The celebrity status of chefs, throughout the world, has lifted the overall status of the profession.
Chefs are the new rock stars, TV personalities and ‘Olympians’ vying for recognition and awards. And chefs deserve awards just as music and film gurus do! Awards are important – they not only recognise outstanding and upcoming talent – but they put the spotlight on places that tempt and challenge our tastebuds.
Brents at Toowong won the Diner’s Choice Award in the inaugural Queensland Good Food Guide Awards – a popular award conferred by a vote of nearly 3000 diners. The restaurant sits in the middle of suburbia in Toowong, offering a modern French menu carefully crafted by Brent Farrell who has won many awards here and overseas.
To start, the Wild Mushroom Cappuccino ($4) is rich and frothy, served in a coffee cup, flavoured with truffle oil and topped with prosciutto crumbs, whilst the Duck Liver Paté ($8.50) is smooth and silky, served with crisp brioche wafers. Entrees include Sautéed Scallops on Jerusalem artichoke with chorizo, herb cream and an oxtail jus ($23) or Red Claw Yabby with citrus-cured salmon, cucumber, melon, nasturtium and mandarin jam ($24).
For the main course we had the fish of the day, crispy-skinned Coral Trout ($38), and a deconstructed Coq au Vin ($39) – baked chicken breast rolled in smoked bacon and a chicken confit served with separate braised onions and mushrooms, with a white wine consommé – distinct, rich and perfectly balanced. Leave room for some sensational desserts – Almond Mousse, Caramelised Banana and Licorice Ice Cream ($14) and a Chocolate Mousse with candied bacon, fig purée and mascarpone ice cream ($14).
The wine list has plenty of choice with several wines available by the glass. There is a lunch Tasting Menu ($50), a Gourmand Degustation menu ($99 per person or $159 with wines), but the best value is the Romantic Dinner for Two – six courses with a bottle of wine for $175 per couple.
The service from our white gloved waitress was attentive and faultless – friendly but not intrusive. The atmosphere is like a country guest house. There are several small rooms in this colonial Queenslander, including a built-in veranda overlooking the kitchen garden at the back. The tables are close together and it seemed natural to engage in conversation with the other guests around us. Brents does deliver the Dining Experience its signage and website promises.