Pavement Whispers: Volume 289 December 22

Pavement Whispers: Volume 289 December 22

From news of a new Italian concept from the Agnes crew to details of Botanica’s next location, The Weekend Edition is always on the search for the latest food news in Brisbane, dedicated to ensuring its readers are in the know (while also supporting our local hospitality industry). When we put our ears to the pavement this week, this is what we found out …

This year has been a pretty huge one for Ty Simon, Ben Williamson and Frank Li. The restaurant dream team made waves with what was arguably the city’s biggest COVID pivot, Agnes Street Bakery Pop-Up + Bottle Shop, before finally unveiling Agnes (and promptly securing months of pre-bookings). They’re not ones to rest on their laurels, however – Ty, Ben and Frank are already in full swing with their next endeavour. The team has secured the Ada Lane corner space formerly occupied by Beaux Rumble, which, come early March 2021, will reopen as Italian restaurant Bianca. The restaurant is named after Ty’s partner Bianca Marchi, who hails from Milan, and will offer everyday Italian dining using local Australian produce. The fit-out, designed by Richards & Spence, has already commenced, with the team knocking out the internal walls to create one large peach-hued space. The original bar area will remain in the centre of the dining space, with one side serving aperitivo, digestivo and more, the other a dedicated raw bar dispensing house-made antipasti and breads. While Ben will oversee both Agnes and Bianca as executive chef, Agnes’ Callum Grey will be stepping into the role of head chef at Bianca, flanked by sous chef Mario Asero (ex-Bennelong, Firedoor and Fred’s). Together the team is creating a menu of elevated-yet-approachable Italian fare, focusing heavily on wine-bar-style snacks and antipasti (representing roughly half of the menu), alongside a handful of starters, six regularly rotating house-made pastas and six mains. Bianca will also be home to an impressive twin-chamber soft-serve gelato machine – so expect to be finishing your meal with a dual-flavour swirl. Ty and Rani Parish (who has just come on board as co-group operations manager with Fatih Kulle) are working on an exciting wine list featuring some never-before-seen biodynamic Italian wines and Australian wines made from Italian varieties. We’ll have a full details when Bianca opens in early March.

Agnes Bakery
Bianca isn’t the only project in the works for Ty, Ben and Frank – the trio is getting closer to securing a permanent site for Agnes Bakery. The team has been particular in finding a space to ensure that it can successfully carry on the signature Agnes feel, plus has the capacity to house a full woodfired bakery operation. By mid-to-late next year we should expect at least another pop-up, if not a permanent space, for Agnes Bakery, offering its famed woodfired breads, pastries, pizzette and more, but at a higher standard and quality than before. The bakery will also continue its larder selection, including smoked butter, house-made charcuterie and sauces. In other news, over at Agnes restaurant the bar’s in-house distillery has finally been installed, with plans to be up and running by early March. We should be able to get our hands on some signature Agnes spirits in the first quarter of next year!

We can’t lie to you good people – we’re notoriously bad at sticking to New Year’s resolutions, especially if they centre around making healthier eating choices (call it an occupational hazard). That being said, we’re a bit more optimistic about our chances in 2021 with the news that the team behind nourishing salad dispensary Botanica is opening a brand-new shop in Hawthorne in the first week of January. Botanica will be based inside the new 265 Hawthorne micro-precinct next to the Cineplex on Hawthorne Road (right near Ze Pickle, which opened its new burger cave at the hub last week). As always, the cosy site will be serving an ever-changing array of mouth-watering salads but will also be placing a bit more of an emphasis on its range of seductive sweets – namely its famous mini bundt cakes. That’s not all we can expect from Botanica next year – the crew also has a new home base in the works, which is tentatively slated to open in mid 2021. Rest assured we’ll have a closer look at this newcomer when we return – bright-eyed and bushy-tailed – in early January.

If you’re already mapping out your January plans, then make sure you save a date for the arrival of Given Kitchen & Bar, the forthcoming cafe, wine bar and restaurant from the team behind Paddington’s Ngon. The group has secured a nearby space (formerly home to a Thai restaurant) for the concept, which will operate as an extended pop-up for the duration of 2021. Given’s offering will run from morning to night, with an Asian-inspired breakfast menu (paired with coffee from local roasters The Black Lab Coffee Co.) transitioning to a seafood-forward dinner offering, encompassing plenty of trawler-fresh morsels cooked over coals. The Given menus will incorporate elements of Filipino, Singaporean, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisines, with the nighttime fare bolstered by a selection of boutique wines. A roster of DJs will perform in the evenings, helping set a lively and laid-back tone. Stay tuned for a closer look at Given when it opens in late January.

Riverside Cafe
When hospitality figure Yianni Passaris teams up with Alexander Lotersztain of design studio Derlot, magic happens. The pair have collaborated on the design of each of Yianni’s three venues, Morning After, Ping Pong and Yolk. Now, the tandem have united once more to give a splash of love to Riverside Cafe at Fig Tree Pocket’s Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Alex and the Derlot crew will be overhauling Riverside Cafe’s look and internal layout, renovating the venue’s exterior finishes, creating custom furniture and instilling a pared-back aesthetic representing a conteporary interpretation of an Australian barn. Yianni is consulting on the cafe’s menu, which will feature Wholly Crumpets, gourmet toasties and scones, the latter paying tribute to Lone Pine’s storied history. Coffee from Five Senses will also be on hand for caffeine seekers. Riverside Cafe will softly open on Wednesday January 6, serving free coffee all day from 8:00 am until sold out.

If you’ve heard something that’s worth mentioning in The Weekend Edition’s Pavement Whispers, email [email protected].

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.


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