Thursday, May 15, 2014

George's Paragon for Lunch

George's Paragon Brisbane City
Level 1, 45 Eagle Street, Brisbane CBD

My parents and I have a little family group on Wechat that we use to exchange news, gossip and photos. One day mum uploaded some food piccies from a work lunch function she attended at Jellyfish. Despite her assertion that the food was subpar, dad and I got instantly jealous. We decided we'd have our own seafood lunch along Eagle Street the very next day.

I have a strange connection with George's Paragon. It's a short and tragic story: one fateful evening around this time last year, Marc and I were drunk loonies running (literally running) to try and make it to a dinner booking with friends at Georges Paragon. At some point, running became piggy backing and as I hurried Marc along the Victoria bridge from his shoulders, disaster struck. He tripped on a rock and tumbled... and sprung up perfectly fine. I, on the other hand, dropped from greater heights directly onto my face. There was blood everywhere and I won't gross you out with details but here I am, 1 year later with a (thankfully) relatively small scar on my lip and (unthankfully) 3 dead teeth.

Not one to be put off a restaurant visit by such a 'trivial' occurence, I was super keen to finally try George's Paragon with dad.

We found the place easily enough... it's near Aria and you go up some steps. The restaurant is huge so it's hard to miss. There are plenty of inside seats but we took advantage of the flawless May weather by taking up a balcony table. There is a lovely view spanning the river, Eagle Street Pier and the Story Bridge.

George's Paragon's unique 'thing' is its half price menus. As far as I know, they are applicable at certain times but the times are so generous that you'd be silly to end up paying full price. They even have special menus with the printed prices already reduced. It begs one to wonder why they don't just make that the regular price. I suppose it's all in the marketing.

Taramasalata (red caviar mousse with pita bread) and greek salad

Dad and I chose a couple of starters to share and a main each. I ordered a taramasalata dip with flat bread and a greek salad. This dip, that I like to fondly refer to as 'the pink dip' brings back warm memories for me. One of the first interstate holidays I ever took to Melbourne was with bestie Kat and she ordered this fish roe dip. I then ate tonnes of the stuff in my recent trip to Greece with Marc. It's salty, sweet and creamy with a hint of fishy pong that makes it so, so, so delicious. The flatbread was wonderfully soft and perfect for soaking up the dip.

The greek salad was simple but fresh. There's nothing much else to say about this since I've yet to try a showstopping version of greek salad. If it's fresh, that's all I can hope for.

On the way to George's Paragon, I was telling dad how much I love mussels these days. Seafood is something I hated as a kid and the older I get, the more I find myself craving things I used to despise. Mussels is one such item. Dad teased me that they are considered the cheapest form of seafood and I defiantly responded 'I don't care; I'm ordering some for lunch'. And so I did!

Mussels paragon - mussels, king prawns, garlic, sherry and cream, served on rice

My main was the mussels paragon with king prawns. It was served in a deliciously creamy, garlic sauce atop a bed of rice. The mussels weren't the biggest I've tasted and I agree with dad that they were a smidge overcooked but the sauce sort of made up for everything. Dad didn't like the texture of the rice but I didn't mind it, again probably because it was covered in that sauce.

Marinara - spaghetti, prawns, scallops, mussels, baramundi, calamari, napolitana, garlic and cream

Dad wanted me to order him a creamy white sauce seafood pasta. I failed in my menu interpretation and his spaghetti marinara arrived with a tomato based sauce. My fault, not the restaurant's. I cooked a spaghetti marinara myself recently so the snooty chef side of me thought this could hardly be more impressive. I was expecting a very one-dimensional tomato flavour but it had some layers in it that I didn't have in my sauce. It was surprisingly tasty.

I had a great father daughter bonding lunch at George's Paragon. The waitstaff were mostly older blokes, which I found slightly intimidating. I'm used to young, smiley waiters. The menu had a huge variety of options to choose from and I'm quite happy with the items we selected for lunch. It wasn't the greatest seafood I've ever tasted but the view is fantastic.
George's Paragon Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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