A visit to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is one of my favourite things to do. It’s inspiring, sometimes challenging and always colourful. To make the experience even better you can start or end your outing with lunch at the Gallery restaurant.
It’s a restaurant that changes it’s menu regularly, sometimes based on a theme or country of the current exhibition. I’ve experienced Asian inspired and Italian menus here but my most recent visit with Al, Miss P and M featured regional produce with French techniques.
We hadn’t visited the exhibition on this occasion, but had just attended the Brisbane Writers Festival to see Miss P participate on a ‘Urban Fantasy’ panel discussion having just released ‘Haze‘ the second of a four-book angels and demons series called The Rephaim. Check out more details here.
Anyway, back to GoMA restaurant. It has a really lovely, calm atmosphere. The service is always very professional and friendly. It’s what I’d call casual fine dining. There is no need to dress up but the quality of the food, the presentation and attention to detail is beautiful.
Miss P and I chose an entree and a dessert while our boys chose entree and main.
I started with Thangool squab, blueberry, sprouts, grain ($24). Thangool is a town in central Queensland, not far from Biloela. Squab is a young domestic pigeon. The meat is sometimes described as tasting like dark chicken. What was most interesting about this plate of food was the accompaniment of blueberries, sprouts and grains. The sweet, nutty flavour and crunchy texture was a perfect match for the succulent squab. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the pidgeon leg on the plate. It certainly reminded me what I was eating but it could be a little scary for some people.
Miss P and M ordered the Sunshine Coast whiting, shaved squid, cucumber, yuzu pearls and ink ($21). This was another interesting dish with fresh flavours. The cucumber balls and yuzu pearls a lovely match with the whiting. Perfect for a sunny Sunday.
The duck was one of the prettiest dishes I’ve seen in a long time. The colours and placement were perfect and I wish I had more time to photograph it but it was Al’s lunch so I had to give the plate back! This was a dish full of big flavours. The duck liver creme was really strong and I thought the duck skin could have been rendered a little longer for a crispy finish but Al loved it and finished everything on his plate except the lavender flowers.
If perfectly cooked, you really can’t go wrong with lamb and this was a also another full flavoured dish with the golden beets glistening on the plate.
The desserts were sensational but without asking the wait staff what exactly they were, you’d have no idea from the menu description. Miss P and I chose I miss the beach and The chocolate bar (both $16).
I miss the beach was a star fruit, mango and melon sorbet dish with a fruity foam and crushed meringue. It was fresh, light and a gorgeous end to a rich meal.
The chocolate bar was exactly that. A Willy Wonker gold bar with white chocolate ice-cream that the waitress told us was meant to look silver but actually looked more lilac. I think I would have preferred to see a vanilla colour on the plate. Although this dish looked rich and heavy, it was as light as air mousse covered in ganache sitting on a chocolate sponge.
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