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“"Feast for the Senses"”
Review of Restaurant II - CLOSED

Restaurant II
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed February 27, 2013

19/01/2013 - "Feast for the senses"

You always remember your first time. Your first kiss, your first heartbreak, and the first time you had Degustation.

I'm one of those people that was skeptical about Degustation. Questions I would always ask myself was, Would it be any good? Is it worth it? What is it anyway? There was only one way to find out.

Restaurant Two was recommended by family members who were not Degustation virgins, and we all decided to book-in as a group for the January Degustation. Having seen Restaurant Two many times during our adventures to the city, (located on corner of Edward and Alice Street in the heritage-listed Old Mineral House ), it was exciting to finally be able to see this Restaurant for ourselves.

Inside, Restaurant Two conveys a sense of elegance and occasion. Well lit, there appears to be open spaces (not cluttered), minimal decor, and a posh-ness to the place, but it still feels welcoming and comfortable. The dark leather 5 piece lounge set in the centre of the Restaurant was inviting me to just stroll over, sit down, cross my legs, have a glass of whisky and smoke a cigar. This didn't happen of course but in my head it did! To the right, there's a bar, and what appears to be another dining area. To the left of the entrance, there's another dining area upstairs, towards it a bookshelf and a shelf stacked with wines. Perfect! Once you have your fill of food, unbutton your pants, grab a wine, a book and sit on the couch. Maybe later.

We were greeted by a very friendly host who showed us to our table upstairs. Everything is neatly arranged perfectly, fine dining style, the most amount of cutlery I had ever seen, some I'd probably never used! And the large works of art on the wall gives life to the dining space. It seems a little quiet in the entire Restaurant despite an average amount of diners, realising that as a group, we're usually loud and boisterous. The menu is comprehensive, the ten courses described with matching wines. To say we were pretty excited was an understatement.

So how was it? You ask.
According to Wikipedia, Degustation is a culinary term meaning a careful, appreciative tasting of various foods and focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company. Dégustation is more likely to involve sampling small portions of all of a chef's signature dishes in one sitting. Or in layman's terms, to give one's taste-buds an erection.

Each of the ten courses was a delight, flavoursome, beautifully presented, the wines matched perfectly. Service was impeccable, and before each course was brought out, the matching wine was poured in each of our glasses and explained as to why it was chosen, and how it would match the food to come. The staff were obviously well drilled in serving degustation as there always seemed to be enough time to pass, before the next course was brought out. The service, quality of food & matched wines, (to put into Manu's words and accent), were "Top Notch". Owner & chef David Pugh, his "right-hand" Glen Barratt and pastry chef Tom Newman have delivered an unforgettable sensory experience. Perhaps the best description of how this degustation tasted, to quote my brother (who is more comfortable at your local take-away): "These figs are figalicious".

Although I loved each course, and yes even the lamb, my favourites would have to be:
Seared Scallops with new potatoes, cauliflower puree, asparagus, porcini vinaigrette. Matched with 2009 Gordon's Hill Chardonnay, Oragne (NSW)

Roasted Rannoch Farm Quail, almond cream, grilled fig, Jamon, black rice, salad leaves, hazelnut dressing. Matched with 2010 Louis Jadot Gamay, Beaujolais Villages (France)

Roast Duck Breast, Cherries, Pak Choi, cracked freekeh, currants and barley, cherry sauce. Matched with 2011 Dutschke "80 Block" Merlot, Barossa Valley (SA)

Citrus Jelly, Caramelized Buttermilk, Eucalyptus and Lychee Yolk. Matched with 2010 Frogmore Creek Ice Reisling, Cambridge (TAS)

Chocolate Textures: Aero, Caramel tuille crumbs, ganache and pistachio cake. Matched with Valdespino Pedro Ximenez (PX) Sherry, Jerez (Espana)

If I had one suggestion for Restaurant Two; Is to add to the atmosphere by making use of the space below, with a grand piano and a pianist playing classic jazz tunes. Maybe I just feel bad for the rest of the diners that evening having to put up with our group getting a little happy!

