Saturday, April 19, 2014

Aria - On the Brisbane River, Queensland

There are restaurants and there are restaurants. I may have said this before and it worth saying again. The step-up to fine dining from good or even great dining is a big one. You move into a whole new level of flavours, service, ambiance, presentation and experience. The food is always “off-the-planet” and along with presentation and service you feel really special. You are taken to another world, a world where only the finest food is prepared and served for you. Add this to some superbly fine wines and you are in for an exceptional time, where time is measured in flavours, textures and tastes. You are in Aria land and you may never want to leave.

Aria restaurant, in Brisbane, is right on the water’s edge with a view of the Brisbane River and sea craft. Very pleasant place to be, a great view and nothing better to compliment a fine meal. On being seated you are presented with a starter which compliments your first drink and gets you in the mood to peruse the menu. All the meals, mains, dessert or entre’s are going to be delicious so making your selection is going to be difficult but the rewards are well worth it.

Both my wife and I went with two courses, entre’ and main. As you are aware I usually don’t describe or even mention our menu selection but this being such a great experience I will detail them here. For entre’ I had the scallops in XO sauce. Only one word needed to describe this dish – “perfect”. For main, Wagyu steak, which was succulent and perfectly cooked and the accompanying “veggies” crisp and well presented.   We shared a side of truffled mash. Though this was OK it appeared to be made with potatoes and truffle oil. And though very nice, to me, it did not keep up with the quality of the rest of the meal.  My wife had the barramundi with peas three ways. We both just wanted more. After saying that the serves are of good portions so only the biggest eaters will feel hungry.

Wait staff are friendly and very professional, the decor; modern if verging on a little sterile. Drinks selection is extensive and for around the $65 mark a bottle of red or white can be enjoyed. With the scallops I had a glass of white and the steak, a red but only by the glass. Some wines were absurdly priced but you are not forced to buy them. For those who enjoy inflated restaurant wine prices, knock yourself out. 

To finish the meal a few fine sweet selection are a bonus and like the starters “on the house”.  In Brisbane? Then you must visit Aria, part owned by Matt Moran. You will be wined and dined in very fine form. You will come away feeling that you are just a little bit special, content and eager to go back and experience culinary delights in some of their finest forms. Aria, on the Brisbane River and on my re-visit list. Exceptional!!!

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