When it returned, accompanied by vibrant dip, the slice had been transformed into a little bite of heaven. Not sure what they did with it, except oil and a hot grill were involved, but the bread and roasted capsicum, semi dried tomato and anchovy dip made to Sous Chef Dario Fiorino's family recipe, were very moreish.
|Vintaged Chefs table with the dry aged meat cabinet in the background.|
|Hilton PR Kimberly Roberts showed me one of the salt 'bricks' used in the meat cabinet.|
Three of us sat at the chefs table which overlooks the Hilton's stylish new grill, one of the showpieces in Vintaged Bar + Grill and dry aged meat cabinet. The cabinet forms a striking backdrop to the open grill and is illuminated by a Himalayan rock salt feature which serves a practical purpose in assisting the meat ageing process. You've probably seen the same rock at markets made into attractive lights.
The wine room is definitely a bit spesh. Step inside to handpick your own bottle from a collection housing 120 established Australian and New Zealand labels paired with French Champagne and a small number of Queensland stars.
Resisting the freshly shucked oysters and jamon serrano on the appetisers menu, I moved straight to the kill. For me grills are all about steak so that's what I ordered - a medium rare Ralph Black Angus selected pasture fed tenderloin 200g - and it was everything a great steak should be (making me hungry just thinking about it now). There was plenty of choice, from a minute style 200gm fillet to a Ranger Valley Wagyu 400-day grain fed 300g scotch fillet 7+.
|My steak came with a Mediterranean anchovy and caper sauce.|
|Grilled river calamari with red peppers and salsa|
|From the sides menu - new season asparagus and rocket, parmesan and pear salad|
|puree of potatoes|
Hilton Brisbane general manager Martin Kendall says Vintaged offers a new way of dining for Brisbane, more akin to some of the more impressive destination restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne.
It's all part of the Hilton Brisbane’s $14 million refurbishment which has now been completed with the final piece of the puzzle – a swank new bar and the return of glamour in hotel lobby bars.
“In its heyday the Hilton Brisbane was the only place to be and to be seen - to stay, to socialise, to dine, to entertain and to do business,” Martin said.
“We are seeing an increase in non-staying guests visiting the restaurants and bars in our Australian hotels but that’s not a new thing per se. It is very common in Europe and the UK for example. We’re now seeing that pick up here as well.”
The Vintaged Bar menu ranges from oysters and olives to gourmet sandwiches and classic cocktails with a twist, designed in tune with the season. Look for Parmesan crumbed chicken with fennel slaw and baby cos or Prosciutto, provolone and truss tomatoes on the sandwich menu - yum!
Mr Kendall said Hilton Brisbane was the only hotel designed by Harry Seidler, the father of Australian Modernist design with trademark Seidler influences used throughout the new Vintaged Bar + Grill.
“That’s something that was very important to us. As we move through our refurbishment we have been careful to preserve and enhance Seidler’s vision and the new bar is no exception.”
The hotel's new business centre showcases Harry Seilder's original drawings of the building. Seilder inspired original artworks have been re-interpreted for the makeover with stunning effect on walls throughout the hotel.
Bottom line: Really great steak but more than just a grill
Best tip: Order the potato puree - divine.
Disclaimer: Kerry Heaney was a guest of Hilton Brisbane.