Motorwagen is one of Brisbane city’s newest contemporary dining restaurants, sitting on Adelaide Street and is ticking all boxes. Well, all of my boxes. It has a fab fit out, incredible food, great wine list and excellent service.
I went in with some friends to explore their dinner menu (open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings) and we were certainly impressed. What impressed me the most was the thought and effort that had gone into each dish. They have a focus to make everything in-house. As well, all produce comes from within a 20km radius, minus the Tin Can Bay whiting and the Glass House Mountain chicken. Even the dishware is local with ceramic plates from Grit Ceramics.
The venue itself is divine. It’s industrial – think exposed brick, concrete, wood with touches of muted gold & marble to glam the rooms up and very clean lines. The garden bar is perfect for after work drinks and out the back there’s a fantastic private dining room.
So, of course you want to know what we ate! I’ve made a list for you as we went a little crazy, wanting to try everything! The cuisine is modern with a European influence, led by Chef Shane Lurie.
- Crispy spiced fish wing, guac, blue cheese mayo
- Confit chicken croquette, romesco
- Chicken liver pate, baby figs, crusty bread
- Swordfish numus, purple horseradish, cucumber, creamy avocado
- Summer watermelon and fetta salad with pickled cabbage, beetroot, seeds and walnut
- Slow cooked Sovereign lamb shoulder, smokey eggplant yoghurt, cous cous and almonds
- Herb crusted Tin Can Bay whiting and pipis, asparagus, summer squash, peas and warm tartare
- Gnocchi, Noosa earth mushrooms, peas, broad beans, grana
- Coconut cotton cake, burnt pineapple, mango gel, strawberry, basil
- Buttermilk panacotta, elderflower poached peach, blue berry, pistachio, meringue
The absolute stand out dish for me was the swordfish numus (similar to ceviche – pickled in citrus) with purple horseradish, cucumber, creamy avocado. Honestly, I was making ‘mmm’ sounds without even realising. All the elements of this dish come together with the perfectly fresh and firm fish. So fresh and pleasant with the herbs – it’s a must-have menu item.
Joedy suggested the fried fish wings… I must admit I was dubious… but they surprised me! The flesh was beautiful and soft, falling away from the bone. The spices and crunchiness made the dish all the more delicious. And I tried the fins! They were actually delicious. Kind of like crackling. Try them, I dare you.
The confit chicken croquette was beautiful, delicate and flavoursome .The pate is just how you imagine pate to taste like. Creamy, delicate – it didn’t last long between us.
The watermelon salad was lovely and fresh to break all the flavours between our small and bigger plates and the slow roasted beetroots really made the dish. Again, you notice the effort that goes into every dish.
The Tin Can Bay whiting was also a favourite on our table, the fish again, perfectly falling away, succulent and fresh.
Then came dessert! The coconut cake was my favourite… until I tried the buttermilk pannacotta!!
We spent a large amount of time with our host Miriam, learning how to say Ruinart with proper French pronunciation… I think we almost got there in the end! She was a great sport. We also chose some beautiful bottles of vino (you’ll see them in the gallery below) to pair with our meal and Joedy was helpful in guiding us too.
Motorwagen only opened it’s doors a few months ago. I think this hidden gem will only go from strength to strength as more people experience this dining. I’ve heard lunch and breakfast (and coffee) is also excellent so I hope to visit again soon to try them!
*While this dining experience was complimentary, this review is true and authentic. We spent a fair amount on the wine list and can’t wait to go back.