Aria is one of the best restaurants in Brisbane, and is also home of one of the best value lunches in Brisbane, where their Winter Wonders Lunch offers a two course lunch with a glass of wine for $39.
So, on Tuesday, my husband and I caught the ferry into the city for a lovely leisurely lunch, where, we sat and enjoyed sweeping views of the Brisbane river and delicious food over a wonderful couple of hours.
One of the things you first notice about Aria Brisbane is the attention to detail. Take the chairs for instance, the suede on each chair to be exact, which had been neatly brushed into a diamond pattern. An easy to miss detail, but it’s when you notice the little details have been taken care of that you know you are in for a wonderful meal.
Our order placed we were soon presented with an amuse bouche of pumpkin soup with goats curd and chives. The soup was absolutely divine, smooth and creamy, with a slight hint of spices. It was so delicious I would have been content with a bowl of this flavour packed soup for lunch, but we had more delicious things to come.
Next came an entree of potato gnocchi with mushrooms and cauliflower.
The mix of mushrooms – shimeji, king brown, trompe de mort and oyster – played off each other wonderfully. Some chewy and meaty, and others much more subtle in flavour, but each delicious in their own way. The surprise here was the cauliflower. Shaved wafer thin, I suspect it had been dried because it had a slight crunch to it and was deliciously nutty. Even my cauliflower-phobic husband raved about it.
My main of cauliflower pan fried with wombok, leek, radish and toasted sesame seed dressing looked very unassuming, but let me tell you, it was amazing. In particular the toasted sesame seed dressing, which elevated the dish to a whole other level, and I loved it’s Asian flavours.
Troy had ordered the corned wagyu beef with brussel sprouts, shallots and grain mustard, which was so tender he was able to eat it with only a fork.
The offer of dessert (not included in the Winter Warmer lunch special) was too good to refuse. Troy quickly settled on the banana and brown sugar parfait, banana sorbet with toasted marshmallow, which caught my eye too, however I couldn’t decide between the delice of valrohna chocolate with puffed rice, coconut meringue and coconut sorbet or the black currant soufflé with mandarin and sweet milk sorbet. I asked our waiter for advice, who advised if I love chocolate I had to go with the chocolate delice, which I did.
Sadly the chocolate delice wasn’t quite what I had pictured, in fact, I felt it was missing something to tie it all together and only ate a couple of spoonfuls.
My wonderful husband, sensing my disappointment, shared his dessert with me under the guise he wouldn’t be able to eat it all, however I suspect that wasn’t quite true. And this is why I love him! The sorbet packed a punch, exploding with banana flavour, and was so light it was almost cloud-like, and the parfait was so smooth and creamy. It was absolutely divine! If you love bananas and caramel this is the dessert for you!
Having ordered tea and coffee we were also presented with a tray of petit fours, which consisted of an almond tuille, mandarin jelly and chocolate orange truffle. The mandarin jelly provided a little citrus explosion on the tongue, and the chocolate orange truffle was a wonderful mix of dark chocolate and orange, which happens to be my favourite flavour combination.
If you are looking for a wonderful lunch in the Brisbane CBD it’s hard to find better value than the $39 two course lunch including a glass of wine and amuse bouche offered by Aria. Even better they happily cater to vegetarians too and will substitute in vegetarian options should they not have a standard vegetarian offering on their special lunch menu.
Join the Mushroom Mania fun and you could win 1 of 40 $100 dining vouchers
Mushroom Mania runs from July 1 through to July 31 and is a celebration of delicious mushroom dishes available at restaurants, cafes and bistros throughout Australia. You can join in on the mushroomy fun too and it’s easy to participate. Find out more on the Power Of Mushrooms website.
1 Eagle Street
Eagle Street Pier
Brisbane QLD 4000
Phone: 07 3233 2555
This post was sponsored by Australian Mushrooms Growers as part of their 2013 Mushroom Mania campaign. Delicious Everyday paid for all meals.