Cute as button, Billykart Kitchen in Brisbane's suburban Annerley is just what I would expect from a food professional like chef Ben O’Donoghue.
It’s like walking into your corner store only the food is a lot, a lot better. That’s no surprise because the premises actually housed the local corner store for many years.
Owner/operators Ben and Dee O’Donoghue say they’ve been pleased by the popularity of the restaurant/café which is a great mix of light but extremely well flavoured food with dine in and takeaway options. They are also keeping the corner store tradition alive with fresh bread from nearby Banneton bakery, milk and papers available for sale.
The fitout is deceptively simple but typically Queensland casual which makes you feel right at home from the moment you walk it. Of course it wasn’t without pain and don’t ask Ben about the stumps. I particularly like their concrete floor treatment and the green wall at the rear. There also are concertina windows which fold back to open up the restaurant to the street and link in the pavement seating.
But it’s the food that is the ultimate star here. We tried three dishes and were wowed by the flavours and presentation. We worked our way through a Kale, spouts, avocado, broccoli raw salad with toasted seeds that also has hint of sweetness; a Billykart board of open sushi which included a prawn, oyster and delicately sliced raw fish with blobs of rice all topped with crushed wasabi peas (I think); and Gin, juniper and beet cured salmon with baby beets and dill which was almost too pretty to eat, so I did.
Meal prices range from $10 to $17. The servings are not huge but the produce is fresh and high quality.
The lunch cabinet is full of beautiful bagels and sandwiches ready to go.
Campos is the coffee of choice and it came accompanied by a jam donut which easily eclipsed my childhood memories of ‘the best jam donut eva’ with it’s real raspberry jam and sticky sugar exterior. The coffee was pretty good too.
Sorry if I am raving about this place but I really liked it. They really have the recipe right and best of all, if you ask Dee, is that it’s all just a few minutes down the road from home. That’s gold in restaurant land.
I have two suggestions for you Ben – open your next Billykart on the other side of the river and include some noise reduction materials. All those people having a good time are loud. Just sayin’
Billykart is open for breakfast and lunch every day with a dinner every second Friday night showcasing seasonal and produce-driven food.
1 Eric Crescent, Annerley, Brisbane
Best tip: Plenty of parking here
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Billykart Kitchen.