Are these dishes crazy or ingenious?
To find out, we paid a visit to Il Locale Italian at Rosalie; a restaurant that isn't afraid to take inspiration from all corners of the world.
So does this creative flair fare well for the food here? Let's find out.
The menu features handmade pastas and pizzas, traditional arancini and calamari fritti, as well as risotto and Venetian sardines. All very traditional, house-made and on-point. Time to slightly venture out of the convententional square though.
I started my eating journey with the fresh salmon carpacio, again all made in-house. The Salmone Affumicato came with orange wedges, fennel, goji berries, honey dressing and horseradish.
There were a lot of flavours happening in this dish, which was still so well balanced that it only worked to enhance the main attraction of the salmon, rather than suffocating it. The orange wedges lifted the salmon nicely, while just the slightest hint of horseradish gave each mouthful a lovely kick of life at the end.
Caperberries added a natural saltiness as well which was really lovely, and there was a generous amount of olive oil over the salad (as expected). What really made this dish interesting were the scattering of goji berries that were plump and bursting with just the right amount of tartness to make this dish really interesting and delightful.
If fish isn't your thing though, there are a range of other options available, including slow cooked beef cheek, slow cooked lamb shoulder, and a plethora of pastas and pizzas.
Back to the fish though.
Today's fish was stargazer, which is a unique offering in the Brisbane food scene at the moment. It's a relatively small, white fish and it was fresh enough for a medley of subtle flavours to shine through. The crisp exterior of this grilled fish encased a melt-in-your-mouth softness within.
What really stood out in this dish though was the cream sauce. Just. Wow. It was so insanely delicious I could have consumed it by the cupful. It had so many earthy flavours which were lifted by a fresh anise.
I absolutely loved the edamame beans served with this dish. It really benefited from a meaty-type of bean and the sweetness of the edamame complimented the flavours of the fish. The fennel was grilled to absolute perfection and was amazingly tasty.
The drinks list at Il Locale features a nice mix of both local wines as well as choices from Italy and New Zealand. Italian sparkling water is on hand too for anyone driving.
A molten, gooey chocolate sauce oozed out of a beautifully crafted cakey exterior. Rich and decadent, this dessert is worth a visit to Rosalie alone. It was music in my mouth.
A warming cup of tea rounded off the meal, complete with a little traditional Italian biscuit.
The food here is creative, delicious and very thoughtfully crafted. Buon appetito.