The Courier-Mail - QWeekend
CORN AND CAULIFLOWER CHOWDER
From One Pot, Pan, Planet
gratitude for simply being able to be open. Less than a week after Leonards launching, Brisbane was thrown into lockdown. Now up and running once more, staff are clearly keen to make the most of it and have been well-drilled on the menu – though you’d expect nothing less with a hospitality school attached. The offering is bistro fare, maybe haloumi and zucchini cakes and steak tartare for starters or mains of mushroom Tagliatelle or a burger and fries.
An entree of two smoked Lebanese eggplants ($22) with a crunchy fried crumb arrives, the vegetarian sausages of sorts met with a romesco sauce for dipping. It’s the type of dish that’s best shared in a tapas-like situation, as is the hearty pork terrine ($22) with a crowning of pickled veg to balance out the fattiness of the meat. The latter is a solid rendition of a classic, however, it needs to ditch the overly crumbly rye in favour of some sturdy crackers on which it can be piled high. Smoked chicken Maryland ($32) conjures memories of Christmas with its almost ham-like flavour, but the tomato sauce it’s lathered in could do with less salt. Perennial bistro favourite the rack of lamb ($42) has been expertly Frenched with the meat taken off the bones to allow for easy eating. Served with skin-on kipfler potatoes and a jus, it’s a retro revival. So too are the profiteroles ($12) for dessert, though in an attempt at a contemporary twist, they are filled with vanilla ice cream instead of crème patissiere and showered with a hot chocolate sauce at the table. Leonards also runs an all-day snack-style menu of cheese boards, charcuterie, potted smoked trout and deli sandwiches and it is this that I’d come back for.
A Catalan sanger with a glass of Snake + Herring GSM (though it’s far better value by the bottle) from the smart, global wine list, and being taken care of by the genuinely hospitable staff in a beautiful setting, now that’s a win.