Queensland's taste of the Euro

A solo dining affair at a funky Brisbane eatery – one with an intriguing design aesthetic – revealed some interesting flavours, including fossilised carrots.

Australia's favourite food blogger, Not Quite Nigella, finds out that dining alone isn't always so bad at a casual Queensland restaurant.

There is one thing I never do when I eat out. It’s dine alone. Call it extreme self consciousness combined with the fact that the best meals to me are the ones shared with friends or in company. My mind automatically thinks that people will stare (and let’s face it they stare enough when the camera comes out) and they may think "Poor girl, she has no friends.” I know it’s silly, after all many people who travel dine solo. But just not me.

Until tonight. Through lack of organisation on my part I find myself in Brisbane one evening without a date.

The Euro is the more casual version of the 10-year-old restaurant Urbane, which is a fine dining affair (complete with a dessert degustation-lust!). Sitting side by side, The Euro has an attractive design with a metal door with cut-outs of knives, carrots, duck and pretty much anything you might find on their menu there. The design aesthetic goes through to their menus and coasters which feature a genuine Russian matchbox cover.

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Listed under amuse bouche, this course, usually complimentary, the amuse is an item that you pay for (I think they’d do better listing this under appetiser). These are more substantial than a typical amuse though which often fits in a shot glass and these are more tapas style sizes.

The veal carpaccio is appealingly pink centred with carrots in several forms: dried carrot and carrot jam and fossilised carrots. What? Fossilised carrots? Yes, not carrots dug up from prehistoric times, instead they’re carrots that have been kept in a calcium dioxide solution for 24 hours to have all of their pectin removed. They then add moisture back into the carrots and scrape out the inside and then the outer is deep fried and served to give the dish crunch.

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A gift from the kitchen this is apparently not on the menu which is a shame as it’s really good. The Hervey Bay scallops are succulent and plump and are topped and tailed with thin slices of granny smith apple and topped with deep-fried chicken skin. Don’t get me started on chicken skin, I love the stuff and all three elements work well together and they do need each other to balance the crunchiness, sweetness and tanginess.

The main came out next and it was red emperor fish, succulent and tender with a sprinkling of garlic chives and splodges of potato puree and a ragu of crisp duck leg with mushrooms. As much as I loved the simplicity of the fish (and that’s how I love fish done) the ragu totally won me over with its rich flavours from the double duck stock, thyme, garlic and butter.

A pre-dessert was very refreshing with the lemon balm sorbet, thin slices of granny smith apple and marjoram.

NQN dined as a guest of The Euro and travelled to Queensland as a guest of Tourism Queensland.

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