181 Mary Street, Brisbane
Need proof that Brisbane is a player on the world stage of fine dining? Head to Mary Street and indulge in a degustation experience like no other at Urbane Restaurant, and you’ll see just how this riverside city is holding up against the big boys. This intimate venue, owned and operated by Andy Buchanan and Alejandro Cancino, has been providing 5 and 8-course degustation menus for Brisbane diners since 2001.
Urbane offers diners four degustation options: a 5 or 8-course ‘omnivore menu’, and a 5 or 8-course ‘herbivore menu’ (catering for vegans and vegetarians). The menus run simultaneously, so nobody is left out. The cuisine can’t be pigeon-holed into one style or influence. Alejandro Cancino and his team utilise their favourite techniques, whether they be modern or traditional, Asian or European, common or rare, to create menus inspired by their travels and an appreciation for their surroundings.
The menu, like any cuisine, is constantly evolving. Executive Chef, Andrew Gunn, is ably supported by his fiancée, Amélie Rabaud, and together they bring a fusion of classical French training and a distinctly creative flair, focused on utilising the best produce and ingredients obtainable in Queensland.
Urbane’s menu cannot be labelled by a country or style. Andrew uses a variety of techniques depending on the dish, either modern or traditional, French or Japanese and with products well known in Australia and some not so well known. He mostly uses seasonal produce made or grown in Australia, preferably in Queensland, focusing on the best products he can source.
Offerings vary depending on the season and the availability of produce, but the delights you will experience on the omnivore menu will take shape around the highest quality local meat and seafood paired with beautiful seasonal produce, cooked in a way that allows every element to sing. Similarly, herbivores can look forward to a plant-based fare that showcases an array of local, seasonal fruits and vegetables, without substituting flavour.
Wines can be matched to each course or can be ordered by the bottle or half-bottle from an impressive wine list, which includes a large selection of Penfolds Grange, as well as countless other Australian and international names. When it comes to length, the wine list gives the phone book a run for its money.
Reducing its environmental impact is high on the list of priorities for Andy and Alejandro. Urbane recycles its waste through a self-contained composting unit, processing all food waste on site. The organic unit decomposes and composts food and waste in an aerobic environment. The team also grow their own herbs, make their own honey from the beehive on their roof and support small local producers.
The private dining room facilities, ‘Sub Urbane’, allow groups of up to 32 to sit comfortably amongst the one-hundred-year- old stone walls and polished concrete floors of the cellar. And, being a cellar, guests dine alongsidethehumidifiedwine,allowingthem to browse and select from one of Brisbane’s best restaurant collections.
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