News you can use - 5 top Brisbane food nibbles

Headlining this week - resort-style shopping centre opening southside, food festival with heaps of cred, award-winning food tour, best long haul flights from Brisbane, how to be an angel and some great events.

New southside dining experience

Feeling a bit unloved when it comes to good dining options at Westfield Garden City?  Your pain is drawing to a close with the announcement of a ‘resort-style’ oasis and ‘street food laneway’, tipped to be the premier casual dining experience of Brisbane’s South, opening late in 2014.

Westfield Garden City is transforming its existing outdoor leisure precinct as part of the centre’s $400 million redevelopment with a Town Square, a new multi-level outdoor restaurant and entertainment precinct connected to the existing centre by a street-style food laneway. The space will be structured around a central, resort-themed water feature lined with restaurant options and relaxed outdoor seating, complemented by lush planted gardens and central palm islands.

This ‘resort’ theming does not mean you can drag out your bikini for new ‘I’m going shopping look’ but it is a chance to get a little excited about some new food options.   I’m currently working my way through the new food precinct at Indooroopilly Shoppingtown and I’m more than a little impressed.  The days of daggy food courts are going fast. 

For more information and development updates visit

Food & Words Sydney style

There’s some serious Sydney food cred in the line-up for the one-day Food & Words Festival featuring 14 food writers in an intimate and limited-ticket festival day at The Mint, Sydney, presented by Barbara Sweeney and supported by Sydney Living Museums.

The program features renowned chef, Peter Gilmore, from Sydney's Quay restaurant, author Gay Bilson and Belinda Jeffery, bakers David McGuinness and Paul Allam from Bourke Street Bakery and the Bread and Butter Project, culinary curators Jacqui Newling and Scott Hill (pictured top)and the man who never shops for food in supermarkets, hunter gatherer Rohan Anderson (pictured above). Also on the program is a soil scientist and plant ecologist, five food historians and blogger LemonPi. The four talk sessions include the dissection of a recipe, the intricacies of creating a blog, the 'art' of domestic management, the 'branding' of apples and the relationship between soil and elite vegetables.

Featured speakers spend the day at the festival alongside the audience, so participants could find themselves sitting beside their cookbook hero over lunch, a perfect moment to exchange cooking tips.

The Food Writers Festival full-day program costs $185. To book Food & Words tickets, see To find out more about the Sydney Living Museums Eat Your History program, see

Asian food tour at Sunnybank

This highly popular Food Discovery Tour has just won a Property Council Excellence in Marketing Awards and did I mention it's at a Shopping Centre?   Yep another shopping centre surprise, this time with a tour that takes guests on a three hour journey showing them the best places to eat and shop for Asian produce at Sunnybank Plaza.

Tour guide Tony Ching has 30 years experience as a chef and helps participants discover this melting pot of good food and culture.

The next food tour is on Saturday October 19. $68 per person.

Find out more at

Choosing a long haul airline

Has your inbox been flooded with discount airline deals for travel into 2014?  Mine has and, as I am planning a trip, I started to compare fare prices and stopovers.

I also asked my Facebook friends and fans for their tips and the response was clear – Emirates (top pick by a long shot), Singapore Airlines and Etihad.   Emirates was preferred for business class, Singapore Airlines for economy.

The response on Qantas was mixed but it could depend on whether you are flying in an A380 which, according to those who have travelled on it, ‘rocks’.

When it comes to stop overs – Singapore won with ‘easiest and smoothest’, ‘competitively-priced hotels’ and good food.  Dubai was tipped for ‘shopping’.

I’m interested to hear your tips on long haul travel. Which are your favourite airlines and the best stop overs?  Leave your comments below at the end of this post.

Be an angel

Want to help someone who is sick, having a baby or any type of medical or family emergency but can’t do it personally?  New service Angels in Aprons run by Sharon Douglas provides extra comfort and support where needed including anything from restocking the fridge ready for a return home to airport/hospital transfers, or finding accommodation. Angels in Aprons covers retirement villages, nursing homes and private clients in Brisbane, Sunshine and Gold Coast areas, and patients travelling from rural areas.   It costs $45 for the first hour or part thereof and $35 each hour after that.  Talk to Sharon at

What’s on

Coffee for a cause

Giving up coffee is a big ask for some, but so is breaking the isolation of mental illness. Find out how you can help during October at

Noosa launch of Luke Mangan's new cookbook

Salt Grill published by Murdoch Books, brings together signature dishes from these restaurants, also Luke’s personal favourites. Home cook and kitchen friendly, with more than 140 recipes, there’s an emphasis on dishes to share with family and friends.Join Luke Mangan for the launch of Salt Grill on Friday October 11 at 12 noon, Thomas Corner Eatery, 201 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville, $55pp includes three courses and a welcome glass of wine.  Menu features barbecued prawns with avocado & mango salsa; quail with zucchini, basil, pine nuts & currants; and floating islands dessert – all from the book.
Bookings essential on 07 5470 2224 Limited numbers

McGrath Foundation Signature High Tea

Put on a touch of pink and sit back and enjoy High Tea at Victoria Park, Herston on Saturday October 12.  There will be champagne, tea and coffee, pastries, cakes and savoury treats, and a gift bag.  $90 per person. Visit for tickets.

Blood and bones for dinner

Thirsts will be quenched and hunger pains relieved as Vintaged Bar + Grill gets set to host a medieval themed feast for the ages at Game of Rhones: Blood and Bones on Tuesday October 15. It’s a combative celebration of the classic grape varieties of the Rhone Valley in France, Australia and New Zealand accompanying a matched five course medieval feast crafted by Hilton Brisbane executive chef Jeremy Clark. Think old world cuisine with a Vintaged twist - big, bold and robust flavours including suckling pig, ox tongue, spatchcock, guinea fowl, and bone marrow. This dinner is part of the national Pinot Palooza campaign and a ‘Hats off’ dinner in Fairfax’s inaugural Brisbane Good Food Month during October. $125 per person. 

Weekend pick

And just to make you a little jealous – here’s where I spent the weekend - glamping on Moreton Island. Full blog post coming soon.

Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post