The last time I visited the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane I had big hair and wore shoulder pads. Ok, so I may be showing my age but the Hilton hotel lobby, bar and restaurant Vintaged Bar & Grill is looking fabulous, slick and very sophisticated! The hotel has invested $37 million in transforming its premises since 2005.
I dined with a group of foodie bloggers and we were treated to the new $35 evening meal special which includes a glass of wine from the wine room or craft beer or soft-drink/mineral water. Available Monday to Thursday evening, it’s value for money fine-dining if you happen to find yourself in the CBD.
Sous Chef Dario Fiorino chatted with us in the wine room (while we enjoyed a glass of champers) about the restaurant philosophy to always use the best ingredients and treat them simply and with care. He explained that all of the beef is cooked on the grill from start to finish and not finished in the oven. Yes, I did just mention a wine room and I’ll get to that part later in the blog.
Vintaged is a large restaurant, very open with wood tones, lots of glass and architectural style furniture. The most impressive feature (and one which I couldn’t stop looking at) is the beef aging cabinet which has a backdrop of Himalayan pink rock salt. It’s a beautiful piece of art and if you sit at the chefs table you’ll get to enjoy this and the hustle and bustle of a busy kitchen.
- Thirlmere duck leg confit, Bubble “n” Squeak and fried duck egg
- Pan seared barramundi, baby leeks, crisp potato and artichoke puree
- Veal cutlet with braised cabbage, kipfler potatoes and sauce reform (GF)
- Pumpkin cannelloni with black cabbage, pine-nuts, currants and brown nut butter (V)
- Roasted salmon wrapped in prosciutto with prawn colcannon potato and red wine sauce
- 250g Black Angus beef sirloin with triple cooked chips, bearnaise and salad
The steak was definitely tempting but in the end I chose the Barramundi. It was a lovely light meal, the fish, well cooked, went beautifully with the artichoke puree. We were also given some sides to sample (triple cooked fat chips, rocket, pear and parmesan salad and a decadent mash potato with black sea salt). All of them delicious and beautifully seasoned.
Ok, now for the wine room
Vintaged has dedicated a section of the restaurant to showcasing an impressive wine collection. Located in the heart of the restaurant, it houses 1000 bottles listing 120 labels mainly from Australia with a small portion from New Zealand and France. I noticed a fantastic selection of Pinot Noir, many labels which I’m keen to try. Guests are invited to handpick and sample their chosen wine in consultation with waitstaff, adding another interactive element to the dining experience.
Chef’s table experience
If you are after a special dining experience then the chef’s table looks like it would be a great night. You can enjoy four courses designed by executive chef Jeremy Clark or Dario Fiorino and watch the action on the grill unfold before your eyes, seated in prime position. Available lunch or dinner for single diners through to groups of nine, $110 per head. Chef’s table pictured below, image courtesy of Hilton hotel.
While dessert isn’t part of the dinner special we were treated to a selection of desserts that are available on the menu to order separately. It was a sugar overload that included lots of oohhhs and arrhhhs. The most simple and I think the best was the vanilla ice-cream, honeycomb and hot caramel sauce. Divine. I finished with a piccolo latte which unfortunately, I think, was a little burnt.
Vintaged also does a $25 lunch menu Monday to Friday between noon and 2pm which also includes a glass of wine or craft beer, soft drink/mineral water.
I really enjoyed Vintaged Bar & Grill. It’s has a great feel for a business lunch or a quick catch-up with girlfriends but also equally impressive for a special night out and as an added bonus, if you enjoy the wine room just a little too much, you can pop across the lobby and book a room for the night!
For the love of food dined as a guest of Vintaged Bar & Grill
Level 6, Hilton Hotel
190 Elizabeth St, Brisbane