FOODIE INSIGHTS AND INSPIRATION
As avid foodies, we love to share some of our insights about the Brisbane food scene, happenings in the area and relevant insights with you to help further ignite this inner foodie in you!
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We look forward to hearing your thoughts and having you share your ideas with us too!
Recent Foodie Insights and Inspiration Posts
When it comes to organising the company Christmas party or a function for clients, it can be underwhelming at the options presented to you to meet the budget you’ve been given. Or your company has done the same kind of things for years, which seems to work, but maybe you want to do something a little different. And, at this time of the year, searches for fun Christmas party ideas go through the roof.
Maybe, there are so many choices and you just don’t have time to go through them all. After all, this is just something extra you’ve got to do on top of your already bulging workload. So we’ve compiled just 5 fun Christmas party ideas to inspire your next work function.
Fun Christmas Party Ideas – Amazing Race Themed Challenge
If it is team-building you’re looking for this can be a great idea for a work function. Depending on where you are, there are companies out there that you can do this with, otherwise, it’ll take a little more planning and work on your behalf.
This classic scavenger hunt style event suits large or small teams get your group outdoors and creates some competition to make things a little more interesting.
Depending on your overall group fitness, you might want to keep it reasonably short, but you could include things like getting a photo in front of an iconic location, answers relating to exhibitions at the museum, taking public transport to a specific point to get a clue and so much more.
Fun Christmas Party Ideas – Boat Cruise
If eating, drinking and having a good time is high on the agenda for your function, something like a private boat cruise screams fun!
Usually, these come with set food and drink packages, which you can choose based on your budget, length of desired time and even group size.
In some cases, you’ll have options around music like organising your own band, which can also help you tailor the vibe you’re after.
Depending on your group, you might want to consider a sit-down portion of the experience or even combing in with an onshore dinner option.
Fun Christmas Party Ideas – Cooking Class
Cooking classes can be a fun function idea if your group isn’t too large. They’re interactive, hands-on, and also encourage teamwork. Plus, you get to feast on the fruits of your labour.
Most places will include a drink package option or allow you to bring some to complete your feast.
I’d also recommend mixing in a class with something else like a nice dinner or cocktails afterward. Perhaps, an experience like this one.
Fun Christmas Party Ideas – Fancy Dress or Theme Party
Okay, admittedly some people hate dressing up and that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean you can’t throw a theme party.
For family-friendly, you might have a circus or magic theme and get performers in. Or, for the adults, you might like to throw a Casino Royale party, have some poker tables and a few other games, get everyone to dress up nicely and make an evening out of it with cocktails and canapes.
Fun Christmas Party Ideas – Food or Wine Tour
Being a company that provides a variety of foodie experiences and tours it would be remiss of me not to mention this as an option.
These are best for smaller groups and provide a great way for everyone to mingle, explore different places and cater to different tastes. By visiting a variety of venues you can tailor the experience to suit a variety of different people so that everyone gets something that they will hopefully really like out of the celebration.
Would you like some further insight and a step-by-step guide to impressing your clients or colleagues with exceptional experiences?
Delectable Tours isn’t just about creating food tours, I put these experiences together to give people like you an opportunity to unwind, enjoy and even be wowed wherever possible.
Through years of working in events and marketing, I’ve had the privilege of putting together various events and I would love to share these tips with you about what I’ve learned along the way.
It’s an exciting time for us as we expand our team. Change and growth can be overwhelming, but this change has been something I’m over the moon about! Here, I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to our new culinary tours host.
Delectable Tours is my baby, something I’m very protective of, so bringing someone in to host guests isn’t something I took lightly. I searched high and low to make sure our guests will be well looked after, and I’m happy to introduce you to Wade.
Wade is our new host who brings a wealth of experience, personality and of course hosting skills to our team. As a company that is all about local, it was great to find someone who was born and bred in Queensland but has also traveled and lived overseas. Wade can share some great stories with you! Overall, he loves working with and listening to people, and this new role is an interesting new adventure for him.
