Champ Kitchen & Bar ~ Brisbane
You know what it’s like – you’re a stranger, in a strange town. You have no idea where to eat. So, you start researching like mad: Urbanspoon – help me out!!! But you still have a seed of doubt – can you trust people and bloggers you don’t know….????
That’s what it was like for me and iMac on our little Brisbane jaunt. Sure, we knew we were having dinner at Aria, but where to have lunch (and of course – breakfast the next day… but more about that in the next post). Add into the mix – we were due at the QPAC theatre on Southbank at 2pm, so needed to find somewhere close… Oi Vey! I came up with a short list, and chose Champ Bar and Kitchen – fervently hoping that it would live up to the reasonable pictures I saw in a couple of unknown, unfamiliar blogs.
To cut to the chase… we LOVED it!! We started with a couple of glasses of champagne as we perused the menu and as you can see from the following pictures, the food being served at this “kitchen and bar” is quite stellar!
Mussels in white wine, lemon and garlic, with house sourdough
iMac finds it hard to go past mussels anywhere – they are her kryptonite. So, she had very little choice once finding them on the menu. She was very happy with her selection, and loved the extra bread to mop up all the juices!
Moreton Bay Bug, sautéed samphire, bisque and black garlic crisps
When I saw Moreton Bay Bugs on the menu, I was also sold, I love them so much. And they were being served with samphire – a sea succulent that intrigued me after I saw it in a cooking show with Rick Stein years and years ago. I was not disappointed – the bug meat was generous and delectable, and served with a delicious bisque sauce that coated my palate like silk. The samphire was really interesting – tasting like the sea, it was crunchy but firm. Its texture complemented the bugs, and although I’m not going to be seeking out samphire to have with everything, it was a beautiful dish.
Confit kipfler potatoes with garlic and thyme
The mains were a little on the lighter end of the scale – so we decided we would need to have some roasted kipfler potatoes with them. Absolutely delicious – you can probably imagine how crunchy they were on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. An excellent rendition!
I know the big question on your mind… did we, should we, could we… possibly have time for dessert?? I am happy to report people – that yes – we made the time.
Strawberries and cream: textured strawberries,
white chocolate aero, balsamic and white pepper ice cream, pear cider gel
iMac chose the strawberries and cream – can you believe the execution of this dessert? Sublime textures of sweet strawberries, and gorgeous smooth white chocolate mousse were complemented by a balsamic and white pepper ice cream and pear gel.
Sticky date and ginger: ginger genoise,
dehydrated chocolate mousse, date ice cream, rum and date brûlée
And look at this delicious rendition of sticky date pudding… not really a pudding at all. The genoise sponge was moist and light, yet beautifully chewy at the same time; and the dehydrated chocolate mousse was like a chocolate soil. Then you have the amazing date ice cream and the rum and date brûlée cream – it all came together so fabulously, what amazingly complementary flavours and textures. Amazing – these desserts could have easily been served in a hatted restaurant!
All I can say is – that for a roll of the dice we came up with a winning lunch venue. It was a truly fantastic lunch that set up wonderfully for our afternoon of culture – Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones in Driving Miss Daisy. If you get the chance to visit Brisbane and go to Champ Kitchen and Bar, I can recommend it.