We intended to go out to eat somewhere else but ended up at Anise, hoping against hope that we'd get a seat because, if you don't know already, Anise only seats 21 customers max and it's very unique in the sense that everyone sits close to each other at the bar. There are NO tables so if you're agoraphobic, you might want to give Anise a miss ;) It was a concept I was sceptical about at first but accepted it in stride, soon grew accustomed to and actually started to like.
A pleasant surprise greeted us when we opened up the menu as they had just recently tweaked the menu, yippee!! A (not so long) while ago we were going to Anise VERY frequently and inevitably, fickle ol' me got pretty bored of it and we haven't been back in awhile but I'm SO glad we went back that night because it was great :)
Let's start with the amuse bouches. We ordered the foie gras terrine (for T because I haven't quite acquired the taste for it yet.. I'll get there, I swear!!) and half a dozen oysters baked with spanner crab meat and tomato hollandaise which verged on orgasmic haha!! Just the combination of creamy oysters, bits of crab and creamy tomato hollandaise - notice the emphasis on CREAMY? Yep, we loooove our creamy, rich food.. T very generously offered me one of his oysters so I had 4! Yumm.. they still had me wanting more though.
For entrees we had the spanner crab crepe with fresh truffle, pastis creme and english spinach which had replaced the spanner crab souffle on the old menu and also the southern blue fin tuna tartare with horseradish, herb and quail egg. The terrine was a nice fresh mixture of herbs and raw fish served with mini bits of toast but the real winner was the crab crepe! It was, you guessed it, ultra creamy. The crepe was light and the truffle sauce and pastis creme pulled everything together in one mouthwatering spoonful. It was ALMOST perfect, it would've been perfect if there was a bit more crab in it.
I had the double roasted duck with cherries, dutch carrots and golden eschallots that has been on the menu for a looong time and still my utmost favourite. I'm not a fan of duck and only a few places (probably about 3) do duck the way I like it.. crispy skinned and juicy just like expensive KFC, or should I say KFD hahaha!! T had something new, the bouillabaisse of local seafood with saffron aioli crostade and though I didn't try it, he said it was really good and sigh, sorry to say this again, CREAMY. He also found the seafood very fresh.
The part of dinner that I was most excited about, dessert of course, was unfortunately the most disappointing for me. Out of aaaalll the new desserts, we chose the profiteroles with pistachio ice cream and chocolate sauce and I found the pastry to be a bit too crunchy and hard and the pistachio ice cream that reminded me of toothpaste. Sigh.. I knew we should've gone for the turkish delight semifreddo!! It's okay, there's always next time!
Anise has always been one of my favourite places to go for dinner. The waitstaff behind the bar are professional, efficient and have a vast knowledge of wine. The food is always good, unique and fresh with seasonal changes to keep things interesting. The wine list, is of course extremely extensive and if in doubt, the wait staff will recommend something to suit your liking. The ambience is comfy and sophisticated. They are now open on Sundays from 5pm and offer a Sunday supper menu which is a smaller version of their original menu and I'm soo glad they do that now because I can't tell you the number of times T and I have been craving to eat at Anise on a Sunday but haven't been able to go. Anise also offers a degustation menu which chnges every season and your choice if you want incredible matching wines or not. A word of advice, pick up the phone and book before you go if you want to be one of the 21 people eating there that night.
Anise Bistro & Wine Bar
697 Brunswick Street
New Farm, Brisbane
Phone: 07 3398 7839