The Chelsea Bistro, The Barracks, Petrie Terrace, Brisbane

2:54:00 PM

A french inspired bistro, where old meets new takes you back into those Parisian bistro and with a Modern Australian menu with a french twist, you wonder what is in store for you not only by reading the menu but also having that anxiousness in how your dish will look when it arrives on your table.

A funny thing happened with this particular review, I had lost all the photos somehow and found it in the end but then, it took me so long to actually try and find the menu during the time I had dined here because of course, without the names of the dishes, what good would it be for a review? And so, I searched high and low for it and finally found it. No, not online as you would know menu do changes occasionally but instead, in another folder in one of my many many files. So, this is why this review is up, very very late and I do apologize for the delay in the review of this bistro but better late then never right? Plus, I just thought that this deserved a review, not only because I had pretty photos of the food we ate that day but also that it would be a waste for me to just leave it be hanging there in a folder untouched..
'Stone & Wood' Pacific Ale ($9.5)
'Char-grilled baby octopus' ($10) served with fried quinoa and apple salsa verde does sound to be quite an interesting combination. Having the fishyness and the smoky flavour with a light and fluffy quinoa as well as fresh apple salsa, so how do they balance each other? how do they compliment each other you may ask? Interestingly enough, they worked quite well together however I did find the fried quinoa to be somewhat kind of weird in a way as well as a bit dry and bland.
Of course, the char-grilled baby octopus was great, it had the smoky flavour and taste as well as being moist and chewy on the inside but yet having the burnt bits on the outside allowing the fishyness to not be as strong as it should be. It is nice to see that the baby octopus weren't chopped up nor were they cut up into pieces and were instead as a whole or cut in half or so. The apple salsa verde was also done nicely as it allowed you to have the refreshing crunchy apple taste, more so some kind of neutralising your tastebuds after eating the char grilled baby octopus, not leaving you with a strong taste of the char-grilled instead.
'Wood-Smoked Salmon' ($21) with pickled beetroot, chevre mousse and walnuts was a dish in the Light Meals section of the menu. I was expecting it to have a smaller portion so we were quite happy with the size of their so-called Light Meals. Of course, a light meal is not meant to make you fully full but then it shouldn't also leave your tummy grumbling after you have finished eating. Presented beautifully on a rectangle white plate, although simple but eye-catching.
The wood smoked salmon was nicely done, not overcooked nor undercooked however there was a lack of the smoky smell, taste and flavour. You know when you have something wood-smoked, you can sometimes have that little smell or smoky flavour, well here, it was very subtle, it didn't seem as if it was smoked at all. The pickled beetroot created a nice balance as well as the cherry tomatoes. The walnuts gave the crunchy element throughout the dish allowing the smooth salmon meat as well as the pickled beetroot and the acidity of the cherry tomatoes to have a nice balance.
A simple meal without any sauce or such having each of the ingredients bringing something different in every bite. To be honest, it would have been nice if there were more chevre mousse as that seemed to be more of the sauce or dip that you may be able to glide the salmon or the other elements with so that it gives a different taste. I did find the pickled beetroot to be quite strong and overpowered the salmon.
'French Fries' ($9) with Chipotle Aioli
'Sirloin 180gm' ($16) with shoestring fries and Cafe de Paris butter. When it was presented, it reminded me of those Minute Steaks that you can order sometimes in restaurants, of course, there aren't that many around here but furthermore, the Sirloin was cooked slightly undercooked than what we had asked. The shoestring fries were just shoestring fries however, it would've been nice to have a bit of herbs or some pepper on it rather than just salty fries. Although, the good thing was that it wasn't too salty.
The Cafe de Paris butter had already melted by the time the dish had arrived on our table which was a shame and it would have been nice if there were abit more or placed on the side for us to actually be able to spread the butter around the steak as the butter had only melted on one area of the steak and left the rest dry. It was a nice piece of Sirloin but like I had said previously, a bit of improvements here and there would have made the dish better.
'Wagyun Rump' ($29) with crispy polenta, confit tomato and jus. Although this wasn't my meal, it was presented nicely with the Wagyu rump nicely grilled placed on top of the crispy polenta with confit tomato on the side and jus all over as well as herbs on the side giving the dish a refreshing green colour to the eyes.
The crispy polenta was done nicely however the confit tomato just seemed like roasted tomatoes for abit. The jus was poured everywhere which was nice allowing each of the elements to be able to have a taste and a dip of the jus.
'Peppered Steak' ($22) was grilled rare served with rocket, parmesan, capers and egg yolk. One of the few things on the menu that caught my eye and so I decided to go for the Peppered steak, another reason was that it was served rare and had capers and egg yolk. Sometimes, it is nice to go out of your comfort zone but then at the same time, you have to know what will work and what might not, what might work and what will not. Whether you should take a step on picking it or maybe you should go for something safer, sometimes it's the choices we make that defines who we are. Okay, getting out of topic here..
The peppered steak was definitely and oh my goodness, thoroughly covered full with pepper which I didn't mind to be honest as I do enjoy my black pepper more than my white, especially cracked black pepper. So being able to experience not a steak that is usually and typically grilled on the barbie and served to your liking, it is good to see that someone has allowed a dish to be made its own and doesn't define it by asking others of their choices but has already made its own and whether it's your liking or not, it's your choice to try it. Of course, if you're not into rare beef, then do advise the waiter if you could get it cooked abit more. I'm sure they will be happily cater to your needs. But I do warn you, this is a very peppery dish.
There was no sauce for this dish as the peppered steak spoke for itself as well as having the egg yolk right in the middle, allows you to break the egg and allow that to be the sauce for the dish. The parmesan gave a gritty and nutty taste along with the rocket which I thought would be the normal rocket leaves you would usually get in a salad or even in the supermarket but it actually turned out to be a mixture of micro herbs which I thought probably would've worked better anyway than rocket leaves.
The capers gave the whole dish that little punch here and there but the highlight of the dish was definitely the steak and how it was cooked to perfection, peppered well and it was just a very pleasant dish to eat. As you can see from the photos, you can see at how much pepper was involved in this steak and it definitely was Peppered Steak indeed. The outside of the steak was slightly done with the middle having that pinkyness and having so much juice still coming out is a bonus for me. It kind of is terrible when no juice is coming out from steaks when you knife through it to slice it. I usually have my steak Medium Rare anyway so having a rare steak didn't bother me as much as long as it is cooked well and everything else on the plate compliments it well and balances it out.


The Chelsea Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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