Rustic rendition at Cloudland

Rustic rendition at Cloudland

Lucy Stephens heads to Cloudland to try the latest summer menu offerings.

By Lucy Stephens | 8th January 2014

When it comes to dining out in Brisbane, there seems to be an abundance of new eateries cropping up, all dishing up their own, stylized interpretation of the latest ‘foodie’ trend.

Brisbane’s answer to the Ivy (and arguably Brisbane’s most stylish venue) Cloudland has decided to not attempt to reinvent the wheel, instead sticking to its Italian menu, and a focus on fresh produce, premium hand-crafted dishes.

The summer menu offers lighter, fresher options, created by Executive Chef Ashley Reed, who is a former protégé of top chefs including the illustrious (and fear inducing) Marco Pierre White.

Ashley has updated the menu with simple Italian fare that is in true Italian style, designed to be shared among large groups of friends or family, with flavours and serving sizes to suit a range of tastebuds and appetites.

The menu includes a selection of oysters shucked fresh to order and served with a choice of dressing (there's a pretty tantalising Tabasco jelly and lemon and Buffalo trace bourbon, or BBQ sauce and speck), antipasto, main dishes (broken down into meats and pastas), a pizza menu, and the option of a $45 grazing menu for groups of eight or more.

The cocktail menu has been revamped to suit, and it was with a pair of Lychee Passions (Malibu, Massenez Lychee, Stolichnya, lime juice, passion-fruit, sugar syrup and garnished with lychees), that my guest and I started our evening.

From there we dove into a plate of delectable spinach and ricotta arancini with lemon and aioli, and ciabatta served with roasted garlic, watercress creek EVO and aged balsamic.

Next up, (and our pick of the evening) the Zucca Crespelle from the pasta and risotto menu.  This entrée sized serving ($18) was aromatic and oh so tasty with roasted pumpkin and ricotta wrapped in a delicate crepe casing, and dressed with a nutmeg, sage and currant butter.

From the Carne & Pesce menu (meat and fish), we enjoyed 600g Kingaroy Pork Belly, rubbed with juniper berries, orange and coriander seeds and all spiced berries. At $28, this was an ample serve at a very good price.

On the side we shared thick cut chips, smoked salt and truffle oil ($8) and green beans, toasted almonds, pickled shallots ($11). Again, generously portioned – so much so, we weren’t able to finish them.

This meant (alas!) that we weren’t able to sample the dessert menu, but we did spy a decadent banana split with chocolate and vanilla gelato, chocolate and caramel sauce, hazelnut and maraschino cherries, as well as a chocolate, tonka bean and popping candy panna cotta on the menu which we decided must be left space for on a return visit.

The conclusion? Cloudland offers an incredibly tasty, rustic and honest menu that won’t leave your tummy or your wallet grumbling - and provides the perfect lining for multiple cocktails.

We dined as guests of the restaurant.

641 Ann st, Valley
P 3872 6600
www.katarzyna.com.au/venues-pages/cloudland/

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Article by Lucy Stephens

Lucy Stephens is a Senior Digital Journalist and Content Strategist at Style Magazines. She's a travel addict, considers gelato an appropriate meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner (salted caramel, preferably), and suffers from a moderate to severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out).

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