Italian eats, dumplings and a coffee fave headline Montague Markets’ first wave of openings
After years living in the shadow of the bustling boulevard that is Boundary Street, West End’s Montague Road is flourishing, becoming a high street in its own right thanks to an influx of hospitality and residential projects. Recently the street has welcomed the likes of Superthing, Grown, Brisbane Distillery Company, Ehden Bar & Kitchen, Ballistic Beer’s alehouse and La Lupa, and now a new mixed-use development is bolstering the local dining scene further. Montague Markets has welcomed the first wave of its hospitality tenants – Voglia, Jia by Fat Dumpling and The Cheeky Bean – all of which are owned by seasoned operators looking to tap into West End’s lifestyle.
In true early-bird form, the first retailer to open at Montague Markets was perky coffee institution Cheeky Bean Espresso Bar. A familiar face to many West End caffeine sippers, the team already operate a quirky and colourful hole-in-the-wall operation across the road from Davies Park, where it has spent six years cultivating a loyal following thanks to its six sizes of takeaway coffee (including the famous 20-oz ‘bucket’ of coffee), speedy service and chirpy personality. Seeing an opportunity to cement their status as the street’s go-to coffee name, the team signed on to open a second espresso bar at Montague Market’s, snagging a prime corner location in the heart of the hub. Here the team are catering to the population of Montague Markets’ 89 luxury apartments, locals popping in to the new Woolworths and patrons of the on-site medical centre. Cheeky Bean’s new location offers more elbow room for coffee slinging, with bags and bags of boutique beans from Bacano Coffee Roasters – the espresso bar’s go-to supplier – ready to handle the morning rush. In addition to the bean juice, Cheeky Bean 2.0 is also stocking HRVST ST juices and Somersault Sodas, muffins, cookies and Doughluxe Doughnuts, with space set aside for a possible grab-and-go snack service in the future, depending on what locals are craving most.
Joining the collection of dining options at Montague Markets is Jia by Fat Dumpling – the brand-new location from the King Street Fat Dumpling crew. Jia, which means ‘home’ in Chinese, is a cosy eatery that specialises in homestyle northern-Chinese fare, the kind imbued with a comforting familial essence – as if each perfect parcel was crafted by a loved one. The pace boasts a warm, down-to-earth vibe as opposed to the King Street location’s pub-style appeal. The menu features many of Fat Dumpling’s signature dishes, from the poached pork-and-Chinese-cabbage dumplings, steamed prawn, pork-and-chive dumplings, pork xiao long bao, prawn har gow, salt-and-pepper king prawns, and cumin-lamb skewers. The coming months will see new dishes added to the offering, including a greater range of seafood-based eats. Jia by Fat Dumpling boasts a full bar, too – it’s amply stocked with beers, wines, cocktails and non-alcoholic options. When restrictions permit, Jia by Fat Dumpling will host interactive dumpling-making classes, giving dumpling die-hards the chance to perfect their own homestyle eats.
Sitting pretty in Montague Markets’ street-facing tenancy is Voglia – the new culinary concept from Vito and Bradie Mandarano, who also operate Vito’s Cucina & Bar in Ascot. Voglia (Italian for ‘want’) has been designed to cater to any foodie fancy one could have, be it a breakfast bounty, a lunchtime snack, decadent dinner experience or a simple sundowner. Inspired by the jaw-dropping scenery and lifestyle of the Amalfi Coast, Voglia’s interior boasts a striking aesthetic hinging on a reddish-orange colour palette, light stone and timber, with a formal dining space, casual bar nook and al fresco seating area creating an elegant-yet-approachable vibe. As Montague Markets’ anchor eatery, Vito and Bradie have created a menu of evergreen classics that have been given subtle Italian twists. The multifaceted all-day offering stretches from morning until late evening, starting with breakfast bites like potato rostis with smoked salmon, poached eggs and chipotle hollandaise, eggs purgatorio (eggs swimming in home-made napoletana sauce and topped with crispy pancetta), and grilled halloumi on sourdough with cherry tomato, seasoned avocado and balsamic glaze. The lunch and dinner menu expands the nosh selection to include antipasti, salads, Italian-inspired burgers, pizzas, pasta dishes (like the ricotta and spinach agnolotti served with baby octopus and calamari) and mains including chicken scaloppine, pork cutlets pan seared with butter and thyme, and lamb tagliata with roast potato. Bolstering Voglia’s food menu is a drinks list that encompasses coffee from Segafredo, 40 wines (of which 70 percent are Italian drops), beer (including Voglia’s own brew on tap), spirits, cocktails, and a clutch of digestifs.
Joining Cheeky Bean, Jia by Fat Dumpling and Voglia at Montague Markets will be DA’Burger and Wara Sushi, as well as luxury homewares brand Ollie & Lloyd, chic salon Tigerlamb and a barbershop by the Bou’s For Men crew. Opening hours and contact details for the above vendors can be found in the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.