Cove Bar & Dining, River Quay, South Brisbane

4:43:00 PM

Cove Bar and Dining lies among South Bank's river quay with the views of the Brisbane river right in front of you while you dine. Having a laid back dining in an elegant surrounding, this restaurant offers dishes from breakfast to having a romantic riverside dinner or even for gatherings or parties. What highlights the restaurant would have to be its view of the river.
A new app has launched in November offering members a bottle of award winning wine when dining at participating restaurants and this new app is called 'Free Wines'. The participating restaurants rangers from local restaurants to hatted restaurants which suits everyone who simply love to eat. Did I mention that this was available Australia wide? So whether you are in New South Wales or Queensland, South Australia or Victoria, there will be participating restaurants available. Last of all, the best thing about this app is that it is free.. Yes, I am not kidding. It costs nothing to download nor do you have to buy it to be able to experience it. Imagine dining at a restaurant whilst being able to be treated to a complimentary bottle of vino of red or white of your choice.
After having clicked on the restaurant, we would then choose our wine out of two choices, Clairault Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot or First Creek Chardonnay, in which we chose the red wine to have. It took a while for the waitress to bring the wine over to the table but it didn't really bother us as we were enjoying the view while sipping on water.
Clairault Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Margaret River, Western Australia (5 Star rated winery) consists of perfumes of cedar and blackcurrant with hints of clove and tobacco leaf lead to a savoury, dry, long palate with gentle tannins.
To start off our meal, 'Salt n Pepper Squid' ($19.5) consists of marinated baby squid, deep fried with saffron salt and pepper served with a passionfruit sweet chilli sauce. What intrigued us at first when it arrived was how bright yellow the batter or crumb was in which I thought that they may have tried something different by maybe using tumeric but in terms of the squid meat, it was very thick and chewy which was delicious and juicy. It is always quite upsetting when you buy Salt and Pepper squid and find that most of it would be the crumb or the batter but only thin meat in the middle. The passionfruit sweet chilli was quite interesting in a way but I didn't find it anything wow.
Another starter we decided to share is 'Tum Yum Mushrooms Arancini' ($15.5) which I thought was quite different combining tom yum and mushrooms together as an Arancini. Deep fried risotto balls with their 2014 chilli cook off award winning chilli paste, mushrooms and fresh herbs served with roasted garlic aioli.
The chilli paste allowed the Arancini balls to be slightly spicier than I thought but not too much, the risotto was cooked nicely and with the combination of the mushrooms, it made this starter to not feel as heavy as it should be with the usual arancini you would eat. Do be careful when you take a bite of it as it can get very hot in the middle. The mushrooms seemed to have been diced thinly allowing it to somehow get absorbed into the risotto not allowing its individual taste and chewiness to shine amongst the other elements.
However, one downside would be that there wasn't enough garlic aioli for all the arancini balls. Although it was placed underneath the balls, it might have been a better idea to put it in a small saucer on the side or just put more sauce. The micro herbs was very cute and gave the whole dish a nice elegant touch. As you can see from the photo below, you are able to see that it has been created nicely with a thin layer of crumb and the risotto and filling inside.
'Twice Cooked Crispy Pork Belly' ($34) was one of the mains that caught my eye as it said it was a Twice cooked crispy pork belly served with apple and parsnip puree, roasted root vegetables with house made jus. I've tried twice cooked crispy pork belly before and was one of the best and so far, no other restaurants have beaten that succulent, juicy taste. So, I wondered if this would blow me away..
The crispy skin was crackling but made it hard to cut through the meat along with the skin, resulting in having to cut the meat first then forcefully try to knife through the skin but if not, then it would resort to biting it. The pork belly meat was juicy and mixed in well with the jus. The various vegetables was a delight with a mixture of potato and sweet potato and so on.
What I enjoyed other than the roughly thick cut vegetables was the apple and parsnip puree which I thought was quite interesting as it did not have an overpowering sweetness from the apple as it was well balanced. Unfortunately, the twice cooked crispy pork belly was yum, but still did not blow me away to make it my no. 1 twice cooked pork belly.
'100 Day Grain Fed Rib Fillet' ($34) weighed 300g which was quite big in size served with rosemary roasted stew potatoes, honey carrot puree and garlic buttered kale with red wine jus. Presented beautifully, it was interesting how you are able to see the outlining of the jus and the puree and how they were able to not fully get mixed up together. The brightness of the carrot puree allowed the dish to have a hint of bright colour.
The rib fillet was cooked well however there were quite a bit of fats around it which we ended up leaving it aside but the steak was complemented with the stew potatoes and also the puree. I found that what made this dish quite unique was not the potatoes nor was it the kale, but the honey carrot puree.
Imagine having to dine at a restaurant and even by ordering only two mains let's say and a bottle of wine.. just imagine how much that would've cost in total. By having to be able to order a free wine to accompany your meal with your loved ones, it's not how much money you save that matters, but it shows how there are people out there who do care about the diners and their experiences, allowing them to not only enjoy but also being able to try and taste various wines which would allow us to buy one of our own next time. So, I do suggest you all download this superb app and try it while you can.

*mynameisFood. dined as a guest at Cove Bar and Dining to experience using the Free Wine App provided by Zenith Wine Agencies, however, all opinions and reviews are my own.

Cove Bar & Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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