The round-up: sample the flavours of the season with these must-try spring dishes
Spring isn’t just for wardrobe overhauls, beach trips and post-hibernation fitness regimes – it’s also one of the most exciting periods for food. Eateries across Brisbane are overhauling menus to take advantage of the influx of new-season produce, imbuing dishes with colour, texture and an abundance of flavour. Of course, getting to every restaurant in Brisbane to sample such dishes is no easy task, which is why we’ve collated a quick hit list of spots that are making the most out of spring’s bounty.
Risotto with San Daniele prosciutto at Bacchus: Chef Massimo Speroni might be angling for a new career in the arts, judging by the picture-perfect masterpieces he’s created for Bacchus’ array of spring dishes. This colourful risotto uses vialone nano rice from Provincia di Verona in Italy, has been infused with rocket and basil pesto, and comes with a layer of moreish 18-month San Daniele prosciutto.
Kaffir lime and lemongrass granola at The Brunswick Project: Sunny New Farm cafe The Brunswick Project is embracing spring wholeheartedly with a menu of fresh and inventive brunch options. We love the sound of the kaffir lime and lemongrass granola, which comes with watermelon panna cotta, fresh berries, raspberry tuile and cereal milk.
Local squid at Otto Ristorante: Capturing the finest flavours of the season, Otto’s spring menu is packed with Italian-inspired dishes prepared with incredible finesse. If we had to pick, we’d opt for the local squid, which is cooked over a woodfire grill with onion, fennel and garlic Napoli sauce and shellfish stock, before being finished with sauteed cherry tomatoes, parsley, basil, capers and olives.
Image: Nikki To.
House-made ricotta gnocchi at Sourced Grocer: Fresh produce abounds at Teneriffe’s Sourced Grocer, so it’s no surprise that its current menu embraces the best that spring has to offer. Of note is the house-made ricotta gnocchi with kale and sunflower seed pesto, smoked almonds, fermented red chilli, concealed by a layer of paper-thin butternut pumpkin and sprinkling of lemon-myrtle powder.
Moreton Bay cobia at Detour: Damon Amos’ popular Woolloongabba restaurant Detour prides itself on its inclusion of curious ingredients, and he’s certainly got his eye on spring’s flavoursome bounty. The restaurant is serving up market-fresh fish (which this week happens to be Moreton Bay cobia) cured with mirin and lemon zest, and paired with locally sourced woodland sorrel, compressed and freeze-dried apple, puffed buckwheat and tiger’s milk.
Baby Asian greens at Little Valley: Warner Street’s home of modern Chinese cuisine is getting into the swing of the season, with its baby Asian greens proving to be an exceptional starting point for diners. You’ll be presented with a vibrant bowl of pak choi and choy sum – some of the freshest Asian greens at this time of the year – tossed in ginger, garlic and house-made oyster sauce, with six-dozen oysters going into each one-litre batch.
Flambe lamb at Heritij: Acclaimed chef Manjunath Mural is wasting no time showing Brisbane what he’s capable of at new riverside restaurant Heritij. Heritij’s signature dish is the flambe lamb, which boasts a whole leg of lamb simmered lovingly in an Indian spice stew, before being flambed with rum and a medley of fresh spring vegetables.
Grilled quail at Vintaged Bar + Grill: Hilton’s signature restaurant Vintaged Bar + Grill has unveiled its new spring menu, packed full of delicious options sure to tantalise the tastebuds. A definite standout is the grilled quail, served with a charred green onion dressing atop a cracked wheat salad.
Young spring vegetables at Blackbird Bar & Grill: You don’t need a dietician to tell you that getting your daily serve of veggies is important, but you might be inclined to know that Blackbird’s young spring vegetables dish is one of the most delicious ways to up your quota. A helping of buffalo ricotta and a splash of Midas olive oil join snow peas and asparagus, making for a terrifically tasty dish.
Spanner crab ravioli at Gambaro: Esteemed culinary institution Gambaro continues to please palates each year by keeping a finger firmly on the seasonal produce pulse. Its delectable ravioli is stuffed with spanner crab and ricotta, and served with bisque and tomato for a fabulous spring flavour fusion.
Gold-band snapper at Motorwagen: Motorwagen’s head chef Dylan Cashman is known for specialising in hyper-seasonal fare, so you can always be assured that Motorwagen’s kitchen is using the freshest ingredients on the scene. Our pick is the gold-band snapper with celeriac, chorizo, king-brown mushroom, tomato and asparagus – you won’t be disappointed.
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