One place that will ensure you have a pretty memorable night is Bacchus in Brisbane’s South Bank.
While some fine dining establishments only offer one type of menu, Bacchus has gone nuts on choice, meaning you can cater for any kind of event you have in mind.
Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can order À La Carte, or opt for a Seven-Course Degustation, a Four-Course Petit Degustation, a Vegetarian Degustation, a Vegan Degustation, a Dessert Degustation, a 3 course Chef’s Selection or a range of High Teas including a gluten-free option.
The guys at Bacchus have recently added some new dishes into these various menus, and we sat down to try them out.
We kicked off with some fresh bread packed with herbs and spices, served up with an olive tapenade and whipped butter.
The olive tapenade is completely vegetarian, without an anchovy in sight. The whipped butter was like biting into a creamy, creamy cloud. It was light yet decadent and just a delight on the piping hot bread.
- Clearwater Pan Roasted Scallops with Wild Rice, Jerusalem Artichoke, Western Australian Octopus
- Jansz Non Vintage Sparkling Rosé
This dish is both dairy free and gluten free, so is a great option for the whole table to share in. The scallops were meaty and slightly sweet just like they should be, and the octopus was also perfectly cooked.
For an added health bonus, this dish was served with chia crisps, which were chia seeds soaked in water for a couple of days, then dehydrated and fried (ok it was healthy up until that point!).
This dish went beautifully with the sparkling rosé which was toasty on the nose and had some light peach flavours on the palate.
The rosé was served in a champagne coupe, which not only looked gorgeous, but was great for sniffing out this wine's aromatics.
- Poached King Prawns with Moreton Bay Bug Kimchi Slaw, Potato Salad, Avocado Purée
- Poached Jade Perch, Salsify, White Asparagus, Clams, Light Tomato and Saffron Broth
- Grosset Springvale Riesling 2014
- Thonet Roussette De Savoie 2013
The king prawns were one of my favourite dishes of the night. Again, these were cooked perfectly with a range of different ocean tastes coming through. I loved the moreton bay bug and kimchi slaw it was served on. The kimchi wasn’t overly acidic as it can sometimes be, and didn’t overwhelm the seafood tastes at all.
The Grosset was packed full of minerals and lemon zest, which complimented the seafood perfectly and held its own against the slightly tart kimchi.
The freshwater perch had some beautiful subtle flavours happening, and was a nice Winter seafood option in the tomato and saffron broth. The broth was just divine with light flavours that didn’t overpower the fish at all.
As an aside, salsify is a root crop which has almost a seafood taste to it, making it a great addition to the fish.
Given that Bacchus is the Greek god of wine, you’d expect some interesting wine line-ups here, and the Thonet Roussette De Savoie is exactly that. Bacchus is the only Queensland to serve this wine, because it bought the whole state allocation, which says something about this drop. It was velvety on the palate and beautifully honeyed with a bit of stone fruit as well.
- Squab Pigeon, Foie Gras, Celeriac, Chestnut Mushrooms, Madeira and Muscatelle Sauce
- La Volte dell’Ornellaia 2012
We were lucky enough to watch Bacchus Head Chef, Mark Penna creatively plate up the pigeon into a little, tasty artwork.
The pigeon itself was unique, and slightly gamey to taste. I personally loved it, but if you’re not a fan of raw meat, I can appreciate how this could be not quite up your alley. This dish is for the slightly more adventurous eater, but if that’s you, you will be well rewarded.
The skin was nice and crispy, and the bird just soaked up the sticky madeira sauce beautifully. The dish included pigeon leg confit mixed with spices and fresh coriander, wrapped in Moroccan brick pastry, then dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon. This Moorish element really made this dish, it was incredibly tasty and an ingenious way to serve up what is usually a tough bit of meat.
The La Volte dell’Ornellaia Super Tuscan was beautifully balanced with ripe berries blended with bouquet garni herbs. It truly was a delight to drink and matched the pigeon brilliantly.
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Coconut Water Sorbet
- Poached Pear, White Chocolate Mousse, Pear Sorbet
- Yalumba FSW8B Botrytis Viognier 2014
- Chateau De Beaumes-De-Venise, Le Chant des Girolles 2011
The coconut water sorbet on the dairy-free and gluten-free pineapple upside down cake was just amazing. It had a rich coconut taste and wasn't watered down at all. I loved the crispy slivers of pineapple served up with this cake as well.
The poached pear was my pick of the desserts. The pears themselves were loaded with spice flavours, and the tiny pear on the plate is actually made from a normal-sized pear that has been whittled away to cuteness. This dish also comes with pieces of deliciously rich white chocolate mud cake.
Both dessert wines were interesting and matched the desserts themselves brilliantly. I particularly loved the Le Chant des Girolles muscat, which had elements of quince and candied orange.
Even for those pigeon-eaters among us.