Queensland’s top 10 fine dining restaurants
Queensland’s top 10 fine dining restaurants

Queensland’s top 10 fine dining restaurants

Quuensland is developing a name for fine dining.

 

We've picked the best fine dining restaurants in the state. Here are the top 10.

Stellar Magazine Restaurant review of Aria Brisban
Stellar Magazine Restaurant review of Aria Brisban

 

 

ARIA

From the plush dining chairs to the white cloths, elegant glassware and crockery, sound-deadening carpet and stellar views to the Story Bridge, every base is covered to enhance the dining experience before you even get to the food, drinks and service. These over-achieve too, with the voluminous wine list winning this year's Australian Wine List of the Year award, a staff member for taking orders, another to deliver them, the sommelier to oversee wine choice and someone else to pour the water and wines by the glass. The menu descriptions are opaque, with a list of three or four ingredients the only clue as to what the dish might involve but fortunately well-drilled staff are on hand to answer any query. Coal-grilled, tender West Australian octopus teamed simply with nduja, tomato and ribbons of zucchini turns out to be a fine starter, while beautifully cooked blue-eye trevalla with a couple of diamond shell clams is terrific. A dessert simply described on the menu as chocolate and passionfruit is a treasure trove of components. All of this comes at a price but if you're up for a cosseting fine-dining experience, they've got you covered.

Must-eat dish: Blue-eyed trevalla

Price: more than $80 for two courses

Chef: Matt Moran and Ben Russell

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch Tue-Fri; Dinner Sat

Address: Eagle Street Pier, 1 Eagle Street, Brisbane

Ph: 07 3233 2555

Website: ariabrisbane.com.au

Instagram: @ariabrisbane

 

 

QUEENSLAND TASTE RESTAURANT REVIEW of Otto Restaur
QUEENSLAND TASTE RESTAURANT REVIEW of Otto Restaur

 

 

OTTO RISTORANTE

A visit to Otto is an immersion in a seamless restaurant experience as smooth as the crema on an expertly made espresso. From the greeting at the door on arrival, through an impeccably timed meal, during which service is attentive but not intrusive and the food exciting yet anchored within tradition, this is a restaurant at the top of its modern Italian game. Moreton Bay blue swimmer crab and mascarpone-filled ravioli with black garlic crema is alarming to look at (the sauce is dark brown and entirely covers the pasta) but wonderful to eat. The pasta is silken and the sauce light and luscious. Squid ink spaghetti with baby octopus is also perfectly cooked. Mains might be quail or calamari from the wood-fired grill or perhaps a Gooralie pork cheek enhanced by piquant pieces of cumquat, garlic, mustard, almonds and charred onion. Dessert lovers will need to take care not to overindulge in the rest of the menu because they are seriously good. Diced strawberries cascade over salted white chocolate and mascarpone mousse and buffalo yoghurt gelato or chocolate lovers might consider a construction of coffee gelato over a disc of chocolate mousse topped with a sable biscuit dusted with lemon sherbet. Views over to the light-garlanded Story Bridge and crazily whirling light shades complete the picture.

Must-eat dish: Moreton Bay blue swimmer crab and mascarpone filled ravioli with black garlic crema

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Will Cowper

Cuisine: Italian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Mon-Sat 12pm-10pm

Address: 4/480 Queen St, Brisbane City

Ph: 07 3835 2888

Website: ottoristorante.com.au

Instagram: @ottoristorante

 

Qweekend restaurant review: Montrachet
Qweekend restaurant review: Montrachet

 

 

MONTRACHET

The chef-patron of acclaimed Brisbane French restaurant Montrachet, Shannon Kellam, tackles a classic French sauce like a painter - layering flavours together as if they were brushstrokes, building upon each one with such finesse and delicacy the result is a complex and nuanced work of art that needs to be savoured. The latte-hued broth pooling around an entree of melting pumpkin gnocchi, opaque bites of Moreton Bay bug, broad beans and slivers of radish is one such example. Another is the subtly flavoured bisque around the signature crabmeat and gruyere cheese souffle that reinforces the seafood flavour without overwhelming the dish. Both are so good that if they were served at home, the bowls would be licked clean. Montrachet is not one for the dieter, but a place for pure and utter indulgence. When calories don't count and a special occasion deserves a special meal.

