Pavement Whispers: Volume 308 May 18
From news of a Neapolitan-inspired cocktail bar for the inner city to The Valley’s decadent treat haven from a Gold Coast crew, 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 …
Toscano Bar + Kitchen
The city of Naples has a rich culinary history – its gastronomic legacy encompasses the creation of pizza, which in itself is enough to cement its status in the pantheon of the world’s best food cities. Neapolitan hospitality will take centre stage at Brisbane City’s new cocktail bar and eatery Toscano Bar + Kitchen, which is opening later this month. The venture is from sibling operators Virginia and Antonio Toscano, who are seeking to bring a piece of their hometown to Old Mineral House – just across the road from Stamford Plaza on the corner of Edward Street and Alice Street. The 100-sqm venue will boast a lounge-style dining space and a snazzy bar area, with Virginia putting her interior design chops to use by giving the site a classically chic aesthetic overhaul – think black-and-white stripes, emerald greens, soft leathers and some vibrant neon signs. Antonio, who was recently a top drink slinger at Eagle Street’s Mr & Mrs G, is overseeing the bar, assembling a cocktail menu featuring all of the classics (and some of his own creations), a range of spritzes, refreshing aperitifs and a wine list featuring imported and local vino. Toscano’s kitchen will dispense an array of Italian delicacies, including appetisers such as frittatina (a deep-fried arancini-style bite filled with bucatini and bechamel), polenta with gorgonzola mousse and pancetta, crumbed ricotta gnocchi with tomato salsa and stracciatella, and eggplant parmigiana. Larger plates will include five kinds of pizze and a selection of panouzzi – a Neapolitan-style sandwich using pizza dough as the bread (crispy on the outside, soft on the inside), stuffed with fillings such as Parma ham and buffalo mozzarella, pancetta and caciocavallo, and Italian sausage and scamorza. Toscano Bar + Kitchen is on track for a soft opening before the end of May. Stay tuned for a closer look in the coming weeks.
When it comes to dessert on the Gold Coast, the crew behind Burleigh’s Oh My Waffle is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in town. The brains behind the hugely popular waffle and cereal bar are now looking to replicate their sugary success in Brisbane with Mr Treat – a forthcoming cookie and soft-serve concept opening in Fortitude Valley later this year. The pint-sized locale will pack a serious wallop in the dessert stakes, with a range of chunky cookies (flavours include Caramilk, s’mores, chocolate peanut butter, red velvet, Oreo, choc-chip, salted caramel, white chocolate and Biscoff) available in packs or warmed up and topped with ice-cream. Speaking of ice-cream, Mr Treat’s specialty machines will blend soft serve and mix-ins into one smooth spiral of goodness, which is then crowned with your choice of drizzle and topping. Mr Treat will have eight specialty flavour combos, including strawberry cheesecake (vanilla ice-cream blended with strawberries and cheesecake, topped with crushed biscuit, strawberry drizzle and fresh strawberries) and banana, honey and Frosties (vanilla ice-cream blended with bananas and Frosties cereal, topped with fresh banana, Tiny Teddy biscuits, Frosties crumbs and lashings of honey). Mr Treat is looking at July for its tentative opening date – we’ll have more info for you closer to launch!
Phat Boyz Smokehouse
Sure, summer barbecues are great, but hearty (and meaty) feasts are best enjoyed in winter. Luke Saggus – the lauded pit master behind competitive barbecue team turned low ’n’ slow institution Phat Boyz – will be opening a new flagship restaurant at Waterlea in Walloon next month, promising some out-of-this-world fare. Phat Boyz Smokehouse & Kitchen is set to be a seriously super-sized venture, with three gigantic smokers (including the five-metre, two-tonne monster Moonshine Express), a suspended South American bird cage (which will be hanging meat above the bar) and a dedicated dessert smoker all geared towards engineering succulent barbecued morsels. Though barbecue is the foundation upon which Phat Boyz will build its menu, we’ve been told to expect some worldly twists – think full-smoked breakfasts, smoked mustard wings, brisket ramen noodle soup and Ferrero Rocher tacos – the latter crafted by award-winning pit master, Daniel Barrington, who will be handling the dessert smoking duties. Keep an eye on The Weekend Edition for an up-close look at Phat Boyz Smokehouse & Kitchen when it opens in early June.
Banh Mi Factory
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of sinking one’s teeth into the flaky crust of a bang-on banh mi, and few joints do the delicacy justice as well as Banh Mi Factory. The market-born Vietnamese street-food concept went legit in December 2019, snagging tastebuds of northside locals with its first bricks-and-mortar dispensary in Zillmere. The site’s proximity to Geebung’s industrial centres and its grab-and-go convenience made the hub a popular lunch option during COVID, so much so that it wasn’t long before the team was approached with an expansion opportunity in Newstead. Banh Mi Factory currently has a hole-in-the-wall location in the works on Austin Street, which is targeting a mid-June opening. Employing a quick-service model, Banh Mi Factory will be offering a streamlined menu of banh mi (filled with crispy roast pork, chargrilled chicken or beef, or tofu) noodle salads, rice-paper rolls and spring rolls. Keep an eye out for this one when it opens next month.
Speaking of Austin Street in Newstead, the strip will also soon be the home of a brand-new production kitchen from Albion-based bakery crew Brewbakers. The beloved loaf and pastry dispensary is upping its baking capacity with the new hub, which will be supplying the Albion shopfront with all manner of treats moving forward. Although there is currently no plan in place to open the Newstead kitchen for retail sales, the Brewbakers team is interested in establishing a delivery service from Austin Street in the future.
If you’ve heard something that’s worth mentioning in The Weekend Edition’s Pavement Whispers, email [email protected].
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