I’ve been seeing the culinary delights of Bachhus—the signature restaurant at Rydges South Bank—gracing my social media feed a lot of late. Mainly because all the dishes look so gorgeous, luxurious and creative. So after spending so much time salivating over the pictures on my phone screen I decided a new winter menu was the perfect time to finally taste these artisanal creations. 

Bacchus describes itself as a “premier dining venue for unparalleled experiences” and it certainly lives up to that reputation. Chef de Cuisine Manuel Erriu has created a menu full of dishes you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. 

We’re here for a winter tasting menu (with substitutions for the seafood dishes), so that we can have a bit of everything for the full experience. 

Our first dishes are so cute and creative—a selection of amuse bouches to kick off our culinary journey. The beef carpaccio with finger lime is a great combo to start with. I also love the burrata cheese inside a puffed shell with tomato on top. We finish with some little red cherry looking things that it turns out are essentially a shot of Campari and orange in a little dew drop format. The texture is surprising and delightful as it bursts in your mouth. 

two spoons sit on a black slate, with red spheres sitting in the spoons.
These little jelly spheres? Basically alcohol. Amazing.

Next up is a meticulously crafted winter minestrone. The vegetables are balled and look like tiny colourful marbles in the dish, and are offset by parmesan shapes that look like snowflakes. The shiitake broth is poured over the combination at the table and it adds a lovely level or ceremony to the dish. 

artisinal minestrone in a large white bowl.
The prettiest minestrone ever.

The beauty of fine dining establishments and set menus is that you get the opportunity to try dishes you may never have even seen on a menu before, let alone ordered. And so it is with our next dish—wagyu tongue with pickled vegetables and charcoal oil. I have a policy of not normally eating things that have been in other things’ mouths but for this I will make an exception. This dish has been meticulously plated, and is inspired by the colours of autumn in the forrest.

cuts of wagyu tongue rest on a bed of pickled vegetables in autumnal colours
The wagyu tongue is back on Bacchus’s winter menu again this year.

Next up is a braised wagyu cappelletti in a hearty bone broth, and a risotto with saffron, bone marrow and jus. All dishes are warming and comforting—perfect for a winter menu. 

Instead of the kingfish on the menu, we get a slice of perfectly cooked eye fillet with burnt leek, rapini, hazelnut and red wine jus. (Huge points to our lovely sommelier on this one, for serving us a proprietary blend red that was perfection alongside the meat.) 

a slice of eye fillet sits on a blue plate with wilted spinach, hazlenuts and leek puree accompanying.
The eye fillet was cooked to perfection.

Then came dessert and is where I get truly blown away by the attention to detail. One dessert, simply called Apple, is no apple at all, but mascarpone inside a crisp green shell, filled with yuzu and surrounded by chocolate “dirt”. Every part of the dish is edible, including the sticker on the apple (which is actually a QR code to Bacchus’s Instagram). The flavours are perfection, like a fruity, smooth as silk cheesecake inside a crisp shell. 

Bacchus famous apple dessert that resembles a granny smith apple in chocolate dirt sits on a white plate
The famous Bacchus Apple!

The second dessert looks like a giant hazelnut on the forrest floor—it even has little edible bits of mossy greenery around it. In reality, it’s a hazlenut mousse in a chocolate shell with japanese genmaitcha and caramel. 

These desserts are really something special and need to be seen—and experienced—to be believed. If there ever were Insta-worthy desserts that taste as good as they look, these are it. 

A dessert that looks like a giant hazelnut sitting on a forrest floor sits on a white plate.
A gorgeous earthy creation for dessert.

If you love fine dining, immersive culinary experiences, and trying new and interesting foods, then you definitely need to book in to try Bacchus’s winter menu. 

Bacchus, Rydges South Bank, Podium Level, Rydges South Bank, Glenelg Street & Grey Street, 9 Glenelg St, South Brisbane QLD. p. (07) 3364 0870

Elizabeth Best

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