Our birthday dinner at bacchus

I love my fine dining!  Going out to lovely restaurants is one of those little pleasures in life that mean the most to me… and even more so now that we have two small children and I’m busy with this growing business!  My husband and I once went to dinner 3-4 times a week (well not fancy places all the time, but still out and about with table service!) – we now average dinner out twice a year.  Without fail we go out for our wedding anniversary in June, and then fortunately or unfortunately our birthdays are 5 days apart so we now consolidate babysitting to celebrate once for both birthdays!

It was birthday time for us in early October and this year, as we are on a bit of a degustation thing at the moment, we decided to try out Bacchus in Rydges Southbank.  I spent what felt like hours pouring over menus online from several great Brisbane restaurants and finally settled on the Bacchus degustation and we certainly weren’t disappointed.

When we arrived we were promptly greeted and asked if we would like a pre-dinner drink by the bar.  No one has to ask us twice if we are interested in drinking so we obliged and wandered out to the  poolside bar.  As I don’t get out much these days, it’s no surprise that I had never been to their poolside bar.  I’d seen the promo pictures and thought what a lovely, swanky space it looked like for perhaps a classy pre-wedding get together.  As I’ve frequented the bars of Vegas a bit I was putting it in that basket before heading along.

On first impressions the bar is lovely – a great relaxing atmosphere with the stock standard “loungy house” tunes playing (sorry I can’t think of any other better way to describe it!!).  To be completely honest I think this space would actually be better without the pool!!!  The pool is set up high with this massive wall of white tiles around it.  We ordered our drinks and took a seat next to the pool – from a high stool I couldn’t even see into the pool – we just had the white wall of tiles behind us.  I couldn’t help but think about how amusing it would be if there were actually people swimming up in that pool while we all sit around looking important beside them in their speedos!! I desperately want to bring them some giant potted palms and set up some moroccan inspired Cabanas to really give the area some warmth but hey that’s just me (and maybe it gets too windy for that sort of thing).

After enjoying our drink and chat it was time for us to head in for dinner.  The decor inside Bacchus is simply stunning – it just oozes class and style but without being over the top.  We sat near the back wall that had little recessed shelves displaying various decorative pieces.  The lighting was stunning creating a wonderful mood and I loved the art deco inspired furniture.

To be honest, I didnt even look through their regular menu as my mind was already made up, although my hubby did flick through the wine list and had a little choke over some 5 digit price tags – craaaaazy!!!

As each of the 8 courses came out with their matching wines we were taken on a gastronomic journey.  It is very hard for me to even choose my favourite dish as they were all done so well (even the vegetarian course they slipped in that I’m usually not ever a fan of!).  If I had to pick some favourites I’d say the cured kingfish was divine with it’s hint of smokiness, and when paired with their matching wine it all just melted in your mouth.  The rabbit was also a suprise winner for me. I’m not generally a game meat fan, but the flavours of the sauce had so much depth that it removed the really gamey taste and was utterly enjoyable.

Every dish was plated to perfection – little dollops of flavour throughout each plate seem to be their signature style and the dishes really did look as stunning visually as they tasted!

For dessert lovers, you don’t miss out here either with two desserts as part of the degustation menu.  Firstly a lemon dessert, followed by chocolate and I’m going to break with the general consensus and say that the lemon dessert was my favourite (although look at the incredible detail in the chocolate dessert which is shown above!!!).

It is only now that I’m going back through the menu online that I’ve realised that we never got the coffee and petit fours that was on the menu 🙁 Perhaps because the entire dining experience spanned 3 hours and they were just keen to pack up and go home!   I must admit it didnt feel like 3 hours as there was a constant flow of food and wines and I guess having good company also helps!

All in all I couldn’t recommend Bacchus highly enough.  If ever you are looking for a great restaurant for a celebration be sure to consider it.  If you too are a bit of a degustation fan I can also highly recommend Reserve Restaurant in Milton (where we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary earlier this year!).