Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Aria (Brisbane) 05/2018


*Click on pic's for enlargement. Aria, according to Google, is a long melody with an accompaniment, usually an orchestra. That's a very appropriate name for Matt Moran's Brisbane restaurant. Although there is no orchestra they serve a long and complicated meal which somehow fits the definition.
The restaurant on Eagle Pier, looks over the Brisbane river across the Story bridge, towards the city. A great scene both day and night.
A comfortable bar is separated from the adjacent restaurant by a wall of wine.

The restaurant occupies an elegant split level room with curved floor to ceiling glass wall. 
Well spaced tables are minimally set with white linen cloths. Extra cutlery comes with later courses.
One rather ordinary abstract painting adorns a wall but there is little wall space for decor.
The seasonal tasting menu offers four courses for $135 (/matching wines $190 or  premium wines $235) and seven courses $185 + wines $270 or premium wine $350. For the wine buffs it should be noted that they have an impressive wine list. A little out of step, as usual, I had saki with my meal.
It began with a lovely chef's amuse bouche-  a fig with cheese and a puffed grain
giving a great taste and textural variation.
Sourdough bread came with a caramelized butter as well as the normal butter. 

Kingfish, sea urchin, parsley, kohlrabi
Well disguised I now find sea urchin very palatable
Gold beetroot, sesame cheese, pear, witlof
A pretty dish but I'm not sure why all the ingredients are there.
Spanner crab, black rice, avocado, wasabi leaf
The delicate crab was rather lost with all the rest plus a little too much salt.
Wagyu bresaola, parmesan, eggplant, fried bread
A super palate cleanser.

I love wagyu  but drying it for a few weeks and serving it up like prosciutto really didn't cut it. 
Smoked pork, turnip, mustard
Simply the best dish of the meal
Roast duck, carrot, orange, wood ear mushroom

Equally as good as the pork.
Plum, gingerbread, yoghurt
Petit fours

 This was a beautifully presented meal, every dish a picture. I began to think of the problem of justifying everything that was being served. Would simpler have been better. The more ingredients one puts on a plate the more likely it is that someone will find something not to their taste. In this meal nothing offended my senses but the taste of many ingredients was diminished  so that some dishes became quite bland. Regardless you'd go a long way to get a better meal.
Score: 17/20

1 comment:

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