We knew about Gip's because it's near where I live in Toowoomba. Driving past, it seems like such a lovely establishment with the renovated Queenslander look and hidden amongst some trees. No wonder it's used for wedding receptions.
Though I wanted to try Gip's on several occasions, it's veering on 'fine dining' and hence not an easy expenditure to justify. Last week, I came up with the excuse that I'm working a few intense 6 day weeks and the meal seemed necessary to keep me happy and sane.
The building is extra pretty in the evening light. We coursed through the garden and got seated in the open veranda area at the front. It was dim, which I suppose is atmospheric but not so great for photo-taking purposes.
Complimentary mushroom soup
After we were seated, we were presented with complimentary mushroom soup shooters. It was thick with a very earthy, mushroomy flavor and a hint of ginger. Not bad but I wouldn't have a whole bowl.
Olive sourdough bread with butter
We ordered some olive sourdough bread to start with. It was served in slices with some (unfortunately) cold butter. One of my greatest pet hates is having to spread cold butter. I'd prefer if they gave us some good quality olive oil and basamic vinegar for dipping. The bread was OK but unremarkable.
Lemon lime bitters
With the mains, there was some confusion. The four of us ordered steak, pasta, pork and duck but for some reason, a plate of fish was brought out. After we clarified that we hadn't ordered it, the waiter returned it to the kitchen and informed us there would be a delay on the steak and duck. We were offered complimentary drinks to make up for it, which was nice.
Pork belly - with mashed potato and spinach
I tried a bit of Mochi's pork dish. Maybe because it was the first I tasted but it was really good to me. The pork was tender and the sauce had an amazing flavor.
Moreton bay bug ravioli - seared tiger prawns, asparagus, pancetta in a spicy vermouth cream sauce
Byron ordered the Moreton bay bug ravioli. It had a whole bug and some large bug meat-filled ravioli (they reminded me of flying saucers).
Prime Gympie beef eye fillet - with fondant potatoes, wild mushroom puree, wilted spinach and truffle butter
The steak didn't arrive too much later than the others. Apparently it was quite good and exceeded expectations.
Pan seared duck breast - with grapes and roast baby carrots
When I finally got my duck dish, I had nibbled a bit of everyone else's dishes. I found the duck to be disappointing to be honest. The meat tasted tough and didn't have a great flavor to it. My favorite part of the dish was the vegetables soaked in a caramel-like sauce. It was very, very sweet. I am a sweet tooth and I liked it but I suspect it might be too desserty for others.
Callebaut chocolate and raspberry tart - with vanilla cream and espresso gel
We ordered 2 desserts but they were both the chocolate tart. This is a rare occurance when I'm at the table because I like to encourage variety but I guess the chocolate tart just sounded too irresistible. It wasn't as dark/intense as I'd like to hope for but it had a nice, smooth texture. The crust was passable but unremarkable.
I liked Gip's for the atmosphere and service (they stuffed up but I applaud the way they recovered it). The food was hit and miss in places but well, the pork was good. And they make a mean vodka lemon lime bitters. Be prepared for a pricy meal though.