One of the things I sorely missed from my journey down in Melbourne, was the dining experience we had at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. So when my colleague and I decided we needed a quiet dinner to wind down from a hard day’s work, we decided to try Brisbane Sofitel’s Prive 249.
For those unfamiliar with Brisbane’s Sofitel, the hotel is built right on top of Central Train Station, complete with the historical fascade and clock tower intact. There are two parts to the restaurant, one part is seating for patrons of the Thyme Buffet, which I had been to on a previous occasion whereas Prive 249 is situated in a secluded room for a more private dining experience. Upon arrival we were greeted and lead to the private room, where we were seated in a table next to the clock tower, with a little view overlooking Post Office Square.
Due to the fact that we had made an online booking for their set menu our waiter was prompt in taking down our selections.
The setting was elegant and practical, the lone candle really added to the ambiance.
Soon after our selections were noted we were offered complementary bread, to which we orderedthe French loaves and butter. The bread was soft and warm on the inside but crunchy on the outside, I really liked how it was quite substantial and doughy in flavour.. I was pleased the butter was soft allowing for an easy spread.
The first entree we ordered was the Petuna Ocean Trout served with Beetroot, White Chocolate and Horseradish. The trout was fresh and I really enjoyed the texture. I found the white chocolate to be quite nice and delicious, though my colleague was unprepared for the powdery texture. It was definitely one of the more original combinations I've ever tried, and I would have loved for there to have been a bit more fish though.
Our second entree felt much more like a main compared to the Trout. The Pork Belly was served with eggplant, sherry caramel and a date. The eggplant sauce had a thick smooth consistency. The meat was firm and not overly fatty. The skin was crispy but surprisingly thin. I enjoyed the combinations of sauce and found them a pleasant addition to the pork. I particularly enjoyed the large portion of meaty goodness.
Our first main was the Market Fish (Barramundi) served with broccoli, shallots and pink pepper. The fish fillet was broiled with a crispy skin top. The flesh was quite juicy and soft and went well with the puree sauce. I enjoyed the vegetable sides, in particular I found the broccoli well seasoned. and the onion was well caramelized and juicy, which went well with the fish, which combined to create quite a delicious, albeit small, main.
Our second main for the night was the milk fed veal loin which was served with a mix of leek and black cabbage. The portion of veal was quite small, but still exceptionally tender and I liked the creamy but spicy peppercorn sauce that the dish was topped with. It complemented the meats very much with its smooth texture. The cabbage was very tender without being mushy, and the leek gave it quite a bit of extra flavour, which I really enjoyed.
Our first dessert was the strawberry & rose petite gateaux served with almond and blackcurrant. I found the presentation novel and enjoyed the variety of flavours tasty whilst unique. Unfortunately, though ice cream wasn't really the ideal dessert for us during the cold cold winter, although there was redemption with the warmth from the slight tinge of alcohol in the ice cream. What I did really enjoy though, was the cake underneath it was very delicious, being both fluffy and smooth in texture. My companion, really enjoyed the little black currant and cream along the edges for their sharp fruity flavours.
To round off last but not least as a finisher we ordered a selection of Australian and imported cheese that came with a variety of accompaniments such as dried grapes, rice crackers and regular crackers. Not being a fan of blue cheese, I was surprised that this type was quite soft (rather than the usual hard type), and the blue bits were not too overbearing for my tastes. The other two cheeses, being Brie and Camembert were more to my usual liking, being also quite soft and creamy whilst mild in taste. It rounded off the meal quite nicely.
Overall I enjoyed Brisbane Sofitel’s Prive 249 and found the setting and the experience a nice change from the usual hectic pace of the work week. Whilst a bit pricey I consider the experience worthwhile for those keen to have some quiet time to wind down.
Price Range: $50 - $100pp