Rhubarb Rhubarb is one of those Brisbane institutions that everyone seems to have a story about.
I was there last week celebrating my wedding anniversary, and have fond memories of numerous family celebrations over the years. A friend of mine recalls it being the place he'd take girls on dates when he wanted to impress. Another friend goes there when she needs a special date night away from the kids.
Long considered one of the best fine dining BYO restaurants in Brisbane (just check out the Good Food Guide Awards), Rhubarb Rhubarb is easy to miss, set in a discreet shop front in suburban Wooloowin.
Named after a theatrical method where actors stand in the wings and mumble "rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb" when background noise was needed, the restaurant focuses on addressing the rumblings of a hungry crowd.
Its two intimate dining rooms are decorated with deep red accents and, alongside the crisp white linen tablecloths, have a refined, luxurious feel.
Service is always attentive and friendly, with wait staff often sharing a joke with patrons. "Guess the sorbet flavour" is a favourite game and usually manages to surprise.
The menu is classically French and sophisticated, often leaving you making some difficult choices on the night and peering not-so-subtly at other tables' dishes as they're served.
Entrees included seared scallops with corn and chorizo salsa and sauce vierge, and duck and hazelnut sausage with pickled beetroot and horseradish.
I can never look past confit duck on a menu, and on this occasion enjoyed confit leg a l'orange. My husband was surprised but equally pleased when his boeuf bourguignon came deconstructed with meat that cut like butter.
When ordering you're faced with a difficult decision of ordering either a bowlful of crunchy duck fat roast potatoes or saving room for dessert.
This time we went the sweet option and indulged in one of the best crème brûlées around served with mixed berries and biscotti.
Once again we leave pleasantly satisfied and plenty satiated, knowing we'll be back to Rhubarb Rhubarb next time we're celebrating.
TUL Note: Penny is a freelance food writer and obsessive cook, who has returned to Brisbane after ten years living in the UK and Melbourne. She is currently taking her passion for sweets treats one step further and learning the skills to become a pastry chef from her culinary idols, documenting her experiences through her blog Project Pastry.