Brisbane may be the capital city of Queensland, comprising of around two million people (and that is Greater Brisbane area) but seriously, the nightlife in Brisbane is pretty abysmal. Some McDonald’s close up shop by 10pm and you’d be hard pressed to find a restaurant with a kitchen that is open after 9pm on a Friday or Saturday night.
I was pleasantly surprised last Friday when I was ringing around to make a last minute dinner reservation to be offered a table at Anise for three at 9:30pm on a Friday night? A kitchen that is open and willing to serve people seated at 9:30? Surely not! I made it clear I wasn’t just after a tipple, and sure enough, we were seated at 9:30 and offered menus.
The restaurant isn’t a ‘restaurant’ as such…it looks more like a cozy bar. In fact, the tables were all at the bar with high stools and seats 15 people. There was a little lounge/couch area at the front that could fit six people at a stretch, but the place is small. They had an extensive wine list, and we got a Spanish wine (which was delicious with our food) that the waiter (who could have possibly been drunk – either that, or he like rubbing his own chest a lot) recommended.
Their menu is French with sweet breads, escargots listed on the menu. I love veal sweet breads and ordered that and it was absolutely delicious – tender, full of flavour and very generous portions. I know throat glands of a veal calf doesn’t sound particularly appetizing, but trust me when I say, it’s good. No one should ever bypass that because it sounds ‘gross’.
My friends’ entrée of confit of trout with zucchini flowers and a Roquefort and cauliflower soufflé were also spot on and amazing. The trout was pink, the flakes of fish came off in thick pieces and the soufflé was rich in cheese, but light at the same time.
My main of double roasted duck was on point. Two generous legs of duck that was meltingly tender, fall of the bone good, with a thick layer of tasty duck fat with crisp skin, it went perfectly with the pear. We also got a side of duck fat potatoes with truffle salt. Best. Potatoes. Ever. I love truffles, I understand completely why it costs $2560 a kilo or is it £2560 a kilo? Either way, it was brown, crunch on the outside, fluffy like light mashed potatoes on the inside, and as you finished eating it, the aroma of earthy truffles. Doesn’t get any better.
My friend ordered saddle of rabbit, which I thought was a bit dry. The meat was stringy but tasted like chicken, and I had to take a sip of water before I could swallow it…back to my duck it was. I prefer my meat to just melt on my tongue like butter thanks.
I was way too full for dessert, so we shared one dessert between the three of us – Turkish delight semi-freddo. It came with a crisp filo pastry top and bottom and although nothing mind blowing, it was good to end the rich meal with something light and sweet.
I can’t stop raving about this restaurant; I think I might even go back next weekend.