Have long heard great things about Maeve Wine Bar, situated above Starbucks at South Brisbane and a friend of mine (who should really be paid as their brand ambassador) kept mentioning it to me every time we met up over a meal. With such a strong recommendation for this place, we went there with a small group for a mid week treat after work.
It was extremely lucky that one of our companions had the good sense to book ahead of time, the place was completely packed. We were able to get a nice window seat overlooking the main street. I liked the really dim cozy dining environment.
As you would expect, the wine list was extensive and we had to ask for recommendations before ordering. The food menu was encapsulated within one page, but what we really wanted to do was order one of everything.
Starting off with drinks, one companion had the Madame Maeve with Rum, Grape and Lemon Juice, whilst I had a glass of rose. Both delicious, I found the logo on the glass to also be quite beautiful.
Starting off with complimentary bread and butter, the bread was warm and toasty and the texture was somewhat dense and crumbly, reminding me a bit of corn bread. The charcoal infused butter was creamy and soft to spread.
Our first small plate was the Black garlic waffle with gelatina de vino and Cashel blue parfait. It was super cute and very photogenic. The waffle was fairly dense and fragrant with black garlic with a delightful spring in texture when you bite into it. The swirl of parfait on top was rich and creamy, adding a good dimension to the dish.
When there is Steak tartare on the menu, you know that I will order it. Maeve's take on this iconic dish came with horseradish creme and cured egg yolk served with crisps. Compared to other iterations I've tried before, this was definitely richer due to the abundance of horseradish creme, which in turn gave it an added flavour hit. I liked the fact it was on crisps so as not to fill us up too quickly.
Next up we had the Saganaki with fermented garlic honey and oregano. This came as a highly recommended dish by one of my companions. The cheese was stretchy and decadent, balanced with the sweetness of honey meant that it was still a very rich and luxurious dish.
Of the larger plates, this was the Fava bean and winter vegetable buttermilk cassoulet. Having fairly heavy and rich small plates, this proved to be a really good pick. The vegies were tender and soaked up the broth very well but I would have liked a bit more depth of flavour to the dish.
Our second of the large plates was the meatier Confit duck lasagne al forno. Even though it had a 20 minute wait time, this was well worth it. There was a very generous amount of duck in the lasagne and it went surprisingly well with the napoli sauce. There was a good amount of bechamel on top but we would definitely have liked it if there was a bit more cheese on top.
We also shared two desserts between our group, this was the Saffron rum baba with spiced creme patissiere. I found it to be fairly sweet, the rum had infused deep into the patissiere, giving it a moist spongy texture. The spiced creme was nicely balanced with the dish.
Our second dessert and final dish was the Scorched meringue, dark chocolate and pernod sorbet and whipped honey. Rich and decadent, the chocolate was extremely intense. I found the dessert to be unbelievably sweet and could barely finish my portion of it.