So many compliments and taste temptations kept popping up when Toowoomba&Darling Downs visited the newest addition to Toowoomba’s modern Australian cuisine dining scene. Wearing their pride on their sleeves, our hosts Mark and Marketing Manager Katie were justifiably beaming as they showcased The Plate. All the work that has gone in to the expansion of The Paddock Butchery and the Shed Coffee Drive Thru at the old Delacey’s Hotel at 224 Ruthven Street, has delivered an upmarket restaurant which will provide an engaging dining experience for couples, groups, families and events alike.
The design ensures that upon entry the theme of the ‘country meets city’ is upfront. The decor is stylish country and the flow of the different bar and brewery experiences is smooth. The restaurant offers spaces for private groups, and the seating with a view on to Ruthven Street is genuinely alluring to passers-by.
Smoking and drying the meats in conjunction with the Butchery is an interesting distraction on the way through to the Brewery. Brews are hoping to be released in May.
Disability access is first class.
As you follow these features through to the bar to try out the cocktail making, you get the vibe that the staff are very much part of a family that values their vast experience and that is eager to bring this fresh new experience to Toowoomba. You know you are in for a few different tastes. Instead of going for the ‘usuals’, be guided by the suggestions and taste combinations on offer. For someone who is not normally a cocktail drinker, the choices were very well balanced.
All were worth a shot! While at the bar, indulge in a few shared plates – the ciabatta with bone marrow butter; warm marinated olives; chicken derrieres (yes some family fights over these can now be resolved – so yummy I forgot to take the photo before the tasting); and my pick, the Boccadillo Little Spanish Sandwich with fried oyster, chirizo, pepper and basil mayo…..and more to choose from.
Hardly needed any bidding to move to one of the dining areas for the pleasure of the next courses. The decor has lots of stories behind it, and Mark was a great host telling us the origin of the bison and bull heads and the landscape mural. There is plenty of room catering for larger and late night groups.
Back up towards the Brewery, we passed the enthusiastic, experienced and much awarded chef, Max Stephenson, and his fresh young team.
We started our taste discoveries of the entrees, mains and desserts. The menu is extensive. The choices are a mix of the familar, and the ‘let’s try something different” with dietary friendly versions rather than a predictable salad. The beef, as expected, is from the paddock to the plate inhouse, and superbly aged for such a dining treat.
Entrees were beautifully presented and proportioned – again a variety to choose from, including the squid with fresh lime; the Burrata Cheese with tomato confit; the Wagu Carpaccio with black berries and Peccorino and the Australian Kingfish sashimi in white soy and citrus sauce. All favourites at our table.
Then the Mains – the fish was Schnapper with the freshest salsa verde and greens; 24 hour brined Pork Cutlet was charcoaled grilled with a seeded Pale Ale mustard – superb; the quarter chicken with Portugese rub was served with a peasant salad and the Vegetarian Mushroom pappardelle was the table favourite – beside the Dry-aged Mort & Co beef that is.
Desserts – the Sheep’s Milk Yoghurt Parfait, rhubarb compote and grilled peach was delicious, as was the decadent Mars Bar Mousse with salted praline and Metiisto chocolate topped off with Mark’s wine recommendations. The perfect end to the meal.
Thinking of a special family or staff celebration, then the private dining area and the fine selection of wines would be just ideal.
No guessing as to whether we will be back. Bookings are open for tables of up to 8 people from Wednesday 16th March from 11.30 for lunch and dinner- Wednesdays to Sundays. Visit the website http://www.theplaterestaurant.com.au or for larger bookings phone 07 4637 1010.
The friendly smiles of Mark, Bianca and Sharon will be there to greet you.