L’Academie Hotel is a training restaurant located in Spring Hill, Brisbane. L’Academie provides students of the Shafston School of Hospitality the opportunity to work in a live service kitchen and on the restaurant floor, putting into practice the skills that they have acquired in theory classes.
A couple of months ago, I bought a Scoopon for this restaurant and only used it this past Saturday. 3 course meal for 2 people and a bottle of wine for $50. $25 dollars each for some good fine dining, who can resist? After days and days of studying, it was just great to relax for an evening.
The restaurant is nicely decorated and inviting. This is from the dining area looking out towards the front door. Food being put out from the kitchen on the right, bar on the left.
The dining area. The paintings work well for the restaurant although I can’t imagine having them in my home!
Even the chandelier matched the colour scheme
We were seated immediately and a waitress came to give us menus and take our orders.
Our table – a good size for 2. That bread. The both of us had to wonder how long had it been sitting there… completely dried out, hard and brittle. We could barely cut into it without making a mess everywhere. The butter had also been left out for too long and had the consistency of mousse.
L’Academie was definitely not giving us a very good first impression. But rather than start out the evening complaining and asking for replacements, we decided to see what else the restaurant had to offer.
The entrees came out shortly.
I ordered the special – don’t remember the exact name but it came with breaded calamari and a salad. Delicious! Calamari was perfectly cooked and just the right amount of accompanying salad and sauce.
What was not pretty to see, however, was oxidized lettuce. It’s entirely natural but should never appear on a plate served in a restaurant. I wouldn’t even want it seen in anything I would serve my family, just unappetizing. Would’ve taken only an extra second to rip it off, so more care needed!
Mike ordered the Marinated Sweet Chilli Scallop & Tiger Prawn Salad with Fresh Rocket & Ginger Dressing. A seafood fan, he claimed it was fantastic. “Simply good.”
We were able to choose a bottle of wine between Tyrrell’s merlot or chardonnay, we chose chardonnay. Good wine, although not nearly worth the quoted price of $80 on our Scoopon. This bottle can be bought in the range of $15-20.
Our dishes were cleared within a few minutes of finishing but it was never intrusive. Staff was really great the entire time.
Our mains arrived in only a few minutes.
I ordered the Tasmanian Rosemary Lamb Rump on Sweet Potato Mash with Tomato, Bulgarian Fetta & Mint Salsa. Yummy! The lamb was so nicely seasoned and it was my first time trying the lamb and mint combination – was definitely not disappointed. Gravy was also amazing! The serving of sweet potato was massive but definitely delicious.
Mike had the Cold Water Slipper Lobster with Brown Rice Pilaf, Braised Leek & Chive Beurre Blanc. It was the first time either of us had heard of the slipper lobster – it’s tiny! But in his words, “So succulent and satisfying.”
With such satisfying entrees and mains, we were really hoping dessert would take it home for us. Man, were we ever disappointed! We chose to share a chocolate brownie and gosh, even I can make better brownies… from instant mix!
The brownie was nice and chocolately, but unfortunately too hard and dry. 😦 L’Academie, please don’t plate your desserts ahead of time and have them refrigerated… that is so cafeteria! I’m sure the brownie would’ve tasted at least 3x better if it had even been slightly warmed up before serving. Such is the downfall of convenience!
One of the servers kindly took a picture for us. Even getting down on one knee and proclaiming, “I think I took a good one there!” (You be the judge ;))
Thank you L’Academie Hotel for a much needed good night.
We had a great time and overall good food. Would we come back again? Perhaps, if we can get a good deal like this time! Service was great… although we had at least 4 people serve us – would’ve preferred to be stuck with one person the entire time. We weren’t too happy about certain aspects of the food as mentioned above. And lastly, the atmosphere was a little too much like a family restaurant than fine dining (although we understand it’s a training restaurant). Some music to set the mood would be nice! And maybe a separate area for large (noisy) groups 😀