Aquitaine: French sophistication
Alicia Moo | On 02, Oct 2013
Inspired by L’Aquitaine in South West France, Aquitaine is a tre bien addition to River Quay South Bank.
Contemporary French cuisine is still a relatively recent kid showboating its way through the ever growing sophistication of the Brisbane restaurant scene.
Aquitaine is no tantrum child when it comes to behaving. Well established between its’ friendly neighbours, Italian Popolo and the ever popular Stokehouse, Aquitaine holds its own.
Friday night business was booming, not an empty table in sight.
Faces of all sorts could be seen, from businessmen at the bar, to a large family table of 15 enjoying a relaxing meal.
Led to a simply set table with a side view of our wonderful river city the waiters were run off their feet, but if they were struggling it didn’t really show.
The menu immediately screams French, using the native tongue and characteristics intrinsically associated with the croissant country.
We decided to share a starter of “Pissaladiere” or French pizza topped with white anchovies, onion, rosemary and olives, which was presented all rather quickly.
For mains I chose the quintessential French protein – duck. Mains did take a little longer to come out, but I forgave, for the atmosphere and well designed modern interior was enough to keep me satisfied.
Using organic and local produce was evident throughout the menu.
My duck was sourced from theÂ Bendele Organic Farm and cooked to perfection, accompanied with spiced almond milk, cavalo nero, artichoke and deliciously cute spheres of pear that contrasted the duck deliciously.
My friend opted for the braised lamb shank ragout – a winner of a dish, topped with gnocchi, tomato and a generous lashing of parmesan cheese.
If nothing else, the dessert menu is at its’ core, French.
With creme brulees, tarts and provincial cheeses, dessert would not go unwanted.
Ordering the hazelnut sponge, sandwiched with callebaut chocolate mousse was no mistake.
Served like a piece of art surrounded by raspberry cream, and roses, topped with ‘white snow’, a pretty little name for drops of elegant meringue.
The one negative was the raspberry cream had a slightly overpowering tang which offset the subtle flavours of the sponge a little too much. I was craving more sponge, less cream, but overall, there is no shame in this beautifully crafted dessert.
With a wine list and cocktail menu to satisfy the best of connoisseurs, Aquitaine is grownup and may well be embedded in the river quay’s vibrant restaurant precinct.
Treat yourself to quality French farm house cuisine and pass the night away against a picturesque riverfront backdrop.
Where:Â R2 River Quay,South Bank
Opening Hours: Dinner Monday – Friday from 5.30pm.Â Lunch Tuesday – Friday from 12pm. Lunch Saturday & Sunday from 11am.
Other:Â There is also a mezzanine level that can be booked for functions and large groups.