When in search of a great restaurant in an unknown territory, I'd often flip through the Gourmet Traveller restaurant guide. In no time, I was deciding between Restaurant Two (two out of three stars, ranked 49th in Australia and 3rd in Brisbane) and E'cco (two stars, ranked 37th in Australia and 1st in Brisbane).
The choice was easy... and E'cco did not disappoint.
Once seated, I felt an immediate warmth and ease. The staff were adorably dressed in blue and white stripped butcher aprons and buzzed in and out of the open kitchen. The restaurant's bare timber tables and clean cut glass panels were reminiscent of the former tea warehouse... glowing and lively. Soon, we were offered to choose a slice of bread from a rather huge basket. There was sourdough of all sorts... including this gorgeous olive blend, pictured below.
Zen opted for the seared prawns as an entree which were juicy and plump and were served with a fool-proof combination of potatoes and avocado. There was an unique twist with fennel, watercress and saffron.
Seared prawns, sauteed potatoes, fennel, watercress, avocado, saffron and vanilla beurre blanc
My entree left me speechless. The grilled quail was so tender and flavoursome... the blue cheese souffle was aromatically delicate and the salad of pear, hazelnut and truffle honey was amazing. In fact, if someone had me on one of those strict salad only diets, I would gladly choose this one as my daily meal. The three elements together formed one of the tastiest entrees ever! I might have even preferred double the servings as a main!
Grilled quail, blue cheese souffle, pear, hazelnut and truffle honey
Wagyu flank steak, paris mash broccolini, king mushrooms and morel sauce
For main course, Zen had the wagyu which looked ever so hearty and delicious. I naturally selected the pork belly which was unusually sliced -although thankfully, the crackling still remained crisp on each piece. I loved the addition of pomegranate seeds which I believe is an ingredient not used often enough. It proved to be an impressive adaptation of the pub pork roast with apple sauce.
Roast pork belly, caramelised pear puree, potato fondant, chard and pomegranate jus
I also couldn't go without a side order of these golden crunchy chips and aioli...
Side order of chips and aioli
Affogato al caffe, Frangelico and biscotti
Lastly... dessert. There was a generous shot of Frangelico in the affogato and I learnt that lavender was edible and a fabulous mix with white chocolate... although the pastry was thin and unlike those at Bourke Street Bakery, of which I am addicted to. But overall, I thought E'cco was great! A quality, genuine, no-bullshit type of bistro.
Baked white chocolate & lavender tart, honey ice-cream and lavender tuilles
100 Boundary Street (Corner of Adelaide Street) Brisbane