Full disclosure – we were invited to dine at Medusa and try the new spring menu and we were given a reduced price on the menu. I also apologise for the terrible quality of these pictures – it was quite dim at our end of the table.
Medusa is a new fine dining restaurant in Bardon with an amazing view out over Paddington and South West Brisbane. Brisbane food blogger’s and media types were offered a chance to try their degustation menu (with or without matching wines) for a reduced price. J and I decided to head along, with J trying the matching wines and me sticking to a lemon lime and bitters.
The degustation is $95 for 7 courses, and $155 with matching wines. If J’s meal was anything to go by, the pours of wine are very generous.
Chef Minh Le is passionate about sustainability and sources as much free range, organic and local produce as possible. Our evening was the launch of his spring menu.
I’ll summarise each dish, and my thoughts, but as an overall review, both J and I agreed that the menu felt a bit…complicated at times. The food was all beautifully executed and presented, the seafood in particular was gorgeous and fresh. The kitchen clearly have all the techniques and skills down to a fine art. But, I felt that certain courses tried to do too much – there was too much on the plate, too many elements to work together as a cohesive whole. This could also be a taste/style thing – I do tend to prefer dishes that choose a few elements to focus on, and work with the fantastic ingrediants we have at our disposal here in Queensland. I don’t think the issue is a deal breaker. In fact, I think with a few pretty minor tweaks they could easily fix the issues (assuming of course they want to).
My other gripe on the evening was the fact that we were kept waiting nearly an hour after the start time before beginning. This wasn’t entirely the restaurant’s fault – there were at least 6 people who didn’t show up, and there were some others who were a bit late. Obviously the kitchen was holding out in the hope that everyone would arrive. I understand that they had probably prepared for a certain number of people and were hoping to meet their numbers. I think when it’s 30 minutes after the start time for an event, it’s time to get people started – after all, you can probably catch any latecomers up no? The biggest drawback to making us wait was that we didn’t leave until quite late – after 11pm on a school night!
Spring Degustation Menu
Amuse Bouche – White bean and asparagus soup with truffle. This was a beautiful, smooth, flavoursome soup – I love asparagus and I enjoyed this. The truffle was a treat also!
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White asparagus with roasted nuts, quinoa and quail eggs. This course had even more going on in it than is listed – it also had truffle, walnuts, wild rice, macademias… The egg was served cold (I believe this was a deliberate choice) but I must admit I found this a bit offputting.
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Hervey Bay scallops with veal sweetbread, cauliflower puree, chanterelle mushrooms and truffle jus. I was very proud of myself for eating the sweetbreads – I am not normally a big fan of offal, but this was quite tasty. The scallops were absolutely beautiful, but as I said above, we felt there was a lot going on in the dish. Other’s at the table didn’t agree with us on that point though – several people commented that this dish was their favourite.
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Yellowfin tuna marinated in Thai pesto with Mooloolaba prawns, nasturium leaf, asparagus, buckwheat crumble, quinoa, edamame beans and bonito vinaigrette. My main thought with this course was that the pesto overpowered the tuna flavour, but worked perfectly with the prawns. So I’d probably either prefer just prawns in this dish, or that the pesto be served more as a sauce, so you can add as little or as much as you wish. The tuna was beautiful and fresh.
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Cured Cape Grim beef carpaccio with morels, baby split peas, quail egg and pommes souffle. This course was J’s favourite, and probably mine too. The flavours all worked really well together.
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Crispy skin Gooralie pork belly with chilli honey glaze, roasted apple and celeriac puree, sous vide abalone, green papaya crab salad, nuoc cham, edamame beans and salmon roe. Abalone as an ingredient just doesn’t do it for me – and I was a bit confused about why it was in this dish. Each of the elements of this dish had very strong and distinct flavours. They worked better when sampled all together, but on their own were a bit overwhelming.
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Buche d’Affinois with lavosh, quince paste, muscatels, apples and beetroot puree. I’ve yet to meet a cheese platter I didn’t like.
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Raspberries with violet curd, raspberry sorbet, brandy snaps and violet crystals. I really enjoyed this dish – some of the other guests seemed to find it a bit tart, but I enjoyed the combination of raspberries and curd.
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Shop 1, 62 MacGregor Terrace