Visited: Tuesday 31 July 2012 @ The Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane.
Ordered: Entree: Pork Belly (twice cooked Bangalow Sweet pork with apple puree, morcilla and crackling), Main: Lamb (roast rump with spiced eggplant, yoghurt and harissa). Sides: Truffle Mash & Hand Cut Chips.
My partner’s birthday yesterday (Happy Birthday Babe, cue those eye rolls) provided the perfect opportunity for a fancy lunch, and so we were treated to Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan’s Aria Restaurant. I’ve only dined there once before but was excited to return for another awesome experience.
All importantly, service from start to finish was excellent. The maitre d (is that still used?) especially was attentive, whishing my partner a happy birthday, and remembering his name throughout the service while checking everything was satisfactory. He was quick to act when he found out our waiter had spilled our drink over our table too (in hindsight a pretty funny event that I had never witnessed before) and we were quickly relocated. That small blip aside, all the staff were unbelievable pleasant, polite and professional. The precious P’s. Matt Moran was even there, and I was ever so tempted to use the partner’s birthday as an excuse to satisfy my want to say hello.
First up for an appetiser we received a Butternut Pumpkin soup which was thick, creamy and rich. Served in a shot glass on a plate it looked neat and clean. I couldn’t quite finish my serving though, not ever being a huge fan of pumpkin soup, this was still definitely one of the better ones I’ve had.
I’m not quite sure why I ordered the pork belly. I don’t even eat pork(!), though on the odd occasion when I’ve eaten with others who have ordered the belly I’ve had a sample and liked it, so I thought I’d give it a go. I probably wouldn’t order a whole serve of it for myself again but this was tender and juicy with crispy crackling, and I enjoyed it. I was even extra brave and ate the morcilla (black pudding) and have to admit it tasted pretty good. I can’t believe I just wrote that, but it really did.
The lamb was cooked as it should be, slightly pink and fell apart in your mouth. My favourite part of any lamb, the outer skin and edge was so yummy, all roast-y and brown and delicious with the fat rendered perfectly. Served up beside the truffle mash, it was up there with the best roast lamb I’ve had (you can never go past the family roast), and a dislike for mashed potato by my partner (who doesn’t like mashed potato right?) meant I had plenty of that amazing mash to accompany it. I also had a few of the chips and they were nice, thick and crispy (nothing on that mash though).
A cute assortment of treats (nougat etc) with Happy Birthday piped on the plate finished it off nicely. I was so full and satisfied I didn’t enjoy having to return to work. It was great food with great service and I am definitely a fan of Aria Restaurant. I can’t wait for my next chance to visit and for all these reasons I give Aria Restaurant 4 ½ Rant and Rave Points.
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