Esq is the casual dining and bar that is attached to Esquire, located on Eagle Pier on the Brisbane River. While we were there for the 2014 Eat Drink Blog conference, Rachi suggested that we book a table for lunch. Knowing Rachi and her amazing research abilities – Giulia and I were both happy to take her suggestion.
When we arrived at Esq/Esquire on a Friday at lunch, the venue was very quiet. This is supposedly quite different to what it looks like at Dinner service. We were seated initially at the Esq side of the venue, which features long tables in a casual setting however seeing as though the Esquire dining room was empty on the other side, Rachi asked if we could move into that area to have a view of the kitchen.
Esq has a separate lunch and dinner menu that is centered on the restaurant’s charcoal fire pit, which aims to highlight the quality of single ingredients. The menu itself is very simple – but I find that simple is often best.
The drink menu is impressive – with a variety of cocktails, spirits, wines and beers available. Giulia and I ordered a cocktail to start – the Pimm’s Cup, featuring Pimm’s No.1, cucumber, apple slices, strawberries, lemon wedges, mint and ginger ale ($15). We were both exceptionally happy with our beverage choice, which was perfect for the warm Brisbane weather.
For our mains, Giulia, Rachi and I all felt like something light after our mammoth breakfast at Shouk Café. We all ordered the southern calamari with lemon and garlic ($23). The flavours in this dish were very simple, but overall the dish was delicious. Perfect for a light lunch.
The large radicchio leaves were fresh and the seasoning was light.
Rachi, Giulia and I each ordered the popcorn parfait and tarragon ($13). Rachi and Giulia both loved this dish, whereas the flavour and texture for me wasn’t overly appealing however I think that comes down to personal preference. The ‘popcorn’ was actually corn-flavoured parfait (which also looked like popcorn!) and the dish had traces of tarragon and smoked salt.
All in all, I liked my experience at Esq. For me, the Esq menu is more appealing than the Esquire degustation menu and I have nothing to fault on the service and atmosphere during our visit. As much as I didn’t enjoy dessert, I honestly believe it comes down to taste, as Rachi and Giulia both loved it.