There is one thing I never do when I eat out. It’s dine alone. Call it extreme self consciousness combined with the fact that the best meals to me are the ones shared with friends or in company. My mind automatically thinks that people will stare (and let’s face it they stare enough when the camera comes out) and they may think “Poor girl, she has no friends.” I know it’s silly, after all many people that travel dine solo. But just not me. Until tonight.
Through lack of organisation on my part I find myself in Brisbane one evening without a date. When I walk into The Euro on Mary Street they ask me where I’d like to sit. Apparently solo diners like sitting at the bar but I want somewhere where there is good light. The best light is of course at the table at the very front of the restaurant in the window. Of course!
Euro is the more casual version of the 10 year old restaurant Urbane which is a fine dining affair (complete with a dessert degustation-lust!). Sitting side by side The Euro has an attractive design with a metal door with cut outs of knives, carrots, duck and pretty much anything you might find on their menu there. The design aesthetic goes through to their menus and coasters which feature a genuine Russian matchbox cover.
Jamon, manchego and pea croquettes (2) with green chilli mayonnaise $11
Listed under amuse bouche, this course, usually complimentary, the amuse is an item that you pay for (I think they’d do better listing this under appetiser). These are more substantial than a typical amuse though which often fits in a shot glass and these are more tapas style sizes. I start with the crunchy deep fried golden balls filled with jamon, manchego cheese and green pea which sit on a green chilli mayonnaise. They’re wonderfully crunchy and addictive although I don’t really get much of a chilli kick from the green chilli mayonnaise which would have been lovely.
The veal carpaccio is appealingly pink centred with carrots in several forms: dried carrot and carrot jam and fossilized carrots. What? Fossilized carrots? Yes not carrots dug up from prehistoric times, instead they’re carrots that have been kept in a calcium dioxide solution for 24 hours to have all of their pectin removed. They then add moisture back into the carrots and scrape out the inside and then the outer is deep fried and served to give the dish crunch. The crunch from the bark like fossilized carrots and the thin croutons does add a nice crunch as well as the crumbs and the creamy labne and tender thinly sliced veal.
Hervey Bay Scallops
A gift from the kitchen this is apparently not on the menu which is a shame as it’s really good. The Hervey Bay scallops are succulent and plump and are topped and tailed with thin slices of granny smith apple and topped with deep fried chicken skin. Don’t get me started on chicken skin, I love the stuff and all three elements work well together and they do need each other to balance the crunchiness, sweetness and tanginess.
Tortellini of pumpkin, with maple braised pumpkin, organic goats curd, candied walnuts, almonds and shaved roasted chestnuts $26