It's all real and local at Julia's Pantry, Kenmore

Remember what cream used to taste like?

Real cream, not that fluffy white stuff that disappears before you can even look at it?

You'll find real cream, homemade jam and freshly baked scones ($5) are just some of the delights on offer at Julia's Pantry, recently opened in the heartlands of Kenmore in Brisbane's Western Suburbs.

If you are a coffee lover, you'll know this strip of Moggill Road, almost on the corner of Brookfield Road, which is also home to The Single Guys.  The name doesn't come from their marital status but rather their singular fascination with good coffee.  It's a treat to visit.

Julia's Pantry is the new baby of Julia Matusik (pictured above), who established Brisbane's first tea shop.  The focus is on real food prepared from ingredients sourced locally or within Australia.  You'll find spaghetti squash from Gatton, preserves made with Granite Belt produce, olive oil from Inglewood,  pasta from Redcliffe and locally crocheted kitchen pot holders and tea cosies. 

It's a reflection of how Julia eats at home which she describes as 'not particularly fancy or complicated but good ingredients prepared well'.  Julia's Pantry began as way of clearing out her own pantry shelves which were groaning under the weight of too many jars of jam and a freezer overfull with cakes and biscuits.

Anyone with food intolerances will find the range of flours and grains particularly interesting.  I also like that Julia sources much of it from Australia, rather than overseas.  There's also a range of muesli.

If you are looking for something to eat, there's a range of goodies to eat in and meals to take away.  Try a savoury roll with the day's salad for $11. A range of teas are available but coffee comes via The Single Guys next door.

The takeaway meals are especially popular and I walked out with a pot of freshly made baked beans with ham for breakfast. The cabinet was a little bare when I visited on Saturday afternoon but is usually stocked with chilli beans, lamb koftas, meat balls in rich tomato sauce and rice pudding with caramelised pineapple.  Julia says it's the comfort food, such as rice pudding, that is exceptionally popular.

Everything is made on the premises in the commercial kitchen which is tucked just out of sight at the rear of the shop.

The baskets of seasonal goodies are filled with local produce chosen because they are a different from what you will normally find at the supermarket.  Julia likes to help people discover new ways to cook and sent me home with a spaghetti squash and instructions on how to cook it.  (Cut it in half, scrape out the seeds, brush with oil, cook in the oven at 180 degrees for about half an hour.  When cool scrap out the interior and it will look like spaghetti!  You can use it as is, turn it into fritters or use it as a spaghetti substitute.)

Julia, who excels at preserves, also occasionally offers classes where she shares her techniques.

Julia's Pantry is worth the trip to Kenmore and you can also visit The Single Guys as well.  Another one to check out nearby is Wild Canary at the The Brookfield Garden Centre.

The shop is closed Sunday and Monday and shuts at 2pm on Saturday.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK paid for all goods.