Thursday, July 09, 2009

Fifth Element (Brisbane) 09

Another of those 17 restaurants on Little Stanley

this is an unusual addition to the usual wine bar restaurant scene. Stone floor, lowish ceiling and bare tables make this an intrinsically noisy place.

There is a modest menu of which more later but the highlight is a wine distribution system. Not only that but also they are one of the very few restaurants offering Absynthe. They have imported a wine dispensing machine called 'Enomatic' that holds aout 16 bottles. they dispense a 'taste' 25 ml, a half glass, 75 ml or a glass, 125 ml. Customers slip a debit card into a slot and key in the amount required from their chosen wine. The wine is replaced by inert argon gas which preserves an open bottle for at least 30 days. I'm told that's never a problem because they don't last that long. In all there were 56 wines available. Prices were as low as $2.50 up to $22 for a taste of Grange Hermitage. I believe Match Bar and Grill offers a similar sysem in Melbourne but I haven't been there yet. Regardless the Absynthe was too tempting ($9 or 12)
and I enjoyed it as an aperitif with with an interesting, rather small and overpriced meal. They supplied a lump of sugar, a glass off water and and an absynthe spoon The menu is small and pretentious for a place which is really for very casual dining and drinking. I had the lamb straps served with sweetbread, stuffed mushroom and a parsnip puree. ($36) The straps were tough, the sweatbread over cooked in a hard batter and the stuffed mushroom underseasoned. Ordinarily I don't

much care for parsnip but the puree was the best thing on the plate. In response to my query "Do you serve bread with meals" my waiter asked "Do you mean like sourdough bread." I said that's fine and 15 minutes later a small crisp loaf arrived complete with a fine soft butter and a chopped olive vinaigrete spread.
Not what I expected ($13). I skipped the dessert.

Price: About $60/ person plus wine
Score:Food 13.25 /20 Wine 17/20

No comments: