Technically we’re approaching the end of summer, but it still feels like summer. I figure that’s good enough reasoning to accept an invitation to a new summer menu tasting at Watt Restaurant. As usual the menu heavily draws on it’s aquatic location featuring bountiful seafood dishes.
A few popular items remain on the menu but we tasted a bunch of newer additions. Mini portions of multiple dishes were presented to individuals so rest assured the real a la carte options are much larger and I’ve found Watt to almost be quite generous in their servings. A big plus. I like to see dishes filled to the brim.
Some of the dishes – like the spoon of salt and pepper squid was a dish re-hashed by being served with nuoc cham. Simple, slightly pungent, crunchy and tender. Not rocket science but simple is good. The smoked salmon and hash cake “salad” was presented almost like a lunchtime bento box on a bed of salad (lettuce, radish, capers). Almost a light meal entirely on it’s own. Light and healthy with a delicious deep-fried, carb-booster of a fluffy potato hash. It’s all about balance in summer. #healthy #fitspo
Jokes aside, being healthy is not to be mocked. The char-grilled chicken salad with fresh figs, apple, fennel, mint, spinach (my favourite salad leaf) and quinoa was probably my favourite dish. From last time I was invited to Watt Restaurant, you’ll notice how impressed I was with the salad. Unlikely to associate Watt with salads, but they get it right. The nutty quinoa was there for texture, not for the health benefits. The chicken was far from dry too. Big, big ticks. Chicken salads usually are my worst nightmare. No one likes dry, cardboard-textured chicken. I’m not even going to shy away from the fact that I ate more of this from the full-size serving.
Char-grilled king prawns on a massive platter. Does anything say Aussie barbie (BBQ for those of you from lands ahoy) more than this? Nope. Giant, meaty king prawns kept simple with lemon, a touch of chilli and capers and some salad leaves that absorb all the prawn juice. Messy, yes. Enjoyable, yes. Suck the brains out of those prawn heads. Don’t be a wuss.
With the seafood dishes, they’ve specifically tried to keep it simplified without too much whiz bang going out. Preferring to let the seafood speak for itself. You won’t come across gastronomical, mysterious items. You’ll receive exactly what you’ve ordered. Easy to digest options by the masses and the non-adventurous types out there. Good enough that the most disconcerting is satisfied.
If you want something more refined, then pick up your knife and fork and tuck into confit duck maryland with roasted potatoes, figs and a simple jus. Heaps of sweetness from the duck and the figs. I’m liking that you can see the use of figs throughout the menu. An ode to their seasonal produce ethos.
Desserts. All three variations. I’m super impressed. And bloated. But I’ll persevere. Waste not, want not. The small portion of chocolate marquise with pistachio brittle, berry salad and raspberry jelly looked a little miserable on the slate board. However, upon tasting it I can understand the small portion. Too err on the side of caution. A marquise is a rich dessert, think of eating pure chocolate fondant – ultra thick, rich and definitely full of sugar and cream. The dark chocolate was too bittersweet for my liking and the berry salad a little too acidic. Definitely one for the chocoholics out there.
I power through a dessert that is basically 2-in-1. A power couple of a thick, dense version of a crème brûlée with a brandy snap basket, fig and salted caramel gelato. To be honest, a bit of overkill eating both. But for $15 it’s damn good value especially if you share between two people. The fig feels a little out of place but anything to increase your daily servings of fruit is fine by me.
The last of the trio of desserts was a pineapple & lychee semifreddo with a coconut basil meringue. It provided some refreshing relief after the aforementioned decadent options. I loved this. Together the flavours were reminiscent of a pina colada with a slight Asian twist. Yeah, that’s right. It’s sounds freaking delicious. The meringue probably was too hard unless you have monster teeth like me but otherwise this would’ve been my favourite dessert.
Watt restaurant is an obvious choice for a light pre-theatre dinner and drink at the Brisbane Powerhouse. It’s a beautiful venue and I love the history of the building and it’s location.
Come for the seafood. Stay for a show.
** I was invited as a guest on behalf of Watt Restaurant and My City My Life.