Skip to main content

7 top new food cuts - news you can use



This week – it’s picnic time at Camp Hill, getting slammed on the rooftop or shaking at South Bank, new dining option at New Farm, Queensland winners and lots of asparagus love.



Anyone for a picnic?


Opening today at Camp Hill is Picnic Café, serving all-day breakfast, delicious cakes, tapas and wine cocktails for dinner.

I’ve been munching on some of their melting moments and picnic brownies and can vouch that these are indeed, very yummy.  Too yummy, in fact, as I kept their little stash of goodies all to myself instead of sharing with the family – bad Kerry. Picnic also offers gourmet foods and gift baskets for those on the run.

Owner Giorgina Venzin describes Picnic Café as a little sister to their family-owned Venzin Group Pawpaw Café at Woolloongabba.  Picnic joins the group’s other Martha Street restaurant, Mons Ban Sabai.



Coffee cool down


You don’t have to give up your favourite brew just because the temperature is soaring says  Dean Merlo (pictured above) showing his style with a Shakerato, direct from the espresso bars of Milan, Rome and Portofino.  This is a new twist, or shake, on an iced coffee with fresh espresso, milk, a touch of sugar and ice all shaken in a cocktail shaker!  Hip movements while shaking are completely optional.  Dean says it’s huge in Italy but don’t ask for it at Merlo stores until after 12 noon daily.



Game on!


Just emerging from a serious makeover, Dandys Rooftop Bar at The Fox Hotel in Melbourne Street, South Brisbane is the new evening arena for game, set and match with ace décor and a smashing cocktail line up. The fluro, tennis-themed fit out and open-air rooftop location (see top photo) makes this bar stand out from the crowd.  If you are feeling tightly strung, a Pat Cash Smash with fresh raspberries, mint and lemon curd with Bulleit Rye, Jim Bean Cherry Bourbon, lemon juice and bitters will smooth the court or the Andy ‘Bring the Heat’ Roddick Champions Margarita with jalapeno-infused Don Julio Reposado, Illegal Mezacal and house-made agave cucumber puree is sure to get the match moving.



Shake, rattle and roll


Are you a sucker for tall frosty milkshakes, swivelling bar stools, cosy booths and a pumping jukebox?  Start practising your twist and shout for the opening of South Side Diner on Grey Street, South Bank in October.   It’s another one from Harun Gencerler who has the also American-themed, popular Next Door Kitchen. When it comes to the menu, think apple pie, pancakes and retro chic eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week from October 9.  www.southsidediner.com.au



Doors open at Balfour


New for New Farm, boutique Spicers Balfour Hotel has opened its bistro-style restaurant to the public offering uncomplicated, wholesome and locally-sourced food with the generosity of home cooking but amped up with skilful techniques and fresh flavours.

"We put a lot more heart and soul into our menu compared to a high-end restaurant,”says. Head chef Peter van Lunn. "Many of our dishes keep with the theme of the old converted Queenslander - classic dishes but with a twist."

Expect mains including cider braised pork belly with white bean puree and pickled apple; hot smoked salmon with whipped goat's cheese, asparagus and crisp breads; roast eggplant with buffalo mozzarella, semi dried tomato and aged balsamic; and the wild barra with saffron, mascarpone risotto and seafood bisque; and truffled eye fillet accompanied by baby potatoes, leeks and porcini cream. Mains are priced from $14-30 and are designed to be consumed individually or shared.

Tuesday night is Spice Night where there’s adventurous twist on some of the world's most famous spice dishes like barra vindaloo, black Angus massaman and sweet potato and spinach dahl complemented by a selection of Asian boutique beers.  More at www.spicersgroup.com.au.


Go Queensland!


Congratulations to the Queensland culinary team from The Brisbane Club for taking out first place at the Fonterra ‘Battle of the States’ Restaurant of Champions in Sydney. The coveted competition saw teams of three competitors from each state battle it out in a live kitchen, cooking and plating up a two course menu for 35 guests over two hours.

The Brisbane Club team representing Queensland was captained by Australia’s 2015
Bocuse d’Or candidate and two time Culinary Olympian Shannon Kellam, alongside
Shane Keighley from The Regatta Hotel and The Brisbane Club’s apprentice chef Tara
Bain.

Queensland’s entrée consisted of low temperature Huon salmon, furikame seasoning,
Hervey Bay scallop, spanner crab and cucumber, citrus meringue, with Flowerdale
Farm sprouts. The winning main course was a delicious Milly Lamb lamb loin with Rougie foie gras, and smoked belly, braised neck, brown butter and sage jus, with Flowerdale Farm
heirloom vegetables.

The meals were judged by a series of world-renowned chefs, with the Queensland
team scoring 99 out of 100 points and rave reviews to match.



