Now I am no turophile but after three weeks in Tasmania mooching around several notable cheese manufacturers, I was ready to indulge at the whimsically named Fromage [the Cow] in Park Road Milton. Fromage, Brisbane’s first licensed fromagerie, is fairly new to Park Road but clearly it has a following. The lunchtime I visited there was a steady stream of customers. The tables turned over fairly quickly and I felt slightly naughty taking my time. The menu is elegant with three broad categories: for the table (share plates: salami and salumi, cheese fondue and a cheese platter), entrees (burrata, zucchini flowers, cheese soufflé, hot smoked salmon) and mains (salmon, rabbit loin or orecchiette, lamb rack, wagyu sirloin, shared porchetta, porcini risotto, gnocchi). Ask for the dessert menu – you will not regret it. While some may deplore the advent of the shared plated, I love it. It’s a brilliant way for two to peck through a menu. Cheese goes with platters like gin goes with tonic – so we opted for the salami and salumi board as a kickoff. We had the truffle salami, wagyu bresaola (aged beef), prosciutto di parma paired with capers, pickled bell peppers and green olives. A perfect taster. It would be ideal after work – a glass of wine, or a few, and a platter. We shared an entrée and a main. After much angst – cheese soufflé or hot salmon? – the hot salmon won.img_0748

It was a complex dish – dill and salmon terrine, parmesan crisps, salmon roe with saffron creme fraiche and fennel as a counterpoints to the saltiness of the roe. Second choice was the homemade gnocchi with pork/fennel sausage and truffle oil, mascarpone and padano (cheese) sauce. The gnocchi was pillowy perfect and drenched in a subtle but tasty sauce. Sure it lacked the prettiness of the hot salmon, but I definitely do not eat with my eyes and its pillowy perfection earned it the dish of the day title for me. Now obviously a cheese platter is the way to end a meal at a fromagerie – but we went rogue and ordered a dessert. Now this is where Fromage came into its own – the chocolate/pecan cheesecake was served with milk sorbet and a condensed caramel sauce. I know I said the gnocchi was dish of the day, but the cheesecake usurped it. Dark, peanut buttery dense and tasty, it was not too sweet. I could have eaten a bowl of the sorbet with chocolate soil. The mille feuille with berries was light and fresh served with white chocolate icecream on a grated coconut bed. Ideal for those who do not like overly sweet desserts. Fromage has a great summery vibe. Muted greys and whites and the walk-in glass cheese/charcuterie pantry create a cool atmosphere, literally and figuratively. Go for the cheese and wine — stay for the desserts. Look out for the blue plaster cow!

 

Words by Toni Johnson-Woods