Wednesday, 29 July 2015
Food that tastes good but is also good for you is what you’ll find at Asana by Pete Evans.
This is the first venture from well-known chef and paleo ambassador Pete Evans into Brisbane in his role as consultant chef and chief menu designer for a Capri by Fraser in Albert Street, Brisbane.
The restaurant is every bit as bright and shiny as Pete Evan’s smile and has a mix of comfortable bench seating and not-so-comfortable bright yellow metal chairs. Whoever designed these chairs should be made to sit in them for an extended period, and then some.
The theme is fresh, nutritious and delicious all-day dining, showcasing the best Queensland produce and reflecting Pete’s great love of food.
As befits a restaurant where the food is actually good for you, there’s a subtle inclusion of fermented vegetables in various forms throughout the menu. There’s also healing broths - chicken with ginger, lemon, native greens and soft egg or turmeric, cumin and lemon.
I settled on a starter of lemongrass wild prawn skewers with sesame, organic salad and nuoc cham which was light, appetising and wonderfully full of flavour although they did tend to fall apart a bit.
The ginger braised short rib with Asian greens that followed was a real success with tender beef infused with strong flavours.
K2 was taken by the Cape Grim beef special, but although both dishes lived up to expectations it was the carrot side dish that I ended up going back to again and again, making sure I got my half.
I had to try the Paleo tiramisu and found it wasn’t really all that much different from other tiramisu variations I’ve tried over the years. It certainly didn’t lack flavour or a creamy texture. K2 was happy with his choice of lemon pound cake.
Congratulations to the staff here too who were well versed in the menu and offered excellent wine matches by the glass.
Since I was enjoying a staycation at Capri by Fraser, I also sampled the breakfast menu which gets top marks for innovation and presentation. I’ve seen a lot of breakfast buffets and this one looked especially appetising and it tasted as good as it looked. I particularly liked the unusual presentation of the devilled eggs and the smoked salmon. There were also plenty of healthy alternatives that didn’t feel like a sad choice.
Capri by Fraser
Ed+bK rating: 3.7
Recommended for: This is the only paleo restaurant in the CBD, but the food stands alone as well prepared and flavoursome with plenty of interesting twists. Go there for a food that tastes good and is good for you.
Bottom line: Small plates (entrees) $9 - $24, Large plates (mains) $24 - $26, and treats (dessert) $12 – 14.
Best tip: Don't be put off by the paelo label, the food tastes just fine.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK dined as a guest of Fraser Suites.
Monday, 27 July 2015
It’s a match made in heaven, Noma luminary Rene Redzepi’s culinary talents combined with Australia’s food and wine, and it’s happening in Sydney for ten weeks from January 2016.
First invited to Australia for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Redzepi has been drawn to Australia’s unique landscape which is so different from his home. He says he is coming here to learn from the Australian landscape.
The menu will be totally inspired by Australian ingredients and foraged from around the country and Redzepi has already been in Tasmania, Adelaide and Melbourne looking for inspiration.
The doors will close in Copenhagen, Denmark as Noma opens at its new waterfront home at Barangaroo on Sydney Harbour in a collaboration with Tourism Australia and Lendlease.
Dining at Noma is certainly on my bucket list so I'll trying for a booking here just like the rest of Australia's food lovers. Competition is bound to be stiff. (Details on how to register interest are at the end of this post.)
“I have always been attracted to the incredible diversity you find in Australia’s landscapes and ingredients, because they are like no other place I’ve seen before,” said Redzepi. “Australia combines strong influences from its Indigenous people with new communities from around the world. When you mix it all together, the result is something truly inspiring. It really is the perfect place to come and learn.”
The Noma team will find the best of Australia’s produce to design an original menu, focusing on producers who have a respectful and passionate engagement with the sea and the land.
“We look forward to the new year and this new exploration. It will be a different journey, but one that I am incredibly excited about – the opportunity to broaden our horizons, to expand our minds and our tastes, to make new friends, and catch-up with old ones, as we delve into this magnificent landscape,” Redzepi added.
Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said that Noma Australia was a natural extension of its already successful Restaurant Australia campaign.
“A big part of Restaurant Australia has been about improving Australia’s perception as a food and wine destination. And, with one of the world’s top ranked restaurants about to open in Sydney, I’d say our country’s culinary standing has never been higher,” he said.
Noma Australia will be located in the Anadara building at the Barangaroo precinct, which is set to become one of Australia’s landmark future food and beverage destinations. The location was selected for its synergy to Noma in Copenhagen, which is also on the water and strongly connected to the sea.
As a vital part of Noma’s research in the lead up to the restaurant opening, René and his team have already embarked on several Australia-wide visits to meet with producers, local communities, farmers and chefs, and explore the diverse landscape and multi-faceted culture of the country. Tourism Australia is supporting these important research trips, and providing assistance with travel and marketing.
Noma Australia will launch in January 2016 and will open for lunch and dinner five days per week.
Bookings for the restaurant will open later this year.