|Moreton Bay Bug Ravioli.|
Gip was a beloved companion, soul mate and the apple of his master's eye. He was a Jack Russell and he lived with the family of James and Sara Taylor, who with nine children, occupied this manor from 1869. Gip lived until 1894, before the outbreak of the twentieth century. One can visit the stone memorial of Gip on the manor's western lawn.
Jon and Julanne McCorley have operated the restaurant in Gip's name for at least 12 years from the year 2000. This is a mansion with many rooms. The space we went through was an evening meal with grace, with carefully crafted dishes for us to saviour and with a most relaxing ambiance throughout. It was a relatively nippy night outside but we did not feel the elements of the outdoors, only the regional country culinary delights.
With a wholesome and elegant menu presented to us, it was both delightful to go through them and yet not easy to decide on a final choice. Young Alyssa was comfortable in the surroundings provided by Gip's, keeping busy with herself while the adults examined the menu.
Chet had the Tasmanian Royal lamb rack and Rillettes, garnished by Piquillo Peppers stuffed by Buffalo Mozzarella cheese and lightened by crushed green peas. Piquilos have a sweeter taste with no heat, hailing from Lodoso in northern Spain and the name of the peppers mean a little beak.
Karen chose the Moreton Bay Bug Ravioli, which offered the bug tail with Tiger prawns and a spicy Vermouth cream sauce. SK chose the Humpty Doo Barramundi, simply served with a citrus and Fennel salad and Portuguese styled potatoes.
I had my irresistible Roast Grimaud Duck Breast, topped by a sour cherry Compote with sides of smoked sweet potatoes, Speck, walnuts and Brussel Sprouts. This was a blend of harmonious flavours - the Speck increased the meaty flavours, walnuts provided a contrasting crunch to the sweet potato and the sprouts gave a sharper taste with the Compote. I reckoned it must have been Muscovy duck but I am not sure.
A sizeable bouquet captures my attention on a mantelpiece placed in the centre of the dining area that doubles up as a garden courtyard. The blooms are not real but they do look otherwise - what a shame, if only they invested in fresh blooms. The dining area is airy and yet heated up, and so we do not feel much of the single digit temperatures this evening. I am reminded of being in Salzburg, even though this is another perspective of life on the Darling Downs, so far from the Europe. Little do I suspect that the other dining area, an interior room that can seat 120 persons, was once the billiard room.
We are shown our reserved table efficiently and there is a welcoming mini appetiser for the four adults in our group. The best of local produce forms the basis of the meals, with sourcing spread across Australia from Bunya Mountain (on the northern edge of the Darling Downs and south of Kingaroy) to Tassie. Gip's is surrounded by Jacaranda and English oak trees on its grounds with a garden lit up by traditional gas lamps.
With prices that provide value in the quality of culinary preparation and presentation, coupled with attentive and discerning staff service and engagement, we thoroughly enjoyed the dinner at Gip's.
|Roast Grimaud Duck Breast.|
Located in what seems to be a countryside hideaway, Gip's is surrounded by fertile agricultural land, akin to going to Orange in NSW. Local and seasonal produce are highlighted.
This is a place to strongly consider for a proposal, wedding or anniversary party, with spacious outside grounds and gardens. Lovely ambiance, customer engaged staff and a place where posh still means it. Sited within the city of Toowoomba itself, but once you are seated, you would not realise the restaurant is in a conurbation - we are brought to another world.
My impressions of Gip's Restaurant in Toowoomba, Queensland are:
Ambiance: 4.5 out of 5
Customer Engagement: 4 out of 5
Culinary Delight: 4 out of 5
X Factor: 4 out of 5
Over all score: 16.5/4 out of 5
My recommended dishes from Gip's are:
For entrees, try the duck share tasting platter - provided with a rustic Baguette are duck Rillettes with Cornichons (small pickled Gherkins French style) and duck liver Pate with Thyme;
or the Atlantic Salmon spring rolls with a soy and Wasabi dipper; or
Scallops enhanced by a Truffle pea puree, chilli oil, fresh herb salad and a crisp Prosciutto.
Rillettes are often cubed or chopped pork meats, salted and made tender by cooking slowly in fat to form a paste or shreds. They are rich on the palate and usually spread on toast.
For the mains, consider the Bunya Mountain Pork Tenderloin, with roast Autumn vegetables, Lily Pilly sauce and crackling;
or the Moreton Bay Bug Ravioli, accompanied by Tiger prawns, a spicy Vermouth cream sauce and asparagus;
or the Roast Grimaud duck breast, decorated with Brussel Sprouts, Speck, smoked sweet potato, walnuts and a sour cherry Compote.
Lily Pilly is made with spices like Cardamom pods and cinnamon powder, enhanced by bay leaves, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and further uplifted by white vinegar and lots of sugar.
The Gip's Restaurant visited is located at the historic Clifford House, 120 Russell Street, Toowoomba, south-east Queensland, 90 minutes drive inland from Brisbane city centre.
This restaurant takes reservations and is licensed.
Opening hours are from 9am to 9pm very week day and from 1130am to 10pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays.
Contact +617 4638 3588