Thursday, 25 March 2010

The lab bar + restaurant, Treasury Casino + Hotel

Yesterday I was invited to sample the new autumn menu at The Lab Bar + Restaurant located in the Treasury Casino Hotel.  I'm surprised to say that I haven't eaten here before - my Treasury Hotel experiences have been limited to functions and the bar.

Walking through the grand corridors I was reminded how gracious this building is and what a wonderful reminder of Brisbane's history it holds.

Joining us at the table was Lee Kuhnell, Treasury Casino & Hotel Executive Chef while Lab Bar + Restaurant Sous Chef Craig Bettjeman came out as each of the six courses was served to share a little of the history.

We started with freshly shucked Sydney Rock oysters with a sauce made from North Queensland finger limes, salmon roe and cucumber. The sauce was a tangy and fresh contrast of lime and salmon roe.


Dish two was a duo of duck - cured and rillets, with figs and prune puree.  Lee explained how he and Craig were inspired to include duck in different ways after visiting Barwong Farm in Maxwell, NSW and discovering the farmer's passion for their ducks.  They try to use the whole duck and give the farmer recognition for his fine product.

Currently the most popular entree on the menu, the Queensland spanner crab ravioli with buttered cos and tomato fondue was well complimented by a drizzle of lemon extra virgin olive oil. The spanner crab is souced from the Sunshine Coast.


I'm always temped by pork belly and this free range slice of meat with du puy lentils and pickled mushroom salad was exceptionally tender and flavoursome. Craig told us it cooks for six hours at 95 Celsius and the slivers of accompanying preserved lemons were house made.


Crispy oven roasted kingfish with a cauliflower puree and mussel barigoule was followed by slices of New Zealand lamb with a delicious rocket and mint pistou.  I learnt that a pistou is just like a pesto but without the nuts.  Look out for the kingfish recipe in the April 13 issue of bmag.

Some how there was a little room for desserts.  My fave was the Kahlua brulee with malt ice cream and mascarpone cookie but a close second was the assiette of chocolate and the apple and frangipane tart.


It really was a delightful line up - well worth sampling on an individual basis.

the lab bar + restaurant
Treasury Casino & Hotel
Cnr George St + Stephens Lane, City  p 3306 8647


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