Friday, July 15, 2011

Aria Brisbane

Complimentary Amuse bouche Mushroom Veloute
We had a small gathering of 4 gd'ole friends at Aria for lunch today and boy was it a delightful experience! It is a weekday and we must say that Aria is doing very well, service was busy and we suppose the Lunch Course Specials are indeed attractive deals!

Miss R's Peking Duck Consomme with Duck Dumplings and Asian Mushrooms. Miss R really wanted to have a GOOOD consomme and we think this went down very well...warmingly well ;)

Mr food hunter's twice cooked Bangalow Sweet Pork Belly with Asian spiced black bean sauce and Apple, Radish & Crackling salad. Well chosen piece of belly, good fat to meat ratio, moist with a thin crackling and the apple salad/ sauce was a nice sweet contrast to the dish. Hmmm...not distinctly Asian despite the description...a nice fusion of sorts...Ooops is fusion a chef's hated word??

Miss SH's Winter salad of Goat's curd, Green beans, glazed Chestnuts, roast shallots & Hazelnut dressing. The only small gripe was the crisps which left a somewhat unpleasant rancid taste.

Miss food hunter's Seared loin and Tartare of Tuna with Pear and Daikon salad and Ponzu dressing. This really is a winner entree...the tuna was absolutely fresh and there was this mild sweetness without the ponzu. The tartare was seasoned well and the addition of balls of pear with sesame wafers was refreshing!

Miss SH's seared fillet of King Salmon with Crab & Kipfler Potato salad, Broccoli, Almonds and Quail Egg. Oooh dear....Miss SH didn't think the Salmon was too fresh. Could the over-cooking haven taken the freshness out of it??

Miss R's slow cooked Beef Spare-ribs with Celeriaac, King Brown mushrooms, Pistachio nuts and Watercress. Full ticks in the flavour department but the ribs were too fatty for Miss R's palate and texture was described as akin to brisket.

Mr food hunter's Roast Lamb Rump with baby Peppers, Fennel and a Raisin & Caper puree. Rump was cooked more on the rare side though it was recommended medium-rare but this was not a problem for Mr food hunter. This dish overall was unique primarily because of the raisin & caper puree, everything else was done of high standards. The red capsicum was stuffed with a herbed couscous.

Miss food hunter's Pan-seared Trevalla with Tomato & Olive salad and Tempura Zucchini flower. The narrow but thick slice of firm flesh fish was well-cooked, moist and just a tad dry at the ends. There were quenelles of mash that were abundant in fresh crab meat, these were a little salty though. The fennel and tomatoes were sweet, full scores for the light tempura zucchini erm..but not sure what the blobs of pink sauce were. They were faint in taste with a slight tang.

The Sweet-Endings: YUM! They were all strinkingly-good....GREAT Finale to the meal!

Espresso Souffle with Tiramisu Ice-cream & a Chocolate Sauce 

BANOFFEE: Banana Brulee with Caramel, Almond praline & toasted Almond Milk Ice-cream

Valhorna Chocolate Delice with Honeycomb, Milk Chocolate Ice-cream & Honey Tuile
One word- Decadent!

Affogato Originale with Vanilla bean ice-cream

Complimentary Assiette of desserts: Pistachio & Cherry Nougat (sticky), light gel-like Turkish Delight (wow!) and Peppermint Truffle cigars.

Take advantage of the weekday lunch specials at Aria and you will leave with a smile! To sum up quickly, Service professional, good pacing only if you are not in a rush, Ambience plush & relaxed, Dishes were colourful, picturesque-like and you actually feel real gratified polishing them clean off the plate. Miss SH aka sweet-tooth, proclaimed she would be back for desserts! Oh and did Miss food hunter mention the all-important side breads??....There were 2 choices; Sourdough Rye & Baguette...chewy, crusty...there must be a very good baker back there!!

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