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Brisbane’s newest drinks and dining hot spot– M&A, Fortitude Valley

If you haven’t found Brisbane’s newest dining destination yet, it’s time you took the big step across McLachlan Street from James Street in Fortitude Valley and found M&A.

Laing O’Rourke's first major mixed use development in Australia, the $250 million M&A includes residential, commercial, retail, a large walk through ‘lane way’ public space and commissioned artworks. I saw one of these art works suspended over the lane way.  To this food lover’s eye it looked like an oversized turkey big enough to feed a small nation.



The development includes 12 levels of offices and 21 levels of one and two bedroom apartments and is bounded by Ann, Connor, McLachlan and James Streets.  The lucky residents have a private rooftop recreation deck with a 20 metre pool, gardens and barbecue.

However I’m more interested in the ground level food/bar tenants who are bringing new blood to this end of the Valley.

So what have we got?



Mighty Mighty –cue and brew
This is the brainchild of co-owner…

An Italian Christmas at L'angolo, Hamilton, Brisbane

If taking the family to Italy for Christmas doesn't quite fit the budget, how about an authentic Italian Christmas lunch at L'angolo, new at Hamilton.

Brought to you by the same two couples who established Colle Rosso at Red Hill, David Ruggiero, Laura Petricelli, Lisa Del Vecchio and Marco Mureddu, have drawn from their shared Italian heritage to create Christmas menu.




Their set four course Christmas lunch includes some of the popular items from their menu with a festive twist.



Starters include a rustic focaccia which I particularly enjoyed.  The only problem with this pizza style bread is that you will want to eat it all up and that doesn't leave much room for the feast that follows.  The caprese salad with buffalo fior di latte, prosciutto and olives is a light and refreshing alternative salad.


Entrees include homemade saffron fettuccine with roasted quail, pancetta and peas in a sweet sauce or ravioli filled with barramundi and crab in a light tomato sauce.




For the ma…

Six top tips for Brisbane's food scene - Ed+bK's Top Cuts

Wide wine choice at 5th element, South Bank, Brisbane.

Mmm.. wine.. That’s what I was saying all afternoon last week in anticipation of an afternoon at 5th Element in Brisbane’s Southbank.

Ed+bK Bar reporter Alexander Stone test drives 5th Element's new menu
I've never had wine at 5th element before and had always wondered what all the wines in the dispensing system down the back were about. The idea is that you receive a small credit card like device at the bar, then go up to your wine of choice select a taste, half or full glass and presto, it pours it for you. No waiting no, messing around just instant wine. If you’re unsure and don’t want to taste every wine in the joint (there's a fair few), the staff  have an excellent knowledge of the wines available and are more than willing to share their favorites.

In the end we sampled a lot of wines but just as many cocktails from their new cocktail selection.

My first selection was the Twisted Lady – she’s a little crazy but definite crowd pleaser just as the menu promised.  Mix…

Papa Jack's, Fortitude Valley

Got an image of yourself pulling up a stool at an bar in America? You don't need to go that far as Brisbane has been seduced by American-style bars this year.


Ed+bK bar reporter Alexander Stone explores the latest bar addition and gets to know his Papa.




Papa Jack's in Fortitude Valley’s new M&A Lane seems to have found its happy spot.

Coming from the established hospitality minds of ex-canvas owners Emily and Marco Nunes,
Papa Jack's wants to offer it all. Open from 11.30am for lunch and dinner till late, Jack's pumps out the new Orleans vibe seven days a week.








Jack's also hosts  live music with some great acts booked to play at their own piano. I had to return to take some more photos (and another cheeky drink) and got to hear a lady who had just walked off the street play Bohemian Rhapsody in full to my amazement.




The drinks list is also exciting. For speed of service you can order pre-made, house-bottled cocktails, alcoholic iced teas for a refreshing aft…

A gardener's delight - Red Cow Farm, Sutton Forest, NSW Southern Highlands

I'm a little late, Wayne Morrissey tells me.  Just a week ago a fierce storm ravaged the garden at Red Cow Farm playing havoc with the flowers blooming their hearts out for spring.

Looking around me, I'm wondering what has been damaged amongst the densely packed foliage. It looks near perfect, a wonder of cool climate plants that a Queenslander like me only gets to see in books.

Red Cow Farm has been described as one of the best gardens in the Southern Highlands, but as I'm not a garden expert, all I can say is it's a must-do if you visit the area from late September to mid May. It's located in Sutton Forest on the Illawarra Highway.





The farm is a life-passion and home to Ali Mentesh and Wayne Morrissey who have turned the historic 1820s cottage from a renovator's delight into a gardener's dream. They left their comfortable Sydney life for a green-change in the Southern Highlands and took on much more than they realised, but it's all their own work of …

Tune Hotel, Melbourne -review

Here’s your toiletries pack says the smiling girl at the check-in desk at Melbourne’s Tune Hotel.

Do they think forgot my deodorant this morning or I’m running low on toothpaste I wonder? A quick inspection inside the bag reveals just a fresh white fluffy towel, small soap and shampoo, so I'm not obviously in desperate need of a shower.

It’s my first introduction to Tune’s ‘no frills’ policy which includes a pay-as-you-use system for WiFi, FOXTEL™ Cable TV and even your towel. At $8 a day WiFi is a necessity for me along with a towel for around $2 for the stay. I’m happy to pay the small price for these when the hotel’s base rate starts at a very competitive $65 per night. I’m also happy not to pay for FOXTEL which I am unlikely to watch.










The concept here is to offer a great night’s sleep at a great price. The rooms are space-efficient and streamlined (read compact but not quite cramped), focusing on high-quality basics with very comfortable beds and again compact, b…