Dr Thomson’s Test Kitchen at The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites | 73 Wickham Terrace, SPRING HILL QLD 4000

Thomson’s Reserve Restaurant was one of the deciding factors when we picked The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites as our recent staycation destination. Located on the ground floor of the hotel, the ambience at this one chef hatted restaurant is sophisticated but very imitate. Dinner that night was nothing short of remarkable and exceeded our every expectation. 

Last Sunday I had the great pleasure of dining at the chef hatted restaurant again, but this time, it was a slightly different experience as I was invited to an intimate wine pairing degustation experience which allowed guests to see firsthand the creative process that’s involved in curating a new menu. I was at Dr. Thomson’s Test Kitchen!

It started with flowing bubbles before we were presented with the first canapé - chicken crisp, oyster emulsion, spring herbs. Presented on a large piece of stone,  each crispy chicken skin was decorated like a piece of art. Who would have thought that chicken skin could be so pretty and irresistibly delicious? After the second canapé of granny smith apple marshmallow filled with onetik blue des basque, we were presented with the entree - dehydrated mushroom, beef heart, yuzu, pumpkin puree, nectar, upland cress. Now, here’s the thing; unlike a usual degustation where you a presented with a menu, we didn’t get to see the menu until afterwards, which made the whole experience just a little bit more mysterious and exciting. Everyone at my table took a guess at what the meat was and it was mutually agreed that it was beef, but we struggled to pinpoint the exact part. It was a dish that I thoroughly enjoyed because of it's great texture and flavours. Up next was the pickled mackerel, cucumber granita, gohujang, kombu congee, shiso. I personally found the dish very eccentric; the cold mackerel had a fishy taste to my palate whilst the cucumber granita gave it a little refreshing touch. The next two courses finished the dining experience on a high note. Everyone at our table finished the dessert - lavender dipped in white chocolate, lemon gel, bee pollen, sorrel in under a minute. I think lavender ice cream is quite hard to master as a lot of the times I've previously tried it the predominate flavour is soap, but I can’t say the same thing about this dessert dish. The ice cream was smooth with the perfect hint of lavender and the white chocolate coating was the icing on the cake (so to speak). Just as I thought it wouldn’t get any better, the waiter placed a cake-pop looking thing on the table - it was cultured caramel seasoned with salted fish, 70% chocolate and gold. It was seriously good - extremely rich and sticky. I imagined myself sitting in bed with a box of them watching Sex and the City… so I was a little sad when I finished it. Dream over. 

When we finished the last course, Head Chef Anthony Hales (ex Deer Duck Bistro) came out to talked us through the degustation and asked  our thoughts on the food. I applaud him for using beef heart in the entree. It’s such a brave move as it’s an ingredient not many restaurants in Brisbane would experiment or work with. I also had the great pleasure of sitting next to Kerrie Hess throughout the degustation, and contrary to what I initially thought, Kerrie was so humble and easy to talk to. Even as I am writing this post, I am still a little starstruck. But hey, let that be one of many memorable moments I encounter in my life. 

Disclaimer: with thanks to Accor Group for welcoming DolceBunnie to the property as an invited guest, please note that my opinion is as always, my own.

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