After successfully running many restaurants in Tasmania, Terry Fidler latest venture is the Brisbane Street Bistro in Launceston.
J and I were on our regular March long weekend trip to the Apple Isle and chose the BSB for a Saturday night dinner with Mum and Dad.
Mum and Dad have dined here before, but were happy to go back, though Dad mentioned that it can get noisy because of the wooden floorboards.
However, we were pleased to see that the main two dining rooms have now been carpeted, making for a much more enjoyable dining experience.
We were sat in the second room, next the hallway, with a view of the cool wine rack and back down to the front door. Like many restaurants in Launceston, BSB is located in a converted house.
The waiter went a bit overboard with his descriptions of the menu, and his “yes sirs” and “of course maams” but he did a good job.
I have to admit that it was hard to make a decision of what to order for entree and main as there were a lot of great sounding dishes.
After we made our choices warm rolls and an amuse bouche of cauliflower soup were served.
Neither Mum or Dad like cauliflower, so weren’t keen on this. At least Dad tried it voluntarily, I had to force Mum to have a sip! It was quite strong in flavour but it was good when a piece of roll was dipped in.
For entree, both Mum and Dad had the tomato tart (gentle roasted field tomato, in a crispy pastry case, onion marmalde, persion fetta and basil pesto).
Dad was still raving about this tart the next day, he likes a good tart
J had the house cured ocean trout (beetroot and citrus cured ocean trout, truffled potato mousses, soft poached Marion’s hen egg and micro herbs).
I am pretty sure he enjoyed it.
I had the zucchini blossom (cream cheese filled fried zucchini blossom, tomato coulis and soft herbs).
I am a huge fan of zucchini flowers, but don’t order them as often as I would like, as they are often stuffed with seafood, so I was very happy to see a vegetarian version. Apparently the chef pops out and picks these to order. And damn it was tasty. Mum had never tried one before, but she must have been impressed as she went back for another bite!
For main course, Dad and I both had the chicken ballantine (gently cooked free-range chicken, truffled potato and mushroom pave, tarragon white wine and stock reduction).
Now, the waiter was talking this dish up, saying he wouldn’t normally recommend people order chicken in a restaurant but this one was really good, blah blah blah. I had already decided to order this dish before his spiel, but will admit he was right. One of the most tender and succlent pieces of chicken I have ever had. The pave had too many mushrooms for my taste, and I didn’t get any hint of truffle in the potatoes but overall a solid dish.
Mum went for the Cressy lamb (long cooked shoulder of lamb, Mediterranen vegetables, parsnip puree and honey rosemary jus).
And J had the fallow venison (oven roasted loin of fallow deer and a pie of brasied deer, glazed vegetables, webster walnut puree, quince jelly and peppercorn glaze).
He had mixed results, he loved the pie but thought the loin was underdone.
Despite being full, I urged everyone to activate their dessert stomachs (Mum doesn’t believe there is such a thing) and order something sweet.
Mum and J both had the vanilla grilled peaches (grilled yellow peaches, raspberry coulis, vanilla ice cream and black pepper tuile).
Now, if Dad was still raving about the tart the next day, J was raving about how good these peaches were. They were a winner!
Dad and I had the chocolate marquise (rich callebaut chocolate terrine, coffee bean anglaise, pistachio ice cream and orange tuille).
Suprisingly for me, my favourite element on this dish was the pistachio ice cream. I thought the coffee bean anglaise totally overpowered the terrine, there was no chocolate taste to be had at all.
Though Dad said he doesn’t normally like coffee desserts but really enjoyed this one, so mixed results!
After we had ordered desserts, the waiter asked us if we would like more drinks (we had already had a bottle of sparkling and a chardonnay). He and J had a discussion about scotchs and once J had selected one, the waiter dashed off to get it, totally forgetting to ask me or Mum if we would like anything! I had to flag him down to put in my order. Also, the wine list J was given at the start of the menu was missing half its pages, there were no red wines listed at all.