In my experience - diahorrea and Fine Dining Restaurants don't usually go together... well, you hope not anyway. So thats why I was so surprised to see it on a menu...
I have been a long time fan of John Kilroy's Cha Cha Char - coming from a country background, and from a family that like their meat - how could I not?
So when I heard that he had opened Jellyfish and was planning on doing for Seafood, what he has already done for steak - I was excited. I'm also embarrassed that it took me this long to actually go there...
It was my 2 year anniversary at work, and because I have a fantastic boss who insists on celebrating these things (don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining!), it was out to lunch we went. Seeing as my boss is also my Sister-in-law, it wasn't exactly a work lunch!
My SIL is a complete food snob - and I love to pick her brain about places she has been, loved and recommends - so on this occasion, I let her choose the Restaurant - and while she had a few ideas - the only stipulation was that it had to have tablecloths. The lady loves her linen
The service was seamless, water was poured, drinks were fetched, recommendations were made and it was all going swimmingly well until that highly unexpected word leaped out at me from the menu... diarrhoea. In all fairness, they were talking about the famed Butterfish, and how it's rich taste can sometimes have a soft effect on some people and how they recommend, small, quality fillets... Interesting - but that killed my apetetite for fish right then and there. Eew.
But I'm (luckily) easily distracted and before I knew it - I was foaming at the mouth over the rest of the menu. In the end I decided on the Tempura Soft Shell Crab with Wasabi Mayonnaise followed by the Duck with broadbeans and orange.
We all had the soft shell crab and it was plate-licking good... not that we did, though we were tempted - we were trying to be "Ladies that Lunch". The softshell crab, unlike some poor replicas I have had in Brisbane, was completely soft shell and not a "regrowth" in sight. *sigh*
The wasabi mayonnaise was the perfect accompaniment to the crab, although the tempura batter was feather light and crunchy, the mayo cut through even the mereist hint of grease and gave it that nice little kick in the back of your throat.
Moving on to Mains - I seemed to be the only one affected by the Butterfish description and not ordering fish - but I noticed none of them ordered the Butterfish either... hmmm... conincidence? I think not.
My duck was gorgeous, very rich with the lovely broadbeans and fresh orange cutting through the richness. It was a small portion, but delicious. There was no sharing - we were like Lionesses guarding our plates - apparently the fish the Ladies ordered was nice - but I was too busy with my own lunch, and so, it seems, were they.
You've probably noticed I have a dessert addiction - and today was no different. I had the White Chocolate and Violet Parfait with Persian Fairy Floss and Raspberries. It was lovely but much too rich and a little grainy. I could feel the cream and sugar coating my mouth with each spoonful and the fairy floss just too sweet. Although the raspberries got a mention on the menu, they were little more than garnish and you really needed them to give the dish balance. The honey drizzle just sent it right over the edge and I was unable to finish it. I wanted to - but I just couldn't - and that almost never happens.
The Verdict: A truly outstanding restaurant on the Brisbane River. Gorgeous views, Great food and Seamless Service. Oh yes, and it has table cloths! The seafood is sublime and I'm a fan of the non-fish section too. I think they need some polish on their desserts - but I'm willing to give them a second chance (and thirds too if I'm being honest...).
My Recommendations: The Tempura Soft Shell Crab is memorable and from what I hear - you can't go wrong with the Fish... but maybe give the Butterfish a miss... unless you have a strong stomach?