A great night, one to remember, and if we could afford Degustation on a much more regular basis, we probably would thanks to Restaurant Two.

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5  Thank DiscoverBNE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (185)
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96 - 100 of 185 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2013

I was expecting big things for Restaurant Two however the food doesn't live up to the words on the menu.

The setting is great and the drinks menu is extensive. The staff are knowledgeable and attentive however the food just doesn't deliver. I would say that the food is good, but certainly not Fine Dining. A few of the finer details of fine dining are missing throughout the evening.

I had a beef fillet which wasn't cooked particularly well and my desert (chocolate soufflé) was over cooked which turned it into a dry sponge instead of a gooey centre.

This is my second visit to restaurant two and I withheld my review until my second visit to see if the first time was a bad night on the restaurant's behalf, however disappointingly it was a repeat the second time over.

In summary this place has the ingredients for a great restaurant, however it misses the target by some way.

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Thank Ceej18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

Friday night and I was staying in Alice Street at the end of a brief visit to Brisbane. Without any reservation, I spent a while walking around town checking out restaurants to have a nice meal in. A few along the riverside walk tempted me, but were full: "spillover from Valentine's Day". Heading back towards the hotel, not really fancying the prospect of dinner at the hotel (I always try to eat somewhere else than the place I am staying) I came past Restaurant II, the reviews of which I had seen. I went in and was initially told they were full, but the lovely serving staff managed to find me a table after all, and I was glad they did!

The place is very open plan, with high ceilings and quite wide spaces between the tables, It's a bit minimalist, with bare floors and not much in the way of decoration, but looks the part. Clearly rather upmarket, with serious prices to match. My bill for one (including two glasses of wine) was over $100, and I only had two courses.

The service was really attentive, and the wait staff - all young women - were very friendly and knew their jobs well. But it was almost a little too much, because there was a constant parade of staff walking around and back and forth between tables and to the kitchen and bar. Not really the place for a quiet romantic dinner, more for a power lunch perhaps.

Before the meal I received a little amuse-buche with some rather good bread and butter. I always like having something to keep me busy while waiting for the food, so this was a nice touch.

The menu is reasonably complete without being too adventurous. I felt like beef and had the fillet, served with mash, spinach, mushrooms and light cream sauce. Nothing innovative, but nicely presented. My only complaint was that after taking some time to discuss how I wanted the meat cooked, it arrived very much over-done. I would have sent it back, but it was in fact still very juicy and had a wonderful flavour, so I forgave this. The menu also had fish (barramundi), duck, venison, lamb, and a vegetarian dish (gnocchi).

I had already chosen my dessert at the start of the meal - and had mentioned this to the server at the time. When she came back with the dessert menu, she remembered the discussion well, asking me if she could tempt me with anything else or was I staying with the chocolate fondant? Nicely remembered, and a good example of attention to detail. The fondant (served with Tiramisu ice cream) was worth it. Espresso coffee was perfect, and served with a delightful macaroon (which actually arrived a bit after the coffee).

There was also a 10-course degustation menu ($150pp without wine, $210 with wine) but since I was alone and this is served for a minimum of two people, I did not try this.

Well done for accommodating me with no reservation, good attentive service, high prices and very nice food. A bit less hustle and bustle, meat cooked like it was requested, and it would have been "excellent".

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3  Thank TheGumnuts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Just got home from a meal at Restaurant II. We had a voucher and given the place's reputation we were hoping the food would be as good as without a voucher. It was just great. And the Creme Brulee was delicious - blissful heavenly. Not at the budget priced end of town for restaurants, but the attention to detail, quality of ingredients and service were top notch. It was a culinary experience.

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4  Thank Mrs A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

I was lucky enough to visit Restaurant II this month. It has been on my must eat at list and it did not fail to exceed my expectations.
I had the Blue Cod with Capsicum Salsa which was fantastc, hubby had the steak and enjoyed it although he is not still raving his meal unlike myself but for me the winner was desert the Soft Centred Chocolate Fondue with Peanut Butter Gelato AMAZING...
The service was also first class everything was just a perfect night.

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4  Thank mb02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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