On a very hot and humid evening at the end of January, I had the chance to go to a dinner at a Brisbane paleo restaurant. I jumped at the chance.
First of all, let me start by saying this wasn’t just any Brisbane paleo restaurant… it was Asana by Pete Evans. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years you’ll know that Pete Evans is a judge on My Kitchen Rules and an avid paleo lifestyle promoter (remember the whole bone broth for kids saga?).
Anyway, I’ve been curious about paleo for a while now – but it’s probably because I don’t see how I could ever give up my love of complex carbs (I’m looking at you Fettucine Carbonara!) – so I RSVP’d a big fat YES to the dinner invite from Shannon over at Eat Well Travel Often (EWTO). In the end there was a group of about 14 ladies for the dinner.
Because the group was over 10 people, Asana gave us a set menu at $60 per person. The starters and entrees were served to the middle of the table and shared between us. The mains and desserts were presented to us as an alternate drop. Yes, this meant it was up to us to swap with others if we wanted a particular main, but I had fairy godmother with me that night because I got exactly the main and dessert I wanted!
The restaurant can be found on Albert St in the Brisbane CBD, inside the Capri by Fraser hotel. You can enter Asana directly from the street, but the main entrance is in the hotel lobby, just to the right of the front desk. I would suggest using the main entrance, as the hotel lobby itself is something of a visual delight. I loved the book spines sticking out from the walls.
Part of Asana’s kitchen is open view to the patrons, which I love. I was completely mesmerised watching the chef put the finishing garnishes on dishes before the wait staff take it to the intended table. It also meant I could see when our groups dishes were coming, YES!
Our starter was seed crackers with baba ganoush, olive tapenade and duck rillette. When I read that I had a horrible feeling, as the only food I really recognised was the baba ganoush! But I needn’t have worried as it was all very yummy. The seed crackers, are exactly that. Portions of seeds which have been pressed together to make a big piece of food, then roughly broken up. The baba ganoush went beautifully well with the seed crackers and I had several pieces smothered with the baba ganoush. I found the duck rillette to be a bit like a paté and I love paté. My only negative comment about it, was that there wasn’t enough! I am not a fan of olives, so I passed on the olive tapenade, but the other ladies said it was delicious.
Our entrées did not disappoint. A confit leg of duck with papaya, lychee, walnut and orange salad along with a second dish of chargrilled Fremantle octopus with chorizo, smoked pork crips and harissa – DROOLING! My favourite out of these two was the octopus dish. The octopus was cooked perfectly – not tough and chewy – and the chorizo, pork crisps and harissa were the perfect compliment of smoky flavours. The duck was refreshing and light thanks to the papaya, lychee and orange. It was also served as a cold dish which makes it perfect for summer.
Next up was the main course of either roasted barramundi, sweet potato puree, lime and coconut sauce or confit belly of Borrowdale pork, caramelized celeriac, vanilla poached prunes and red cabbage. I was lucky enough to be served the barramundi – which I’d been hoping for. It was cooked to perfection. Barramundi is a white fish, but it’s quite a thick fillet and therefore what looks like quite a smallish piece ends up being enough to fill you. The puree of sweet potatoes with the lime and coconut sauce was both sweet and tart at the same time. The ladies who had the pork belly were equally impressed with a perfect crackle of skin and then melt in your mouth meat.
I am a self-confessed lover of just about all things in the dessert arena, but chocolate is a major weakness for me. Dessert included paleo rocky road with chocolate brownie and toasted nuts or strawberry shortcake with pistachio and coconut yoghurt gelato. I wanted the rocky road and I got it! The plate arrived in front of me and looked almost too good to eat! It ended up being more of a deconstructed rocky road as the pièce de résistance of the dish was the dark chocolate ice cream/ sorbet on a stick – I could’ve easily eaten another one of those! The strawberry shortcake I believe was ok, but it didn’t sound as if it was as good as the rocky road.
All in all it was a fantastic night and a great chance to try something new and have a great chat. If you’re not sure about heading along to this Brisbane paelo restaurant, I would say DEFINITELY go. You certainly won’t regret it. It’s a chance to try eating paleo without having to cook it yourself.
Do you love food or travel, or both together? As mentioned at the start, my invitation to this dinner came from Shannon over at Eat Well Travel Often. She’s a good friend of mine and also happens to be a very passionate food and travel blogger. Over the past 6 months she’s started offering foodie and travel adventures to small groups of people. The dinner at Asana was one of them. Her goal is to have like minded people enjoy relaxing experiences while learning/ trying new things.
Her next event is a weekend getaway in the beautiful town of Maleny, tucked away in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. If you need a getaway to eat great food, meet new people and unwind, definitely check out this blog post about it for more information.