This week I’m liking – Asparagus


There’s some beautiful asparagus around at the moment thanks to early winter dry conditions but they are not as bright green as normal because of cold growing conditions.

Look for firm, bright, smooth spears with closed, compact tips when you are buying and eat it as soon as possible.  If you are storing, wrap the asparagus in a damp tea towel, pop it in a plastic bag and store in the crisper compartment of your fridge.

As well as tasting great, asparagus is great for healthy blood pressure and is packed full or antioxidants and folate.

There are plenty of asparagus addicts amongst Eat,drink+beKerry followers.  Check the Ed+bK Facebook page for some of their great dining suggestions


There’s also some delicious recipes here


Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK was given a box of asparagus
Top Cuts is sponsored by Lucid Media.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Brisbane's top 10 'chew with a view' restaurants and cafes

It's a beautiful day! Where can you go and dine in the warm sun with a view that you'll never want to leave?

Here are ten top places in and around Brisbane to while away a lunch hour or a whole afternoon when the weather is warm and the skies are blue .

River Quay, South Bank

South Bank’s River Quay precinct has plenty of opportunities to relax in the sunshine and just about any restaurant at River Quay will offer a great spot for a winter lunch with a large, grassed lawn rolling down to the river bank.  You can even lie in the sun if you so desire.

Stop for champagne, oysters and more at Cove Bar and Dining, enjoy French provincial food at Aquitaine Brasserie, take in the river view from a Balinese daybed while you tuck into the contemporary menu at The Jetty, feast on Italian cuisine at Popolo or sip a long drink on the riverside deck of Stokehouse Q where the menu draws on local produce combined with bold flavours from the Mediterranean.

River Quay is the spot for Sunday …

Thar she blows - how to hunt whales the friendly way

A grunt and a spurt of seawater rising into the air show the position of a mother humpback whale and her three-week-old calf.

I'm on purpose-designed whale watching boat and we have motored for an hour over the calm seas of the great sandy straits up the coastline of Fraser Island





Captain Phil tells the 50 or so people aboard that the tip of the island is where we will see the whales and he is right.

Our first mother and calf are a little shy at first, keeping the boat at a good distance but I can clearly see the much smaller calf swimming strongly beside its mother.




I'm fascinated by the large circles of calm water that float past us and Phil tells us these are whale footprints

"They break the water tension when they flick their tails to swim down resulting in the clear circles on the water,” Phil says.

Sailors used whale footprints to track whales back in the bad old days when whales were valued more for their blubber than their beauty.

Our next mother and calf are a l…

Lunch amongst the lavender in the Scenic Rim

It was time to brush the cobwebs off the motor bike over Easter and head out of Brisbane into the beautiful Scenic Rim.

We started down the highway towards Beenleigh in beautiful autumn sunshine and stopped for a coffee at The Outpost Cafe at Canungra.  This is a well known bikies hangout but don't expect too much in the way of chains and dreadlocks - it's more favoured by the middle aged bikie enjoying the freedom of the road second time round.

The road less travelled is always our favoured route for this type of outing and we back tracked through Rathdowney before reaching our destination for the day, Kooroomba Lavender Farm about 65 minutes from Brisbane in the Scenic Rim at Mt Alford near Boonah.

Autumn is not the premium time for viewing either the vineyard or the lavender but the view across the valley to the mountains was still outstanding.  The building has a New Zealand lodge feel to it with plenty of stone walls both inside and outside, complimented by timber and ex…

Ten top things to do in Noosa Heads

It doesn't matter how many times I head down the hill on Noosa Drive towards the ocean, I still get a little shiver of excitement every time. This very special part of the world has achieved international recognition for its unique environment and I am privileged to be able to dip my toes into it on a regular basis.

Here are ten of my favourite Noosa pastimes.





1. Although it’s always tempting to sleep in, I don't like to waste a moment of the day when I wake up in Noosa. The best way to start is in the coffee queue at Sails on Hastings Street and then a stroll along the winding boardwalk to the National Park, koala spotting along the way.





Depending on my mood and energy level, I continue the walk through the park to enjoy the beachside views. Some like to run it. You can pick up a coffee at the information hut in the national park as well.





2. After a bit of exercise there's nothing like a big breakie at Aromas and a spot of people watching. With t…

Lots to explore at Brisbane's South Bank

Four markets in one day - what a way to spend a Sunday!

We started at the organic markets at Downy Park, Windsor which was not such a good idea. Why? Well we took the dog and the place was full of puddles - he's a corgi with very low legs - it all ended up being very messy.

Also, these markets definitely finish up on their advertised closing time of 10.30am.  Call me slow or just plain lazy but I find it hard to get out and about early on a Sunday morning. We arrived primed for breakfast at 10am just as everyone was shutting up - they had even run out of bread for French toast!