The wine list enforces this visions for excellence, with an all-consuming list of French classics alongside more interesting boutique vino at the higher end of the price scale. Sommelier Romain Maunier is on hand to help make the perfect wine-food pairing, while diners will want for nothing with the polished, professional and efficient front of house team commanded by Kellam's partner Clare Wallace. With its graceful and elegant fit-out brandishing pressed metal ceilings, timber floors, scarlet leather upholstery and a glistening long bar, Montrachet delivers a dining experience to remember.

Must-eat dish: crab and gruyere soufflé

Price: more than $80 for two courses

Chef: Shannon Kellam

Cuisine: French

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch and Dinner Tue-Fri, Sat Dinner only

Address: 1/30 King St, Bowen Hills

Ph: 3367 0030

Website: montrachet.com.au

Instagram: @Montrachet_restaurant

 

 

BSM Only. Stellar magazine restaurant review of Ga
BSM Only. Stellar magazine restaurant review of Ga

 

 

GAUGE

They say two heads are better than one and this is certainly the case with joint Gauge head chefs Cormac Bradfield and Phil Marchant.

At this unassuming South Brisbane cafe-cum-fine diner, the pair has created a two, three or seven-course modern Australian menu of whimsy, contrast and intrigue, blending native Australian ingredients with flavours of the Orient using European techniques. The result is a wild ride of the unexpected and interesting.

Take an entree of raw pork, for example, the dish channeling a breakfast favourite of smoked salmon and creme fraiche with the uncooked meat similar in texture to cured fish with a scallop puree bringing seafood notes to the dish alongside goats cheese and the lemony zing of pickled rhubarb.

While a main of celeriac tortellini is as beautiful and refined as it is simple - the pasta meltingly soft with a creamy veg filling amplified by a layered broth.

Unmissable, however, is a side of fried sebago potato crowned with a malt vinegar-infused creme fraiche, grated egg yolk and onion salt.

Their signature dessert may be the black garlic bread with vanilla burnt butter, but the Terry's Chocolate Orange-esque combination of chocolate sorbet with mandarin curd and mushroom and cacao-dusted radicchio chips begs investigating. It's even better with a dessert wine from the tight but unique - sometimes challenging - list of vino from small producers. While service varies from exemplary to incompetent depending on the wait person, Gauge bats well above is average.

Must-eat dish: Sebago potato

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Cormac Bradfield and Phil Marchant

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch Fri-Sun, Dinner Wed-Sat, breakfast Sat-Sun

Address: 77 Grey St, South Brisbane

Ph: 07 3638 0431

Website: gaugebrisbane.com.au

Instagram: @gauge.brisbane

 

 

Urbane restaurant, Brisbane. Pic by Richard Waugh.
Urbane restaurant, Brisbane. Pic by Richard Waugh.

 

 

URBANE

After taking over from former executive chef and co-owner Alejandro Cancino earlier this year, incoming Michelin-trained, Brisbane-bred chef Andrew Gunn has subtly but confidently put his mark on the Brisbane fine dining institution. Alongside fiancée and head chef Amelie Rabaud, Gunn has reimagined the restaurant's five and seven-course omnivore and herbivore offerings harnessing his background in France's two Michelin-starred Le Taillevent and three Michelin-starred Le Cinq. amplifying the use of European technique to create a globally inspired menu as diverse as it is delicious. Take zucchini three ways - its flesh spiralled, its stem battered and deep fried and its flower stuffed with vegan cheese which melts into a sublimely delicate tomato consomme. Or perhaps a red lentil dahl, its texture aerated against crisp disks of roti and an ethereal herb salad. Wagyu is handled with expert care and attention, ensuring its aching tenderness, alongside almost foam-like bernaise.

It's considered, thoughtful cooking enhanced by an extensive drinks list.

