Esquire boasts river views.
Esquire boasts river views. Photo: Michelle Smith

145 Eagle Street Brisbane, Queensland 4000

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Opening hours Lunch Tue-Fri; Dinner Tue-Sat
Features Licensed, Accepts bookings, Wheelchair access, Family friendly, Gluten-free options, Vegetarian friendly, Degustation, Bar
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Ryan Squires
Payments Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 07 3220 2123
Free wine for Citibank cardholders here

Brisbane Times Good Food Guide 2016

Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year

Most of the Esquire performance is nothing short of masterful: precision-drilled staff, a thought-provoking trail of goods from the kitchens, a spacious room carefully littered with bespoke furniture and a view that would be quite breathtaking if it took precedence over the theatre of the kitchens ... which it doesn't.

Japanese sweet potato and black olive, served on a stone.
Japanese sweet potato and black olive, served on a stone. Photo: Michelle Smith

It's a world-class restaurant toting a very good but sadly not quite world-class drinks list. That's the only blemish on its otherwise perfect hide.

The meal comes as a multi-course degustation (think late teens in number) that is timed to perfection. The early courses follow hot on each other's heels; breathing space prevails as the meal progresses.

And that degustation morphs on a regular basis to take advantage of often obscure and, usually, local 'finds': Moreton Bay catfish (firm, delicate, startling); wagyu calotte grilled over coals with a generous line of grated horseradish; slivers of house-smoked mackerel draped over a rock.

It's a culinary roller-coaster that's equal parts kitchen alchemy, art, breathtaking imagination and just plain good cooking.

Vibe Sleek, modern, polished and unique.

Pro tip There's a 'taste' option for the wines by the glass ... use it.

Drinks Cosmopolitan wine list with reasonable prices and a good glass array. Beers? Hmm