Throughout the last 11 years of living overseas, he would come back to Queensland usually once a year for holidays and especially noticed the shift of restaurants and cafes trading in a more ‘green/sustainable/conscious’ way over time. More people were locally sourcing and telling their story of why and how they came to open their businesses. After returning home and helping his sister sell locally sourced fruit and vegetables at the Woodford Folk Festival in 2016, he saw first-hand how far Queensland had evolved with its great produce, and what Queensland has to offer.
It was the opportunity to be able to connect with people through great food and conversation, and being involved in such a dynamic role and industry overall, especially one that brings so much joy to others that drew him to the position.
Something that is close to both of our hearts is our passion for food.
Wade’s passion for food is primarily linked to the basic human understanding that ‘food is fuel for our body.’ But it also goes much deeper than that…
It is impossible for anyone to have a perfect diet, but as I go on this journey of life I realise more and more how important it is for us all to know where and how our food is produced.
If we all had the correct information and access to ‘clean food’ when choosing our food products, the positive impact on our planet, the welfare of our animals, and our own lives would be enormous.
Through Wade’s work as a small independent farmer and food tour host, he is becoming more aware of his desire to share as much enthusiasm and knowledge as he can about the food we eat.
Wade’s family farm is located in the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland where they produce top quality free range grass fed beef and pork. Plus, it has private access to Bellthorpe National Park. Sounds like a great place to stay and enjoy the beautiful environment, relax and get back to nature, don’t you think?
As you may be aware, we love to take you to great places we have personally experienced and would recommend. A few of Wade’s favourite places in and around Brisbane include Libertine Bar and Restaurant, The Dalgety Public House for Sunday afternoon drinks, The Coffee Cat on Kings Beach, Caloundra, which has amazing views, great coffee and brunch choices, and Bucci restaurant and bar on James St in New Farm for good Italian food and atmosphere, as well as locally sourced produce.
Like me, going out for brunch is one of his favourite things to do. Additionally, he will happily share his love for Asian Fusion, interesting vegan and vegetarian restaurants, and fresh calamari and local oysters with you.
Food is obviously a passion of Wade’s but he’ll also happily talk to you about his other passions like bushwalking, visiting quiet beaches with a good book, traveling to other cities, visiting markets and the latest play or theatre show.
I’m personally very excited to have Wade on board and know that you’ll also find him to be a great host. Even though he has traveled and lived overseas, at heart, he’s a country Queensland boy who has a great passion for our environment here and sharing that sense of pride and enthusiasm with people from all different backgrounds.
Want to know a little more about us?
Check out why I set up Delectable Tours and what we hope to share with you.
P.S Here are a couple of other fun facts you might like to know about Wade
- He speaks fluent Dutch,
- He loves going to the theatre when he has time,
- He has a great love of dogs, and has six at the farm, the smallest being a Chihuahua and the biggest a Bullmastiff!
- When he’s having a challenging day I love nothing more than taking the dogs for a walk into the back paddocks and seeing them run free in nature, a guaranteed stress reliever!
Spring brings some pretty fabulous festivals and events, and these aren’t just music festivals, there’s plenty on for foodies around Queensland too. After a little hibernation in Winter, Spring is the perfect time to get out, enjoy some more sunshine, and indulge your senses. Here is a roundup of some great Spring foodie events happening around Queensland.
REJUVENATING SPRING FOODIE EXPERIENCE
September 4 to November 5
Get ready for summer and take some time for you with a 10% discount on this rejuvenating spring foodie experience. This health-conscious food experience will take you on a scenic journey to the Sunshine Coast and through the Hinterland.
This experience showcases local produce and iconic ingredients prepared in a tasty and healthy manner with additional stops along the way to ensure you can truly take in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast. It is a three-course lunch-time experience with freshly squeezed juices, amongst other refreshments including a cheeky organic wine and a relaxing private yoga class to really get you into a zen-like zone. Delectable Taste of Healthy Delights gives you the opportunity to stay in beautiful Noosa or return to the city life of Brisbane.
