Even though I’ve lived in Brisbane for 11 years now, I could never actually afford to try Matt Moran’s ARIA at Eagle Street Pier. I’d always looked on lovingly, hoping that ‘one day’ I could sit comfortably at the white table-clothed spots in those large glass windows, in the afternoon sunshine, drinking wine and delighting in the flavour sensations created by a chef who knows his craft beyond exception.
So it happened, that on the very last day, nay within the very final hours of my in-laws stay over Summer 2015-2016 that we booked lunch at ARIA, where I was probably the most excitable person you could have met.
We were ushered into the minimalist dining room, and apart from feeling slightly under-dressed and a little out of place, what came was nothing short of marvelous.
We started with complimentary appetizers, served on being seated while we perused the wine list. I was pretty much dreaming at this point. I was now that girl sitting in the full length windows in the afternoon sun. Woot!
What followed was a long leisurely lunch filled with decadent textures and tender cuts that I doubt will be matched any time soon. I also skipped the meats and ordered two vegetarian meals from the menu (while the family ordered a variety of dishes that I also talked my way into trying).
Zucchini flowers had been on my radar for years – I’d always planned to make them myself (what a disaster) but trying them on that day, in that place, was the perfect introduction to the beautiful flavours and textures when it comes to plating up these delicacies.
Appetizers: Squid Ink Prawn Cracker with Hummus and Roasted Carrot
- Pork Belly: grilled pork belly with pear chutney, blood sausage and crackling
- Scallops: seared with salt baked celeriac, wood ear mushroom and miso butter
- Goats curd with grilled cauliflower
- Asparagus & Zucchini flower
- Beef fillet
- Rack of Lamb
Petite Fours: Coconut Marshmellows, Poppyseed Snaps & Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
- Hand cut chips
- Truffle mash
- Greens in lemon & olive oil
- Melons & Haloumi salad