New kid on the block – Wilston Village welcomes winsome coffee and chow spot Clementine
From burger joints and pizza spots to neighbourhood pubs and homely cafes, Wilston Village is already a treasure trove of excellent eats. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more – as far as we’re concerned, you can never have too many options. Today the buzzing hub welcomed a newcomer into its midst, with airy and accommodating eatery Clementine charming the pants off locals with its cracking selection of sincere and seasonally focused staples. Read on for an introduction to Wilston’s approachable addition …
Before it evolved into a 12-seater restaurant specialising in native-Australian-meets-Scandinavian fare, Elska was Freja’s – a brunch-oriented eatery that captured the tastebuds of those living in and around Wilston Village. Even after swivelling to fine-dining fare, folks pined for Freja’s signatures such as savoury croissants topped with pulled beef cheek and pear waffles served with vanilla-bean ice-cream. An avowed member of Freja’s fanbase adored the cafe so much that when Elska announced it was picking up sticks and relocating to New Farm earlier this year, they jumped at the chance to take the space on and return it to its breakfast and lunch roots. This mysterious benefactor took over the space in February, starting the process of transforming it into Clementine. The results of the overhaul were unveiled today, Tuesday April 27, as Clementine officially opened to the public, showing off some spruced-up interiors and an offering imbued with the same emphasis on locality, seasonality and sustainability that underpinned Freja’s menu. It’s no coincidence that Freja’s and Clementine seem like spiritual siblings – Freja Dunnell herself has worked with the team in a consultancy role, helping construct the menu, shape its operational protocols and advise on its design direction.
The group has collaboratively settled on an homely aesthetic predicated around bright, crisp colours and warm tones – a pastel-mint-green exterior makes way for a white-and-timber interior, while some notable structural changes (like the absorption of Elska’s open-air area and the removal of a few inner walls) have been made to open up the inside space and add extra seating. In the kitchen, the Clementine crew looks to cater to community demand, serving up familiar bites with some tasty twists applied – many reminiscent of Freja’s personal touch. The autumn menu starts with essentials like toast with house whipped butter and free-range eggs with roasted tomato chutney, before moving on to more elaborate fast-breakers like Fraser Island spanner crab omelette with fermented chilli, rye bagel topped with salmon gravlax, poached eggs and whipped dill dressing, seasonal mushrooms with potato rosti, puffed wild rice, leek, pesto and poached eggs, and winter pasta with beef-cheek ragu and sheep’s milk pecorino. House-baked goodies – including croissants flown in from France – are also available for those who only have time to munch on the move. Clementine reps local endeavour wherever possible, proudly proclaiming the use of local products like Bee One Third honey, bread by Brasserie, fruit and vegetables from Suncoast Fresh, and gelato from Newmarket’s Allora Black. The cafe’s caffeine supply comes from Common Coffee, with a lighter single origin house blend joined by loose-leaf tea, sticky chais, house-pressed juices and Kombu native kombucha – plus a selection of craft beers and Australian wines, which are available after 10:00 am. Although brunch is firmly the focus for now, the team could potentially expand its hours for a tapas-style offering in the evening.
Clementine is officially open as of today – Tuesday April 27. Head to the Stumble Guide for operating hours and contact details.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.