Much earlier this year, the loved Brent’s Restaurant at Toowong (see our post here) closed its doors, underwent a transformation and emerged reborn as 85 Miskin St, still under the same ownership of Brent Farrell. We absolutely loved our meal at Brent’s and so have been hankering to try out the new establishment for a while now. It was our second wedding anniversary a couple of weeks back and so this seemed a great excuse to head out.
85 Miskin St looks a little more casual than Brent’s did, albeit still with the same cosy feeling. Where Brent’s had that fine dining white table clothed, polished silver, attentive waiter at your elbow thing going on, 85 Miskin St is much more approachable and the room is very comfortable.
We ordered some wine to start, but after this arrived we had to ask for our food menu (I was a little impatient, it was after 8pm and I was famished). I noted there was a Tasting Menu available with an included bottle of wine, but it was a little too late for this considering we had already ordered drinks. Giving us our food menus in conjunction with the drinks menu would avoid this issue!
I had it on good authority that the Sauteed Scallop and broth, Jerusalem artichoke and lemon oil was pretty amazing and so couldn’t go past it for my entree. Indeed, the scallop was cooked perfectly and golden on the outside, and the broth was lip smackingly delicious. I almost downed it in one gulp, but forced myself to sip on it little by little to savour the taste. There were so many levels to this broth; the delicate flavours of scallop but accompanied by another level of richness and creaminess.
L’s entree was both scary and pretty as a picture; Citrus cured ocean trout with edible ants, rosehip sorbet, radish and dill creme fraiche. Yes, they were actual ants, and yes they were edible. The rose flavoured sorbet was simply divine and went so well with the smooth trout, and the crunchy little ants added another texture.
Slow cooked lamb shoulder and belly, garlic buttermilk, fried chickpea and reduction was my enormous main. There was so much lamb here that I could actually not eat it all which is almost a first for me. The lamb belly was fatty and crispy, and the chickpea was presented as a crunchy rectangle which looked like a large potato chip.
Fries with lemon aioli accompanied our mains, these were perfectly crunchy;
L had trouble decided on a protein (kangaroo? beef?) but ended up with the Glazed pork belly, mandarin, chilli and ginger, and puffed wild rice. I joked that the rice puffs looked a little like worms after his entree of ants, but he was not put off in the slightest! The pork belly was perfectly cooked, crunchy crackling on top, with a subtle mandarin glaze that was not overpowering. We loved how there were different textures and temperatures with each dish, and here the ginger and chilli was actually a delicious sorbet.
Fresh Berries, Madagascan vanilla and Garden flowers was my dessert and must be one of the best presented dishes I’ve experienced. A little terracotta pot was placed in front of me; I dug through the chocolate “soil” to reveal the fresh berries, cream, meringue and sponge cake within. Absolutely gorgeous!
Chocolate, honeycomb and caramelised banana was L’s choice; dark bitter chocolate mousse on top of a chocolate crumble, banana done in two ways, but the honeycomb bombed in liquid nitrogen was absolutely amazing.
I think Brent’s has done the smart thing by reinventing itself as 85 Miskin St. They say fine dining is dying out, well there are certainly still elements of fine dining here (these dishes are something special), but in a much more casual user friendly atmosphere.
C85 Miskin St 85 Miskin Street
Toowong Ph 07 3371 4558 Open Lunch and Dinner Wed-Sat, Breakfast Sat-Sun www.85miskinst.com.au