Must-eat dish: Zucchini flower

Price: more than $80 for two courses

Chef: Andrew Gunn

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Dinner Thur-Sat

Address: 181 Mary St, Brisbane

Ph: 3229 2271

Website: urbanerestaurant.com

Instagram: @urbanebrisbane

 

 

Spicers Hidden Vale Homage restaurant
Spicers Hidden Vale Homage restaurant

 

 

HOMAGE

For chef Ash Martin, Homage is not just a restaurant, it's a way of life. Dedicated to ethical, sustainable and organic, where possible, produce, he has turned much of the acreage of luxury retreat Spicers Hidden Vale, where the fine diner sits, into his personal pantry and larder. An entrée of pork neck comes from the property's drove of pigs, the tender meat charry and smoky, balanced by sour native Davidson plum wafers and a creamy pork fat foam. While an on-site fermenting room delivers concentrated tomato puree and fermented barley, which provide equilibrium against the fishiness of locally farmed Barcoo grunter in a surprising main. Dark chocolate is then left to flavour up in the retreat's smoke house before being set as bark alongside chocolate ice cream, soil and shavings for a textural interplay brightened by mint and pine. With no stoves or cooktops only an outdoor fire to cook over, there's a distinct barbecue flavour that runs throughout the dishes. While cooking caveman-style may be "on-trend", here it's undeniably fitting as Homage is set inside a historic barn - rustic and cosy, yet polished and expensive with its stone-clad fireplace, weathered timber beams and corrugated iron roof. Service echoes the relaxed yet refined ambience, with restaurant manager-cum-sommelier Tim Mordue delivering charm, expertise and passion alongside an extensive, considered drinks list where cocktails and spirits excite and wine harmonizes with the food. It may be an hour out of Brisbane by car, but Homage is worth the drive.

Must-eat dish: Pork neck

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Ash Martin

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Daily, Lunch and Dinner

Address: 617 Grandchester Mt Mort Rd, Grandchester

Ph: 1300 179 340

Website: spicersretreats.com/spicers-hidden-vale/dining

Instagram: @homagerestaurant

 

 

Executive Chef Cameron Matthews from The Long Apro
Executive Chef Cameron Matthews from The Long Apro

 

 

THE LONG APRON

Housed within the charming, French-provincial guest house of Spicers Clovelly Estate with its intimate, formal (if a little dated) dining room, The Long Apron is made for romantic dinners.Couples are encouraged to dress up for the evening and let the competent and professional staff guide them through what is to be a culinary experience rather than just a meal.

Select from the tight three-course a la carte menu, or settle in for a five-course omnivore or vegetarian degustation, with all the extras.

A series of delicate and refined amuse bouche kick things off, before an entree of, perhaps, sweet, melting suckling pig juxtaposed with tart fermented pumpkin and studded with shards of crisp crackling.

Mains may include expertly executed full blood Angus beef on lush parsnip and celeriac puree with a parsnip chip for crunch; while a toasted hay ice cream incorporates the European trend of adding vegetables to desserts with pickled artichoke and artichoke chips, alongside meringue shards and a white chocolate smear. It's one of the best interpretations of this fad in the state, but perhaps even better is the cheese course with an oozing washed rind to be scooped up by paper-thin linseed wafers met with sweet rhubarb puree and medallions of just-cooked potatoes. Sensational.

With a well-rounded drinks list that supports Sunshine Coast brewers and Queensland winemakers, and the kitchen's commitment to local produce, The Long Apron is a salute to some of the state's best.

Must-eat dish: the cheese course

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Chris Hagan

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch Fri-Sun; Dinner Thu-Mon

Address: 68 Balmoral Rd, Montville

Ph: 1300 252 380

Website: spicersretreats.com/restaurants/the-long-apron

Instagram: @thelongapron

 

Qweekend restaurant review
Qweekend restaurant review

 

 

