The Foraging Quail | 148 Merthyr Road, NEW FARM QLD 4005

The Foraging Quail had been on our ‘to-eat’ list for a long time. We were intrigued by its creative presentation, exotic menu items and the unique idea of shared degustation dining. We were so eager to go but the only hesitation was whether Minibun George would be well behaved enough to stay quiet in the pram while his parents dined.

If you recall, two weekends ago Brisbane was in midst of some terribly stormy weather. Looking out of our window thirty-six storeys up it was so gloomy, wet and depressing that we thought to ourselves what the heck, we were in needed of something to shake off our weekend blues.

We arrived at The Foraging Quail at 5:30pm on the dot and were led to the Chef's table by our host. Focusing on seasonal and local produce, the menu items here change regularly to ensure sustainability and seasonality. For $65 per person, the diners at a table can choose any five courses from the menu. The other travel bunnie and I, being major meat lovers, knew that there was no way for us to forgo both the Slow Braised Pork Belly, Capsicum Puree, Baby Apples, Young Bamboo and Honey Gastrique, and the Saltbush Lamb Belly, Baby Vegetables, Olives and Jus.

To start off the culinary affair, we were offered the amuse bouch and some crusty bread and butter, following which our first course arrived being the Heirloom Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella, Samphire, Wild Herbs, Milk and Tonka Bean. The dish was light and visually alluring; the perfect dish to get our taste buds excited. The dish that followed was something that I had never had before and probably wouldn't have dared to order on my own. The Butter Poached Crocodile, Mojama, Watermelon, Capers, Cornichons and Dehydrated Bisque was equally as elegant on the plate for something scary like crocodile meat, however as much as I tried to like it, its strong gamey flavour wasn't for me. I felt that the crocodile flesh was tough (which I expected) but the funky taste, despite being carefully mixing with sweet watermelon, was still just a little too foreign for me to like. The third course of the night had to be the highlight as the pork belly was simply on another level. The meat melted (literally) in my mouth and the rich sauce on the plate was simply the perfect compliment. While the signature quail dish was perfectly prepared and presented, I felt it was just missing a slight punch in seasoning that would have made it a truly memorable dish as well. We finished off with our fifth course being the lamb and again, tender, carefully prepared and presented food that was a delight to eat.

While each of the five courses were flavoursome and fairly proportioned for a degustation, I could not go past ordering the Chocolate Forest Seven Textures of Chocolate with Orange Marshmallow, Strawberry and Meringue ($16) and we were not disappointed. Each of the techniques used were perfectly executed with the tempered and aerated chocolates my favourites. The plate really captured a moment and told a story that I was impressed to be able to experience in suburban Brisbane.

It was so beautiful watching chef and owner Minh Le and his team of chefs preparing our food in front of our eyes with each ingredient carefully presented onto the plate with precision and passion. Indeed, I would have been happy to eat at any of the tables in the restaurant as the pleasant wait staff all help to create an unobtrusive experience where the food really does all the talking.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $153

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