Sunday, November 20, 2011

30th Birthday part four

This is the final instalment in my 30th birthday posts. My parents were not at my birthday party, so to celebrate with them I wanted to go out for a fancy pants dinner on my actual birthday. I put out the call, and Arly highly recommended Matt Moran's Aria on Eagle Street Pier. Cale from The Green Edge also said he had had a fabulous dinner there. So there is where we went. My parents agreed they too would eat vegan for the evening, as obviously I wanted all of my birthday celebrations to be cruelty free.

Story Bridge

We had an early reservation as I had to work the next day, and we arrived a little early. That didn't matter though, as it is a beautiful spot to sit for a little and watch the river. Here is the Story Bridge.

Kangaroo Point

You can also see the cliffs at Kangaroo Point. Sitting here looking at the peaceful river, it was hard to imagine that at the beginning of the year this river was flooding the city.

Jacarandas

You know it is November (and exam time) in Brisbane when the Jacaranda trees are in full bloom. Purple bursts of colour everywhere! There are several restaurants down at Eagle Street, so I also did some browsing and made a note of those who mentioned vegan somewhere on their menu.

Aria

And then it was time for dinner. We had a lovely table that overlooked the river. For the first two courses, we were given two options. As there were three of us, that meant that we at least had one of everything so I could sample to one I didn't get.

Appetiser - heirloom tomatoes, shallots, capers

First the brought out some litter appetisers - spoons full of heirloom tomatoes, shallots and capers. It was bright and delicious. After this photo, I turned off the flash as it was a bit too intrusive in the dim lights of the restaurant. I also had my mum's point and shoot, as my camera is a bit big and again would have seemed a bit intrusive. I also apologise that I don't remember everything that was in each dish, but I will do my best to describe!

After the appetisers, they brought around some fresh white bread rolls and some lovely olive oil for dipping. Nom.

Heirloom Tomato Consomme

For the entrée (US readers note: in Australia, the entrée is the first course, not the main) both my dad and I had the Tomato Consommé. It was amazing, and I have been craving it ever since. The beautiful clear, red broth was poured over sliced heirloom tomatoes, radishes and fennel.

Asparagus and pea salad

Sorry for this shocker of a photo. This is mum's entrée, which was an asparagus and pea salad. In addition to grilled asparagus, it had an amazing pea purée as well as pickled shallots, some lovely purple flowers and pea shoots.

Between entrée and main, the brought around more bread. This time I had a large chunk of delicious sourdough.

Baby Corn, Leeks and Mushroom Salad

For mains, mum and I both had the warm corn salad, which had grilled baby corn and baby leeks on top of corn salsa with mushrooms.

Cauliflower and Broccolini with Chili

My dad had a dish with cauliflower and broccolini with chili and raisins, and I think it had some cous cous as well. I tried a bit of the cauliflower and it was yum.

Shallot Brussels Sprouts and Chilli Broccolini

We also ordered two vegan sides that were available. First was sautéed broccolini with chilli and crispy shallots, which was lovely. But it paled in comparison to the caramelised Brussels sprouts and shallots side dish, which was out of this world amazing. Mum has since Googled the recipe, so we can try and recreate it ourselves.

Summer Berry Salad with Sorbets

There was only one dessert option, but it was a doozie. A beautiful summer berry salad, that included strawberries and raspberries as well as freeze-dried raspberries, with two small scoops of berry sorbet and one larger scoop of pina colada sorbet. The latter of the sorbets was the best sorbet I have ever had in my life! Plus they gave me a candle, which was super cute. The only downside was that the chocolate that they wrote on the plate with was not vegan, they told me straight away up front not to eat it, which was good. But they said they didn't know what else to write it in. Next time I would just request to have my plate writing free. Even if I'm not eating it, I still don't want it on my plate.

Blowing out the candle

Blowing out my candle. The angle of the photo kind of makes my look like I have a hump back.

Candied Walnuts

I finished off with some peppermint tea, and they brought out these amazing candied walnuts. I could eat these all day, and I am not even a big fan of walnuts.

Then it was back to the house to eat a piece of leftover birthday cake on my actual birthday, and into bed before work the next day. I loved Aria, and would definitely go back there again for a special occasion. It is a great example of what good chefs can do with beautiful, fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables. And before anyone cries out about the lack of a typical protein dish, I was incredibly full and satisfied after this dinner.

Now, does thirty years and one month old qualify to go back??

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
Sahara playing with The Ladybug


Action shot of Sahara playing with the magnetic ladybug swinging toy I bought the girls for Christmas two years ago.

4 comments:

Theresa said...

Interesting to hear that you had a great meal at Aria. I've heard that Matt Moran is very vegan un-friendly, to downright hostile, and unwilling to cater to vegans. Glad to hear that rumour is false, so I don't have to scowl at him every time he is on Masterchef! (Though I do wonder why they couldn't just get some vegan dark choc.)

Mattheworbit said...

I'm glad you had a good time at Aria!

I'm pretty sure he is very anti-vegan. I read an interview recently where he said he had served his friend's vegetarian wife chips coated in duck fat, and had not told her, and that she loved them..

Sheridan said...

Hey! Been meaning to comment for awhile on your birthday posts! Happy belated birthday! Looks like you had an amazing one! There is something wrong with my computer at work that is keeping me from commenting on blogspot blogs. I don't know why that is, but it's frustrating! That's when I normally get caught up on my blog reading. haha! Anyway, wanted to let you know that I'm still reading even if I don't comment as often!

Prashant Tiwari said...

n. I read an interview recently where he said he had served his friend's vegetarian wife chips coated in duck fat, and had not told her, and that she loved them..