Spring Restaurant in the Brisbane CBD

The SO has visited Spring on a number of occasions for work dinners, often returning home with promises we should go there – just the two of us.

“You’ll love it!” will inevitably fall from his lips.

Uh-huh. I have heard about the recent change in chef (previously Andrew Clarke, now Kym Machin), so was wondering if the experience would now differ for the SO. Whereas I was going with a fresh eyes (and tongue).

At first impression, Spring gets great big ticks for its refreshing bright decor style. High ceilings with crisp white furnishings provide a sense of airy-ness and almost French country chic-ness. It is quite a gorgeous atmosphere one could take for romantic or just relaxing.

I did however raise an eyebrow at how starched the napkins were. They were almost as stiff as cardboard, with barely enough give to drape it over the lap and hardly the thing to press against your lips.

The Spring menu concept is to move with the seasons and feature Australian produce. That almost guarantees there will be something different being offered the next time you visit.

On the flip side of the coin, this also means you had best not fall too deeply in love with any one particular dish, as the SO had. He had faint hope of sharing a chocolate disc dessert he had last time with me, but the sweetheart still asked if there was an inkling of a chance it could be recreated in the kitchen (answer was a negative).

Duck liver parfait, raisin chutney, toasted brioche. AUD$14

To my knowledge, a ‘parfait’ is a frozen dessert. In Tokyo, it usually has strawberries, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and all sorts of other sugary concoctions. I never knew it could also refer to a very smooth meat paste flavoured with liqueur.

We ordered the duck liver parfait to start and weren’t expecting quite as large a slab as the one that was presented before us. It was about 10cm x 10cm x 1cm, which I was thrilled with. This stuff was smooth and gloriously delicious, especially when paired with the sweet raisin jelly disc perched on top and smeared all over a soldier of toasted brioche.

The toasted brioche

I love brioche. It’s not a particularly healthy bread/pastry, but gosh, it’s lovely when it’s done right – light, fluffy and rich. Adding a slight char to these brioche soldiers added a lovely crunchy interest.

My only complaint would be we needed more of these toasted brioche soldiers. Three are nowhere near enough for slathering the parfait on top and I was left to licking my knife – hardly ladylike (ha!).

Baby snapper, curry crust, fennel, tomato, aromatic mussel broth. AUD$29

The SO’s comments about his main of baby snapper were:

  1. The snapper was cooked perfectly.
  2. He didn’t taste the curry in the crust – just a whole lot of breadcrumbs. He would have been happy to have done without the crust.
  3. The broth was flavourful, but could have been warmer.

Local picked crab, tomato, basil, chilli, angel hair pasta. AUD$28


 

I was certainly looking forward to my angel hair pasta with crab and chilli. This mini neat pile of pasta came a little undone when a slight breeze flipped one of the basil leaves over – those leaves were huge!

I was not particularly wow-ed by this dish. The chilli spice was perfect – hot enough to tingle, not hot enough to make your nose run. The crab flesh was chunky (yes!), rather than flaked through the pasta. But the pasta itself was almost bordering on becoming gluggy. Maybe with the weather so chill, the pasta was cooling too quickly and resulted in that ho-hum texture.

Chocolate profiteroles, chocolate mousse, salted caramel. AUD$13

For dessert, we ordered the chocolate profiteroles. Our waiter asked if we had had them before and explained they would be rather crispy, but oozy on the inside when we replied we hadn’t.

What he should have said was that these profiteroles have less choux pastry one would normally expect from a profiterole, and has a much more delightful crunchy cookie/biscuit topping. It reminded me of Japan’s melon-pan, which is a bun dough covered in a thin layer of crisp cookie dough. This however is a stratosphere better – it’s filled with chocolate mousse!

Once we were done licking the plate clean of salted caramel and chocolate, our waiter asked how it went. Isn’t the empty plate evidence enough? I squeaked ‘More!’ as he took it away with a smile.

Overall, the entreé and dessert were the stars of dinner, but we had either picked the wrong mains or the chef’s not having a great day.

Service was fantastic. We didn’t wait long from order to food arrival. Our waiter was attentive without being clingy (nothing puts me off my meal more than a wait person constantly interrupting) and seemed happy enough to answer our questions.

So overall, what did we think of Spring? Lovely for an intimate dinner for two or a warm happy group of four. We would definitely come again to try whatever the next season brings to Spring.

 

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