The Courier-Mail - QWeekend


From Slow Cook


agreeable beginning. Classic Queensland seafood bouillabai­sse ($26) with its scented, rich, tomatoey broth poured on at the table is a value version of the Provencal favourite. And fish of the day, in this case gold band snapper, is generously portioned, slightly overcooked and topped with fennel and tomato-accented sauce.

Best on show is a hefty crumbed pork cutlet topped with a prunes set like stepping stones across the top and teamed with sugarloaf cabbage and bacon ($32). This is a fine, noholds-barred porcine plate, where the side ingredient­s are a sturdy supporting act.

Tarte Tatin ($18) with cinnamon ice cream ticks all the boxes. It’s delicate in its flavours and presentati­on, with an outer layer of overlappin­g thin apple slices, rather than a robust, heavily caramelise­d version. Pain d’epices, with mandarin sorbet, burnt vanilla brulee and spiced coconut ($18) is very sweet and less appealing.

Service is amenable and vigilant throughout, and the drinks list is seriously attractive, with a page of creative cocktails, a repertoire of beers including several Queensland­ers, wines by the glass running to an adventurou­s mix of mainly French and Australian drops and a hefty array of bottles including a strong pinot noir showing.

Bisou Bisou, while part of the hotel’s recipe for a cocktail of thrills, keeps it workmanlik­e. The drinks list brings excitement but most of the food is straightfo­rward brasserie style, like that enjoyed for example, by the two businessme­n beside us, who heartily tuck into a shared half chicken and sides of beans and chips. Perhaps by choosing differentl­y, maybe caviar, beef and the pomme aligot side, which is apparently almost as much cream and cheese as spud, it might have felt more indulgent.

For us, it is a solid dining experience oiled by smooth service.

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