Lyrebird QPAC ~ Art of Wine Series: Beer vs Wine

20 Apr

Timbob had his 30th this week. Lucky for us, he was given two tickets to the recent ‘The Art of Wine Series’ dinner at the Lyrebird Restaurant, QPAC. This dinner’s theme was ‘Beer vs Wine’ and boy oh boy, what a wonderful selection for both teams.

I have to say, I’ve never dined at the Lyrebird before and I have heard some unfavourable comments made in its regard. Well we were pleasantly surprised by some of the wonderful dishes that we received throughout the night.

5 courses, 5 Beers, 5 wines, and a good amount of banter between the QPAC’s resident wine curator Tony Harper, and ‘Head Beer Coach’ and beer connoisseur Matt Kirkegaard (host of Good Beer Lunches).

As we arrived at the Lyrebird we were greeted professionally by the maitre d’ and welcomed by the waiter with a champagne flute of the Deus Brut des Flandres, a beer… that’s right. This beer in particular had been brewed in a similar fashion to champagne (and actually in the champagne region).  The challenger, Louis Roederer NV.

Deus Brut ~ Champagne style Beer

The canapés served with the starter round ~ Micro herb salad w almond vinaigrette & blue cheese, and a Foie Gras ice cream w beetroot snow & maple syrup. Unfortunately the almond vinaigrette was lost in the herbs and blue cheese, and as exciting as the Foie Gras ice cream canapé sounded the flavour, for me, was a little too subtle and the beetroot snow flavourless. The beverages were definitely the exciting element for the first course and the Louis Roederer NV was the best suited to the dishes based on my palette.

First course ~ Stone & Wood Pacific Ale vs Neudorf Riesling served w a Seafood Basket and edible sand. Now this dish was definitely the most exciting for me over the night. The flavours and textures were skilfully executed, and the the presentation was beautiful. If I had to be picky, the cockles and mussel might of been a touch overcooked. It was hard to pick a winner this round. The edible sand was a salt and pepper flavoured dehydrated mix. So when eating the dish without the sand the wine was a perfect match, but once the taste of the salt and pepper entered the palette Stone & Wood was the clear winner.

Seafood Basket ~ without the basket

Pork Belly w Prawn toast & Coriander Puree

Second Course ~ Bridge Road Chevalier Saison vs Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay served w Crispy skin pork belly, prawn toast & a coriander puree. Another lovely dish, the pork belly was absolutely delicious with a perfect crackling on top. For me, the Saison was the better of the two matches, but this was another close fight on votes overall.

Third Course ~ White Rabbit Dark Ale vs Running with the Bulls Tempranillo served with a Venison tenderloin w beetroot and cocoa, peanut & vanilla crumble. Unfortunately this dish, although nice, was just not as exciting as the previous two. The flavours were earthy and tart, but still kind of pedestrian. For me, the White Rabbit was a clear winner for this dish.

Venison w Beetroot and Cocoa, Peanut and Vanilla Crumble

Fourth Course ~ Baltic Rum Barrel Porter vs Pedro Ximenez served with a Chocolate Marquee, Chocolate Soil and Salted Carmel. Another ‘just ok’ dish for me. I suppose if the quality and skill of the dishes had been served around the other way, I would of continued to be impressed. It was just very hard for the final few dishes to live up to expectations after the first two wonderful ones. Saying that, the salted caramel sauce was delicious and the chocolate complemented the Pedro Ximenez perfectly.

Chocolate Marquee, Chocolate Soil and Salted Caramel

Approximately 30 guests for the evening’s affair. The final vote was….. Beer for the win 4/5 courses! (my personally tally was Beer ftw 3/5)

Surprised quite a few, but all in all it was great to see beer getting its chance to shine in a fine dining setting.

I highly recommend ‘The Art of Wine Series’ for a night of good food, great wine, and great company. The Lyrebird Restaurant’s service throughout the night was flawless and friendly and the food, presented by QPAC Executive Chef Anthony Fullerton & Lyrebird Chef Jamie Pearce was delicious and inspired at times.

Food: 3.5        Drink: 4.5        Service: 4.5        Ambience: 3.5

Lyrebird Restaurant

QPAC Ground Floor,
Melbourne Street
Southbank Brisbane

07  3840 7598

Lunch ~ Open from 11.30
Dinner ~ Open for pre-show dinner from 5.00pm

Lyrebird Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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