Sunday, 21 February 2016

Aquitaine Brasserie

On a balmy Brisbane Friday night, Miss C and I decide to rendezvous at the south end of South Bank for an evening of French faire at Aquataine Brasserie.

I love steak tartare. I constantly crave it. I should really live in France. Tonight I would get my fix.
I meet my dinner guest shortly after 7.30 at a beautiful outdoor table. The breezes cooling the warm, thick sub-tropical summer air, a lovely outlook across the river to the sparkling skyline of the Brisbane CBD.

photo courtesy of

We start with a bellini for my guest and a dirty vodka martini for myself, and catch up on all things noteworthy from the last few weeks.

We order a baked-in-house bread with smoked butter and confit garlic. It is warm, delicious and terribly moreish.

As the table next to us has their food brought over, we sit in awe, staring rudely at the beautiful plates. We usher over a waiter and discreetly ask what they have ordered. It all sounds and looks delightful.
I already know for starts I am having the steak tartare, it’s what I’m here for. Miss orders the tiger prawns and cured tuna with coconut milk and watermelon.

Both dishes look extraordinary.

My tartare, traditionally a patty of raw meat with a raw egg yolk on top is so beautifully presented, reminiscent of a forest floor. The prawn and tuna dish also looks incredible. With our entrees, I have a rose and Miss has champagne. My tartare packs quite a punch with strong flavours of mustard and capers, but thankfully this does not overpower the beautiful beef.

There is a reasonable wait before our mains arrive, but when they do come they look and smell wonderful. Mine of the market fish with clams and smoked clam sauce- everything on my plate is outstanding. If I remember correctly, it was coral trout. The flavours are right on and perfectly balanced, the wilted vegetables providing freshness to the creamy sauce. Both the fish and clams are perfectly cooked.
Miss orders the chicken ballotine. It is beautifully cooked and in no way dry. I tell her that I never order chicken at restuarants but her dish could certainly change my mind in the future.

We also have the Basque potatoes with cultured milk and fermented chilli and the brussel sprouts with lamb belly for sides. The baby potatoes are delicious and have quite a bit of spice. The brussel sprouts don’t come out til we are almost finished out mains. But were very tasty, especially the lardons of lamb. However, this dish maybe a bit too heavy for a side of our delicately flavoured mains.

Rather than desserts we opt for a digestif cocktail each to finish. My amaretto sour proves to be a perfect choice.

The outlook from this restaurant is so beautiful, the food delightful. The waiters could be a little more attentive but overall a really nice way to spend an evening.

photo courtesy of
All food photos care of Miss C. Many thanks.

    Aquitaine Brasserie 
    Split-level French restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows, contemporary interior and river views.
    Address: River Quay, R2 Sidon St, Queensland 4101