Bacchus - South Bank, Brisbane

Oils certainly aren't just oils at Brisbane's newest fine dining restaurant, Bacchus, where Mediterranean flavours are highlighted by internationally and locally sourced olive oils.

Nearly every menu item references its oil origins with varieties, including Picual, Hojiblanca, Coratina, Koroneiki or Arbequina, to compliment or contrast specific flavours.

Executive Chef Dominic Rose said Bacchus would put a new slant on healthy cuisine by using olive oil as a replacement for butter and cream, where possible.

“Olive oils, like the Arbequina are lovely and buttery on the palette, making them the perfect healthy replacement for butter.

“Most restaurants use one or two varieties of olive oil to maybe dress a salad or finish a dish with at Bacchus we will use a number of varieties each with its own characteristic and flavour, especially chosen to highlight the ingredients in that particular dish."

Rose brought the concept of oil matching home from a recent culinary expedition to the United States where he worked alongside high profile Chef Pascal Lorange.

“The concept of olive oil matching is only just taking off over in the US and I’m confident Brisbane foodies will absolutely love it,” he said.

But that's not the only thing Brisbane diners will like about Bacchus. The slick restaurant fit out by  LA-based Tracy Beckmann, resplendent with rich chocolate, cream and wood tones, chandeliers and plenty of shiny surfaces will certainly have tongues wagging.

Find Bacchus on the Podium Level of Rydges, South Bank. We parked at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre and strolled from there.  There's a large flight of stairs to the Pool Deck but a lift is available if you prefer.

The pool deck outside the restaurant is set to be a favourite on summer nights.  The ever changing pool lights are mesmerising and it's so refreshing to have a new outdoor drinking option with a view from high.

There's a 20 page drinks and wine list for you to peruse but cut to page 19 and order The Impressionist.  It certainly made an impression on me when a thick fog emerged from the rose that accompanies the champagne based cocktail.  And I got to take the rose home!

chilli red claw ravioli

Slow cooked pork croquette

Both the entree and main menus have five options and include a vegetarian choice. You can also order from the grill menu which offers Black Angus Sirloin, beef tenderloin of pork cutlets with sides.

I tried the scallop and cucumber carpaccio  at a preview dinner so I dove into the chilli red claw ravioli for entree. As promised it was not too hot but, unusually for me, I felt it the chilli could be intensified.

K2 didn't know his black bubbly cracker was made from yabby and squid ink, so he enjoyed it without moaning that he doesn't like seafood - poor pet.

Pan fried line caught white fish

pan roasted duck breast
I went to bed dreaming about my duck breast with beets and sour cherries main.  Well balanced and delicious flavours with a crisp duck skin.

K2 enjoyed his tender white fish, sweet peas and ravioli and I got to eat the vongole - win/win.

Fennel Mille-Feuille

Heidi Gruyere cheese platter

The dessert menu enticed us to share a Fennel Mille-Fueille with basil syrup and apple and a cheese platter with Heidi Gruyere from Tasmania, bacon chips and candied walnuts.  The cheese, chip, walnut combo was memorable.

Only open two weeks, Bacchus has already found it's people judging from the crowds in the bar on Friday night. The service was smooth and professional and the decor new and innovative for Brisbane.  With food to match it's sure to find a regular clientele amongst Brisbane's food lovers.

Bottom line: Glamour plus, out to impress fine dining.
Best tip: Meet early and enjoy a drink on the oh-so-fabulous pool deck.

Kerry Heaney

Rooftop, Level 1, Corner Grey & Glenelg Streets, South Bank

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK and partner were a guest of Bacchus for this meal.