A fine French dining experience - that in an interesting twist, you can have home delivered.
Part of the North side French BYO pack, Rhubarb Rhubarb certainly has that difficult-to-define but endearing, almost retro Brisbane vibe.
Rhubarb Rhubarb is named not only for a favoured ingredient, or the festive colour of its paint job, but also the theatre practice of creating a convincing crowd hum by having actors repeat the word 'rhubarb' from the wings. As far as restaurant names go, some thought has gone into this one.
The venue itself is far from modern and not too fussy. Seating is available in three separate areas — the outside footpath, a large dining area and a rectangular front room. The exposed kitchen in the latter seems almost a necessity, rather than a design decision. As a mostly closed space, Rhubarb Rhubarb lives up to the murmuring suggested by its name, and the air conditioning is much appreciated in what may otherwise be a stuffy space.
The food, too, is far from modern and not too fussy. Entrees, all priced at $19.50, include a tartlet of mushroom and caramelised onion with creme fraiche and watercress, as well as crumbed lamb's brains with sauce gribiche and petite salad. They're followed by a complimentary palate cleanser.
Standouts for mains are the grass fed eye fillet with Gruyere croquettes, speck fumet, horseradish creme and confit tomato ($38), and the pork belly with potato fondant, mustard pears and apricot sauce ($36). Everything tastes just as you would expect and nothing disappoints. Sides are all $9 and include French beans with toasted almond butter and kipfler potatoes sauteed in duck fat and confit garlic. Staff are polished and professional, and happy to tweak things to suit you — even offering a half-serve of a couple of sides if you have trouble making up your mind.
Desserts include lemon curd fondant with coconut ice cream and macadamia praline and rhubarb meringue torte with creme Anglasie (both $15).
In October of this year, Rhubarb Rhubarb rather unconventionally began offering home delivery, or 'Room Service'. The bulk of the standard menu items are available, excepting entrees. Having never taken advantage of this service, one is curious as to how food looks upon arrival, though the idea definitely has its appeal.