Spoilt for choice at Artie & Mai | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Spoilt for choice at Artie & Mai

For a small, cosy suburban Brisbane restaurant in Albion, Artie and Mai, has some pretty gourmet eats. Named after the owner’s children (aww, cute!), the restaurant has a new head chef, Anthony Gordon, who has worked with the likes of Heston Blumenthal. The menu is short but still manages to spoil for choice.  Luckily, everything is designed to be shared so choosing just one isn’t necessary (phew!). An easy choice is the ever popular crispy pork belly bites with chilli and orange caramel, which is all the things pork belly should be; melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a juicy layer of fat and just a little bit of crunch and a dash of sweetness for good measure. Biting into their mushroom arancini deep-fried to perfection and dipped in gorgonzola fondue is foodgasm inducing, but more unusual dishes include the rabbit and pork terrine with piccalilli, which comes highly recommended by the staff (and us!). Pan fried St Simeon cheese with asparagus, baby herbs and prosciutto also sounds too delicious to pass up.  You can’t go wrong with fried cheese and this version is warm, gooey scrumptiousness that will have you melting on the inside with pleasure. The dessert list is short but sweet and while everyone else is doing dessert for breakfast, Artie and Mai are doing breakfast for dessert.  Cereal milk panna cotta with caramelized cornflake and chocolate peanut butter crunch ticks all the boxes, sweet, crunchy, creamy and chocolate laden, while cinnamon donuts stuffed with adult only fillings like raspberry and Chambord are a cheeky take on the treat. Classic cocktails rule the drinks list, because sometimes it’s good to get back to basics and savour an old faithful, or in our case an old fashioned Zacapa rum and orange. We also love that they only stock Australian beers as a rule, with some pretty nifty local craft beers available. Meanwhile, a selection of unique pizzas (seriously, one of them lists béchamel sauce as a topping – intriguing!) on the menu are mightily calling us back for another visit to this Brisbane restaurant.  Artie and Mai might not claim five-star status, but their food is top-notch! Words by Ranyhyn Akui