Thursday, March 11, 2010

A nice surprise.

Last week we went out to dinner for a mates birthday. I knew we were going out to a restaurant but had no idea where it was or what type or quality. Turns out it's a restaurant that I've always wanted to visit, from the old days when it was Tables and in it's current incarnation as Brents.

I don't eat out that much, partly because I sink all our extra cash into Lantanaland, a night out might buy me eight fruit trees or half a cow and partly because I back my own skills in the kitchen.* But it's good to go out, to be inspired by truly exceptional cooking and to spark your own inspiriation. Brents was such a night.

There was 21 of us so it was a simple three choice menu. I moved my napkin to have a look and immediately said "I know what I'm having". The Wife had a look and laughed, because the first line read "crispy pork belly" and I didn't need to read past that really. It came with a mustard ice cream and that worked amazingly well, the cool icecream worked really well with the tender crispy pork belly.

They then had a nice little pallette cleanser after all that tasty, tasty fat, a passionfruit sorbet. It was simple and delicious and one of the girls passed hers over and I doubled up it was that good. The main choice was not quite as easy. Normally I would jump on duck confit with pork belly swiftness, but I was tempted by the slow cooked beef cheeks, mainly because fellow food blogger Natascha Mirosch was so passionate for it a few weeks back. I went with that and I'm glad I did, beautifully cooked meat, falling apart with a smooth mash. I'd usually share a taste with The Wife so we can sample all the dishes but I'd cleaned my plate before she could even offer some of her salmon. I did manage to snaffle a bit of confit from one of the boys and it was also very, very good but I was glad I went with the beef cheeks.

Dessert was a lovely cream brûlée. The serving throughout the night but I doubt anyone would have walked away even a little hungry. Check out the cheese board that some of the crew got to finish off with, great cheese and a superb quince paste.

All in all a fantastic night, Brents would have made a bit of cash from the drinks bill, which I hoped made up for the fact they had to ask us to keep it down a touch about three times. Anyone who says that the Brisbane food scene has nothing worth going out for is kidding themselves. Both Brents and Grasshopper Kitchen are top class feeds and if you are getting poor food or service then you need to do your research better and support the places that do food like this.

*if I come off as being a bit arrogant about my cooking, considering I have no chef training, I had my faith in my skills reaffirmed this morning at breakfast at Mooloolaba. I got my favourite eggs benedict. For some reason there was four muffins, they need to find a supplier that sell decent ham and it doesn't have to be five layers thick and their "home made hollandaise" curiously had no flavour at all. If I served that to you at my place I'd be embarressed. But I wouldn't, because I've never made that dish that badly. The cafe wasn't that busy so it wasn't like the chef would've been snowed under. Of course when the waiter asked if I was enjoying my meal I said yes. Doh.

MF from the iPhone


  1. mmm cash is definitely a consideration when dining out.

  2. Gone off pork belly, largely for the sake of mine. But that looks a good feed. And is that a Drunkees T-shirt I see before me...

  3. Yeap it was a brilliant night and the food was exquisite. I had scallops 'with dollops of flavour on top' for entree, salmon for main and banana pudding for dessert. Mmmmm

    Dr: that Drunkees shirt lives on Beeso.