I never say no to good food, especially when it’s an invitation to taste the new Winter menu at Aria Brisbane. Aria has without a doubt remained as one of my trusty, never-fail-to-impress restaurants around town. I love the fact that its Head Chef, Ben Russell (whom, I may add, has the coolest haircut I’ve ever seen), always uses the freshest available ingredients to plate up delectable dishes that are extremely photogenic.
Often, lunch on a work day is only an afterthought. Fancy lunch at a fine dining restaurant is a luxurious treat that we dare not to think of in between our busy schedules. HOWEVER. Fancy lunch on a work day at Aria is actually quite achievable. Team Aria managed to take us for a culinary ride in just over one and half hours for a three-course lunch with amuse bouche and petit fours. Our table was by the window which offered breathtakingly beautiful views, thanks to Aria’s prime location. We kicked things off with the La Tordera Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, all the way from Veneto, Italy. It was a drink aimed to get our palates excited, and it did just that with its subtle yet seductive notes. You see, I’m not a big wine drinker and I certainly don’t know which drop goes well with what, but that’s the thing with having a knowledgeable sommelier, you just can’t go wrong.
Our entree was grilled Moreton Bay bug tails with walnuts, spiced cauliflower and jamón. It was a beautiful dish, presentation-wise as well as taste-wise. The delicate opaque flesh and the candied walnuts coated the roof of my mouth with sweetness, while the spiced cauliflower purée together with the salty jamón balanced the dish so well and only made me crave for more.
I had a choice for my main. It was between roast duck breast with celeriac, apple and gingerbread, or roasted and pickled beetroot with yoghurt and quinoa crisps. I chose the latter. Let’s face it, I love meat and there’s no way that I would forgo a succulent duck breast dish. It was like winter at a countryside on a plate. The duck had just the right amount of fat under its crispy skin. The sweet yet slightly tangy taste of apple and the comforting flavours of gingerbread worked wonders. It was a dish of which the textures were as pyrotechnic as the flavours.
My dining experience at Aria that day climaxed when I was presented with the dessert, Valrhona chocolate ganache with orange and liquorice ice cream. If you are a lover of chocolate (and I suspect 99.9% of you are), you are going to LOVE this dish just like I did. It’s rich and playful. The serving portion is so generous that you can afford to send big spoonfuls into your mouth, one after another.
When the whole affair was finished, I was suffering from a food coma and sadly, I had to head back to work. So I waddled all the way from the riverside to the other end of the town. It took me fifteen minutes and by the end of it, I was feeling a powerful desire to experience Aria all over again.
You know you wanna be pampered by Aria this winter.
Disclaimer: DolceBunnie was an invited guest of ARIA Brisbane, however my opinion is as always, my own.