If you’re looking for an experience that will tantalise your tastebuds and provide a peaceful panoramic view, then ARIA is one of your best choices in Brisbane.
An expansive space that wraps around one of the bends on the boardwalk on the Eagle Street Pier, ARIA is owned by famed restaurateurs Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan. Among other things, it’s known for its impressive wine list — it recently won the gong for Best Listing of Australian Wines in the Gourmet Traveller Wine List of the Year Awards for the second year in a row, which makes it a must-visit venue for the grape-lovers.
Serving dishes matched to the seasons, ARIA diners can choose from an a la carte menu at night, or one, two or three courses at lunch (although we doubt you’ll have the willpower to stop at one or two).
Head Chef Ben Russell is a softly-spoken man with quick movements and an aura of intense focus. He and Matt Moran have a long standing working relationship and in their ten years together, they have created connections with some of the finest producers across Australia. What this means is that ARIA can get their hands on the best produce around and as we all know, the better the ingredients, the tastier the dishes.
If you suffer from FOMO and thus like to sample a little of everything, ARIA also offer a Tasting Menu. This has been designed to showcase ARIA’s flavours in a way that is kinder to your waistline and invites sharing with your dining companions.
The Autumn menu at ARIA is a smorgasbord of delightful flavours and unique produce pairings such as kangaroo and chestnut, pickled mushroom and yam crisps or seared scallops with pickled kohlrabi and green shiso. Look out for dishes like the Moreton Bay Bug — charred tails with walnuts, spiced cauliflower and jamon; or the Grilled Buffalo Milk Haloumi with date, lime and witlof salad.
There is a good balance between vegetarian, seafood and meat choices and the portion sizes are perfect.
The venue itself is huge with sweeping views and tables situated for prime river watching. The sophisticated space feels modern and it’s a good choice for both couples, small groups or larger functions. The food and wine are the stars here so everything else is designed to complement, not distract, from these. Music is played at a discreet volume, wait staff appear almost magically at your side and the toilets are hidden at the front entrance, away from the main dining area.
What is most appealing about ARIA is their attitude that no ingredient is less than any other. As such, dishes are built around what is seasonally available and of the highest quality. It also means their menu constantly evolves and adapts to the market, making it a restaurant where it’s inadvisable to become attached to any particular dish. But don’t worry if you do — you’ll simply become enamoured with another dish.
Make sure you click through the gallery above to see all the photos!
ARIA Brisbane is located at 1 Eagle Street, Brisbane and is open Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, check out our dining guide.
Have you eaten at ARIA Brisbane? What did you think? Have your say in the comments below.