A belated post – I’ve been busy writing my literature review, preparing for my PhD confirmation presentation as well as moving house!
Recently, I went along to the re-launch of a new change for Bistro One Eleven, now One Eleven Modern Grill. Philip Johnson (E’cco bistro), has a simple reason for their change of tactics – to cater for their more corporate client base. Those who want a quick but delicious lunch or dinner that don’t require all the fanciness of having multiple courses. Which, you can still do, of course.
We visited soon after to sample from their full menu for a lovely date night for Nic and I.
Set in the foyer of the eye-catching One Eleven building, it’s a small clean, modern dining space. Quiet at night as everyone has gone home for the day. Away from the bustle of most of the riverfront restaurants along Eagle St yet still close enough for a post-dinner stroll along the river. I’d imagine it would get quite busy during their lunch hour from hungry nearby workers.
We knew we were going to have steaks, with delicious sides and sauces. Say goodbye to your ordinary red wine jus and mushroom sauce. Here you can go wild.
To start off, Nic was recommended a 2010 Craggy Range ‘gimblett gravels’ syrah ($15/glass) to go with his steak. Nothing too spicy like a shiraz but something with body.
I love a good mocktail and chose fruit bowl ($7), a mix of seasonal fruits, bouquet garni, cranberry, lime, ginger ale, and mint. I noticed that they also served homemade iced tea which sounds a treat for summer. Great non-alcoholic alternatives for those non-boozy midweek lunches too.
I loved scotch eggs. I have attempted to make it once and whilst tasty, it’s fiddly and hard to make. So of course, we order spiced scotch egg, herb mayo ($12) to start. The oozy yolk inside almost turned me into a puddle and I nearly melted on the spot from how good these were. Easily the best scotch eggs I’ve ever had. Slight spicy, oozy, crunch crumb coating, herb mayo. Heaven. I secretly wish that I could have had this whole dish to myself. By far, my favourite dish on the night.
After a recent trip to Noosa earlier this year, we revisited those memories with a fantastic fresh Noosa spanner crab cocktail ($22). The cocktail sauce and avocado and dill complimented the fresh seafood flavours. It could be a great light lunch on it’s own!
Time to get serious. Mains. The way their menu works is you pick your meat, a sauce ($3.50) and a side dish. By default, the steaks are all served with a drizzle of red wine jus and a mouthful of greens.
I’m a fan of eye fillets. The smaller size and the tenderness appeals to me. The offering from here was a 200g, full blood Angus, 180-day grain fed eye fillet from Warwick, Qld ($35). I love that they tell you where your meat comes from. Shows pride in where they source their meat. I really couldn’t say no to smoked chipotle butter. That rich, smoky flavour melted effortlessly into the steak. Bliss.
Nic opted for the 220g sirloin, B 4/5, Black Wagyu, 600-day grain fed, 14 day dry aged ($38) from Tamworth, NSW. His sauce option, a garlicky kicking chimichurri.
We alternated mouthfuls of our meat with lightly battered onion rings served with BBQ sauce and a giant mound of green bean salad, freekeh, shaved brussels sprouts, almonds ($8 each). The onion rings are not even greasy or soggy, I could easily smash a whole bowl of these on my own.
After all this, we decided that dessert was possible on our distended stomachs.
I had One Eleven house-made icecream – a creamy, glorious trio of vanilla, almond and shortbread, served on a bed of shortbread crumble and brand snaps! With no option for the number of scoops, I struggled to finish such a sweet and rich dessert. Even serving a single scoop on a cone to take back to the office after lunch would be a nice option.
Nic had the pear tarte tatin with almond ice cream. This was mind-blowingly good. In theory, it’s an ordinary pear + puff pastry tart. But something so simple done to perfection is something that I didn’t expect. Warm and flaky. Topped with the almond ice cream for that hot/cold combo that makes me happy. Topped generously with almond flakes. Best dessert of the night by far. Best dessert I’ve had in a long, long time.
Already, I’ve thinking of what I’m going to order on my next return because there is no doubt of returning.
Dining details: 19th September, midweek dinner for two. 6pm.
Verdict: modern grill dining in a modern CBD area along Eagle Street is a smart choice for those who work/live nearby. Literally a very steps away from views of the Story Bridge and the Brisbane River. Great for quick lunches and dinners. Caters well to solo dining, date nights up to large groups. The pork belly with fennel and chilli salt from the menu is calling me and awaits my return. They also serve breakfast with most options happily under $15. Nice.
This restaurant wins the award for: getting down to business with serious steaks, sides and sauces.
One Eleven Modern Grill
Open 6 days a week
Monday – Friday, 7am to 10.30am
Monday – Friday, 11.30am to 2.30pm
Monday – Saturday, 5pm to late
Monday – Friday, 11.30am to late
111 Eagle Street, Brisbane
We were invited guests on behalf of Lucid Media and One Eleven.