Savour seafood and spritzes up high at Kangaroo Point’s new cliffside cafe Joey’s
The Kangaroo Point cliffs boast some of the best views in all of Brisbane, which is why diners need to be incredibly excited for the arrival of Joey’s – the brand-new restaurant and bar that is taking full advantage of the cliff’s stunning vistas. Several of Brisbane’s hospitality elite have come together to craft a venue that blends quintessential sun-dappled Queenslander vibes with a chic and summery European feel, which is definitely a combination we can get behind!
There’s a special moment at the beginning and end of the day where the sun turns the sky a robust orange – its final radiant rays glinting off the facades of The City’s skyscrapers and the gentle ripples of the Brisbane River. The best spot to catch this salutary phenomenon is at the top of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. From the lip of the rocky outcropping one can spy Eagle Street’s bustling riverside dining hub, the CBD’s botanic gardens, South Bank’s Cultural Centre precinct and beyond. If a spot as picturesque as this is constantly (and understandably) in demand as a picnic destination and jogging thoroughfare, imagine how hotly contested River Terrace’s sole Brisbane City Council-owned dining space was when it came up for tender earlier this year. Council received seven submissions for the prime site when it came up for grabs in early 2020, eventually awarding the site to a group consisting of Michael Koo and Mark Bignell – owners of specialty coffee stalwart Bellissimo Coffee – and local entrepreneur Jordan Cowen. Once the clifftop venue was theirs, the group got to work transforming it into day-and-night hang Joey’s, recruiting former Howard Smith Wharves creative director Kara Hynes (now head honcho of SUPER LOVE) to help hone in on a brand and aesthetic that would suit both early morning brunching and romantic dates illuminated by the twinkle of the skyline. The venue has been refurbished accordingly, with Joey’s boasting a crisp look showcasing weatherboard exteriors, an al fresco area featuring a cluster of white picnic tables, an elevated undercover dining deck and custom light fixtures wrought out of rattan and alabaster stone. Naturally, Joey’s makes the most of the 180-degree views – it’s unlikely that there’s a bad seat in the house.
The Joey’s crew has placed Jason Walker (formerly executive chef at Cru Bar + Cellar) at the helm in the kitchen, enlisting him to help craft a menu that could traverse breakfast, lunch and dinner, while also provide enough eye-catching fodder to match the spectacular views. Joey’s fast breakers include a host of classic options – think dippy eggs with a sprinkling of bacon crumbs, heirloom-tomato frittatas with whipped fetta, sweetcorn fritters with tomato relish and bacon, and buttermilk pancakes with whipped ricotta, honeycomb and maple syrup. Lunch and dinner sees succulent seafood come to the fore, with light starters like oysters, kingfish tacos, tuna tostadas, prawn sandwiches and local octopus with skordalia puree sharing menu space with mezze boards and crispy woodfired pizzas. As for the mains, Joey’s is plating up familiar favourites including chicken schnitzel with celeriac remoulade, blue swimmer crab linguine, slow-cooked lamb shoulder with rosemary jus and 300-gram black Angus flank steak served with slaw. What good are sundowners if the sip doesn’t match the sunset? Ian Trinkle – Judy Hirst Award winner of Australian Sommelier of the Year, formerly group sommelier at Howard Smith Wharves – has lent his considerable talents for Joey’s wine list, curating an outstanding array of modern and undiscovered labels from Australia, France and Italy. Joey’s range of reds, whites and fizzes are joined by summer-appropriate selections such as chilled reds, pet nats and rosés, as well as draughts from local craft brewers Green Beacon, Ballistic Beer Co. and Stone & Wood, plus bottled brews from Peroni and Black Hops Brewery. As for cocktails, colour is key – concoctions like the Summer Sunset (sloe gin, blueberries, lime and blueberry syrup), the Capri Cooler (gin, limoncello, Amaro averna and blood orange) and the Coral Beach (gin, peach, pomegranate, raspberry, passionfruit, mint and lime) are a suitably vivid accompaniment, as is Joey’s five spritzes, three margaritas and two Seedlip-based mocktails.
Joey’s is open to the public. For operating hours and contact details, check out the Stumble Guide.
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