Bistro One Eleven

If you work in Brisbane city, you might have been watching this particular building go up – One One One Eagle Street. In fact, you’ve probably seen it lit up like there are bolts of lightning running down its length. It is now the tallest office building in Brisbane and apparently cost AUD$700 million to build.

Yah, I gasped at that figure too.

Aside from its 44 levels of premium office space, One One One Eagle Street is also home to one of Brisbane’s newest bistro, Bistro ONE Eleven. Owner Philip Johnson and head chef Damien Draper recently opened its doors and I was invited to an intimate dinner to sample their menu offerings.

My first impression of Bistro ONE Eleven was the indulgence of space.

Designed by Cox Rayner, the restaurant is tucked on the building’s ground floor facing George Street. Its glass walls that curve around the bistro provided an ample view of the comings and goings of the street below and the sheer lack of an immediate ceiling almost provides a sense of reverence, almost like a cathedral might.

The furnishings are dark sombre blacks and browns, adding to the sense of serious brisk business lunches and mature dinner dates, without the pomp and fanciness.

That said,  Bistro ONE Eleven still stays true to  Philip’s philosophy of  simple yet stunning dishes with  fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared and served without complication.

Sommelier, Alan Hunter apparently works the lunch shift at Bistro ONE Eleven. To start the evening, I picked out the Botrytis riesling – a 2011 Framingham ‘noble’ from Marlborough, New Zealand. I only recently discovered Botrytis rieslings and adore their golden honeyed sweetness. I try not to think about how they are made with Botrytis cinerea.

Cured pork loin, fennel, radish & mustard fruits. AUD$16


Wagyu bresaola, horseradish cream & brioche. AUD$16


Seasonal oysters & fresh lemon. ½ doz $21. dozen $39

Chicken liver parfait pedro zimenez, cornichons, apple & currant chutney. AUD$16

Our table opted to share a selection of little bites, while perusing the menu. I enjoyed the punchiness robustness of the black pudding & rouille (AUD$16), which might not be for everyone.

A much tamer chicken liver parfait pedro zimenez, cornichons, apple & currant chutney (AUD$16) makes for a brilliant alternative – having to scoop out the chicken liver parfait adds a little bit of naughtiness in the act of ‘stealing’ a treat out of the jar. Have the apple and currant chutney sparingly though, it’s quite sweet and can overpower the delicate creaminess of the parfait.

Oh, and yes, the fresh oysters from Coffin Bay did not last very long at all.

Salad of pear, fennel, goats curd & dukkah. AUD$19

For an entrée, our waiter Chris recommended the salad of pear, fennel, goats curd & dukkah. Thus far I’ve had apple and grapes in salads (not so keen on watermelon salad), and pear is definitely not a bad salad addition. The pear was not as sweet as I had hoped, but the creamy goats curd and pungent dukkah made up for its lack of presence.

Risotto, pumpkin, salted ricotta, sage & walnut beurre noisette. AUD$19


Slow cooked trout, leeks, sprouts, celeriac purée & champagne velouté. AUD$32


Wagyu carpaccio, artichoke pesto, buffalo mozzarella & olive. AUD$19


Confit chicken leg, du puy lentils cotechino & basil pistou. AUD$19


200g wagyu minute steak, fries, bearnaise, green peppercorn & cognac sauce. AUD$32


Organic chicken, peas, lettuce, bacon & gremolata. AUD$32

I did a tiny trade to taste the organic chicken, peas, lettuce, bacon & gremolata. When lightly brushed with the herb loaded gremolata (which I seemed to dictate mint perhaps?), the succulent chicken might be the perfect comfort food for those in-between season days.

Gippsland lamb rump & neck, nicoise salad & quail egg. AUD$32

But I think I did very well with my choice of the Gippsland lamb rump & neck, nicoise salad & quail egg. The more charred ends of lamb tricked me into thinking it might’ve been beef, but the juicy pink centre was not as cunning.

There wasn’t much braised neck on the plate, which was a bit of a shame as what little of the flesh I did taste fell apart and had much more flavour than the lamb itself. It was a little bit dry, forcing me to press some of the creamy quail egg with every bite to help ease the chewing.

Desserts came out and everyone around the table go to share. Sharing desserts is the best dining practice in the world – you get to sample everything and share the calories all around.

Almond doughnuts, blood orange & almond ice cream. AUD$14


Lemon & ricotta cake, milk gelato & candied lemon. AUD$14


One eleven ice creams & sorbets. AUD$14


Panettone, christmas pudding ice cream & brandy cream. AUD$14


Passionfruit rice pudding, poached pineapple & iced coconut. AUD$14

My favorites were the  christmas puddinglemon & ricotta cake, and the One Eleven ice creams & sorbets.

Bistro ONE Eleven‘s version of the Christmas pudding is delightfully light and sinful with all the Christmas trimmings, without the weight and regret of too much sugar. I want this version every Christmas! The same goes for their lemon & ricotta cake, which I would’ve been happy to polish off on my own.

As for the One Eleven ice creams & sorbets, these are definitely not vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. I cannot recall all three flavours, but I recall one of them containing ‘cognac’. Yes please!

And just for kicks, if you get this guy as your waiter, you’re in for a treat. Chris was charming and attentive, quick to describe every dish as if he knew them intimately. Oh, and he spoke some Polish.

Overall, Bistro ONE Eleven provided a lovely dining experience, well suited to the grandeur of its lavish surroundings at One One One Eagle Street. It might not be an everyday experience, but certainly worth a visit if you’re looking for a great place to have an important business lunch or dinner date in the city.

I also recommend heading up one floor to check out the view of the Story Bridge from the office lobby and lounge in one of the chairs surrounding the boutique Espresso Bar. You won’t believe how much those chairs cost.


Bistro One Eleven on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: I dined at Bistro ONE Eleven as an invited guest.