Whilst in Brisbane for Eat Drink Blog ’14, my sole touristy goal was to visit GOMA, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. I find modern art galleries generally miss the mark for me – perhaps I’m just not sophisticated enough – but I spent most of my first day in Brissy wandering the minimalist white and concrete halls admiring the collections.
Later at the conference, when I mentioned I’d visited GOMA, there was always a bit of confusion until I clarified that I’d visited the gallery, not the restaurant (typical foodies!). Usually I avoid cafes and restaurants at places like these as they tend to be mediocre tourist traps, but I was assured that this was one not to miss out on – and the current menu would be ending that weekend. After hearing rumours of a group lunch on the Sunday after hanging out with the bees, I was helped to gatecrash by the lovely Jemima of Feed Your Soul Perth, and sat down to a three course meal especially for the Harvest exhibition.
It was the only super fancy meal that I treated myself to whilst in Brisbane, and it was a good choice. With a focus on native ingredients and an artistic flair, the meal was intriguing and exquisite. The nice thing about dining with a group of food bloggers is there’s almost an unspoken rule to not all order the same thing, take photos of everything before eating, and pass around tastes for everyone to try.
Too much time has passed for me to give more than general impressions, but the absolute standout for me was my dessert, ordered thanks to a handy tip from Anthony of FoodMeUpScotty). It came to the table looking like a brown, slightly wavy plate with two lines of dots drawn in it.
But as explained by the waitress, underneath was wattle custard which was then sprayed completely with Daintree chocolate paint and dotted with vanilla curd, giving a textural appearance reminiscent of the Australian desert and referencing Indigenous art. It was beautiful, surprising and most importantly a joy to eat. I’m not ashamed to say that I scraped every scrap of chocolate paint off of that bowl.
Parts of this menu, including the wattle custard dessert, appear to still be on the menu at the GOMA restaurant – worth the splurge! Don’t forget to check out the gallery, even if you’re not usually a modern art fan, as there’s plenty to see.