Pavement Whispers: Volume 251 December 3
From news of the closure of a Brisbane dining icon to an Italian-inspired culinary pop-up’s permanent upgrade, The Weekend Edition is always on the search for the latest news in Brisbane, dedicated to ensuring its readers are in the know. When we put our ears to the pavement this week, this is what we found out …
Urbane announces closure
In heartbreaking news, Andrew Buchanan – owner of fine-dining institution Urbane and its sibling venues The Euro and The Laneway Bar – has announced that he will be closing all three of his venues after Christmas lunch service on Wednesday December 25. Unbeknownst to many, Andrew has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and the progression of the condition and its physical symptoms have made keeping up with the workload of his dining establishments a taxing endeavour. Urbane, which has been operating since 2001, has been hailed as one of Brisbane’s best dining destinations, racking up countless accolades over its near 20-year lifespan. Urbane will open on Wednesday nights to give long-time fans extra opportunities to experience the restaurant once more before its closure. To make a reservation, head to Urbane’s website.
The team behind beloved Wilston Village brunch spot Freja’s made a huge announcement last night, revealing that the cafe would be undergoing a metamorphosis in January before relaunching as Elska – a 12-seat degustation restaurant – in early February. The cafe’s owners – Freja Rasmussen and chef Nathan Dunnell – elected to make the change as a way to further their passion for food and people. Nathan is dipping into his fine-dining background to create fare that blends quintessentially Australian ingredients with Nordic-inspired cooking techniques. The goal is to take diners on a journey, educating guests on flavours and techniques across a succession of dishes, plating up the likes of kangaroo and wallaby paired with fermented and pickled morsels. Freja’s will operate until Tuesday December 31, after which it will close for a month of renovations. Elska (a girl’s name meaning ‘love’) will boast an aesthetic similar to a Nordic cottage, with wood, white and greenery giving a warm and friendly setting for the intimate dining experience. Also of note – brunch lovers will still be able to get their fix on the weekend. Elska will officially open to the public on Thursday February 6, with bookings coming online next Tuesday December 10.
Good tidings for fans of Ciao Papi’s slow-braised pork ragu – the heralded pop-up at Howard Smith Wharves has relaunched as a permanent fixture. As of last Wednesday November 27, Ciao Papi has started serving a new menu under the watchful eye of new head chef Giacomo Favotto. Giacomo has held roles at Michelin-starred restaurants including Le Gavroche in London, L’Andana in Italy and Ryu Gin Restaurant in Tokyo, and his debut menu features a mix of modern and traditional Italian fare. Standout dishes from the menu include beef-sirloin tartare on grilled rye, grilled lamb cutlets with salsa verde, grilled whole John Dory with lemon and olive oil, and fresh figs with honeycomb and Maleny Dairies cream.
Earlier this year, Brisbane-based ramen lovers were blessed with a Ramen Danbo location to call their own. The Japanese-born concept touched down in South Brisbane in May after conquering the Gold Coast, becoming a go-to spot for creamy broth, locally sourced pork and artisan noodles. This week, the Ramen Danbo crew announced the opening of a second Brisbane restaurant – this one situated in Sunnybank Hills. The largest of Ramen Danbo’s Australian locations to date, the 45-seater venue will boast a classic ramen-bar aesthetic and the brand’s full menu of ramen and sides. Ramen Danbo Sunnybank Hills will officially open on Friday December 6 – we’ll have a closer look for you next week!
In news that will tickle your sweet tooth, Max Brenner will be opening its new location at UPSTAIRS at Toombul on Friday December 6. Following on from the massive cavalcade of openings at the precinct last month, the iconic dessert chain will be adding its menu of chocolate-based goodies into the mix. To celebrate the arrival, Max Brenner will be hosting a massive chocolate-breaking ceremony, where hundreds of kilos of chocolate will be smashed and given away. The celebrations will kick off at 2:00 pm on Friday, so be sure to get in quick to get your fix of decadent freebies.
Wandering Cooks Kitchen Open Day
Wandering Cooks – Australia’s largest food and drink incubator and Brisbane’s most active foodie clubhouse – is hosting a Kitchen Open Day, the second such event since its arrival on Fish Lane six years ago. This Saturday December 7, aspiring food business owners will have the opportunity to walk through the kitchens, hear from current program participants and experienced operators, meet small-scale farmers like Loop Growers and Thai Hoa Grocer, and hear from a packed panel of food business owners such as Bond St Eats and Picklehead Pickles about their challenges starting up. This is a great – and free – opportunity to clear up all of those questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Registration is essential for this exclusive event, head here to secure your spot.
If you’ve heard something that’s worth mentioning in The Weekend Edition’s Pavement Whispers, email [email protected].
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