Pavement Whispers: Volume 309 May 25
From news of a month-long city-spanning foodie celebration to New Farm’s forthcoming Italian-inspired wine bar, 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 …
Brisbane Good Food Month
July is set to be an incredible month for Brisbane foodies. Why? Because it marks the return of culinary celebration Good Food Month presented by Citi. Some of the best and brightest members of Australia’s dining scene will descend on the city, teaming up with top-notch local talent for a host of mouth-watering events. Homegrown hero Alanna Sapwell will be bringing her celebrated pop-up restaurant Esmay back to Brisbane after its whirlwind tour of the country, Dave Verheul of hatted Melbourne restaurant Embla will be taking over Fortitude Valley’s woodfired superstar Agnes for a one-off fiery feast, Shane Delia will be teaming up with Adam Wolfers at Gerard’s Bistro for a mesmerising Middle Eastern extravaganza, and Shannon Martinez will pay homage to Tel Aviv’s vibrant dining scene with a phenomenal plant-based offering at ZA ZA TA. The month-long festivities will also include a bevy of special dining experiences including long lunches, curated wine menus and indulgent degustations (all showcasing the best in Queensland produce) as part of the Friends of Good Food Month program. The Brisbane Night Noodle Markets will also be making its triumphant return after last year’s hiatus. Tickets to Good Food Month presented by Citi’s smorgasbord of events will go on sale at 9:00 am this Thursday May 27. Click here for more details, or head to the Good Food Month website to start marking off dates in your calendar and prep for the full program release later this week.
Ombra Italian Bar
New Farm’s bar scene will soon welcome an injection of Italian hospitality when Ombra Italian Bar opens on Brunswick Street next month. Ombra is the brainchild of passionate hospitality veterans (and Italian ex-pats) Elisabetta and Ali, who are currently hard at work converting the former Yuzu & Co space into a simple and elegant aperitivo bar. Envisioned as a casual spot to pop in for some easygoing snacks and sips, Ombra will serve a concise selection of Italian-style tapas, vino and a clutch of rotating cocktails. Elisabetta and Ali will be taking in the width and breadth of Italy’s regional diversity for its food offering, curating a range of eats inspired by storied territories like Tuscany, Sicily and Veneto. The wine list will also follow a similar regional approach, boasting an assortment of styles and hard-to-find varieties geared to complement Ombra’s snack menu. Cocktail specials will change weekly, but guests can expect liberal use of quintessential Italian aperitifs and liqueurs including Aperol, Campari and Galliano. Elisabetta and Ali are targeting mid-June for Ombra Italian Bar’s official opening – stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks.
Enoki Coffee & Co.
Attention vegan and vegetarian diners (or just about any lover of good food and coffee) – forthcoming cafe Enoki Coffee & Co. is coming to tantalise your tastebuds this July. This eatery and coffee spot – owned and operated by dynamic duo Lene Ritter and Chris Allen – is taking an eco-friendly, ethical and inclusive approach to its offering and atmosphere, promising a ‘come as you are’ approachability matched by a menu of eats featuring something for everyone. Situated in the midst of a shopping strip in the heart of Stafford Heights, the cafe will boast a bright interior featuring subway tiling, VJ panelling, greenery, local artwork and a mint-green and pink colour scheme – with interior and exterior seating offering space for 30. Although the menu is still in the works, we’ve been told to expect the likes of vegan waffles with coconut ice-cream, Crumpets By Merna chocolate crumpet stacks and four-cheese mac ’n’ cheese, as well as a host of breakfast classics. The Enoki crew has tabbed Semi-Pro Coffee as the supplier of its house blend (milk substitutes will be supplied by The Alternative Dairy Co), and will cycle between Semi-Pro and Almanac Coffee Roasters for its single-origin brews. HRVST ST juices, iced mochas and iced chocolates will also feature. Keep an eye on The Weekend Edition for a closer look at Enoki Coffee & Co., which is on track for an early July opening.
Momo Chicken & Beer
Ever since it first emerged in Brisbane City in 2017, Momo Chicken & Beer has been spreading the good word of Korean-style fried chicken and beer halls. With a portfolio already boasting locations on Elizabeth Street, in Runcorn and at Westfield Garden City, Momo is now expanding to Brisbane’s north, with a new location currently in the works at Westfield Chermside. A 210-sqm space is currently being converted into a modern industrial eatery and bar, much like its Garden City sibling except for one noteworthy addition – a cocktail bar! Yes, in addition to enormous platters of fried chicken, crispy burgers, rice and noodle dishes, bubbling hot-pots, and sides, Momo Chicken & Beer at Chermside will sling a range of classic and Korean-inspired signature cocktails. The newcomer is slated to open to the public in mid-June, so save your salivating for just a little bit longer.
In case you missed the news last week, beloved Newstead wine bar Commercial Road Public Bar closed up last week. It’s not all doom and gloom, though – the bar is simply relocating to a new site. While a new space is secured and overhauled, locals can get their fix of CRPB hospitality at Queens, a brand-new vino bar situated in the heart of Fortitude Valley. The watering hole is taking over the site most recently occupied by Born Creative Studio – sandwiched between Fat Dumpling and Giardinetto – and is described by owner Kyle Weir as CRPB’s darker and louder sibling. Kyle and his team are already busy overhauling the space, which makes use of neon lights, disco balls, mirrors and stylised posters to contrast with the existing heritage brickwork and create a mix of glam and grit. Much like at CRPB, natural wine will be a focus, with tap beers and an expanded array of cocktails also on offer for quaffing material. Although there’s no kitchen on site, Queens will still be slinging fresh, easy-to-prep snacks like creamy burrata, olives, guindillas, giardiniera (pickled vegetables), anchovies and sardines until late. The bar will open within the week – we’ll have a look inside soon.
Lobby Bar’s Menu Swap
The chefs manning the pans at glam dining spot Lobby Bar at The Calile will be shaking things up for one night only this Thursday May 27, as head chef Andy Gunn cedes control of the kitchen to sous chef Eduardo (Eddy) Obando for the latest edition of Lobby Bar’s Menu Swap. Eddy, who hails from Cali in Colombia, will be crafting a five-course degustation experience showcasing the tastes of his homeland. The progressive feast will feature the likes of charcoaled sweet corn with cream, butter and leek ash, fish poached in coconut cream and vegetable sauce (guiso), scampi with chontaduro (palm fruit) sauce, honey, cognac and smoked caviar, and pork and chicken wrapped in corn dough and banana leaf. The Menu Swap dinner will also include a welcome cocktail and digestif, both similarly influenced by Colombian flavours. Seats for the dinner are $130 per person and can be booked here.
If you’ve heard something that’s worth mentioning in The Weekend Edition’s Pavement Whispers, email [email protected].
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