I’ve fallen hard for Gerard – Gerard’s Bistro Brisbane
Gerard’s Lane, 14 / 15 James St Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
Head Chef: Ben Williamson
Awards: 1 hat
Gerard’s Bistro is an unassuming dining destination surrounded by dense blocks of concrete and off a laneway that is tucked away in an blink-and-you-will-miss-it location in the James Street dining precinct in Fortitude Valley. Once you have found it, it is a curious menu that will surprise and delight you. The venue is almost austere if it wasn’t for the wall mosaics, Moroccan tiling and warm tones throughout (including the impressive bathrooms).
This is my third dining experience at Gerard’s and it still stuns me that they are one hat and not two, they deserve it for their creative and somewhat challenging take (lamb brains and sweetbreads) on Middle-Eastern cuisine. It is a reflection of a confident chef that no table has salt & pepper planted on it, it is never needed
Gerard’s Bistro’s Head Chef, Ben Williamson (ex Urbane, The Euro, Cha Cha Char and 1889 Enoteca) deftly creates a diverse and seasonal menu that stands out in Brisbane. His confidence in combining flavours – from yoghurt & rose to blood morcilla & warm tahini is both clever and very exciting. The menu is designed to share with small through to robust dishes with some nice sides.
There is repetition on the menu, which would usually irk me, but it just makes sense. ‘Smoke’ is present in many dishes including the octopus, broccolini, sweetbreads, duck breast, cauliflower dishes. Yoghurt , almond, perilla and kishk are also repeated across the menu. The stand out dishes were the ‘Coal-grilled octopus, green strawberry, butter, almond, chilli, smoke‘, ‘Bekaa wings, kishk yoghurt, rose‘ and ‘Confit southern squid, mussels, hazelnut milk, warrigal greens and kishk‘.
Gerard’s Bistro is one of the best restaurants in Brisbane and well worth challenging your palette with the exotic flavour combinations. After three dates, I’ve fallen hard for Gerard’s.