Wednesday, 30 January 2008

The Brasserie on the River

The Brasserie on the River is one of the eateries at the Stamford Plaza hotel in the city. It's in a great spot, right on the river next to the gardens. If it's not too hot, you can sit outside, but you will still get a good view out over the river if you snag a decent table inside.

The Brasserie on the River has an enormous food selection, covering you for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. You could sit here all day, admiring the view and munching your way through the menu.

You also have the choice of a buffet or ordering a la carte for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you aren't exactly limited for choice.

Both times I've eaten here its been for lunch - once for the buffet and once ordering from the a la carte menu.

The beauty of the buffet lunch is that you can walk in, grab a table and start loading up your plate. You can easily be in and out in an hour, which is always handy if you are on limited time before heading back to work. However, the buffet lunch is not cheap. During the week it's $45 per person, and on the weekends it will set you back $59. Having said that, it's a fair step up from your average Sizzler lunch selection, and includes smoked salmon, oysters, mussels and prawns, together with a generally tasty selection of smart hot and cold meats and vegetables. The dessert selection is usually good, so make sure you leave yourself some room.

On this visit though, we were ordering off the a la carte menu. The menu is not adventurous, but does offer a decent selection for lunch.

Entrees include prawn cakes on a green paw paw salad with nam jim dressing ($17.50), oysters with mango salsa ($19 for 6 or $33 for a dozen) and arancini with buffalo mozzarella on tomato fondant and balsamic reduction ($16.50) which sounded particularly good to me.

Unfortunately we were on a work lunch break, so had to skip the entrees. Mains fall into the fairly safe category and include harissa marinated lamb rump on cous cous with red bell pepper coulis ($34), baked barramundi with olive tapenade served with kipfler potatoes and wilted spinach ($31.50) and grilled butternut pumpkin with rosemary, honey and lime on avocado mash ($26.50).

I wasn't swayed by those options and decided to go for the grilled scotch fillet with Café de Paris, pont-neuf potatoes and broccolini. I thought I'd stick with something simple in the hope that it would be done well. The scotch fillet was good, and was well matched by the Cafe de Paris. Unfortunately the pont-neuf potatoes weren't so good. They looked good - big, chunky slabs of potato, but they were close to raw inside. When you've only got 3 things on your plate, and one of them isn't cooked, the whole meal falls down. The other three meals on our table were apparently tasty, however I didn't manage to try any of them.

We still had time for dessert though. There were a couple of sweets that caught my attention, including the Greek yoghurt and mango roulade with Tahitian lime and mango salsa and passionfruit syrup ($14.50) and the “Cherry Ripe” - devil’s food cake, cherry kirsch mousse and roasted coconut sorbet ($14.50). I decided to go for the limoncello brûlée with blackberry compote, pistachio and whole almond biscotti ($14.50) which was a good way to end the meal, after my disappointing main.

If you are looking for something Asian for lunch instead, the menu also has a small Singaporean selection, including a wanton noodle soup ($15.90) and a combination laksa ($17.90).

All up, The Brasserie on the River is a fairly solid place for lunch. If you are having lunch though, I think the buffet is probably the better option. It's probably one of the better buffets in the city. If you are ordering off the a la carte menu, then there are probably better places in walking distance, including Il Centro or Urbane. The Stamford Plaza does of course offer other eating options - Siggis for fine dining, Kabuki for Japanese and the Pav Bar if you are after a more relaxed meal.

The Brasserie on the River
Stamford Plaza Brisbane
Corner of Edward & Margaret Streets
Brisbane 4000
P - 07 3221 1999
W -

Brasserie on the River on Urbanspoon

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