Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Chelsea Bistro

The Chelsea Bistro

I did plan to visit Brisbane every weekend but that has been affected by the floods, my laziness and unwillingness to spend money on fuel. Having said that, I managed a trip last weekend and did the responsible thing of eating at as many places as possible so I'd have enough material to blog.

The Chelsea has been on my wishlist since I started going to The Barracks. Though I'm usually relaxed with eating out, I thought this time, because I was travelling from Toowoomba, it would be worthwhile to make a booking and avoid disappointment.

I had to change the booking to an hour later than originally planned because I had too much stuff going on that day... and ironically, when we got there, they didn't allocate us to a specific table but let us chose any spare one (of which there was quite a few). I suppose that's a sign that I'm not supposed to book restaurants.

Char-grilled Sunshine Coast red claw crayfish with aioli and lemon

We ordered a crayfish each to start with. This was out of curiosity more than anythign else. They arrived on a large plate with plenty of garlic dipping sauce. The crayfish look like mini lobsters and are cut in half lengthwise. My strategy for getting the flesh out involved prodding a piece with my fork and pulling so that the body came out intact. We thought these were novel but there was just too little meat and too much sauce. I think I prefer good quality prawns.

Pita pocket with smoked spiced pork belly, eggplant pickle, lime, coconut and cucumber salad, sheep's milk yogurt, served with mini fries

My main was the pork pita bread. I ordered this because I thought the description on the menu sounded amazing. It was different to what I expected but very good. The pita was filled with pork and a very fresh salad. Something about the coconut and lime made it taste Asian-inspired (not sure if that's what they were going for).

Close-up shot

The pita itself was very crunchy (which was nice but made it hard to eat). I liked the large chunks of coconut flesh because that lended an interesting texture and the sheep's milk yogurt was a great dressing. The mini fries were exactly like a fresh batch of Maccas fries with a hint of rosemary. From me, that is a compliment because I love Maccas fries.

Darling Down's grain-fed sirloin, thyme jus, shoestring fries and cress salad

Hien ordered the sirlon which at first, he complained was too small but by the end of it, said it was 'very good'. He also had the fries on the side and a red wine and thyme jus. Hien couldn't eat the cress salad because it was 'too mustardy'. I thought it was good.

Strawberry blondie with macadamia praline ice-cream and strawberry sauce

To complete this indulgent lunch, we had to try the dessert. I was immediately attracted to the strawberry blondie. It was massive. I was nearly overwhelmed just by looking at it. The blondie itself was sticky and sweet.

Bite shot

The macadamia ice-cream was rich with lots of roasted macadamia. This dessert was great but it was definitely too much of a good thing. After a feel bites the sweetness defeated me.

Pavlova with peach sabayon and raspberry cream

Hien's choice was the pavlova. Contrasting with mine, his was small and light. The pavlova seemed 'dense' but it was also airy and not too sweet. Whilst it wasn't as intense as mine, I found this too boring for me. I am a sweet tooth though.

Hien's mocha

The Chelsea is a lovely, relaxed atmosphere to dine in. The indoor area is cute like a classy saloon from the olden days. Our waiter was fantastic - upbeat, efficient and helpful. I liked the menu because it was unique and offered dishes different from the bog standard bistro menus you find elsewhere. The food was good and fresh.
The Chelsea Bistro on Urbanspoon

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