There seems to be a new restaurant opening up every week in Brisbane right now, which is fantastic, but one with a pool is exactly what we need, particularly after the sweltering heat of the last week. Bacchus has opened at the Rydges hotel in Southbank just before summer hit us with a bang, opening night pictures showed plenty of Brisbane’s beautiful crowd, and had Matt Preston there to boot.
L and I visited in December for my official birthday dinner. We arrived via a a very exclusive elevator entry from street level which made us feel a little bit important. The pool was smaller than we thought it would be, and we were definitely left wondering if anyone would actually ever use it, but the outdoor area would be a great place for a few cocktails.
The restaurant interior has a lush gold and brown theme, which looks a little bit cruise ship to me, although others may gasp at this description. We were seated quite unsmoothly, being food bloggers sometimes we ask to change to a table with better lighting and this didn’t seem to go down too well with staff. Unfortunately, our sparkling water took about fifteen minutes and three waitstaff to ask to arrive, which was a downer.
The menu appears to have mediterranean influences and each dish is matched to a particular olive oil which is an interesting concept. We were provided with a bunch of grissini sticks to munch on whilst we decided on our dishes. These were crunchy and light, a great non-filling alternative to bread. They had the flavours of the herbs and salt in the vase they were presented in, and we dipped them in the accompanying olive oil.
The sommelier came over to assist us with our wine selection; and although we definitely had the feeling he was only pushing us towards one in particular, the wine we had was really smooth and drinkable, a French Muscadet.
I started with Beef carpaccio, delicately sliced with heirloom tomatos, lemon and goat cheese and dried kalamatas. The tomatoes were presented beautifully and were so sweet whilst the kalamata olive was sprinkled over the top. I loved this dish, and wished as with all carpaccio dishes I order that it would last a little longer.
L had Chilli red claw ravioli, leek compote, bisque foam and tempura claw. Chilli was quite light on in flavour, but all elements worked very well together with the creamy bisque and lightly battered claw. This is the type of dish that works well as an entree, it would otherwise be quite heavy as a main.
I did the unthinkable for me and ordered a chicken dish for main. Usually chicken dishes can be boring and run the risk of being a tad dry. Not so this one, the Free Range Chicken ballotine, eggplant puree, confit garlic, and tomato and goats cheese cannelloni was delicious. Full of smokey flavours, both the chicken and the eggplant puree, the only thing about it that I didn’t like was the thin eggplant wafers that tasted of paper. The cannelloni was a deskinned rolled up tomato filled with goats cheese, beautiful and delicate.
L’s main was Pan roasted duck breast, beets, shallots, sour cherries, heirloom carrots and peppered mascarpone. The duck was cooked perfectly pink with crispy skin, and was very rich in combination with its sour cherry top and the accompanying mascarpone and beets.
The dessert menu at Bacchus features some interesting and occasional savoury ingredients, with goats cheese, fennel, basil and lemon myrtle all featuring. We were a little disappointed with our desserts after the fantastic entrees and mains.
My apricot souffle with Lemon myrtle sorbet looked quite magnificent in its copper pot, but was incredibly and overwhelmingly eggy with very little flavour of apricot. The lemon myrtle sorbet was quite tart in comparison but I did enjoy this.
L had the Fennel mille-feuille with basil syrup and apple duo. This turned out to be a little too “interesting” with the savoury flavours ending up to not be that enjoyable and the size quite tiny. Chunks of apple garnish were simply that, apple. Another few layers on the mille-feuille or something else added to the dish would have hit the spot.
Our Bacchus experience was overall enjoyable but didn’t really leave us with the feeling of wanting to rush back. The service experience was quite patchy, which is hopefully just down to opening teething issues. Waiting that long for water (whilst having three separate people ask us about it), having an added bottle of wine to the bill that we didn’t ever order at the end of the night, and a waitress simultaneously boasting of the swanky interior whilst saying how the chairs weren’t designed for comfort was all a bit much. Highlights were our entrees and mains, and we will say these dishes were beautifully presented and tasted wonderful. Maybe we will leave this one to the beautiful people?
CBacchus Podium Level, Rydges Hotel Cnr Grey and Glenelg Streets South Brisbane Ph 07 3364 0843 www.bacchusrestaurant.com.au