining

Aria Brisbane on Urbanspoon

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