Delectable Taste of Healthy Delights experience runs on Tues to Sun. Book between 4 Sep to 5 Nov 2017 for 10% off. Minimum of 2 people is required for a tour to go ahead. No further discounts can be applied with this offer.
GOURMET IN GUNDY
Image via Gourmet in Gundy Website
September 10,10am – 5pm
Goondiwindi Community Cultural Centre Sunday
Set along The Macintyre River next to big river gums, with lush green lawns and an amphitheater, this festival is perfectly poised to celebrate the start of spring.
This will be the 2nd year the Rotary Club of Goondiwindi will be hosting the event, showcasing the region’s fine food and award-winning wines, the event will be something the whole family can enjoy, and will also be jam packed with other regional activities.
CAPRICORN FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
Image via Capricorn Food and Wine Festival
September 15 – 17
Quay Street, Rockhampton
The Capricorn Food and Wine Festival offers a chance to rub shoulders with celebrity chefs, taste test your way through a wide range of food stalls and enjoy cocktail evenings and gala dinners.
Capricorn Food and Wine provides the premier event for Central Queensland showcasing gourmet food and wine, local produce and the region’s burgeoning hospitality and music scene.
Now in its fifth year, the 2017 Capricorn Food and Wine Festival will have something for everyone. The weekend will offer a relaxed and inviting atmosphere for foodies, wine connoisseurs and everything in between. This year the Festival will move to a new location, celebrating the redevelopment of Quay Street along the banks of the Fitzroy River, and showcasing Rockhampton’s elegant streetscapes and majestic sandstone buildings.
The Festival will again play host to signature events including Twilight Tasting, the Ladies of the Vine High Tea, The Long Luncheon on Great Keppel Island, demonstrations by renowned chefs, masterclasses and more.
PALM COVE REEF FEAST
Image via Palm Cover Tourism
October 6 – 8
Four glorious days of exclusive wine and produce dinners, cooking demonstrations, live music and food seminars, topped off with a family market day where the best restaurants in Palm Cove will be dishing up their tastiest treats.
Reef Feast Palm Cove is Tropical North Queensland’s premier community event, celebrating cuisine, fresh produce, live music, relaxed culture and lifestyle of the magnificent tropics.
Over 3 days from 5th to 8th of October 2017 Cairns Airport Reef Feast is a feast for all senses. The main Taste of Palm Cove event combines the relaxed lifestyle of Tropical North Queensland, with food from world class restaurants and music to make it a night you will rave about.
Stratton Street, Newstead
Brisbane is getting its very first burger festival! On Saturday, October 21, Stone & Wood and The Triffid will be shutting down Stratton Street in Newstead to dedicate an entire day to the best buns in Brisbane with Burgerfest. The line-up includes Ben’s Burgers, Ze Pickle, Miss Kay’s, Red Hook, Lucky Egg, Mr. Burger, 5 Boroughs and The Triffid will all be serving up their most-loved classics alongside an exclusive Burgerfest burger.
Burgerfest is a free event and there are not just burgers – you’ll find street games, prizes to be won and live music all day in The Triffid Beer Garden. Plus, Bernard Fanning will be bringing his fourth and final sold-out show of his Brutal Dawn tour to The Triffid’s stage.
TASTES LIKE SUNSHINE
Image via Museum of Brisbane
August 18 to November 12
Museum of Brisbane
Tastes like Sunshine is an all-in sensory exploration of Brisbane’s rich and ever-evolving food story that is sure to get you salivating.
This debut offering brings together a collection of contemporary art, personal stories, historical documents, and images to create an experience that has been designed to challenge your pre-existing notions of food. Brand-new artwork and installations from the likes of acclaimed artists Elizabeth Willing, Sean Rafferty and Carol McGregor have been created for Tastes like Sunshine – the works pay homage to the rich history of Brisbane’s iconic produce markets, the city’s crucial role in launching Queensland’s sugar industry, and how the introduction of new crops had domestic cookers experimenting with new methods and creations.
