With a name like “Brents The Dining Experience” you may be justified in expecting to be greeted by a pretentious over-the-top waiter who sneers at your menu choices. However, what Brents brings to the table is something very different.
We discovered Brents a few years ago quite by accident, when looking for somewhere new to dine. The restaurant is inconspicuously nested amongst a residential area in Toowong, Brisbane and the restaurant’s setting, like its surroundings, are the heart of simplicity itself.
But whilst the setting may be simple, the food carries a depth of flavour and sophistication the likes of which we have struggled to find elsewhere. Tempted by the degustation menu, we strayed from the path and decided to create a small banquet of our own.
The waitress (friendly and confident) took our orders and shortly returned to set our table from scratch based on what we’d ordered – a nice touch compared to others which simply remove redundant cutlery.
She returned shortly after with a surprise Amuse Bouche – a small glass containing fresh salmon, thinly sliced, with a chive crème fraiche and thin wafer biscuit. The salmon was delicious and the balance of flavours just right, a wonderful start to the evening.
Next came our appetisers, “wild mushroom cappuccino with truffle oil and ibèrico crumbs”. The mushroom soup was smooth and flavoursome and was complemented well by the accompaniments; all served in the cutest little cappuccino mug we’ve ever seen.
Following on, our entrees arrived –
• Blue swimmer crab, green apple granita, chive crème fraiche & baby herb
• Red claw yabby, citrus cured salmon, nasturtium, mandarin jam, melon & lemon oil
The blue swimmer crab was the definite winner of these entrees, stylishly served in a fishbowl, with an abundance of crab meat and supporting ingredients bringing out the full flavours of this dish. The red claw yabby with citrus cured salmon was also a lovely dish, but perhaps a little on the small side.
In preparation for the main course, out came the palette cleansers –
• Rockmelon, ginger & chilli
• Roasted pineapple & mint soda
Both worthy options, one of us preferred the rockmelon (a sorbet) whilst the other much preferred the soda, served in a retro but charming little flask.
Palettes now cleansed, it was time for the main course!
• Slow cooked eye fillet & braised neck, mustard & herb crumb, parsnip & red wine jus
• Pork belly & cider glazed jowl, boudin noir, apple & basil sorbet, cinnamon jus
• Duck fat potatoes, truffle cream & parmesan
• Radish stems, blue cheese, candied walnuts, compressed pear & aged balsamic
The mains were both lovely but the eye fillet (cooked 3 ways) stole the show through a combination of flavours and textures that made this dish complete. The pork belly was perhaps a little more cooked that we had expected but due to the flavour and accompaniments, completely forgivable.
The duck fat potatoes CANNOT BE MISSED. Based on experience, it would be a crime to visit Brents without experiencing the pure unadulterated joy of their duck fat potatoes with truffle cream.
With barely an inch of room in our stomachs (or belts) we embarked upon the final adventure for the evening – the mysteriously named ‘black forest floor’. This dessert was a lovely end to a lovely meal and was essentially a deconstructed black forest cake with some creative elements such as toadstools made from soft cherry meringue and chocolate logs.
Throughout the evening the waitress delivered a helpful narrative for each dish, including how the chef recommended it be eaten. Water glasses were regularly filled without need of asking and sufficient privacy given to keep the romance alive.
Brents “The Dining Experience” lived up to its name once again and endures as being in a class of its own. We will be back and recommend you take the journey as well next time you’re looking for some finer faire.