Brisbane is a hub of cultural activity at the moment as the city prepares itself for the arrival of the world’s leaders ahead of the G2 Summit. Everything spectacular about Brisbane is on show, including its fabulous restaurant and dining scene that we can’t get enough of.
So to celebrate, a collective of the CBD’s best and most diverse restaurants are participating in Global Flavours, a culinary party of sorts showcasing Brisbane’s international-standard cuisine and local produce.
From November 1-30 you are invited to traverse Brisbane’s food landscape and enjoy special offers, live music and more as you go on a culinary journey through the city, from the Eagle Street Pier to the Queen Street Mall and beyond.
The City is home to the largest contingent of Good Food Guide awarded restaurants, and with worldly influences from the Asia Pacific, Europe and South America, the month-long festivity is definitely one for the foodies.
As if you didn’t need an excuse, Global Flavours is the perfect opportunity to dine your way around the city, sample Brisbane’s best fare and discover a new restaurant.
Participating restaurants include Alchemy, ARIA, Bavarian Bier Café, Black Bird, Fat Noodle, Jellyfish, Madame Wu, Malt Dining, Pony Dining, Public, Sono, Spring, lab bar + restaurant and so many more! See the Visit Brisbane website for more details and a description of each special offer. Mmmmmmm
And thanks to our friends over at Brisbane Marketing, we had the pleasure of joining three restaurants to sample their fare. Here’s our verdict, along with some drool-worthy pictures!
Level One, Tattersall’s Arcade, Cnr Queen & Edward Street, Brisbane
Teagan: Sushi and sashimi lovers pay attention – this one definitely can’t be missed if you’re a fan of authentic Japanese dining and enjoy a collective of seafood dishes (I lost count) devoured in quick succession.
I was treated to the bounty that makes up the Zen Degustation at Sono Japanese Restaurant – scallops, tuna sushi, prawns, lobster, sashimi salmon, wagyu beef in miso sauce and eel. Barefoot, chopsticks in hand and peaceful music in my ears, I was immediately transported to a charming restaurant in the back streets of Tokyo, dining on small plates but filling up fast. Pick of the night was definitely the lobster.
Each dish appeared and then disappeared shortly after the waitresses, all donning traditional Japanese dress, explained the contents of each plate and how to eat it. They were welcoming and undeniably hospitable, adding to the delightful aura Sono encapsulates. Sono Japanese is a crowd favourite for authentic Japanese dining, so go forth and enjoy.
181 Mary Street, Brisbane
Scott: My global flavours experience at Urbane reminded me how much contemporary dining can be compared to contemporary art. The components are readily available, however very few have the depth of experience, the command of the medium and the divine inspiration to produce something that is truly worthy of awe and admiration.
My favourite meal of the evening was the baked quinoa in cucumber shells with an apple reduction, in part because it was ridiculously delicious and in part because it was such an ingenious use of ingredients. In my hands, it would have come together as one of the worst salads in history. In co-owner and Executive Chef Alejandro Cancino’s hands though, we are treated to a dish so elegant – on the plate and on the palate – that calling it anything but art would be an insult.
Urbane specialises in degustation. It’s like making your way through a famed gallery, pausing in each room to savour the masterpiece within. In one room, a perfectly cooked piece of Wagyu is adorned by a single oyster, surrounded by oyster reduction and a beef tendon puff. In another, grilled octopus and artichoke bathe in indulgent squid ink peppered with millet.
Even simple dishes like the accompanying macadamia bread or the palate cleansing apple sorbet on marshmallow are worthy of praise. They are like the evocative sketches in an old master’s visual diary, full of warmth, beauty and freedom of expression.
I could risk pushing the metaphor too far by suggesting that the atmosphere at Urbane is also much like a gallery. The music is soft and understated. There’s simple décor and surroundings serve to direct focus to the pieces. The patrons are enraptured by what’s on offer, expressing their delight in low, muted tones.
It was an exceptional night out, possibly the best meal and dining experience I have ever had. I’m not certain whether the meal we enjoyed was a regular feature or something special that Chef Alejandro put together for the Global Foods Festival. Either way, I emphatically recommend that any lover of fine food (or fine art) make a booking at Urbane during the Global Foods Festival.
Upper Level, Eagle Street Pier, 45 Eagle St, Brisbane
Victoria: If the view isn’t enough to woo you, the food most certainly will! Pork and truffle sausages, double baked soufflé with figs and fire roasted hazelnuts and beautifully seared tuna with smoked tofu are just a few of the amazing dishes to be tempted by at Pony. Dessert lovers won’t be forgotten either with coconut macaroons and raspberry cinnamon donuts to satisfy even the sweetest tooth! As they say, the pictures speak 1000 words!