Skip to main content

Gerard's Bistro, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane



The plate arrived with perilla leaves face down over small parcels of yellow fin tuna, salted mulberries and black ants.

It was my first pick when perusing the menu at Gerard's Bistro in Brisbane's food centric James Street, where Chef Ben Williamson's food has almost reached legendary status.

When I peeked under the leaves the ant bodies, mixed with the tuna and mulberries, were clearly visible. The idea is to grab the leaf and wrap it about the contents it covers and swiftly put it in your mouth. Surprisingly, the pungent, slightly citric taste that matched the smell of squashed ant was actually a great foil for the deep fleshed tuna.




Don't try this at home.  When you eat ants you also eat what they have on their feet and you would want to be very sure they haven't been walking in poison recently.  Gerard's ants are specially bred and farmed in Melbourne.

Gerard's has a well deserved Good Food Guide hat and wears its Middle Eastern cuisine style loosely but with consistent hints of origin.  The menu is overflowing with dishes that demand to be tried.  They look even better than they read and the flavours surpass even further.

Amongst the first dishes to arrive was crisp chicken skins with aleppo  kimchi custard and barberry salt, a total flavour assault.


We followed this with roasted baby beets filled with kashk, a fermented yoghurt, black garlic, and elderflowers (pictured at the top).

The tiny soft fried quail eggs were beautifully runny and the lamb tartare a much more delicate flavour than I expected with its preserved lime, harissa, radish and cured yolks.




And the dishes kept coming - Murray cod with smoked mussels, roasted chicken fumet (I'm almost scared to ask what that is) all on the most creamy potato  mousse and shallots stuffed with smoked eggplant, which I didn't sample but they do look delicious.




Presentation is a big part of the dishes at Gerard's and this salad of spring leaves, flowers, cucumber, hazelnuts and sumac certainly lives up to the promise and tastes as good as it looks.




My favourite meal was, as it seems to be every time, the pork.  Think suckling pig, fossilised pear, caramelised blood, Jerusalem artichoke and walnuts.




Gerard's is certainly a restaurant that should be on your list for a regular dining treat.  Find it in James Street, off the street behind Bucci.

Best tip: Gerard's Bar is just behind the restaurant, across the lane way. Do take a look at their well-stocked charcuterie cabinet and vegetarian cold cuts, all available by the slice.

Bottom line: Entrees range from $7 to $19, mains from $14 to $48, and desserts $16.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Gerard's Bistro.

Gerard's Bistro on Urbanspoon

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Brisbane's top 10 'chew with a view' restaurants and cafes

It's a beautiful day! Where can you go and dine in the warm sun with a view that you'll never want to leave?

Here are ten top places in and around Brisbane to while away a lunch hour or a whole afternoon when the weather is warm and the skies are blue .

River Quay, South Bank

South Bank’s River Quay precinct has plenty of opportunities to relax in the sunshine and just about any restaurant at River Quay will offer a great spot for a winter lunch with a large, grassed lawn rolling down to the river bank.  You can even lie in the sun if you so desire.

Stop for champagne, oysters and more at Cove Bar and Dining, enjoy French provincial food at Aquitaine Brasserie, take in the river view from a Balinese daybed while you tuck into the contemporary menu at The Jetty, feast on Italian cuisine at Popolo or sip a long drink on the riverside deck of Stokehouse Q where the menu draws on local produce combined with bold flavours from the Mediterranean.

River Quay is the spot for Sunday …

Thar she blows - how to hunt whales the friendly way

A grunt and a spurt of seawater rising into the air show the position of a mother humpback whale and her three-week-old calf.

I'm on purpose-designed whale watching boat and we have motored for an hour over the calm seas of the great sandy straits up the coastline of Fraser Island





Captain Phil tells the 50 or so people aboard that the tip of the island is where we will see the whales and he is right.

Our first mother and calf are a little shy at first, keeping the boat at a good distance but I can clearly see the much smaller calf swimming strongly beside its mother.




I'm fascinated by the large circles of calm water that float past us and Phil tells us these are whale footprints

"They break the water tension when they flick their tails to swim down resulting in the clear circles on the water,” Phil says.

Sailors used whale footprints to track whales back in the bad old days when whales were valued more for their blubber than their beauty.

Our next mother and calf are a l…

Lunch amongst the lavender in the Scenic Rim

It was time to brush the cobwebs off the motor bike over Easter and head out of Brisbane into the beautiful Scenic Rim.

We started down the highway towards Beenleigh in beautiful autumn sunshine and stopped for a coffee at The Outpost Cafe at Canungra.  This is a well known bikies hangout but don't expect too much in the way of chains and dreadlocks - it's more favoured by the middle aged bikie enjoying the freedom of the road second time round.

The road less travelled is always our favoured route for this type of outing and we back tracked through Rathdowney before reaching our destination for the day, Kooroomba Lavender Farm about 65 minutes from Brisbane in the Scenic Rim at Mt Alford near Boonah.

Autumn is not the premium time for viewing either the vineyard or the lavender but the view across the valley to the mountains was still outstanding.  The building has a New Zealand lodge feel to it with plenty of stone walls both inside and outside, complimented by timber and ex…

Ten top things to do in Noosa Heads

It doesn't matter how many times I head down the hill on Noosa Drive towards the ocean, I still get a little shiver of excitement every time. This very special part of the world has achieved international recognition for its unique environment and I am privileged to be able to dip my toes into it on a regular basis.

Here are ten of my favourite Noosa pastimes.





1. Although it’s always tempting to sleep in, I don't like to waste a moment of the day when I wake up in Noosa. The best way to start is in the coffee queue at Sails on Hastings Street and then a stroll along the winding boardwalk to the National Park, koala spotting along the way.





Depending on my mood and energy level, I continue the walk through the park to enjoy the beachside views. Some like to run it. You can pick up a coffee at the information hut in the national park as well.





2. After a bit of exercise there's nothing like a big breakie at Aromas and a spot of people watching. With t…

Lots to explore at Brisbane's South Bank

Four markets in one day - what a way to spend a Sunday!

We started at the organic markets at Downy Park, Windsor which was not such a good idea. Why? Well we took the dog and the place was full of puddles - he's a corgi with very low legs - it all ended up being very messy.

Also, these markets definitely finish up on their advertised closing time of 10.30am.  Call me slow or just plain lazy but I find it hard to get out and about early on a Sunday morning. We arrived primed for breakfast at 10am just as everyone was shutting up - they had even run out of bread for French toast!

However, this market was just the first on our list. Next, we drove to South Bank Parklands to explore the Young Designers Market and the Granite Belt Flavours Market - both on the same day.

Several designer/clothes/jewellery purchases later, K2 subdued his inner male and agreed to look for the Granite Belt Flavours market which was not in its usual spot.  On the way, we walked through the regular South Ba…