Pavement Whispers: Volume 445 February 13
From news of a new tandem at the helm of one of the Scenic Rim’s best restaurants to the scoop on two new West End hotspots, The Weekend Edition is always on the search for the latest food 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 …
The Paddock at Beechmont Estate
A pair of acclaimed chefs have stepped into the top jobs at one of the Scenic Rim’s finest restaurants. The Paddock Restaurant at Beechmont Estate has just announced the appointment of Chris Norman as the venue’s executive chef and Alex Norman as executive sous and pastry chef. The husband-and-wife team, who was recently at the helm of the kitchen at Albion’s Hervé’s Restaurant and Bar, will be overseeing the hatted restaurant’s high-end paddock-to-plate offering, which showcases the region’s finest local producers. Chris and Alex have wasted little time showcasing their Michelin-starred skills, putting their signature stamp on the menu by emphasising seasonality and shining a light on local flavours. A la carte stand-outs like farm asparagus with whipped tofu, sweetwater cray with brandade croquette, dry-aged wagyu rump served with beetroot, and Pike’s Creek black diamond plum with pistachio frangipane and finger lime leaf ice-cream.
Ollie’s Espresso Bar
Attention Nundah coffee lovers – a new caffeine spot offering specialty brew seven days a week is set to open in your neighbourhood in early March. Ollie’s Espresso Bar is taking shape on Station Street, just 50 metres from the Nundah train station. The coffee joint’s owner and namesake, Ollie, is putting his extensive experience (earned behind the counter at some of Brisbane’s finest caffeine dispensaries, including Blackout in Paddington) to work at his own nook, which will be serving a custom house blend alongside a rotating roster of filter roasts from the likes of Parallel Roasters, Passport Coffee and Single O. Locals will be able to pair their brew with freshly baked croissants and pastries, as well as some grab-and-go sandwiches and wraps. The space itself will be crisply minimal, with an aesthetic comprised of white and wood with matte-black accents, while a mural from artist Bastian Allfrey will cover a feature wall. Once open, Ollie’s espresso bar will trade from 5:30 am, Monday to Sunday. Keep your eyes peeled on The Weekend Edition for a closer look next month.
Wooden Horse Restaurant
One of Brisbane’s finest neighbourhood restaurants has some fresh blood at the helm. Now under the ownership of executive chef Nick Alba and his wife Ruby, Wooden Horse Restaurant in Clayfield is bringing inner-city-quality fare to the suburbs, serving up fare shaped by the traditional French culinary techniques that Nick learned working at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill in London. At Wooden Horse, these finely honed skills are being used to deliver a contemporary take on modern Australian cuisine, with seasonal ingredients sourced from across Southeast Queensland shining alongside a tight but considered beverage list. Alongside head chef Nathan Kirk, Nick is plating up sublime dishes like cured fish with salmon roe, burnt orange and seaweed crackers, lamb ribs with rice cake, sticky sauce and spring onion, Moreton Bay bug with white asparagus, garum and shellfish crackers, and Firebreak farm pork with sauerkraut, peas, pumpkin, shallot and jus.
And, in case you missed the news …
Although we were saddened to hear that beloved West End restaurant Pasta Club was shutting its doors, our moods improved when we heard that a talented chef and sommelier combo were taking custodianship of the eatery’s Boundary Street space. Together they’re opening Gum Bistro – a restaurant putting Queensland produce in the spotlight alongside a broad-reaching range of wines. Lachlan Matheson and Phil Poussart will be opening Gum Bistro in mid-to-late March, with plans to offer a seasonally shifting menu that will swing from snacks to substantials. While menu details are still being kept close to the chest, we can confirm that Phil’s wine list will feature approximately 60 drops to start, encompassing vino from Australia, France, Hungary, Austria, Germany and Slovenia. A second list of vintage drops housed in temperature-controlled storage will also be available alongside a small list of classic cocktails. As for the space, the duo are currently hard at work exchanging Pasta Club’s dark interior aesthetic for a brighter palette of white and green. Read all about Gum Bistro’s plans here.
Another pair of hospo up-and-comers are set to add to West End’s drinking and dining boom with a neighbourhood bar and eatery of their own. Bar Hugo is the brainchild of Nick Sebar and Shaun Kelly, who have snagged a space on Hardgrave Road for what they describe as a wine and vermouth bar that will have a big focus on low-ABV drinks and non-alcoholic drinks. Nick, previously manager at Savile Row, is overseeing the vermouth and cocktail offering, while Shaun – formerly maître d’ at Bacchus Restaurant in South Bank – is assembling a 60-strong wine list that will cover classic old-world styles and new-age vino. Bar Hugo will also be doing food – we’ve been told to expect a menu of small, easily plated entree-style dishes that can be divvied up amongst groups or enjoyed as a simple snack. Be sure to brush up on everything we know about Bar Hugo here.
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