Right: a welcoming glass of Italian fizz in The Charles'.
Brisbane’s newest five star hotel, The Westin at 111 Mary Street opens its doors for business on Thursday, November 8 and already has the house full sign up for Monday the 12th !
But it’s not all about rooms; food, wine and entertainment are very much on the menu. Eden’s Table is the hotel’s signature restaurant, then there is The Charles’, an aviation inspired jazz bar that switches from café by day to wine and cocktail bar by night; and also The Nautilus, Brisbane’s first swim up bar which has panoramic views of the city.
I was one the lucky guests to be invited to a pre-opening sample of the Eden’s Table food, which, the hotel boasts “celebrates locally sourced produce from ocean to paddock”. It took me back to another life when I was well-rounded restaurant critic!
One thing I can guarantee is that the food is going to be delicious and fresh!
The mouth watering menu was overseen by The Westin Brisbane’s Executive Chef, Steve Sweetman. Steve is star act, this is the fifth hotel he has opened and I sampled his style a couple of years ago in the Star Casino in Darwin, where he worked until June this year. It was impressive then and he obviously loves his new job and his freedom to create.
“In Eden’s Table,” he said, “we’re showcasing modern, Australian cuisine and local produce from ocean to paddock, in a beautiful, contemporary space. There’s something for everyone, from split grilled Queensland prawns to Yardstick tomahawk steak and yuzu-grapefruit granita for dessert.”
After a glass of nicely dry fine beaded Italian fizz Ferrari brut, we headed for the light and airy restaurant where the tables were laden with the appetisers, ice-cooled seafood platters. Now that was what you call fresh; Morton Bay Bugs that peeled easily from the shell had better taste than may lobster tail, oysters juicy and smooth as silk, melt in the mouth peeled prawns, house cured salmon and to top it off mussels opened and ready to eat, no beard and, where mussels can be tough or gritty, these were oyster soft and delicately flavoured.
It all sat very nicely with a second glass of Ferrari.
To be honest I could have waded into more seafood, but there were more courses to come. There was a trio of entrées, served with a Mt Ballandean rose; seared scallops with a fascinating green pea saffron foam and topped with very thinly sliced chorizo; Grilled Entrance squid with a magical, gently flavoured mix of fennel grapefruit and parsley, drizzled with Mt Zero, Olive oil and a vegetarian dish of spiced haloumi beetroot, hazelnut Raita, which was rich and sweet.
For the main meal it as a choice of Yardstick 300 gram scotch fillet with Paris mash, and Eden’s steak sauce, Humpty Doo Barramundi fillet served with lemon myrtle tagliatelle, chilli, lime and leek or for the vegetarians, Mushroom and Ricotta Tortellini.
I chose the barramundi and the chardonnay from WA’s Forest Hill estate and was pleased that I did. It was crispy skinned and succulent.
To finish off those with appetite left had a choice of pastries from Pastry Chef Mia’s trolley - Tiramisu, baked cheese cake, Lemon orange tea cake, Gianduja chocolate gateau, Choux with hazelnut praline and Grand Marnier, Lamington with strawberry jam and balsamic vinegar, Passionfruit marshmallow, Mandarin fruit jelly, Raspberry macaron and Lemon macaron. They were served with Lemon Drop liqueur, a Mt Tamborine mix of Absolute Vodka and lemoncello.
I can assure you there was no dinner at home that night, just a glass of wine and a gastronomic memory.
Eden’s Table Level 1: Breakfast: Monday to Friday 6 am – 10.30 am, weekends 7 am to 11 am.
Lunch: Monday to Friday 12 noon – 2.30 pm, weekends 12.30 pm to 3 pm.
Dinner: Everyday 6 pm – late.
The Charles’ Ground Floor Monday to Friday 6.30 am – late.
Eden’s Table has a capacity for 150 guests. The restaurant’s 60-seat private dining space, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a separate entrance, is avaailable for an exclusive celebration or corporate event away from the boardroom. Eden’s Table will also be host to bottomless bubble brunches each Sunday, as well as regular degustation dinners, whiskey pairing nights and celebrity guest speakers.
Executive Chef Steve Sweetman hard at work on the scallops.
The seafood platter
My dish of barramundi
Pastry Chef Mia's sweet masterpieces
A chat with the chef