Ten news nibbles from Brisbane's food Top Cuts

This week on Top Cuts for Brisbane's food scene - new street truck, paleo cafe, food and farmers markets; new pan-Asian New Farm cafe, James Street pizza, CBD fringe bar; organic cheese and cute chocolate.

Market update


Watch out for a new Farmers Market with over 60 stalls on Brisbane's south side to be launched by Shane Stanley of Noosa Farmers Market Fame. It will be weekly at Cannon Hill's new East Village development with no wholesalers or retailers according to Shane.

It's hip to be paleo


Paleo is fast becoming the new food black with the opening of Paleo Cafe on Paddington's Given Terrace- Nandos is no more. It's a big city version of the cafe of the same name in Cairns with owner/manager Jackie-Lou Astill in charge. Enjoy their Elixir coffee 

Street cruiser


There's another new food truck on the streets. Pasta Cruiser offers four sauces – Olive oil and chilli. Bolognese, Tomato, chorizo and chilli and Roasted pumpkin, feta and sundried tomato - which you can combine with three types of pasta – spaghetti, linguini or fettucini.  Check their web page for locations.

Container heaven


A new Eat Street food market is planned for Hamilton Wharf with vendors kitting out 60 shipping containers as mini restaurants with fabulous food offerings. This market comes to you from Peter Hackworth of Riverside Markets fame, Jacki MacDonald who some will remember as the wacky girl from Hey Hey It's Saturday and producer John Stainton.   It will run every Friday and Saturday evening from 4pm to 10 pm from November 8 with a food list that includes baked pies, local sea food, fish and chips, Mexican tacos, New York Hot Dogs, Singaporean Bahn Mei Noodle Dumplings, Rice Paper Rolls and healthy salad choices. For those who enjoy a craft beer, cocktail or fine wine there will also be containers set up as small cool bars.

At the same location, the Northshore Containerval Festival will run with with a pop-up program from November 2–16.  Expect shipping containers transformed into pop-up shops, performance spaces, artist studios and a wide variety of food stalls.

Find out more here.

Home cooked wins


Do you think your home cooking finesse can stack up against the rest of Australia or you have a secret recipe that can make your culinary dreams come true? Noosa International Food and Wine Festival are giving food lovers across the country the chance to be part of ‘Australia’s Best Home Cooked Dish’ competition. The prizes include a Qantas trip to London for two, $5 000 spending money from Westpac together with stunning appliance packages from ILVE and KitchenAid, and a $2000 voucher from Mary Ryan’s to extend your cook book collection. Just create a savoury recipe that costs under $15 per single serve and submit it along with a photo and a 30 second video describing why your meal should be awarded ‘Australia’s Best Home Cooked Dish’. Enter here.

Francie May’s moves in

Francie May’s has taken over from The Alibi Room in New Farm, treating diners to a mix of Asian tiger mother tradition and fine Pan Asian

It is named after Hayley’s straight-shooting grandmother, Francie May.

“Who is Francie May? A grandmother, mother, wife, best friend, a cook and glorious host. She tells it like it is, is politically incorrect and gives what she demands - only the best,” Hayley says. At lunchtime (Thursday to Sunday), Francie May goes Japanese-style with $15 Bento Boxes which are divided into meat, seafood and vegetarian and rotate on a weekly basis. Ask Francie for a Long Time Lunch and she’ll feed you six courses for $49.

Francy May's bubble tea machine

By night the menu is a mix of starters, small plates and larger plates, all designed to share including grilled corn on the cob with lime and sriracha dressing, coriander dust and shaved pecorino cheese and house made dumpling of crab with fresh herbs and bamboo in a rich ‘katong’ laksa cream. Small plates include braised kakuni pork belly; lime and chilli pepper calamari with sriracha aioli, and chickpea, lentil and cauliflower curry and house-made spiced nuts naan bread.

Larger plates can include Francie’s special ‘flied lice’ (pictured above); Grant’s sticky pork ribs with coffee glazed Chinese BBQ-style sauce with hints of ginger, garlic and lemongrass (opening post photo); Szechuan pepper soft shell crab; and tamarind and turmeric charred jumbo tiger prawns.  Francy May's

Ripe for plucking?

Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon on the verandah, taking in the homely smell of the open BBQ cooking, settle back into the palm leaf lounge bordered by citrus trees and white picket fencing with a mojito and enjoy the Brisbane City skyline view. Victoria Park’s newest bar and function space, The Orchard, serves up a succulent grill with fresh Atlantic salmon, sticky BBQ pork ribs, lemon pepper chicken or 200gm rib fillet steak, accompanied by a buffet of seasonal salads, baked potato and bread roll. The yellow and white striped lining and simple white drapes comes from Head Designer at Black and Spiro, Anna Spiro. Check out www.victoriapark.com.au/whats-on for opening hours.

Bright spark on James Street


Chef/restaurateur PJ McMillan's new venture Tinderbox Kitchen, is a communal wine bar with fresh seasonal produce transformed into wood fired pizza and more. Tucked away in the leafy laneway just behind PJ's popular Harveys Bar and Bistro on James Street, the menu is perfect for grazing and sharing – from bar bites like spicy pork arrancini and baked ricotta with herbs and chill for little bursts of flavour. There are Kitchen Share plates with game, bird, pig, lamb, seafood and vegetables and Market Garden plates for the veg lovers with  choices such as fire-roasted mushrooms with blue cheese and balsamic onions.

Find it at 7/31 James Street, Fortitude Valley. www.thetinderbox.com.au

Well Hello!


It's about time someone decided to shake up the chocolate market. Congratulations to Lindt for combining good chocolate with great packaging.

Their new Hello range has plenty to make you smile with four flavours - Caramel Brownie, Crunchy Nougat, Cookies and Cream and Strawberry Cheesecake. Find it in supermarket aisles now.

This week I'm liking - Aussie/Italian Organic Cheeses


Italian cheesemaker Fabio Portella about making traditional Italian cheeses and he’ll tell you it’s all in the quality of the milk – so it’s no surprise when the CEO of Organic Dairy Farmers Co-op and Fabio sat down to talk, they were sipping on it much like it was a fine wine.

The result of the ‘tasting’ was a partnership between North Melbourne based Floridia Cheese and ODFA (whose organic farmers are all based in Victoria) to create a range of traditionally made Italian organic cheeses – parmesan, bocconcini and ricotta.

The milk – Fabio says - has such a significant impact on hard cheeses because they are left to mature for so long (12 months for parmesan), and the flavours of the milk are clearly evident.

“It’s not like a fresh cheese like mozzarella where you typically cook it, so you can’t really taste any imperfections.  With truly traditional quality hard table cheese, there’s no escape for anything but quality milk.

Not that everyone makes hard cheeses that way.

“Some cheese manufacturers tend to use enzymes to speed up the maturing process, so a normal traditional cheese maturing process of 12 months can take five months, but just like the quality of milk used to make that cheese – this has a significant impact on the end result and is not a natural way to mature a cheese.”

“It all comes down to the farmer and the feed used. If you get milk from Organic Dairy Farmers you know the cows are free to roam and are grazing on food which isn’t supplemented with cheap grains, vegetables and hay, which so many farmers have been forced to do because they have struggled with pricing or with weather conditions such as drought.”

Find this new line of parmesan is available now in gourmet food outlets nationwide and the bocconcini and ricotta in November. More information 

Disclaimer: Ed+bk was gifted Organic Cheese and Lindt Chocolate