Cinco is one of those suburban restaurants that I’ve driven past countless times over the years. I’ve never given it more than a passing thought and in fact, if you go to the website, as I did recently, you’d be forgiven for dismissing it as a possible choice for a celebratory dinner with friends. The website certainly doesn’t reflect the unstated elegance of Cinco or the high standard of food we experienced.
After making a list of nine CBD contenders, Miss P and I decided on going local and giving Cinco at Camp Hill a try, based on the menu and the fact that it had just won ‘best suburban BYO restaurant’ at the Qld Good Food Awards.
Woo hoo! We felt like we’d won gold. Good company and good wine aside, the food and service was spectacular.
For starters we ordered the sizzling olives ($8) and a serve of empanadas (4 for $16) with Pebre sauce (a Chilean condiment made of coriander, chopped onion, olive oil, garlic and ground or pureed spicy peppers). The olives were moreish and the empanadas, deep-fried, were crunchy but not oily with a slightly spicy beef filling.
The much anticipated entrees were packed with flavour and all beautifully presented. After tasting each dish I had trouble deciding on my favourite but I think the fried goats cheese would be a dish I’d return for.
Salad of baby beetroot, fried goats cheese, candied walnuts, walnut cream and rye ($19).
Jamon Serrano, grilled figs, torn boccconcini, mint, pomegranite and grissini ($22).
Gratin of sand crab and bug, garlic, chilli, tomato and basil hollandaise ($23).
Goat pie with pine nuts, dates, pickled radish and rose yoghurt ($22).
Yes, we ate a lot of food, probably too much food, but it was so good. Seriously, Cinco does really tasty food.
For mains we ordered grilled Barramundi, artichokes, chorizo vinigrette and opal basil ($36), braised rabbit leg, Jerusalem artichoke, mushroom ragout and rabbit ravilolo ($36), Kurobuta pork belly, grilled onion, leek, rhubarb and pepper sauce ($38) and Cape Grim eye fillet, field mushroom, potato puree, spinach and oxtail sauce ($39). Because we couldn’t resist we also ordered sides of pumpkin with yoghurt sauce ($10) and the ancient grains salad ($12).
Usually I’m no slouch when it comes to ordering dessert but I very nearly did pass until I noticed pomegranate jelly with rose cream, fig, pistachio and meringue ($15). You had me at pomegranate! This dessert delivered on so many levels. Very cleverly constructed with each mouthful delivering a surprise in flavour and texture.
We also had to try the hot pear fritters with walnut and cinnamon parfait ($15). Miss P claimed this was probably the best dessert she’d ever eaten. Now, that’s a big call. The hot fritter was perfectly cooked, light and crunchy on the outside, it went beautifully with the parfait which was smooth, with a good hit of walnut and cinnamon flavour
A bonus for wine lovers, Cinco is BYO but if you forget your favourite drop, you can always select from a comprehensive list of wines.
The name Cinco (which means five), was chosen by owner Peter Stubbs, to represent the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water, all of which are essential to cooking, as well as achieving balance and harmony in life according to the principles of Feng Shui. In my books, it also represents five stars. How lucky are the people of Camp Hill to have this gem on their doorstep? Very lucky indeed.
Dinner Tuesday – Saturday 6pm
Lunch Thursday – Friday 12pm
589 Old Cleveland Road
Phone (07) 3843 6666