Tastes like Sunshine isn’t just a visual feast – the exhibition has a jam-packed schedule of workshops, talks, tours and activities that go along with it to enhance the experience. The Good Food Club is a chance to learn about all things food culture – from beekeeping and local produce to the agriculture industry and Aussie bush foods, no stone is left unturned.
Learn more about the Tastes like Sunshine exhibition
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Today, there is no shortage of great Brisbane beer. Like the rest of Australia’s beer scene, Brisbane’s beer scene has come a long way in recent years. With the general standard of public tastes improving and a greater variety of locally crafted beers, it’s an exciting time for beer drinkers in Brisbane. This is not just because of the new arrivals on the beer scene and its steady spread outwards from Brisbane, but also with a number of existing breweries set to expand.
Queensland alone has over 60 craft breweries on top of the big breweries like XXXX and Great Northern Brewing Co with many of these being located in and around Brisbane. With so many breweries it is no surprise that there is such an array of local beer on offer that will surely please every beer drinker’s tastes.
Despite Queensland’s strong craft brewery scene, Queensland, like the rest of the Australian craft breweries have a number of challenges to contend with when it comes getting their beers in front of eager consumers. These factors make it even more important to go direct to the breweries to experience their local and seasonal brews, which is why we have listed some of the Brisbane’s best below.
Brisbane Craft Breweries
This reasonably new brewery creates and serves nine Aether brews in-house, along with three guest drops. Some of their signature beers include Aether Hop, Skip & Jump IPA, Viktor Imperial Red, Horizon Porter and Boos Bitter
Based in Banyo, they make full flavored ales that are free from additives, unfiltered, unpasteurized and finings free. Their ales include the Lucy – Session Ale, Ruby – Amber Ale, Betty – Porter, and Penny – Pale Ale.
These guys pride themselves on designing their brewery to produce the freshest, fullest flavored, delicious tasting beer. Ballistic has four key beers of different styles, with everything from their Australian Psycho IPA, Dirty Word Lager, Pilot Light Table Beer, and The Grandfather Strong Oaked Ale.
Brisbane Brewing Co. is a boutique craft beer brewery and bar with a range of award winning craft beers are brewed on site. From here you can enjoy their Sunset Light Golden Ale, Brisbane Pale Ale, Brissy Pils Organic Pilsner, Walker Texas Ranger American India Pale Ale.
Catchment Brewing has a core range, which reflects the kind of beers they like to drink on a regular basis. Their small brewery also allows them to experiment and craft small, one-off batches that change with the seasons. Core beers include a Bright Ale, Pale Select, and the 500 IPA.
Green Beacon is Brisbane’s oldest brewery, opening in January 2013. Like many others, it was started by a couple of young friends who wanted to create quality, handcrafted local beers aimed at the discerning drinker. Their core range includes the 3 Bolt Pale Ale, 7 Bells Passionfruit Gose, Cross Knot Kolsch, Half Mast India Session Ale, Mainstay American Amber Ale, Penny Porter, Wayfarer American Wheat, and the Windjammer India Pale Ale.
Newstead brew a variety of chemical and preservative free beers. Their core range include, a 3 Quarter Time Session Ale, The Mayne Thing Golden Ale, Liquidambar Amber Ale, Out & a Bout Pale Ale, Two to the Valley India Pale Ale, 21 Feet 7 Inches Porter, The Belmont Saison, The Nundah Hefeweizen, Paddington E.S.B, Toowong Dubbel, and the Jono Cider.
As you can see, these last two breweries have a number of more beers in their core range as they are the two biggest craft breweries in Brisbane.
