Just the best food and wine Top Cuts for Brisbane and beyond

This week in Top Cuts

  • New chef for CBD gastro bar
  • Tasting paradise in Port Douglas with Ed+bK
  • Ross Street food bliss
  • Dom gets Fresh on Sundays with Ed+bK
  • New Surfers Paradise bar, new Woolloongabba restaurant
  • Wine dinner in Noosa,
  • Taste Queensland at Stokehouse

New chef for CBD gastobar


With Ben Veldhuijzen (ex Urbane & The Euro) as new head chef, The Villager in George Street, has morphed from a hotel into a gastrobar and supper club. Their new winter menu includes tarted up comfort food with an edge such as crisp pork belly and pumpkin two ways and a trio of lamb cutlets followed by a chocolate stout cake or ice cream sandwich (pictured above) for dessert.  www.thevillager.com.au

Tasting paradise


A Taste of Paradise is Port Douglas Carnivale’s newest food event, to be held at the Sugar Wharf on Saturday, May 25.

The all-day event will showcase the region’s best produce with cooking demonstrations and free food, wine and beer tastings from many well-regarded suppliers including Mungalli Creek, Daintree Estate Chocolates, Julatten Earth Foods, Vanilla Australia, Backfatter’s Pig Farm and Daintree Barramundi Farm. Cooking demonstrations begin on the main stage at 10am with celebrity chef Ben O’Donohue of Surfing the Menu fame, supported by local star chefs who will take the main stage. I’ll also be there on stage with Natascha Mirosch talking the chefs through their presentations.

Look out for popular My Kitchen Rules contestants from the 2012 series of the show, Leigh Sexton, one half of last year’s winning Team South Australia, and David Hopgood the popular soldier from Townsville, who will also be cooking at the event.

Pig out at the School Canteen

If your workplace is around the culinary desert of Ross Street, Newstead, relief is in sight!
The Golden Pig is now open Monday to Fridays for breakfast and lunch, selling savoury food as well as coffee and cakes.  The eat-in or takeout food  menu includes favourites such as Poached seasonal fruit with Greek yoghurt and Toasted Muesli, Egg and Bacon Frittata in Crusty roll with Rocket and Tomato Relish, Five Spiced Chicken, Asian salad, Siracha and Mayo in Crusty Roll and Roast Duck, Chilli Jam, Provolone and Spinach Toasty plus daily specials such as curry or laksa. The Golden Pig

Fresh on Sundays



Tune in to Dominque Rizzo’s new program Fresh on Sunday from 12 -2pm on Radio 4BC. Grab tasty recipe ideas, discover the latest food trends, kitchen gadgets and cooking tips, learn what’s in season, hear from top Australian producers, local and celebrity chefs, writers, food personalities and Eat,drink+beKerry.  I’m often chatting with Dom around 1.30pm. Available on digital and live stream.

Pure food

If you are thinking of exploring Sicily, the Aeolian Islands, Puglia, Greece and Germany, take a look at Dominque Rizzo’s new tours designed to offer a culinary journey which encompass an experience deep in history and local traditions in food, culture, art and family life. www.purefoodcookingtours.com

At the Helm



The old Titanium Bar in Ferny Avenue has been transformed with a massive renovation into Helm Surfers, a new drinking and dining hot-spot from the folks at Helm Sydney.

Architects Pecvonhartel, the team behind Sydney’s award-winning restaurant Jamie’s Italian, masterminded the sleek, nautical fit-out inspired by its sister venue in Sydney. Chef Nicolas Ash has created an easy-eating menu packed with pub-inspired favourites, share platters, freshly made pizzas and bar snacks.  Otherwise tuck into a heartier meal at the bistro’s communal table with a selection of expertly prepared pasta, salads and burgers on offer.  Open every day from 12pm for lunch and dinner. www.helmbarsurfers.com.au

Wine dinner at Sails


Expect a subtle, tantalising experience when pioneer Margaret River winemaker Tim Lovett of Leeuwin Estate meets the driving force behind Noosa’s legendary Sails restaurant for 15 years, Paul Leete, over a five course degustation. The Leeuwin Estate Wine Dinner on Friday May 17. The evening will start with the sensational view at Sails as you watch the sun set over Laguna Bay with canapés and a glass of 2008 Brut Pinot Noir Chardonnay.  It will be followed by second course and a Hervey Bay scallop ceviche, Tostada, sweet potato, corn, lime, avocado and a glass of 2012 Art Series Riesling. Tickets are $140 per person with arrival at 6:30pm. Find out more from Melita.  This is a great add on if you are in Noosa for the Food and Wine Festival.

Step into Asia



Asia has overtaken France with the opening of Birdcage Pan Asian Cuisine restaurant at Woolloongabba in the heritage-listed Moreton Rubber Works building which formerly housed Bistrot Bistro.

Owner Darryl Marsden has called on his 30 years of experience around the world to recreate the Asian traditions of sharing, appreciating and enjoying food with family and friends.

“Throughout my many roles in Malaysia, Indonesia and my travel in South East Asia, I have had the opportunity to enjoy many of the flavours from across the region,” says Darryl. “I have put together a menu that incorporates some of my favourite dishes using the wonderful produce we have available here in Australia.”

BirdCage’s bar will also offer more than a dozen specialty cocktails ranging from Ho Chi Minh Mary – a chili-infused Bloody Mary topped with beer – not for the faint hearted, to the BirdCage Martini with white rum, fresh ginger and lemongrass with freshly squeezed lemon juice double strained into a chilled martini glass. www.birdcage.com.au

A taste of Queensland at Stokehouse

If you’re missing the Noosa Food & Wine Festival this year, never fear – Stokehouse will be serving up specials throughout May in celebration of their chefs’ participation in the festival. Head Chef Tony Kelly and Sous Chef Richard Ousby will be taking part in the festival and you can try their signature dishes for yourself from the restaurant’s specials board. Try Tony’s Cannelloni of Noosa Spanner Crab, or Richard’s Wild shot hare and Salt crusted salmon creations, each celebrating the best of fresh Queensland produce. Book your table at Stokehouse: (07) 3020 0600.

Kerry Heaney