Writer, moody reader, avid foodie, and a fan of days involving a pen, a piece of paper, and the thoughts in my head. rhearoyganguly.com/
Published February 11th 2014
If you're looking for a special place to dine in with a special someone, try e'cco bistro, a modern Australian restaurant located on the city fringe of Brisbane's CBD. The bistro was formerly a historic tea warehouse but you wouldn't know that once you step inside the elegant, chic ambience. Punctuated by brightly coloured walls and accented by an all glass kitchen front, the space makes for a distinctive dining experience.
At the helm of this bistro is acclaimed Chef Philip Johnson, whose menu boasts a simple yet scrumptious fare. It runs the gamut from the expected to the unexpected, a sure conversation starter if you ever find yourself slipping into awkward long pauses.
Among the appetisers, the marinated tiger prawns with banana chillies, coriander, and lime are succulent and flavoursome. The lamb cutlets with balsamic marinated eggplant and oregano are juicy, but the star of the dish is the eggplant. It has a delectable smoky finish that will leave you surprised. They also serve perfectly plump seared scallops, dressed with a refreshing orange and cumin vinaigrette, and vegetarian options such as gnocchi with oyster mushrooms, goats curd and garlic chips. Watch your breath if you find yourself scoffing the latter. The tiny chips pack a powerful garlicky punch.
For the mains, the lamb shoulder with warm frekkeh and dates is an interesting option, reminiscent of Middle Eastern flavours, but if you're a chicken fan, give the chicken supreme a go. In this dish, the humble chicken is elevated to moist deliciousness, while the creamy white polenta is both heart-warming and belly filling.
The desert combinations will continue to raise your eyebrows. The addition of the black olive caramel to the fig and frangipane turnover was surprising, but once you taste the whole dish together, you wonder why no one has thought of that before. The mango panna cotta is fruity, the banana ice-cream a sure winner, and together the dish invokes images of a tropical island set amidst sparkling waters. They also serve a hazelnut meringue and an inside out lamington, among other desert options.
The bistro is known for cooking with the best ingredients and making them shine on the plate, and they do that well. They have an exhaustive wine list, a dedicated vegetarian menu, and fixed price lunch menu options. With starters beginning at $16.5, and mains at $40, the restaurant isn't cheap, but it's probably worth a visit the next time date night rolls around, and you're in the mood to treat yourself to a special night out.