“Meyjitte Boughenout earned two Michelin Stars as executive chef at Restaurant Scholteshos Restaurant in Belgium before moving to Australia. The menu of contemporary French-Australian cuisine is available a la carte or degustation style. The wine list features more than 1000 internationally recognised wines from all over the world.” – On Absynthe, bestrestaurants.com.au
It was my birthday a month ago and my mother’s in April. It was quite nice of my older brother (who lives in Singapore) to send us two Groupon vouchers worth $280 each for a lovely degustation dinner at the French restaurant, Absynthe, located in Surfers Paradise. Now, despite its fairly tarnished reputation on review sites such as Urbanspoon and TripAdvisor, I found myself quite pleasantly surprised on the night. True, it was a meal that I didn’t have to pay for, so of course I’d think a free meal such as that to be pretty awesome, but I also felt that Absynthe really didn’t deserve the harsh criticism it’s been getting online. Alright, so for the alleged $560 six-course meal we had, I’d say it was a pretty steep price. And $7 for a coffee? $8.50 for a glass of Coke? They’re quite good at inflating the prices here. But all fine dining restaurants do that anyway, so why should anyone expect anything different?
Each Groupon voucher was valid for two people, so mum took dad, and I took James. It was a long night, with dinner going for an hour and a half. But I enjoyed dressing up for the occasion and celebrating my birthday belatedly with my parents and my boyfriend!
Getting Ready For The Night Out
The Menu – A Journey Into Taste
The Six Courses
With the panfried Angus beef dish, I liked that the potato puree was accompanied by a couple of apple sticks. It gave the fairly one-note potato mash some character. As a whole, the dish was a nice play of sweet and savoury, which was accented by the strong peppery taste of the roquette leaves.
As for my favourite dish, I quite enjoyed the beetroot risotto. Although the caramelised walnuts were rather few, I liked the way the risotto and blue cheese foam complemented each other and formed a warm, rich saltiness in your mouth, thick with flavour.
Dessert was, as the menu succinctly put it: ‘heavenly sweet’. The chilled strawberry soup and yoghurt ice cream came with a small portion of transluscent jelly, which added a different texture to the mix and because it was pretty flavourless, took away some of the intense sweetness of the strawberry soup. As for the final course, I’d like to add that the mandarine sorbet was delicious, much lighter than the yoghurt ice cream, and was the perfect thing to finish off the dinner.
Other than the food, the staff were adequately friendly and efficient enough. Too efficient, in fact, that they seemed a bit brisk and almost too much in a rush to make us feel comfortable around them. They did their job well enough, so I didn’t mind. Absynthe really isn’t as lacking a restaurant as a lot of people on the internet say it is, and if you have the money to fork out for their dishes, you will find the food to be quite pleasant and satisfactory.
ABSYNTHE – FRENCH RESTAURANT
Cnr of Surfers Paradise Blvd & Hamilton Ave
Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217