Eight things you need to know about Brisbane food this week

Plenty to eat, drink and see this week around Brisbane - check out Queensland Wine Week, jaffles at Spring, partridge at Pony, high tea at Stamford Plaza, harajuku at Saké , new looks for Ortiga and Urbane/The Euro and a tour of Sicily.

This week it's got to be Queensland Wine!

It’s Queensland Wine Week (31 March to 6 April) with a series of events designed to showcase wonderful Queensland wines that don’t always get the attention they deserve.

Now in its second year, the week has grown with a series of events. Here’s two worth checking out.

  • Azafran owners Marc and Sarah Bocquee have a Chef’s table event with five plates and five wine styles offering a slice of their new autumn menu. Taste maestro Peter Scudamore-Smith, Master of Wine from his firm Uncorked and Cultivated has selected the wines. Peter has chosen chardonnay from Ballandean (Mason), viognier marsanne from Broadwater (Cypress Post), shiraz from Moffatdale (Barambah), merlot and cabernet merlot from Ballandean (Ballandean Estate) to match barbecue prawns, crisp skin barramundi, tortellini, poached chicken and venison tataki. The cost is $35.

  • Clovely Estate is celebrating by transforming their city cellar door into a casual bar on Friday April 4th to showcase some of their best wines and serve up a street food inspired feast using only the best Queensland produce. Tickets are $29 from Clovely.

Retro rules the Spring tuckshop

If you are a child of the 70s, a retro fanatic or just love comfort food you’ll be pleased to know a jewel of the culinary past, the jaffle, is staging a return.

Head to Spring Food and Wine in Felix Street, CBD, to find eight different jaffles on their menu including The Ultimate Four Cheese, Baked Beans & Cheddar, Spaghetti & Meatball, and Marshmallow & Nutella. Wash it down with milkshakes such as Salted Caramel, Jaffa and Raspberry Jam. Do not jump on the scales afterwards!

Get your mad on!

Don’t be late for a very important date – the Mad Hatters High Tea is on again at the Stamford Plaza from 5 to 21 April. Perfect for children of all ages and those who never want to grow up, the hotel lobby is transformed into a fairy tale world where the menu includes eat me cupcakes, macaron toadstools, Queen of Hearts jam tarts, white chocolate rabbits, fairy floss brulee and pink lemonade.

Here's what it was like last year when I visited with my daughter. 

This year yon’t miss the chance to check out the 44 inch high mad hatters’ cake by Diane Randle-Yates from Cake Tiers and Sugar Blooms.

You’ll need to be quick with a reservation as it books out in a blink.

Eat like they do in the Seven Kingdoms

You don’t have to be a Game of Throne fan to enjoy this medieval madness but it might add extra enjoyment to Pony’s Games of Thrones Tribute Dish.

Created by Head Chef Damien Draper, the dish includes a whole roast partridge, faro, roasted root vegetables, baked fruit stuffing, and bread sauce. It’s available only from 1 to 14 April to mark the return of the epic medieval series on April 6.

Games of Thrones fan and also a fan of the nose-to-tail food movement, Draper says this style of almost paleo eating is absolutely how they prepared and served their food in mediaeval times. Don’t forget to book as the dish is subject to availability.

Saké brings Tokyo edge to Brisbane!

Take yourself to Tokyo for the night on Friday 4 April with Saké’s  special Izakaya (bar menu), cocktails and Harajuku with a DJ spinning tracks for Brisbane revellers. Executive Chef Shaun Presland has created a special cocktail and menu with tasting plates to share.

Have your photo taken on the Saké deck with the Saké Harajuku girls. And did I say it was free? Put your name on the guest list and be there from 6pm.

It’s home!

Young Argentinian-born chef Alejandro Cancino has decided to call Brisbane his permanent home, and the award-winning Urbane and The Euro Restaurants his permanent place of culinary expression after accepting equal partnership in the business with current owner/partner, Andy Buchanan.

Alejandro Cancino

With Cancino in the kitchen and Buchanan as front of house manager Urbane and The Euro are set to achieve great things.

Former top restaurant becomes a pub

In a sign of the times the former Ortiga restaurant site in Fortitude Valley is about to become Pig ‘N’ Whistle Brunswick Street styled in homage to cherished heritage pubs and joining the Mantle Group’s existing venues at Eagle Street, Indooroopilly and Queen Street Mall.

Mantle Group Executive Chef Deniz Coskun

Architect Greg Lamb of BVN Architects is busy working on innovative designs to emphasise and accentuate the existing heritage building, open up the venue to provide two inviting outdoor beer gardens and build on the open kitchen.

The redevelopment increases the Mantle Group hospitality operations up to 10 venues in Brisbane. The group also is set to open a microbrewery, in conjunction with James Squire, at South Bank later this year.

10 days in Sicily

Day-old extra virgin olive oil, pink, crusted Nebrodi Mountain wild boar loin, glistening red Pacino cherry tomatoes, Arab spice-inspired seafood couscous in fish broth, warm, day-fresh sheep ricotta… Just a few of the highlights from Uncorked and Cultivated's next Sicily Wine and Food Tours from 8 to18 October 2014 (and 5 to15 October 2015).

Master of Wine Peter Scudamore Smith takes his travellers to wineries, ristorantes and on personally conducted tastings to meet the locals. When it comes wines think nero d'avola, nerello mascalese (reds) and carricante, catarratto, grillo, inzolia (whites).

“Think of Sicily as your ten-day food, wine and fresh deli basket,” says Peter. “We explore the very best history-influenced flavours of this grand island with region-specific dishes, traditional cooking styles, ingredients in season and wine varietals at each dining experience”

The tour visits Taormina, Siracusa, Ragusa, Trapani, Marsala and Palermo. The all-inclusive land only price is AUD $5800 for ten days; single supplement AUD $950. The tour is limited to 12 people.

Kerry Heaney