Top cuts - just the best food news

Making the cut this week on Ed+bK - new range of pre-prepared meals, dining with strangers, new chefs, new coffee/homewares combo, Italian lunch options, Melbourne update, Grace Knight in concert.

Meals made easy

After reading my blog you might think I eat out every night of the week!

Well I don't and too often I'm standing at the fridge door waiting for something to jump out and say 'cook me'. So I'm loving Jocelyn's Provisions new Artisan Food Range of pre-prepared meals.  We're talking hearty, slow braised dishes that taste like you could have made them yourself.Even better, Jocelyn's uses seasonally appropriate ingredients, real butter, free range eggs and organic lamb.

The meals are priced between $17 and $21 and several are suitable for gluten free diets. Think Sherry roasted chicken with chorizo (see photo above), cinamon scented lamb and ribollita soup.  There's also a range of sides like Paris Mash, spiced cauliflower and mac and three cheese. We gave cinamon scented lamb and ribollita soup the taste test and found the flavours well developed. The serving was generous and easily fed three with some rice on the side.

Even better, Jocelyn's is open seven days a week.

Table of strangers

Sounds odd but intriguing, doesn't it? The Table of Strangers, which has just 20 seats and may or may not be used as a stage by performers during the night, is one of several unusual dining options at Brisbane's Flipside Circus Carnivale Noir on April 27. Micnic Tickets (a.k.a. a gourmet picnic area on the Flipside mats) include a personal butler who will feed you from the Speakeasy Swing while you lay amongst rugs and cushions with the best view in the house. The Little Big Top is perhaps the most unique and interactive entertainment experience in the Carnivale. Guests in this area will watch in amazement as their very own Little Big Top is lowered to cover their table, then lifted to reveal entertainment. Speakeasy Swing tickets ensure prime position in in the private area of the Speakeasy Swing Bar, up close and personal to the smooth sounds of the Browning Street Studio.

Catering is by Street Food Australia who will be rolling out their awesome steamed dumplings, BBQ ribs and more. Minimum general entry costs $

New chef at Baguette

Scott Berryman has joined Baguette as new Head Chef.  Scott is a Kiwi who has lived in Australia for 13 years working mainly at top hotels and resorts in Western Australia with a stint at Crieff Hydro Hotel in Scotland thrown in. Baguette also has a cocktail making class where you learn cocktail making 101 plus eat some tapas for $50 per person.  It's available on Saturdays.

Bayside ambience

Recliffe's beach-side ambiance is sometimes overlooked but not by Mon Komo Hotel in Marine Parade which has used the appointment of new chef Keith Windsor to revamp their restaurant with Caribbean influences.

Restaurant Caribbee's menu is laced with treats such as Jamaican spiced tiger prawns, Cuban-spiced swordfish and roasted goats cheese and garlic cream black shell mussels, plus some signature spicy steak rubs.

The most popular dish on the menu is twice-cooked sticky pork belly and spiced duck neck sausages with minted pea puree, sweet confit fennel and blood orange marmalade.

Deer Sir

It's double the pleasure and twice the temptation when two business combine with a great coffee option. Deer Sir, set to open at Portside on April 20 brings together Michael Cotton, formerly of Co Design in Racecourse Road, with business partners Ali Casey and Brent Doughty.

The store will house a mix of old and new including jewellery, antiques, furniture, homewares, vintage finds and interesting treasures, while Deer Sir will serve quality AllPress Espresso coffee.

Eating Piedmont

Bar Alto at The Powerhouse will take on a trip to Italy's Piedmont throughout April with a new lunch menu featuring porcini ritsotto, chicken liver ragu, braised beef short ribs and mixed boiled meats. Piedmont's cuisine is almost more French than Italian and butter features prominently along with braised meats, fonduta, gorgonzola and white truffle.  It's also home to the Nebbiolo, Barolo and Barbaresco grape varieties. The lunch deal is entree and main $37 or entree, main and dessert for $46.

Jazz and Shiraz

The Kingston Butter Factory will buzz with the sound of Grace Knight, Australia's Got Talent grand finalist, David De Vito, as well as local artists Scat, Renae Suttie, Lauren Lucille Quartet and Mal Wood and friends, featuring Ashleigh Lewis for Jazz and Shiraz on Saturday 13 April from 3 pm to 9 pm.  It's a byo picnic or buy gourmet food onsite style event with wines from Sirromet Wines and Cedar Creek Estate Wines.  Tickets to Jazz and Shiraz 2013 are $20 and are limited to 1,000 people. Purchase your ticket by phoning 3412 5626 or visit There's also a Jazz and Shiraz app with an event program, venue map and journey planner, social media links to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as links to purchase songs by the event's artists.

Heading for Melbourne?

Here's a new spot to try in the rapidly growing Windsor dining scene. Saigon Sally in Duke Street is the second venture for the team behind much-loved Vietnamese Hawker bar, Hanoi Hannah, and is proving just as popular.

Chef Adrian Li’s menu tests traditional Vietnamese methods and demonstrates a direct relationship with market produce.  The delicacy of balance and lack of palm sugar create a light repast that local and destination diners are already queuing for, with stir fried kholrabi, bitter melon, wood ear mushrooms and choko or pipis with chinese donuts, quinoa, banana blossom and hue chilli broth. Check out the combined dessert and cocktail bar. Open Wednesday to Sunday

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK was given meals by Jocelyn's Provisions to try.