2009 Rating: 50th
2009 Star rating: 2
Chef: Kym Machin
Location: 179 Mary Street, Brisbane, Queensland
Urbane pays particular attention to all the details that go into the dining experience there. The greeting at the door is warm and inviting. Once you're seated you are guided through the menu and invited to ask any questions. One thing that I particularly like about Urbane is that their degustation menu consists of dishes that appear on the a la carte menu. Refreshing to see. We decided to opt for the a la carte option on this night. To start, the chef sends a opening dish to the table and this arrives before you even consider what you want to eat, I think to kick start that belly into making wise decisions. The starter consisted of small jellies, tomato skins, tomato leaves, olive crumbs, fresh goats curd and lime oil. It was delicious to say the least and paved the way for the rest of the meal to come.
For the mains Daz was in a seafood mood and couldn't go past the ceviche of Harvey Bay scallops, lime ice, pea ravioli, and Jalapeno oil. The scallops were fresh and soft. The puree tasted like freshly picked peas, the real taste of spring. A real delight to eat.
I decided to go with the slow cooked duck egg, shaved Petuna ocean trout, potato, bacon, with dill and sour cream flavours. There was a milk foam ontop of the soft centered duck egg. Crispy panchetta and dots of sour cream. To finish the presentation there was some dill dust across the plate. Some of these dishes were the most beautiful I've ever seen, more art than actual food.
The flavour of this dish was very subtle, no one flavour stood out and over powered anything else, instead it was a perfect harmony between the contenders. The gooeyness of the duck egg was very enjoyable, however it would have been better paired with something like smoked salmon due to the richness of the duck egg.
Slow cooked duck egg, shaved Petuna ocean trout, potato, bacon, with dill and sour cream flavours.
Daz being a red blooded male, meat was in order so he ordered the slow cooked dry aged beef with foie gras chip, honey roasted pumpkin puree and amber ale jus gras. There was also some caramelised onion, marinated speck, a poached egg with chives, and some edible flowers.
Daz reported that the meat was tender and perfectly cooked to medium. The jus was rich and well accompanied with the intense flavoured beef. Foie gras had been crumbed and then deep fired. I managed to sneak a bite before it disappeared off Daz's plate, here is where we disagree, I say the deep frying made it taste greasy and just plain awful where as Daz thought that it brought out the flavour of the foie gras. Once again, we agree to disagree.
Slow cooked dry aged beef with foie gras chip, honey roasted pumpkin puree and amber ale jus gras.
I love me a tiny chicken, so the spatchcock was my option. Roasted spatchcock breasts, popcorn and broiche crumbs, sweet corn puree, garlic gnocci, crispy skin and onion salt. The plate also contained some basil oil. The chicken skin had been transformed into a dust and placed in the middle of the dish.
My first bite reminded me of corn dogs that you get at royal shows. The more I ate the more distinct the flavours became. The garlic flavour of the gnocci really shone through and was well match with the corn puree, oddly enough. All that starch was well accented by the onion salt adorned on the chicken breasts. The basil oil gave it another level of sweetness and since I LOVE basil, I couldn't get enough of it. This dish really won me over, I was a bit off put at first, but once I had sampled all the flavours I was a real fan.
Roasted spatchcock breasts, popcorn and broiche crumbs, sweet corn puree, garlic gnocci, crispy skin and onion salt.
Lastly it was dessert, and this is where they lost us. It was a affogato almond milk ice cream with petite fours, which were scented jelly and crunchy chocolate pieces. The coffee was just plain bad! I don't know if it is because we are spoilt here in Melbourne, but they could have done with buying a decent bag of coffee beans. Although, the almond milk ice cream was a real saver, the flavour of the almond manage to transcend all that awfulness and delight our palates.
I really liked Urbane, but it is not a place I will be going back to in a hurry. It was extremely expensive and serving sizes are not that generous, or maybe I was just really hungry that night. If you do happen to go there, stay away from the passion fruit daiquiri. All I wanted was a mango daiquiri, and they didn't have it so they decided to bring me a passion fruit one instead. It obviously had canned passion fruit in it, which is fair enough but at $16 a pop I expected more. It was bitter and horrible. I don't know what they did to it, but I haven't had a daiquiri since!