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While most chefs and restaurateurs will tell you it’s a stressful experience to open a new venue, spare a thought for the owners of new Fortitude Valley restaurant Agnes, who are finally seeing their baby come to fruition today a year later than intended.
With an initial open date set for August 2019, a raft of construction and council issues (ah… heritage buildings), and whirlwind success as a pop-up wood-fired bakery to combat the worst of lockdown, Agnes is finally here, part-owned and led in the kitchen by Ben Williamson (who most Brisbanites would remember from Gerard’s Bistro).
In addition to the reputation it forged for its buttery Breton pastries and smoked delights during C-word lockdown, Agnes comes with the prestige of owners Tyron Simon and Frank Li in tow (the same team behind knockout venues Same Same and Honto), and a unique cooking style, powered solely by flame.
With no electric ovens and no gas stoves cranking in the Agnes kitchen, all cooking is done purely over a couple of wood fires (on show from all tables in the dining room) with a variety of custom-made tools, vessels, and implements enabling the various processed required to deliver the top-notch menu.
Speaking of, hand-selected meat and produce from local suppliers is front and centre on the globally-inspired menu, with dishes like lamb ribs with sesame whey caramel, mountain pepper and lime, octopus with blackened lemon, almond and garlic shoots, and 260-day dry-aged Wagyu with mandarin kanzuri (a citric Japanese chilli paste).
Choosing what to order is foodies’ eternal struggle, so Agnes offers a $75pp chef’s choice menu offering up favourites, with optional add-ons like dressed oysters and scarlet prawn doughnuts.
In addition to the striking slate palette of the main dining room, the venue also houses a stylish level bar space and outdoor terrace and wood-floored private dining room upstairs that will no doubt be the function venue of choice for 2020’s festive season!
After the hype it generated during lockdown, the world-class kitchen team, and menu unlike any other in Brisbane, Agnes is a surefire choice for Brisbane’s most anticipated opening of 2020.
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