Pavement Whispers: Volume 364 June 28
From news of a high-quality fishmonger for Hawthorne to a new location for a cult-favourite noodle joint, 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 …
James St Food + Wine Trail
Clear your calendars between July 28–31 – the James St Food + Wine Trail has announced its anticipated return! After a lockdown-abbreviated iteration last year, the street-wide food fiesta is looking to make a splash with this year’s four-day culinary celebration. The fun will start with Trail Days, a series of exclusive events hosted by a string of James Street eateries including Mosconi, Gerard’s Bar, The Green, ESSA and Harvey’s Bar & Bistro. The week will wrap up with the ever-popular Market Day on Sunday July 31, which will see James Street transform into an alfresco dining room from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, complete with 19 pop-up food stalls, 13 bars and five live-music stages. Expect street eats from James Street’s acclaimed restaurants, cocktails from its buzzing bars, DJs sets, live jazz and creative workshops, as well as seedling planting, face painting and activities for little ones to enjoy. Have a look at our full rundown for all of the tasty details.
Hawthorne Seafood Markets
When word emerged last week that long-running fish-and-chipper The Fishmonger’s Wife would be closing its doors on Saturday July 2 after 20 years of trade, a collective cry of sadness could be heard all across town. Now, before you all start fretting about the possibility of living without The Fishmonger’s Wife’s gluten-free battered morsels, we have some good news for you. The crew behind esteemed seafood merchant Clayfield Seafood Markets is taking over the site, with plans to refurbish it and reopen in early August as Hawthorne Seafood Markets. Owner Nick Copping, a hospo veteran with extensive knowledge in seafood, is eager to bring the same high-quality, sashimi-grade fish selection to Hawthorne, establishing an artisan seafood dispensary similar to his Clayfield operation. The downstairs dining room will be converted into the main fishmonger space, with displays showcasing an assortment of locally sourced seafood, including Atlantic salmon, snapper and Humpty Doo barramundi (all boned and filleted on site), as well as prawns, oysters and pantry goodies. A small fish-and-chip dispensary will offer a menu for takeaway and a small dine-in area. Though the a la carte menu will be different to The Fishmonger’s Wife, Nick has confirmed that its range of gluten-free options would remain as would its liquor licence, allowing guests to savour a drop with their seafood feast. Work will commence on Hawthorne Seafood Markets in early July, with the team already taking applications for chefs and front-of-house staff. We’ll have a look inside Hawthorne Seafood Markets once the fishmonger opens in August.
Biang Biang Fresh Noodle
Cult-favourite noodle joint Biang Biang Fresh Noodle has moved. The Toowong-born concept recently opened some new digs just off Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley, where its lauded selection of delightfully dense belt-width noodles (a specialty that originated in China’s Shaanxi province) are now available – just in time for winter. For the uninitiated, biang biang noodles are noticeably thicker than average, with chefs kneading, rolling, stretching and pulling the noodle dough by hand, before boiling and dumping the lengthy strips in a steaming bowl of broth. Biang Biang Fresh Noodle’s menu kicks off with its signature Bang Bang noodles (served with pork mince, potato, eggs, tomato, carrots, shallots and salad), before moving in a spicer direction with the tom yum beef noodles (beef soup with tam yam sauce, salad, onion, sesame oil and liberal lashings of chilli and pepper oil) and the Sichuan dan dan noodle, which boasts pork mince, vegetables, soy sauce, vinegar, chilli oil and pepper oil. Other interesting options include yellow curry beef noodles, old Beijing-style noodles and special cumin lamb noodles, as well as sides like vegetable spring rolls, pork wontons with spicy chilli, and rougamo – a meat-filled sandwich, hailed as one of the oldest hamburgers in the world.
Before + After
Brisbane City’s cadre of booze slingers will soon grow by one with the arrival of Before + After, a new haunt specialising in aperitivo and digestivo. The brainchild of George Curtis, a seasoned drink slinger fresh from a stint as bar manager of Agnes, Before + After will specialise in before-dinner cocktails and snacks, and post-feast digestifs, with amaro a core focus of its back-bar selection. George has nabbed a semi-subterranean space underneath heritage-listed St. Francis House on George Street for the bar, converting the site (formerly home to laneway coffee joint Bean) into a cosy drinking joint boasting a rustic copper-accented aesthetic with repurposed furnishings. George is in the process of curating Before + After’s bar offering, headlined by more than 45 kinds of amaro (including 15 vintage bottles like a 1970s Fernet Branca and a 1940s Zucca Rabarbaro), 20 gins, 20 whiskies, a clutch of interesting wines and tins from local craft breweries. The bar’s cocktail selection will feature seasonal sips made from native Queensland ingredients, including a signature negroni, amaro mixed with pineapple that has been juiced to order, and a selection of highballs infused with imported Swedish whisky. Evan Nagel of Alba Bar and Deli is assisting with the creation of Before + After’s bar food range, which will feature amaro-spiked appetisers like shrimp rolls with Fernet Branca mayo, anchovies on toast with citrus amaro oil and an amaro float made using Maleny Food Co. gelato. George is targeting a late-August or early-September opening – get more details here!
Jamie’s Espresso Bar
In case you missed the news last week, Jamie’s Espresso Bar – a fixture of Fortitude Valley’s coffee scene – is on the move. Owner Jamie Bellas will be closing his James Street dispensary at the end of July ahead of its relocation back around the corner to Robertson Street, a short distance from where it first opened more than 20 years ago. The move will be a return to its roots for the espresso spot, which will be reminiscent of its original location. Architectural and interior-design firm Twohill & James is working with Jamie on the cafe’s fit-out and aesthetic, which will boast an L-shaped coffee bar, as well as banquettes and window seating. During the day, Jamie’s 3.0 will operate very much like the original shop – slinging cups of brew made on Seven Miles Coffee Roasters beans while also turning out a slightly bigger breakfast and lunch menu. In addition to its lauded coffee service, Jamie’s will once again open as a low-key neighbourhood watering hole on Friday nights, serving a selection of boozy beverages as well as a small selection of bar snacks.
Crust & Company Artisan Baking announces closure
The recent floods have landed a crushing blow to Brisbane’s baked-goods scene. Last Monday, the team behind widely adored Wilston bakery Crust & Co. announced via social media that it would be closing after nine years of trade. Crust & Co.’s owners made the difficult decision not to rebuild after February’s floods inundated its brick warehouse headquarters on Edmondstone Street, causing considerable damage to its specialty equipment and stock. Known for its range of golden crusted sourdough loaves, flaky croissants made using French butter, bagels, tarts and cakes, Crust & Co.’s wholesale portfolio boasted numerous Brisbane cafes, including Sweetshop Specialty Coffee, Neighbour, Buenos Dias Con Cafe, Mylk + Ko and many more.
If you’ve heard something that’s worth mentioning in The Weekend Edition’s Pavement Whispers, email [email protected].
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