Monday, 9 February 2009


Jellyfish is John Kilroy's newish seafood restaurant in the city. Not content with having the best meat eatery in town, he's now stepped out to conquer the seafood side of things.

Jellyfish is in an excellent spot. Right on the river (well as close as you can get in the city), with excellent views across to the Story Bridge.

We were shown to our table, at which time our waiter explained the menu. There's a selection of 8 line caught fish every day, cooked as the chef chooses. If you don't like the chef's choice, then there are 10 different ways you can have each of the fillets cooked, including with tarragon & star anise batter, or perhaps gluten free crumbs if, like me, you've never come across gluten free crumbed fish in your life before.

And if you don't just want a simple fish option, there are 9 entrees and 8 mains to catch your attention (including non-seafood options like beef, duck and lamb).

But if you wander in to Jellyfish, you're here to eat seafood. Always being one to trust a chef's instinct, I couldn't go past a couple of the line caught options. Plus it's not every day of the week that you get a choice of 8 line caught fish. The hard part was picking which two to have ($38 for two fillets). The choices were:

  • Seared hiramasa king from Port Lincoln with olive & caper sauce
  • Crumbed coral bream from Bowen with home made chilli sauce
  • Grilled butterfish from Bowen with chermoula emulsion
  • Oven baked coral trout from Bowen with saffron emulsion
  • Crumbed flathead from Auckland with home made chilli sauce
  • Deep fried whole flounder from the south island of NZ with Asian dressing
  • Tempura goldband snapper from Gladstone with Vietnamese sauce
  • Oven baked barramundi from Cone Bay with lemon & shallot sauce
As you can see from that excellent list, it's pretty hard to narrow it down to two fillets. After a lot of thought, I went for the butterfish (because I'd never tried it before) and the barramundi (because really good barramundi is hard to beat).

Accompaniments are $6 each, and include shoe string fries, seasonal veges and an Asian salad with cucumber, chilli & mint.

By this stage of the meal we definitely needed a glass of white wine to accompany the seafood which was soon to arrive at the table. I was really impressed with the wine list at Jellyfish - they have really done their homework. It must be one of the best wine by the glass selections anywhere in Brisbane. How many other Brisbane restaurants serve 5 rieslings by the glass? None as far as I know. Sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, pinot gris, gewurztraminer, semillon sauvignon blanc, chardonnnay and Chablis round out a fantastic selection of whites. All the white wines by the glass are priced between $9 and $16.50.

I ordered a glass of the Spring Vale gewurztraminer from Tasmania ($11), which was excellent. If you've got plenty of time up your sleeve, there are of course plenty of bottles on the list as well. I had to go back to work, so sadly a bottle of wine just wasn't an option.

My fish came out fairly quickly. The fillets are served with their sauces in separate little containers, which I think is a great idea. That stops one strong sauce completely overpowering all the fish on your plate. The butterfish turned out to be one of the best fish fillets I've had in a long time. It was only just cooked and had a perfect texture. It just melted in my mouth, and I wish I'd ordered two fillets instead of one. The chermoula emulsion was also a good match with the butterfish.

Unfortunately though the barramundi was underwhelming. It was a fairly small fillet, and really came off second best next to the butterfish. I wish I had gone with my first thought and ordered the coral trout instead.

Although my barramundi was a bit disappointing, Jellyfish is exactly what Brisbane needs. A clever selection of line caught fish, coupled with a great view and a super wine list. It's the perfect spot for lunch on a Summer's day. No doubt it will be a hit with both tourists and locals alike.

I have to say though that the service wasn't up to the standard of the food. Our waiter was a bit lost when it came to wine selections (luckily we knew what we wanted anyway), and also told us that jamon serrano was French ham. With a bit of tweaking, the service can be improved to make Jellyfish a memorable spot for your next seafood meal. It's not exactly cheap though, so you won't be able to pop in for a weekly feed.

It's good to see a new restaurant throwing down the gauntlet to Brett's Wharf, which I've considered to be Brisbane's best seafood restaurant for the last 5 or so years.

If it's seafood and white wine you're after, toddle along to Jellyfish. It's the perfect spot for a lazy lunch.

What does all this mean? An excellent selection of line caught fish, a great position and a brilliant wine list.

Boardwalk Level, Riverside Centre
123 Eagle Street
Brisbane 4000
P - 07 3220 2202
E -
W -

Jellyfish on Urbanspoon

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