Friday, December 24, 2010

E'cco @ Boundary Street, Brisbane

Possibly, the best meal we had in Brisbane this far, wait a minute, it is not possible but affirmative. Now ever since moving to Australia, we have not indulged in any form of fine dining whatsoever for a multiple of reasons. Ranging from the exorbitant prices (being in the Malaysian mode where you calculate everything with a multiplier of 3 to actually being able to replicate it at home and of course transportation problems because you really don't want to take a bus to a fancy restaurant).


Apart from the branded restaurants that i know of like Aria and 2 who have celebrity chefs running the show, it took me a bit of research to see where else we could celebrate the Wife's birthday. Reading through pages of Urbanspoon and Googlemap, i decided that the degustation menu at those fancier restaurants would have to wait and off we went to E'cco. 


Now E'cco is not too shabby by any means, apart from the more relaxed ambience and decor, the chef that helms the place is apparently a celebrity chef too, in the form of Phillip Johnson (according to the website). The menu is relatively simple, 7 entrees, 7 mains and desserts with no degustation menu on offer.

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Fresh bread always deserve a mention, with a waitress coming with a basket of different varieties for you to choose. If only you could try them all, as i took some with pistachios. A pity they didn't come back to ask if i wanted seconds.  

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Field mushrooms, olive toast, rocket, parmesan,
truffle oil & lemon AUD 24.50

. It sounds simple and simple it is but the truffle oil in addition to the earthy mushrooms gives this dish so much flavour. For those who don't appreciate mushrooms though, you might wonder what is the big fuss as this is apparently a signature dish. 

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Pork belly, chilli caramel glaze, salad of lychees,
green mango & peanuts. AUD 24.50

Second thought, i should have ordered something else but there is just something about me and pork belly. I just can't resist the idea of ordering this sinful cut of meat. The crackling did look disappointing but put it in your mouth and you discover that it has not lost any of its crunch. The sweet and sour play makes it a lighter dish than it looks.

Moving on to the mains.

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We had the rabbit dish (which i believe is no longer on the menu, based on the online version). What it basically was; a rabbit roulade with foie gras cream and a rabbit rillette wrapped with a cabbage leaf. All this is on a bed of turnip mash, i believe. Bottom line, this rocked our socks off. Definitely a dish that i would never be able to replicate in my life time and worth paying the AUD 42.50.  

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Grimaud duck breast, pumpkin purée, chestnuts,
swiss brown mushrooms & plum jus AUD 42.50.

This came probably slightly overcooked with the slightest of pink left in the core but it was luckily not tough. The puree and the sauce provided the sweet elements and the chestnuts gave a contrast in texture. A balanced dish.

At this point, the smell of passion fruit filled the air (it was after all an open kitchen). So pungent that we had to ask if there was anything special going on. 

Well, well, well, it was part of dessert of the day.  

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The Passionfruit Souffle with Vanilla ice-cream topped off with passionfruit. After watching numerous episodes of Masterchef and watching how precise one must be with a souffle, we were happy with this light, airy and fluffy version. Sweet it was but i have heard somewhere that sugar is an essential rising agent. The only downside is that the souffle cost me AUD 20.50. 

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Peanut butter & caramel semi-freddo, raspberry slick, chocolate ganache & peanut brittle AUD 17.50. 

This was another beauty, the rich semi-freddo had a clear and distinct peanut butter taste to it, not the artificial versions you might find in cheap ice-cream. The brittle, the dark chocolate ganache that actually was more like an ice cream and the fruity element balanced everything. By the time we finished everything, we had no regrets in stepping in, the meal was near perfect. 

There are of course some downsides, the tables for 2 are kind of near each other and the chair was awfully uncomfortable for me, or maybe it's because i have insufficient cushioning in my rear. I have no qualms with the prices simply because in Malaysia where i come from, a meal like the above will cost more (dollar for dollar) and slightly more dear (after conversion). 

Address and contact details:

E'cco on Urbanspoon

Verdict: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. I am going to deduct the half a star because the chair made it so hard for me to sit in peace but it did looked like everyone didn't have a problem or they might have been pretending to be comfortable just like me. Otherwise, perfectly executed dishes and reasonable prices (i mean wait till you see the prices at Aria or 2), no reason why one should not visit if they have not.


PS: Lots of Cravings wishing you all a Merry Christmas, wine and dine responsibly and make sure you balance your calories intake with some exercise! (Who am i kidding?)

14 comments:

J said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and wifey! :)

(Oooh. Food looks+sounds awesome!)

Baby Sumo said...

I like the look of the rabbit dish and souffle.

Merry Christmas to you!

Sean said...

I was trying to think of whichrestaurant in KL might serve all these dishes too, and I can't think of any! The use of pork belly does cancel out everything from mandarin grill and the press room to senses and frangipani!
Hope you and nic (I hope I recalled her name right, apologies if not!) have a great Xmas weekend :D

Tummy Rumble said...

nice set of pictures.. merry xmas btw

Life for Beginners said...

A point five deducted for hard chairs? Ooh, this place MUST be good if that's your only grouse about it. :)

Michelle Chin said...

The desserts look really nice! Man, I would love this place! But the souffle is a bit pricey...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

mchin: yeah for what is inside, it is expensive..

lob: haha no complaints about service and food i must say, so the chair it is.

tummyrumble: merry xmas to u too!

sean: well u got nic right! well yeah theres abit of asian influence going on in australia, its funny no one has done it in msia, seeing that we are much more "asian" in malaysia.

babysumo: me too, like a piece of art.

j: merry xmas to u too!

babe_kl said...

Have a blessed Christmas and a wonderfully delicious new year ahead!

Life for Beginners said...

Hehe. And so the chair it is, indeed. Rare find, this.

And before I forget, may you and all your loved ones have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year filled with love and joy...

Hugs from Devil & Kenny :)

Tummy Rumble said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eiling lim said...

haha you have to stop converting. You're now earning in AUD! Have a merry Xmas!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

eiling: haha i know, only on occasions i must admit. merry xmas to u!

lob: aww hugs!

babekl: you too!

hamzah ian said...

yummy!!! perghhh..

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

hamzah: yummy indeed!