Pavement Whispers: Volume 279 October 13
From news of a two-level Tex-Mex mecca in South Bank and the opening of an Italian-inspired cafe on Creek Street, The Weekend Edition is always on the search for the latest food news in Brisbane, dedicated to ensuring its readers are in the know (while also supporting our local hospitality industry). When we put our ears to the pavement this week, this is what we found out …
Gerard’s Bar all-new menu
The time has finally come. After a certain pandemic halted plans to overhaul the food offering at Gerard’s Bar in March, executive chef Adam Wolfers is at last able to introduce his new menu to the bar, launching on Thursday October 22. The launch will see both the flavours and format of the Gerard’s Bar menu change to a selection of pared-back Middle Eastern-style grazing dishes, solidifying its connection with its sibling venue, Gerard’s Bistro. Adam has drawn inspiration from his travels, Jewish heritage and career journey to craft each dish, while also holding true to his commitment to sustainability and zero-waste approach to cooking. The menu is broken up into a selection of mezze, small dishes, woodfired flatbreads and desserts with distinct Middle Eastern influence, much of which is cooked in Gerard’s Bar’s custom-built woodfired oven. Mezze options such as labne with Mount Zero olive oil, wagyu basturma and smoked Kinkawooka mussels are all served with freshly baked woodfired laffa bread, alongside small dishes including Armenia cucumbers with labne sesame, spiced sumac fries, baked kibbeh with yoghurt, and rice pilaf with baharat, raisins and smoked butter. Manoushe, pide and sfeeha feature in the flatbread selection, topped with the likes of spicy sujuk sausage, akawi cheese and spinach, and short rib. Adam’s new dishes will be served alongside a revamped wine and cocktail list (and the full Gerard’s Bistro wine list is also available). Once launched, the full menu will be available until 10:00 pm, with light snacks available after.
El Camino Cantina South Bank
You don’t need to be a Jimmy Buffett fan to appreciate the inherent magic of a margarita, but if you need a bit more evidence proving why the cocktail is perennially awarded the title of drink of the summer (everyone’s saying it, not just us) then prepare for some citrus-laced euphoria when El Camino Cantina opens its new two-level margarita manor in South Bank next month. Rockpool Dining Group’s beloved colour-soaked and festively lit Tex-Mex concept is replacing Munich Brauhaus on Stanley Street Plaza, swapping steins and pork knuckles for tequila, tacos and sizzling chargrilled fajitas. This is shaping up to be El Camino Cantina’s largest Brisbane location, with hundreds of seats spread across a breezy umbrellaed outdoor dining area, a ground-floor diner catering to 120 guests and an upper floor dining and live-entertainment space big enough to house a whipping 250 seats. Alongside El Camino’s signature vibrant decor and party vibes, the venue will dish out its signature menu of Tex-Mex morsels, including eight kinds of tacos, spicy buffalo wings, loaded nachos, bottomless corn chips and more. Naturally margaritas will be a big focus, with a host of flavours available frozen, on the rocks, or Cadillac-style with a float of Grand Marnier. Add sangria, cocktails, wine, ample tequilas and mezcals, and a range of imported beers and you’ve got all the makings of a fiesta. Speaking of which, El Camino Cantina will be celebrating its opening with Brisbane’s inaugural Ritapalooza festival – a six-week long celebration of margaritas kicking off in late November. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at the arrival in the coming weeks.
Brisbane City’s brunch and bar scene is getting a boost this week with the official opening of the new-look Mr. Claude on Wednesday October 14. The cafe – owned and operated by the Corbett & Claude, Comuna Cantina and Tetto Rooftop Bar crew – has been operating since August 2015 as an unassuming laneway grab-and-go coffee nook, but is now getting an Italian-inspired glow up in anticipation of the group’s takeover of the ground-floor tenancies at the base of the The Annex on Creek Street. Mr. Claude 2.0 will be joining Comuna Cantina as anchor tenants at the base of The Annex, helping occupy the 750-sqm external space lining Creek Street that will be activated day and night. The interiors of Mr. Claude’s new locale will be a far cry from the original’s industrial aesthetic, boasting a fresh and clean look based on a palette of white and sage green, with a green-marble countertop imported from northern Italy. Mr. Claude will be launching with a simple grab-and-go offering featuring its own coffee blend and cannolis courtesy of My Kitchen Rules stars Jake and Elle Harrison, as well as a nighttime bar-style pivot serving cocktails, beer, wine and Italian-inspired bar snacks. The cafe will launch a full breakfast menu later in December coinciding with Comuna Cantina’s launch, but keep your eyes peeled on The Weekend Edition this week for a closer look at Mr. Claude’s spiffy new space.
Vapiano Albert Lane
When it comes to speedy pizza, pasta and antipasti, fast-casual institution Vapiano has long been a popular go-to for city slickers. Vapiano’s Albert Lane location (the brand’s most frequented store nationwide) has scored a substantial makeover that is set to be revealed next week. On Monday October 19, Vapiano Albert Lane will officially reopen to the public, showing off a brand-new interior aesthetic and fit-out implemented by the crew at DCB Developments. The eatery is sprucing up its menu to match the new look (keep your eyes peeled for a special garlic bread addition) while overhauling its ordering system to allow for quicker and fresher meals. Stay tuned for a peek inside!
Bramble in Bloom
In case your allergies haven’t reminded you yet, spring has truly sprung. After the most serious winter hibernation period we’ve ever experienced, we’re all feeling very ready to embrace the warm spring weather and soak up some much needed vitamin D – with a cocktail in hand, of course. Riverbar and Kitchen is providing the ideal setting to do just that with its spring activation Bramble in Bloom, a collaboration with Bombay Bramble, Bombay Sapphire’s new blackberry and raspberry-infused gin. Launching tomorrow, Wednesday October 14 until Sunday November 29, Bramble in Bloom will offer a selection of bramble-style cocktails alongside a menu of paired snacks, including beetroot-cured salmon, buffalo curd with crispy chickpeas, and dukkah with flatbread. For full event details, head to our Event Guide.
If you’ve heard something that’s worth mentioning in The Weekend Edition’s Pavement Whispers, email [email protected].
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