Top cuts - just the best bits from Brisbane's food news

Here's what is happening in around Brisbane town food wise, plus some random, quirky travel stuff you can chat about at the water cooler.

Cheap eats

  • Half price lunch is back at Drift, Brookwater. It's only on the a la carte menu and reservations are essential.

  • Portside’s Byblos bar + restaurant is offering Cavalia ticket holders a special 2 for 1 beverage deal when they visit for a pre-show dinner and drinks. The Cavalia big top is just a few short minutes’ drive from Byblos. Simply need to show your ticket at the bar to redeem this special offer.

  • Freestyle Tout at Emporium is offering a free glass of wine when you book in for a 'Quick Lunch'. Lunch is available from 10am - 3pm daily. Quote 'loyal freestyler' when making your booking. 07 3252 0214. 

New obsession

Owners of the contemporary Chinese restaurant Obsession at South Bank will open their second restaurant in Brisbane, committing to space at FKP's $1.1 billion Gasworks development at Newstead Riverpark.

The new restaurant and bar, Peng You, will occupy a 200sqm premises, on a 10 year lease with a 10 year option and is set to open in mid-2013 says owner and restaurateur Joyce Chiu.

Mrs Chiu says, the Peng You menu will incorporate the freshest ingredients, packaged in a Asian style tapas selection with numerous dumplings and a short mains menu.
Peng You will be located at the heart of the Gasworks master planned development adjacent to the Gasworks Public Plaza, in the 8,000sqm retail and dining precinct, known as Gasometer 1.

Nose to Tail Beef Appreciation

Dine with a difference with a Nose to Tail Beef Appreciation Night on March 6 at Pig ‘N’ Whistle Riverside.Award-winning beef producer Blair Angus, from Queensland’s Signature Beef will break down a carcase in front of your eyes and explain a few ways to cook each particular cut.  Pig ‘N’ Whistle Riverside chefs will prepare a meal using the cuts as part of a five-course degustation menu paired with selected Penfolds’ wines. The night is about educating Brisbane residents about the many unknown cuts of beef and promoting the idea of enjoying beef sustainably. Tickets are $95 per person. Bookings

New menu

Bavarian Bier Cafe has launched daily specials, a new Bar Bites and Sliders menu and new a la carte options such as Giant Portobello Mushrooms, Prawn Cocktail, Kinkawooka Mussels, 2 New schnitzels and 1kg of prawns to share. Most main dishes are priced between $20 and $30, with light lunch bar bites priced at one for $5, three for $13 or five for $20.  The seven flavours of sliders are $3 each. Find the Bavarian Bier CafĂ© Eagle St Pier Level 1, Eagle Street Pier. Bookings.

Daintree dark

'A lingering undercurrent of blueberries in the finish of the back palate' is how the experts describe the new 2012 Early Harvest Dark 70% chocolate from Daintree Estate.  Made from a blend from four Daintree region cocoa estates, this year's chocolate has strong cocoa notes and a smooth texture. Daintree Estates, makers of the world's first commercially produced chocolate made in Australia from cocoa and sugar grown in Australia.  Leave some creative feedback on their facebook page and you could win some. 

Blind dining

Unless you are camping or in the middle of a blackout, an hour without electricity Earth hour (March 23, 8.30pm) is a bit of a challenge in our modern world.

Make it easy on yourself with dinner by candle light at Restaurant Marca at Albion. They are keeping the three course menu with matching wines‘in the dark’ but $5 of the $70 per person dinner cost goes to the The Fred Hollows Foundation to help put an end to avoidable blindness by 2020. Nice choice!

City Hall about to shine

With the extensive A$215 million restoration  Brisbane City Hall in its final stages details of the venue and catering options have been released including the appointment of Executive Chef Russell Armstrong to run the brand new commercial kitchen.

Re-opening this April to coincide with its 83rd anniversary, City Hall will have 12 carefully restored and redesigned indoor function rooms with state-of-the-art audio- visual and information technology facilities capable of hosting from 20 to 2,000 guests.

EPICURE will manage all of the functions and events held at the Brisbane City Hall and the adjacent 3,000 square metre King George Square. 

I'm wondering what's happening about the recreation of the Shingle Inn which I thought was going in the basement?

Snap recipes

I'm always spotting recipes I'd like to try but keeping track of them is a nightmare. Hello to the answer to my dreams -  SnapRecipes app. It lets you quickly snap that great recipe in the weekend paper, favourites from your cookbooks, magazines and websites, and family classics. Then file with simple one-touch categories.  SnapRecipes uses Apple’s iCloud to automatically sync your recipes between your iPhone and iPad and is high-tech designed for non tech-heads.  It’s a no-brainer.

Extra plus: SnapRecipes has partnered with OzHarvest, the food rescue charity, donating 5% of Australian app sales. Get at the App Store.

Easter Italian style

Easter is a great excuse to indulge in  special treats and that's something Italians do oh so well. Learn how to make traditional Italian recipes at Absolutely Abruzzo Tours' Italian Easter Baking Class at Moreton Bay College in Manly West on Saturday 16 March.

Tour operators and class-hosts Luciana Masci and Michael Howard will show you how to prepare authentic recipes passed down through generations of Lucina's family including ricotta cake with almonds and chocolate, mostaccioli biscuits with almonds, honey, cinnamon and chocolate, a baked sweet pastry with savoury cheese and egg filling known as fiadone, and savoiardi, soft sponge finger biscuits perfect for accompanying an afternoon coffee. Michael, who is an international operatic tenor, will also perform some traditional Italian songs. Bookings

Are you a tosser or a turner?

I'm currently a restless sleeper so I doubt by Sleep Art would look as serene as this image but tonight I'll be giving it a go just because I can.

Ibis, the hotel company that brought you the 'buttock-shaped plunger test' and the 'human roller test', now brings you the latest innovation in sleep technology. You can find out whether you are a tosser or a turner thanks to a new Sleep Art app available to download free, which will create art while you sleep.The Sleep Art app, available for new generation iPhones and the iOS 5 and 6 operating systems, captures movement and sounds from your night's sleep and converts this data into virtual brush strokes so that when you wake your sleep is a work of art.

Get it on iTunes here  

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer: Simply spreading food love