BLACKBIRD BAR & GRILL

Channelling a bygone glamour, Blackbird is a dazzlingly opulent space with velvet banquettes, metallic wallpaper and glamorous dining areas, most with expansive views of the Brisbane River. Since opening in 2014 in the Riverside Centre, it has billed itself as a carnivore's heaven - there are 11 choices of beef, including a massive 1.5-2kg Mayura Station full blood. It also excels at seafood, with impressive shellfish platters, comprising oysters, prawns, bugs and scallops, for one to six people. Yellowtail kingfish sashimi is luscious, cloaked with thinly sliced pickled daikon and dotted with black sesame and yuzu. Neatly sliced marbled wagyu rump cap comes with coleslaw and tangy mustard (as do all the beef dishes from the Infierno 96 wood-wired grill), with sides including roasted carrots glazed in ginger beer and griddled sweet corn cake with salted ricotta. A mighty dish is the Brisbane Valley quail, boned and stuffed with bacon and marjoram, and paired with candied Brussels sprouts, and a sweet potato and miso mash. Desserts are equally inventive, with an apple galette prettily offset by pumpkin ice cream and pepita praline. The presentation is artful and the produce exceptional. Service maintains the high standards as does the wine list, which changes with the seasonality of the menu.

Must-eat dish: Brisbane Valley quail

Price: more than $80 for two courses

Chef: Jake Nicholson

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Daily for Lunch and Dinner

Address: 123 Eagle St, Brisbane

Ph: 07 3229 1200

Website: blackbirdbrisbane.com.au

Instagram: @blackbirdbrisbane

 

 

Qweekend restaurant review: Restaurant Dan Arnold
Qweekend restaurant review: Restaurant Dan Arnold

 

 

RESTAURANT DAN ARNOLD

With a focus on classical cookery and set menus, there's a strong French accent here. Owner-chef Dan Arnold grew up in Brisbane and after an apprenticeship at Il Centro, headed to France for seven years, working in two Michelin star restaurants. Last year after winning eighth place at the prestigious French cooking competition, the Bocuse d'Or, Arnold returned home to go out on his own. Now he's offering three or five set courses as well as a small a la carte menu at lunchtimes and at the bar on Friday and Saturday evenings. The lineup changes regularly but an entrée might be kingfish draped with very thin slices of cauliflower and accessorised by artichoke barigoule with a froth of vermouth emulsion. Main course could be saddle of lamb with the beautifully pink, soft meat contrasting with a cube of crispy belly, with a bowl of potatoes Lorette on the side. At this point diners can add in a cheese course or head straight to a dessert, possibly strawberries on a sable biscuit with vanilla diplomat cream, strawberry sorbet and chocolate.

Must-eat dish: Goldband snapper

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Dan Arnold

Cuisine: French

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch and Dinner Tue-Sat

Address: 959 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

Ph: 07 3189 2735

Website: restaurantdanarnold.com

Instagram: @restaurantdanarnold

 

 

Queensland Taste restaurant review of GOMA Restaur
Queensland Taste restaurant review of GOMA Restaur

 

 

GOMA

Conjuring images of a Japanese rock garden, a quenelle of the silkiest honey ice cream sits atop pebbles of nitrogen-frozen mascarpone dotted with pearls of blackberry, finger lime and marigold petals concealing spoonfuls of guava sorbet. This not-too-sweet, beautifully balanced dessert is well worth saving room for at GOMA's signature restaurant. Much like the rest of the menu at this acclaimed venue, it is elegant, refined and sophisticated.

Now under the watchful eye of executive chef Doug Innes-Will, GOMA has done away with some of the magic and storytelling of the past and is now focusing solely on flavour.

The best local produce is used in an entree of Hervey Bay scallops with tamarind, chilli and kaffir lime, as it is in a main of chicken, sourced from Queensland free-range farm 9Dorf, accompanied by black rice, black vinegar and black garlic - for maximum visual impact.

A parochial approach has also been applied to the wine list, with some of Queensland's best labels taking pride of place within the predominantly Australian and New Zealand list. For a vino pairing with the food, ask for advice from one of the well-versed waiters, who know the menu inside out and deliver dishes with aplomb.

Boasting a light-filled, airy fitout and a relaxed yet refined atmosphere, this restaurant is equally well suited to lunch for one as it is to dinner for 10.

Must-eat dish: Honey ice cream with blackberry

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Doug Innes-Will

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Wed to Sun for Lunch, Fri for Dinner

Address: Stanley Pl, South Brisbane

Ph: 07 3842 9916

Website: qagoma.qld.gov.au

Instagram: @qagoma



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