Hum­ming­bird Bar & Restau­rant.

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Stellar - - Content -


AM­BI­TION is a great thing. It drives us to be bet­ter, to achieve more, to suc­ceed.

But am­bi­tion needs to be real­is­tic. A couch potato isn’t go­ing to wake up one day and run a marathon. It takes time, train­ing and prepa­ra­tion.

Un­for­tu­nately, Brisbane’s new, con­tem­po­rary and so­phis­ti­cated-look­ing Hum­ming­bird Bar & Restau­rant is a vic­tim of such over­am­bi­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the web­site, the goal is to bring a “fine din­ing touch” to Ros­alie, in the city’s in­ner west, “fo­cus­ing on sea­sonal lo­cal pro­duce and the mar­ry­ing of un­usual flavours to de­liver cui­sine de­signed to ex­cite”.

Loin of veni­son with snails any­one? How about ba­con-fat choco­late cake? This at­tempt to “ex­cite” re­sults in a menu that sim­ply tries too hard and, ul­ti­mately, falls short.

That ten­der, rosy-cen­tred veni­son is beau­ti­ful with the ac­com­pa­ny­ing red wine sauce and shards of crispy-edged cauliflower, but the snails have no place on the dish. Nei­ther does the cauliflower-scented pud­dle un­der­neath.

While the ba­con fat in the cake is a good gim­mick, it adds noth­ing to the dry sponge. It’s joined by an un­nec­es­sary abun­dance of ele­ments, in­clud­ing real hon­ey­comb, jaffa mousse, choco­late crumb, vanilla ice cream and pis­ta­chio jelly with so much gela­tine it’s a won­der it doesn’t bounce off the plate.

Over­cooked lamb as well as burnt raisins and pine nuts in the assi­ette of lamb are also dis­ap­point­ing, as is hav­ing no tools to pry out the sweet flesh from the yabby claws.

Ser­vice also needs con­sid­er­able work to reach a fine-din­ing stan­dard, with wait­ers strug­gling to carry more than one plate at a time, dishes left un­cleared on ta­bles and a gen­eral un­ease and awk­ward­ness to the staff. It’s good to be am­bi­tious, but it’s bet­ter to un­der­promise and overde­liver.

From top: but­ter-poached red claw yabby, and loin of veni­son with glazed snails.

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