Sitting at the bottom of one of those steep residential streets common to Brisbane’s inner western suburbs, Brents is easily missed. Almost hidden by shrubbery, with a little letterbox out the front, from the street it looks like someone’s house, rather than a hatted restaurant. Once inside, everything is a bit more conventional. With pale walls, minimalist furnishings, a sea of pristine white tablecloths and shiny black chairs, the restaurant interior is far from homely. The same can be said of the food.
The modern French menu, devised by head chef Brent Farrell, is made up of some pretty impressive dishes. To start, try the mushroom cappuccino, jamon crumb and truffle oil (a customer favourite we’re told) or the duck liver paté, port syrup fig and burnt coffee praline. The abalone, squid, scallop and cauliflower, quail breast and reduction ($23) is quite an elegant entrée to which the crispy skin pork belly and cheek, apple, Sicilian olive and reduction ($39) makes a nice second course. Though servings are not stingy in the manner sometimes associated with French dining, it is not a bad idea to bulk up your order with sides.
There is a lengthy list of wines, about a page of which are available by the glass. Staff are ready to steer you through the selection, though their assistance is particularly appreciated when it comes to decrypting the rather vague dessert menu; names of dishes refer only to the main flavours. Violets and raspberry, kush lapis and hazelnuts ($12.50) is a very pretty little creation, with sorbets, rolled layer cake, fresh raspberries and crushed hazelnuts arranged in a glass bowl and topped off with swirly sugar work and culinary violets.
Cheeses are available at $9 for a 30g portion and served with homemade burnt quince and fig jam, lavosh and brioche. We recommend the house made truffle Fromage Blanc – a creamy unripened cheese infused with black truffle. Seasoned to taste with smoked sea salt, it is as lush as it sounds.
Various tastings and dining options are available, including the Menu Gourmand – 8 courses (if you include the amuse-bouche and the palate cleanser) for $99 per person, or $159 with wine tasting.