Every time we start to think we know the restaurant scene in Brisbane, we turn another corner and stumble upon a new one.
We first heard of Malt from an overseas visitor who read about it in one of the tour guide books. Not wanting to miss a good meal we did our own research (96% of urbanspooners ‘like it’) and waited for an opportunity to celebrate something and try it out for ourselves.
The opportunity came along this week and we booked ourselves in for a Friday night dinner for two. Upon approach, the downstairs bar sounded a little noisy and we were not sure what to expect but all fears were soon put to rest as we were guided upstairs to the aptly named ‘attic’ where the restaurant resides. You could not hear a whisper from downstairs.
It was hard not to fall in love with this place as first sight – the setting was warm and cozy (mood lighting and old style brick walls) and the waitress exceedingly pleasant and cheerful. We ordered our meals and waited with anticipation.
Shortly after ordering, our waitress appeared with complimentary bread, accompanied by olive oil and balsamic. This is something we’ve grown to appreciate and (for what little it costs a restaurant) cannot understand why more restaurants do not do the same.
Our entrees soon arrived and the (cheerful) waitress took her time to run through the elements on the plate. We ordered:
– Pan Seared Hervey Bay Scallops, Cauliflower Beignet, Wild Rice Granola, Coriander ($20)
– Slow Cooked Quail Breast, Tart of Confit Quail & Caramelized Fire Roasted Onion, Jerusalem Artichoke Puree ($18)
The scallops were delicious and were without a doubt the sweetest tasting scallops we have ever eaten. Each element complimented the others well and made for an enjoyable well-rounded entree.
The quail was cooked well but like always (with quail) you just wish there was more of it. The tart was a surprise star of the dish and cooked wonderfully. Once again, everthing just worked.
The restaurant was starting to fill up at this stage but the food kept coming. Before too long the mains arrived:
– Seared Rack & Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lame, Aligot, Black Olive, Baby Vegetables ($37)
– Selection of Bangalow Sweet Pork, Carrot Puree, Coffee, Onion Rings & Pine Nuts ($36)
– Roasted Parsnip & Kipfler Potato with Chorizo (side dish) ($9)
Both mains were delicious and had contrasting textures to really bring out the best from each dish. We couldn’t help but taste a little of each other’s dish and we were both pleasantly suprised at just how well the coffee worked with the pork!
By the time we had finished the mains there was barely room for dessert but we just couldn’t resist trying the “Malt Brownie” ($15) served with salted caramel, chocolate textures and peanut brittle. This was a magical dessert and even though the serving was quite generous, you couldn’t help but want more. The caramel in particular was a standout and left you scraping away at the plate trying to get every last morsel.