Lunch or dinner at Customs House restaurant is one of the best Brisbane CBD dining experiences to be had, in a choice of two splendid settings: the heritage dining room or river terrace with stunning Story Bridge views.
Those who are after something casual can choose from a range of Share Plates (available all day from 11am), perfect to be enjoyed - if you’re lucky enough to nab it- on Customs House’s tiny exclusive patch of lawn with its patio furniture.
For a more formal affair, the a la carte chef’s menu hits the spot, both at lunchtime, when some terrific specials are available, and in the evening when the twinkling city and bridge lights make for one of Brisbane’s most enchanting backdrops.
Lunch specials feature an entrée, main and glass of red or wine for just $40pp* with menu options such as Seared Scallops with cauliflower puree, Roasted grapes and Vincotto or Crispy Pork Belly with pork croquette, creamed corn and water cress for Entrée and Grilled Lamb Rump, heirloom tomatoes, beans, eggplant caviar and pickled Spanish onions or Pan Seared Barramundi with truffled polenta chips, zucchini, radish, herb salad and aioli for Mains.
These dishes, which are taken from the main menu are also available for dinner, along with Entrée choices like Fully Shucked Oysters, Natural or with sweet ginger vinaigrette, Smoked Quali Breast with goat cheese tart, fresh fig and vinaigrette or Citrus Cured Kingfish with avocado puree, roasted grapes and vincotto.
For Mains, long time Customs House chef John Offenhauser has a must try signature dish that has been popular with customers for years: Veal Scalloppine, sand crab, asparagus and desiree potato mash with dill hollandaise and jus. Other options include dishes such as Eye Fillet, roast potatoes, baby carrot, tomato and bacon courgette or, for vegetarians, Roasted Beetroot and Pear Risotto with peas, goats cheese and baby spinach.
For Dessert, Customs House Classic Crème Brulee with almond biscotti is the house signature, alongside choices like the delicious Mint Panna Cotta with chocolate popping ganache and lime syrup, Vahlrona Chocolate Fondant with peanut butter ice-cream and Rum Roasted Bananas, crème patisserie, vanilla bean ice-cream and caramel sauce.
In addition Customs House do a range of indulgent ‘Liquid Desserts’ such as the ‘Toblerone’ – Frangelico, Kahlua, Baileys, Milk and Cream.A small selection of quality artisan cheese is also available – think Spanish Monte Enebro with red onion jam, French St Augur Blue with poached pear and truffle honey, L’Artisan Extravagant Triple Crème (served with green olive tapenade) from Victoria and local Kenilworth Black Wax Aged Cheddar with sour apple compote.
The comprehensive wine list at Customs House features a curated mix of boutique Australian and international wines from the chief wine growing regions around the world, while the cocktail list includes classics with a twist such as Cosmopolitan Pear, French Vanilla or Salted Caramel Espresso Martini, Lychee Berry Daiquiri and Spiced Rum and Passion Mojito. Some cocktails are also available by the jug (an ideal combination with the share plates), including Sangria or Sparkling Sangria, Mojito, Cosmopolitan or Pimms Cocktail.
Meanwhile non-alcoholic drinks include a range of soft drinks, juices and mocktail style mixes such as Berry Fizz and Mango Passion.
Nice to know – While dining at Customs House, be sure to explore the accessible parts of the interior where remnants of its history are visible, such as the glass cabinets in the hallway by the bar, which contain fascinating relics of its time as Customs House, the grand opulent ballroom (The Long Room) upstairs and the original tiled staircase.
Need to know - While lunch is available daily from 12-3 and dinner Tue-Sat from 6-10, the Share Plate (all day grazing) menu is available daily from 11am to close.
*Price correct at time of wrtiting in November 2015