Food in a modern Australian Era

18 06 2010

Looking for a casual location to catch up with a group of friends on a Friday afternoon?  South Brisbane’s award-winning  Era Bistro could well be a place to consider.  Situated in the hub of South Brisbane, on the corner of Merrivale and Melbourne Streets, Era offers an opportunity to relax despite the liveliness of people passing by.  There are a number of options to enjoy this venue with seating inside at the restaurant or around the bar, and on this particular occasion my friends and I chose the al fresco seating.

The setting was chic and contemporary, welcoming and offering a sense of warmth (even outside during Brisbane’s cool winter evenings).  Era prides itself on being able to offer an extensive selection of wines to their guests.  The cellar behind a glass wall exposes the choice of varieties, regions, styles and price points, and makes for an excellent talking point with the pleasant and knowledgeable bar staff as we order drinks. 

Settling in with our first glass of crisp white for the evening, we take time to peruse the mouth-watering tapas menu produced by Executive Chef, Marcus Turner.  We decided on a selection of four tapas from the menu ($22.00) – Lamb pastilla with mint sauce; Goat tagine, spiced couscous and corriander yoghurt; Chickpea polenta ‘panisse’ , ratatouille and basil; and Goujons of flathead with tartare sauce, together with a gourmet pizza of pancetta, roast cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozarella and basil leaves ($16.50).  Era really excels in its food.  Whilst the tapas plate was full of wonderful individual flavours for each of our choices, we were left disappointed with the portions afforded to us and longed for more.  The gap in our tummies was filled, thankfully, by the additional pizza selection.  This meal was more substantial, and although the base did not come across as being freshly-baked, the toppings added freshness making it the perfect accompaniment.

Service throughout was the only real flaw.  On this occasion, the venue was not particularly busy; many patrons had, like us, chosen seating outside.  Our waitress (service attendant, if I am to be particularly politically correct) seemed, at times, unfriendly and disinterested which made it a struggle to get her attention for ordering.  Her absences did allow us to enjoy the fantastic food, and continue to swill away the worries of the week.

All up, Era Bistro deserves its reputation for serving quality modern Australian food and showcasing fine wine for the people of Brisbane. 

Overall rating: 2.5 out of 5

Era Bistro details:
 Address – 102 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane, QLD 
 Food – modern Australian, Mediterranean, Tapas
 Drink – Licensed 
 Prices – Tapas starts at $14.00, Bistro prices range from $9.00 to $43.00.

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