Restaurant Two, Brisbane

It's the intriguing idea of hay-infused mayonnaise, pea ice cream and a wattle duck breast combination that tantalise my taste buds while I'm anticipating Restaurant Two's mid week degustation.

Competitively priced at $60 per person (even numbers only), this is a mid week dining treat that's perfect for celebrations large or small or just because you deserve it.

Portion sizes are packed with flavour but not in size so the end of the meal arrives and you are not left feeling like you've been eating for Australia.

With 15 years of experience running Restaurant Two, chef/owner David Pugh certainly knows how to devise a menu.  It starts with a slice of sour dough accompanied by cultured butter that is so appetising I want to eat the loaf.  There's also  a small amuse bouche with cream cheese and the thinnest slices of cucumber.

Asparagus soup with chicken, mushroom and hazelnut tastes a lot better than it looks or sounds.  The vast expanse of green soup is infused with earthy chicken flavour that demands to be contrasted with the small snippets of hazelnut, mushroom and slice of chicken.  I want to lick the plate.

Soft shell crab is one of my long time favourites and Restaurant Two's dish lives up to the promise. Crisp exterior, soft crab inside with the opportunity to combine it with a wide selection of fresh salad items.

Pugh is a great mentor to young chefs and two of his young stars feature on the degustation menu.  The veal tartare with celery, potato and hay is dish managed by 19-year-old Ben Kay-Smith who has worked at Restaurant Two since the tender age of 14.  He's heading off to the United States for two years of training next year and Pugh says he will be sorely missed.

I really enjoyed the contrasting combination of textures in this dish.

The duck breast with pumpkin, mandarin, chevre, wattle and jus was another well constructed meal presented with perfectly cooked pink medallions of tender duck breast.

For me dessert is always a highlight and the opportunity to talk to the young chef who constructed the dish adds excitement.  His pleasure in explaining the techniques used to create the masterpiece, strawberry variation, sheeps milk, orange and pea,  is contagious.

There are matched wines available for each course which perfectly complement the flavours.

Bottom line:  Good value for high quality food and surroundings.  A special experience at a budget price.
Best tip:  There's street parking available right at the front of Restaurant Two if you are there early. Otherwise the nearest parking station has a $15 a night offer.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK was a guest of Restaurant Two

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