Thursday, 15 May 2008

Birthday Dinner at Summit Restaurant, Mt Coot-tha

It was my birthday last week and to celebrate my mother, DD and I visited the Summit Restaurant at Mt Coot-tha for dinner. The cake above (a lovely black forest) was a surprise from my workmates during the day for myself and N, who share the same birthday.

We chose to visit Mt Coot-tha because it had a nice celebratory feel to it, and because I have never seen the view from Mt Coot-tha at night. It was absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, while I brought the camera for some food shots, I forgot the camera battery which had been charging. I apologise for my poor little mobile phone pictures.

We were seated in a corner of the indoor section of the restaurant, giving us a beautiful view of the city lights. Unfortunately, the mobile phone does not do it justice. It was like looking over a twinkling Christmas tree. It was quite warm inside the restaurant and it warmed to almost uncomfortably hot and stifling during our meal. I think next time we might try for an outside table.

For starters:

Seared Deep Sea Scallops served on Asian rice noodles with fine vegetables topped with coriander and cashew nut pesto.

This was my entree. I loved the scallops, they were lovely and big. However, I could not taste any coriander or the cashew nut pesto. I added some sweet chilli sauce from DD and mum's entree and that really made the dish. It was great with the extra sweet chilli flavour.

Homemade Baby Spring Rolls filled with vegetables and served with sweet chilli sauce.

DD and Mum shared the six spring rolls and said they were fantastic. DD let me try some of his and I have to agree. They were beautifully light and crispy and really flavourful. They weren't oily or fatty like some spring rolls can be. It was a wonderful dish.

For our mains:

Grilled Wagyu Rump Steak (300g) served with sauteed diced potatoes, green peas and bacon with a caramalised onion compote and red wine reduction.

This was DD's main and he said it was very nice. The potatoes were a little bit undercooked, but not much. He really enjoyed the onion compote and red wine reduction.

Grilled Queensland Hereford Beef and Moreton Bay Bug. Sliced Hereford tenderloin and a grilled Moreton Bay Bug tail on two garlic mash, steamed bok choy with caramelised onion and red wine sauce.

Mum and I both chose this for our mains. I loved it. My steak was cooked as I ordered it (medium rare) and everything was really delicious. I particularly loved the mash and red wine sauce combination, almost more than the bug! Unfortunately, Mum was given two very small discs of steak in her dish, and they were quite overcooked. She also ordered hers medium rare, but these were leaning towards well done. The pieces were so thin that it would be quite easy to overcook them, but the reason we are going to a nice restaurant is so that we get the benefit of a chef's skill. If a diner orders a steak medium rare and the chef chooses a piece of steak too thin to be able to cook it to medium rare, pick another piece of steak to serve!! Mum was quite disappointed with this.

For dessert:

Chocolate Indulgence - chocolate fudge cake with bitter chocolate mousse and triple chocolate icecream served on a pool of chocolate mud.

DD decided to have a go at this plate of chocolatey richness. It was really good, everything a plate of chocolate should be. I loved the chocolate mousse. The mousse was served in a chocolate cup with strawberries. The strawberries tasted quite bitter and they were liberally dressed in icing sugar and a sweet balsamic glaze which DD and Mum did not like. Luckily they were easily removed and the chocolate could be enjoyed uninterrupted.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cup filled with espresso icecream, topped with warm chocolate fudge.

This was my dessert. It was amazingly good. The chocolate chip cookie had a really lovely deep flavour which DD said was too sweet, but I thought it was the perfect foil for the espresso icecream. They were perfect together. I would order this again for the espresso icecream alone, but add the cookie and the fudge, it's heaven!

Before we were served, a couple at the table next to us were receiving their desserts. They looked lovely, and Mum and DD were teasing me about asking him if I could take a photo. While they were doing this, he pulled out his phone and took a photo!!! I felt that he could be a kindred spirit.

Mum ordered a cappucino to have while we ate dessert, unfortunately (again), the coffee didn't arrive until at least 5 minutes after we had finished our desserts.

The food tasted really good and I enjoyed every dish. What was disappointing (apart from Mum's steak) was that the service wasn't as good as I was expecting. We waited a long time for service and then all of a sudden had three different staff asking us for drink orders and then waited a long time for service again. We had empty glasses sitting on our table for the entire meal and they were only removed once Mum's coffee was delivered (again, more than 5 minutes after we had finished eating and were ready to go). I know it seems like a small thing, but it really affected our enjoyment of the meal and it was really disappointing. This was our first night out at a "fancier" restaurant and we felt that our visit was not worth the money we spent on it.

I have since been told that if I want excellent service I need to visit a restaurant that caters for a more corporate clientele rather than the Summit's more celebratory diners. A restaurant that deals with regular diners will provide a better service than one that serves diners that only visit for a special occasion. What are everyone's thoughts on this? Does anyone have a nice restaurant that serves good food and has great service?

Summit Restaurant at Brisbane Lookout
Sir Samuel Griffith Dr
Mt Coot-tha
Ph 07 3369 9922

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