Tag Archives: the euro

Burns Night Supper – BrisVegas Style

Every year on the 25th of January Scots, descendants of Scots and those who like a dram join together to celebrate the poet Robert Burns.  Regarded as Scotland’s national poet, Burns drew on Scottish tradition and his broad knowledge of classical, biblical and English literature to produce a large body of well loved poems and lyrics on themes as diverse as Scottish culture and tradition, republicanism, gender and class inequalities, poverty, sexuality and of course, whisky.  Even if you care not for poetry or Scottish icons, you’ll no doubt be familiar with ‘Auld Lang Syne’, his best known lyrical work.  John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ borrows its title from Burns’ poem ‘To A Mouse’:

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley”.

Burns Night Suppers are held all over the world, and take many forms.  Burns is also associated with Freemasonry and some Masonic temples hold very formal and unsuprisingly ritualised dinners to celebrate the Scottish Poet.  Our impromtu Burns’ Night celebration was a decidedly more free form affair.

Some of our older Whisky Society members gather each year at 5pm at the Burns Statue in Cathedral Place where the traditional Burns’ Day piece ‘Address To A Haggis’ is recited and various flasks and other receptacles of whisky are raised in a toast to Burns.  Local park dwellers join in and after 30 minutes or so the crowd disperses, each heading off in their own directions home.

Address To A Haggis

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm

or in the modern parlance:

Nice seeing your honest, chubby face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Belly, tripe, or links:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

We decided the Saturday before the Tuesday night to have our Burns Supper at The Euro.  Probably an odd choice on the face of it but their Laneway Bar has a great selection of pre-whisky beers, stunning whisky cocktails courtesy of talented bar manager Aiden and importantly a very fine selection of whiskies.  No, Kym Machin hasn’t extended his repetoire to Haggis, but hearty flavours of rabbit, aged eye fillet and pork belly were sufficient fuel for our celebrations.

Over dinner and after several glasses of wine at dinner the Saturday night before, I started practicing to recite ‘Address to a Haggis’.   (Apologies to Shawn Gomes and the Il Centro floor staff).  Come Burns Night, and after several beers and whisky cocktails our little democracy decided that we’d each recite a verse.  Hmmmm.  I’m not sure we really did Burns’ justice.

Perhaps next year we’ll find somewhere with kilts, haggis and someone more qualified to conduct the Burns’ Night formalities.

Restaurant Review: The Euro, Brisbane

Before it was The Euro, this space was Serengeti, an odd mish mash of Singaporean-Chinese chefs doing a pasta and foccacia cafe menu with authentic mee goreng available to those in the know.  The fitout was left over from a chain cafe and featured stained glass and cheap prints of Paris.  Noisy and bustling, and was a great place to grab a quick meal and gossip, provided you understood how to navigate the schizophrenic menu.

In the same amount of space next door was Urbane MKI, even in its original incarnation one of the sexiest restaurants in Brisbane.  I was lucky enough to thoroughly enjoy a degustation and matched wines on its last night before the builders were called in.  What has emerged from these combined spaces is a very special group of venues.

The Euro is a brasserie which even if it served porridge would be remarkable for its exciting and cohesive design.  Warm timbers, exposed heritage brickwork and angular, coloured lighting and glass provide a sophisticated back drop for a drink at the bar, a meal and a glass of wine or extended culinary adventures.  The sophistication extends to small details – stemware and cutlery well above ‘brasserie’ standards, well orchestrated service and an impressively stocked bar and bar staff to do it justice.  The wine list steers clear of safe expense account options, but rewards with some interesting and judiciously priced wines. 

One of the principles of the venue was to source great produce, including whole carcasses from top producers, organic and heirloom vegetables and handmade smallgoods.  Bespoke 56 day dry aged AACO wagyu beef  and organic yearling is at the centre of a menu that manages to be unfussy and innovative at the same time.  Kym Machin’s passion and technique is evident in dishes like a deconstructed chicken pot au feu and the quality of the produce matches this in dishes like carpaccio of wagyu bresaola with slow cooked pullet egg, truffled potato and parmesan and milk fed veal, served simply with lemon, aioli and slaw.  Past hits have included a very enjoyable bolognaise, mulloway pastie with almond mayo and a risotto of roast pumpkin and gorgonzola.  The menu is seasonal and changes regularly.  Kym’s passion doesn’t appear to lagging as each new menu is even more appealing.

Desserts here are a must.  I’ve just spotted a chocolate and px sherry trifle with chewy pumpkin seed caramel on the new menu, reminding me of one of the best things about The Euro.  Pastry chef Shaun Quade was recently nominated for Gourmet Traveller’s Best New Talent award and even if you have no room for dessert, at least order the petit fours.

One of the things that makes The Euro special is the sure hand of Andy Buchanan, one of the venue’s owners, along with Drew Patten who presides of Urbane’s dining room.  Along with Kym Machin, they have created four very special venues – Urbane, The Euro, Laneway Bar and private dining room SubUrbane.  Whilst they’ve clearly surrounded themselves with a talented team you can’t help but admire their focus and daring.  That the patrons are loving it signals a new maturity in the Brisbane dining scene.

The Euro

179 Mary Street, Brisbane

Phone:  07 3229 3686