When the doors to e'cco bistro opened back in 1995 people said a restaurant would never work at that end of town.
Twenty years later and still a leader in the Brisbane food scene, owner Philip Johnson has more than proved them wrong. Philip and partner Mary Randles hosted a lunch to showcase the restaurant's new spring menu as a tasting menu.
More great Brisbane dining -
New chef Simon Palmer has come to e'cco from Gerards and is in his first role as head chef. This is his second menu which Philip says it's exactly on track for e'cco.
First out was delicately pink combo of yellowtail kingfish ceviche with blood orange wasabi, piel de sapo (Santa Claus melon, sometimes known as Christmas melon) and pickled radish.
It was followed by tender char-grilled octopus with muhammara (a hot pepper dip originally from Aleppo, Syria, found in Levantine and Turkish cuisines) , pomegranate, rye and walnut potato foam.
A single, over-sized labneh and pickled walnut tortellini with a smear of tahini carrot puree and salt-baked celeriac was next.
The final two dishes were a slice of duck breast atop a segment of carmelised pear accompanied by grilled witlof, goats curd and golden raisins. (see this beautiful dish pictured at the top).
Dessert was a deconstructed olive oil carrot cake with halva, pistachio, orange blossom, dates and rice custard ice-cream. I liked it so much I forgot to take a photo.
Last year's restaurant refurbishment has certainly given the restaurant new appeal without taking away from its classic charm.
Philip Johnson has stayed true to his vision with this new menu from Simon Palmer. The flavours are clean and uncluttered but the combinations hold plenty of interest. It's all perfectly cooked, presented with style and served with unaffected panache.
Ed+bK rating - 4/5 stars - This restaurant is a Brisbane institution and rarely puts a food wrong.
Bottom line: The tasting menu is available for the entire table only. $89 for food $139 with paired wine. General menu prices are around 24 for entree, $38 for mains and $17 for dessert.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of e'cco