Cuisine: Modern Australian
Location: QLD, Brisbane CBD (also in Sydney)
I was keen to pay a visit to Matt Moran’s Aria Restaurant whilst I was in Sydney, but they were closed for renovations during the days I was there. So I had a look on their site and discovered they also have a restaurant in Brisbane so I made a booking and have come to Aria Brisbane for lunch.
Situated on Eagle Street pier the restaurant has wonderful view of the Brisbane river. Fortunately the weather cleared up to produce blue skies on a sun drenched day.
I was early so was taken to the bar and provided paprika spiced almonds and delicious moist olives that weren’t too salty.
After a short while I was taken inside the restaurant and had a seat by the window overlooking the river. I was brought an appetizer representative of Queensland:
- Spiced macadamia nuts
- Prawn crackers with a strong prawn flavour
- Shaved pineapple which was refreshing
I was also offered sour dough bread in plain white or rye. I had the rye with a lovely butter as I had not had breakfast after arriving into Brisbane late last night. Later in the meal I was offered more bread so I tried the white rye. Both were tasty.
Spiced and seared kangaroo with chestnut puree, port soaked currents and grilled carrot
The kangaroo was presented beautifully. Nice balance of the sweet currants, muted carrot flavour, acidity of the vinaigrette, creaminess of the chestnut puree, and the peppery flavour of the red witlof. I thought the finely sliced kangaroo was perfect but it got overpowered by the acidity. Its supposed to be spiced but I couldn’t detect any. Kangaroo is a rich meat but I thought there wasn’t enough for it to become too rich. I think it needed to be cut thickly to get the kangaroo flavour and absorb less vinaigrette.
Smoked Wagyu brisket with confit and pickled carrot and coffee infused jus gras
A pretty chunky piece of brisket was presented with a slightly sweet rich pumpkin puree and soft confit carrots. The brisket just falls apart and I love the fatty bits which impart lots of flavour. The puree goes really well as too the carrot. There is just the hint of the coffee infused flavour and just a morsel of jus. I would have liked far more jus to add additional flavour to the meal.
Chocolate centred cherry soufflé with coconut ice cream
For dessert I couldn’t go past the soufflé and it was superb. A perfectly risen soufflé with a lovely cherry and coconut flavour and the touch of chocolate at the bottom just makes it fantastic. I would have like a bit more chocolate on the bottom. The lightly flavoured creamy coconut ice cream is equally wonderful and pairs perfectly with the soufflé. The tart dehydrated cherries also help to offset the creaminess of the ice cream. Easily the highlight of the meal. It delivers a wow factor when served such that the table next to me said I’ll have what he’s having, or words to that effect!
Aria Food Review Summary
Verdict: For $72, a meal at Aria delivers lovely views of the river and represents excellent value when you receive 3 carefully crafted courses in a smart, sunlight filled environment with professional service. I liked the entree of kangaroo but felt it was overpowered by the acidity of the vinaigrette. Further there could have been a greater serving of kangaroo and if it were cut thickly one could get the rich flavour, allowing the other elements to come into play. The succulent coffee infused chunk of brisket with bits of fat was delicious, though needed far more jus to add additional flavour to counteract the meatiness of the beef and richness of the puree. It becomes a little one dimensional and may be better enjoyed with a side or the complimentary bread. The cherry and coconut soufflé was superb, especially with that tease of chocolate at the bottom. Please, some more chocolate! Paired with a light coconut flavoured creamy ice cream, this was a fantastic dish to finish. If the entree and mains were at the same tastalicious level the dessert deliver, this would have been a knock out meal.
Aria Restaurant Details
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