Green­gate rein­vented

Monthly Chronicle - - Dining Out Locally - Jenny Bar­lass

It has been stand­ing in its mag­nif­i­cent Ed­war­dian splen­dour for more decades than most of us care to remember.

The Green­gate has re­cently been rein­vented and we were in­vited to come and re­view the Ter­race restau­rant’s new menu, served in its re­vamped din­ing room. Hav­ing hung out there as a teenager and never hav­ing grabbed more than hot chips as blot­ting paper, I was cu­ri­ous to know how the restau­rant would stack up.

First the decor. The din­ing space has re­ceived a re­cent re­fur­bish­ment, and as it was nine years since the last, it was timely. Gone are the plas­tic ban­quettes and what’s in its place is a re­fined in­te­rior lit with sub­tlety and over­seen by the mag­nif­i­cent cir­cu­lar bulk­head with a nod to 1940s late Art Deco, when the place was built.

Peo­ple come for cock­tails, lunch or a three course din­ner. Much of the cui­sine is gluten and lac­tose-free, mak­ing it ac­ces­si­ble to a wide cross sec­tion of din­ers.

The chef may be the same - Robert O’Cal­laghan has been here since 2015 - but the cui­sine has also had an re­vamp. “It’s a more pro­duce driven menu,” ex­plains Man­ager Brett Win­dely, “with freshly shucked oys­ters, wild Bar­ra­mundi from WA and Ranger’s Valley rump from North Queens­land.”

The menu is not vast, but var­ied enough to sat­isfy most tastes. My din­ing companions and I are seated and served by Brett, whose knowl­edge of wine was sec­ond to none.

En­trees we chose in­cluded net­tle risotto with bee pollen - a pretty pale green af­fair with no sting, tons of flavour and pret­tily fin­ished with laven­der and bee pollen. My English, sprout-loving hus­band went for the shred­ded Brus­sel sprouts, with baby cos and mush­rooms - a crunchy, fresh salad, while friends opted for Hi­ra­mana king­fish sashimi with baby beets and fin­ished unusu­ally but sen­a­tion­ally with pas­sion­fruit which added a cit­rus el­e­ment but not the ob­vi­ous one. All the dishes were thought­ful, well-ex­e­cuted and de­li­cious.

My main of Cone Bay bar­ra­mundi was suc­cu­lent with a per­fectly cooked crispy skin and ac­com­pa­nied by the best Romesco sauce I’ve ever tasted. The roast spatch­cock was well cooked though a lit­tle plain in pre­sen­ta­tion, while the prawn fet­tuc­cine with lemon and chilli ticked all the boxes of con­trast­ing flavours of acid and pro­tein and pretty as a pic­ture and de­scribed as “zappy” by my friend. The last main - the char­grilled Dar­ling Downs sir­loin, was ex­e­cuted per­fectly and had its car­niv­o­rous re­cip­i­ent savour­ing ev­ery medium rare mouth­ful, as well as the salsa verde shar­ing the plate.

Other mains you could try in­clude the veg­e­tar­ian op­tion of roast pump­kin with pearl bar­ley and goats curd, beer bat­tered fish and chips and a shared plate of lamb shoul­der. What is good about this menu is the va­ri­ety - some fa­mil­iar sta­ples like the f’n’c, as well as some sur­prises like the net­tle risotto...or the dessert!

This was heaven for the sweet-toothed: a thinly sliced pineap­ple carpac­cio with a co­conut sor­bet and hint of chili which was a mas­ter­ful sym­phony of flavours and tex­tures and a de­light to be­hold, as well as a knock­out choco­late tart - a milk and dark choco­late com­bi­na­tion with a shiny ganache fin­ish. Dessert was ac­com­pa­nied by a 2017 Frog­more Creek dessert wine from Tas­ma­nia, a clever part­ner­ing for the pud­dings or­ches­trated by Brett.

Chef Robert’s as­pi­ra­tion to turn the Green­gate Ter­race “into a foodie des­ti­na­tion” has been ful­filled if the cui­sine we sam­pled was any­thing to go by. And that the place is packed ev­ery lunchtime also seems to prove this.

The ser­vice de­serves a men­tion: it is fault­less. Wait staff know their dishes and their in­gre­di­ents. Ev­ery­one smiles and is im­pec­ca­bly po­lite.

The Green­gate Ter­race is un­pre­ten­tious and per­fectly suited to the area, one where pa­trons would ex­pect qual­ity, fresh­ness and a de­gree of moder­nity. It has el­e­vated this grand old lady from just some­where you can grab an easy meal and may have for­got­ten it in a week, to one where the food res­onates on the palate and lingers in the mind so that you must, some time soon, re­turn again.

Chef Robert O'Cal­laghan

Shred­ded brus­sel sprout salad

King­fish sashimi

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