Zazu Dining is making waves in the West End dining scene with its opulent take on the classic Italian lasagne. Their version of this cult favourite is served with caviar and comes with an eye-popping price tag of $75 per serving.
Queensland celebrity chef Gillian Hirst initially crafted this singularly Australian interpretation of traditional Italian lasagne back in 1992. At the time, her sand crab lasagne, a departure from the traditional meat-based version, was an instant hit, with Il Centro, a now-closed fine dining establishment, serving an astonishing 400 portions of it each week.
Hirst shared her recipe for the sand crab lasagne with Jova Lou, the owner of Zazu Dining, who decided to revive this iconic dish for a new generation of food enthusiasts. The result is a lavish creation that boasts layers of creamy bechamel sauce and sand crab bolognese, bathed in a rich abalone bisque and crowned with a generous spoonful of black caviar.
Whilst this luxurious lasagne has captured the attention of foodies and social media aficionados, the price has raised more than a few eyebrows. At $75 per serving, it significantly surpasses the cost of the 1990s original.
Zazu Dining suggests that the portion can be shared between two people, but according to Queensland food journalist Anooska Tucker-Evans, who recently sampled and reviewed the dish, it “could easily be polished off by a hungry solo diner.”
However, the extravagantly priced lasagne is not the only unique offering on Zazu’s eclectic menu. Rather than adhering to a single culinary tradition, the restaurant, which opened in July 2023, has assembled a diverse array of global flavours.
Dishes such as edamame with truffled butter and smoked garlic salt ($9) coexist with Thai beef salad ($26) and Balkan-style kofte kebapi ($19). The menu features “eclectic oval pizzas” adorned with Middle-Eastern style lamb, while dumplings and bao buns share the spotlight with Szechuan duck pancakes and confit chicken roulade.
In an era where culinary fusion and daring experimentation continue to captivate diners, Zazu Dining’s extravagant lasagne has firmly established itself as a conversation piece within Brisbane’s vibrant culinary scene, offering a unique and indulgent dining experience that comes at a premium cost.