However, this market was just the first on our list. Next, we drove to South Bank Parklands to explore the Young Designers Market and the Granite Belt Flavours Market - both on the same day.

Several designer/clothes/jewellery purchases later, K2 subdued his inner male and agreed to look for the Granite Belt Flavours market which was not in its usual spot.  On the way, we walked through the regular South Ba…

A night of firsts at Urbane

It was a night of firsts - my first duck tongue and my first lamb sweetbreads.

I've always avoided offal, scarred by an unfortunate experience as a child when my mother tried to make me eat liver, but as Ubane owner Andrew Buchanan said, best to try it first cooked by a great chef - so I did.


Seated at a long table we were there to experience the new Urbane menu under Alejandro Cancino. He looks like he's just out of short pants, but this chef has a list of restaurants and awards on his resume that demand attention.

Passionate about fine dining, Argentinian-born Alejandro has spent the last 10 years working with some of the best chefs in the world, naming the great chef and innovator Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz in Spain, Luca Fantin at Bulgari Tokyo and Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in England as his mentors. In Australia, he calls Dan Hunter at the Royal Mail in Victoria his local guide, having worked together at Mugaritz.

Last April Alejandro was Stagie…

North Stradbroke Island - 10 top things to do

One of the largest sand islands in the world, the relaxed bliss of North Stradbroke Island is only an hour's drive from Brisbane.

The trip from the mainland to the island takes 45 minutes by barge, which also takes your car or 25 minutes by fast water taxi but it's more of a journey into a different realm where it's hard to work up the energy to get stressed about anything.

When there's plenty of beach to roam, friendly folk to chat with, incredible vistas around every corner and comfortable accommodation and food, life seems pretty sweet.

Apart from swimming at any of the beaches, here are my top 10 things to do on Straddie. What are yours? Please leave your Straddie tips in the comments section at the end.

1. Start your Straddie sojourn at the Island Fruit Barn on the main drag in Dunwich where you can pick up all your holiday supplies.  There's a surprisingly good range of deli items from the essential to the unusual, high-quality fruit and good cake and coffee…

10 top tips for Bunya Mountains weekend

With a long weekend looming we clocked off early on Friday to head to the Bunya Mountains, home to the world's largest stand of bunya trees and more nature and wildlife than your eyes can absorb.

It's about 150km from Brisbane, and as we prefer to travel in daylight hours on the motorbike, a 2 pm departure was planned.  Unfortunately, with a few stops along the way to meet up with group members, road works and a speeding fine (you know who you are) from a friendly copper, it was dark and raining when we hit the last 30 minutes of the ride and a dirt/gravel stretch. The boys were not happy, and it was a slow procession to our accommodation.

Our group of four couples was staying in two side-by-side cottages in the small village in the middle of the national park.  There is also a camping ground in the same spot and a couple of others close by. Despite popular opinion, I like to camp and have camped here before, but on a motorbike, it's easier to stay in accommodation.


Stayi…

Have you been to Queensland’s favourite café?

Once you’ve eaten at Indulge in Bundaberg, it comes as no surprise that this small cafe has been voted as Queensland’s favourite.

Now taking the title for two years in a row as People’s Choice in the Brisbane Times Good Food Awards, Indulge is a showcase for the Bundaberg region’s fabulous produce.

Established by passionate food lovers Amanda and Larry Hinds, this café has been the catalyst that has propelled local farmers into the spotlight as premium primary producers.




Amanda is adamant that it’s the rich red tomatoes, the full-flavoured potatoes, the crisp capsicums, luscious eggplants and the vibrant ginger, that make all the different to the meals she dishes up to eager crowds.

As Amanda says, there’s something very special about knowing where your food comes from and who grew it.






I clearly remember my first meal at Indulge. It was scrambled eggs dusted with thinly sliced truffle and anointed with duck ham. My first taste of duck ham, I was fascinated with the flavour and eager …

Next Door Kitchen and Bar, South Bank, Brisbane.

The line up of restaurants at South Bank just keeps getting better with Next Door Kitchen and Bar as the latest addition in Little Stanley Street.

Styled on speakeasy establishments of the 1920s, Next Door has positioned itself as a cocktail bar with an emphasis on shared dining. The fit out is glamorous fit-out with smooth timber, vintage décor and mirror detailing.

Harun Gencerler, a member of the family which runs Ahmet's Turkish Restaurant right next door, has opened Next Door Kitchen as his first solo venture.



Head Chef Dean Brewer has selected a range of shared plates which tie in with the 1920s theme.

“Our menu consists of larger shared plates such as whisky beef cheeks, with creamed blue cheese polenta and smaller dishes including fresh oysters, with gin and cracked pepper vinaigrette,” Deans says.


We started the night with a fresh baguette and a combo of Pepe Saya Butter and house made sardine butter.  I loved both but I needed more bread to enjoy all the butter.


Our sha…