Popular Brisbane Beer Varieties
The most popular beer style in modern Australia is lager, however, as you can see from these popular craft breweries, Brisbane beer drinkers also are big fans of a variety of ales. With most of these breweries producing a pale ale, amber ale, IPA and a session ale, it is clear that the local beer scene loves an ale.
Not only are there many great breweries, bars and bottle shops to get your locally produced beer, but there is also a few beer festivals popping up to celebrate this sparkling amber liquid.
Beer isn’t all Brisbane is brewing up. There are also many great Brisbane coffee roasters, which you should definitely check out.
Besides being famous for The Gabba cricket and AFL ground, the chic ambient inner-city suburb of Woolloongabba is becoming even better known for its food scene. Tucked away off Logan and Ipswich roads, Woolloongabba’s five ways precinct on Logan Rd is a Brisbane foodie hot spot and a little slice of Europe. Here you will find bars, restaurants and cafes housed in heritage-listed buildings alongside fashion boutiques and antique shops.
This foodie hot spot is constantly evolving with a mix of long standing establishments and new kids on the block. One of the things we love most about this hot spot is that you can go from brunch to lunch, to an afternoon drink, to dinner (and even more drinking) without even having to get in the car.
We’ve listed some of our favourite venues in the five ways precinct to take you from breakfast to dinner.
Image credit: Grinders Coffee
Grinders Coffee was established in 1962 in Lygon Street, the centre of Melbourne’s famous Italian Quarter. Giancarlo and Rino wanted to bring the authentic taste of European coffee to Australia and the legend was born when they opened Grinders Coffee House. Today, they continue to strive to produce the highest-quality coffee blends for Australia’s booming café and restaurant scene – and now for an increasingly astute domestic market.
Grinders Coffee has just opened a swanky new specialty coffee hub and training school in Woolloongabba, not only delivering cups of fine single origins and blends but also training up the next generation of all-star baristas.
This new coffee-lovers haven is a great spot to kick start your morning. The venue marks a new phase for Grinders, which is combining an educational component and a shift towards some specialty offerings across its major hubs.
Image credit: Baker’s Arms
The Baker’s Arms oozes charm with exposed brick walls, vintage wallpaper, dark timber finishes and a glossy green tiled bar. This specialty Bakehouse serves up breakfast and lunch, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as preparing carefully crafted Campos coffee.
If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, their display case is chock-full of cakes, tarts and assorted sweet treats. It is perfect for a morning or lunchtime visit.
Image credit: Pearl Cafe
Pearl Cafe captures the ambience of the area. The cafe, like The Bakers Arms, is fitted out with exposed brick walls, along with wooden and antique detailing, beautiful lighting, and a small, but delicious, produce-driven menu.
The menu is heavy on nostalgia, with dishes such as a cheesy Croque monsieur, rabbit pie, and a fish-finger sandwich. Upstairs, The Servery is open for wine, cheese, and charcuterie for private functions. Private dining is also available in the beautiful, Roast Room.
Pearl has a cult following and an unrivalled breakfast, and brunch menu. Considering this, it makes for a great breaky spot.
Image credit: Detour
Former Public executive chef Damon Amos has branched out on his own to create Detour. He works his magic preparing and plating food in full view of diners.
Detour caters well for the dietary sensitive, with its menu split into omnivore and herbivore options, and has a completely gluten-free kitchen – only a couple of dishes contain gluten with those glutenous elements prepared off site.
The drinks list is concise but curated, featuring just six whites, six reds, three rosés, three champagnes, plus cocktails and beers.
This is a newly established venue which only opened at the beginning of this year. Not only is it stylish with an interesting menu, Detour is open late with its kitchen operating until 11:00 pm.
Being open so late, it is obviously a great late dinner spot.
Image credit: 1889 Enoteca
1889 Enoteca is an award-winning Brisbane restaurant renowned for serving some of Brisbane’s best Italian cuisine. This is definitely a place for wine lovers because it is also home to an impressive wine bar, vinaio, (wine library) and a beautiful underground cellar for private dining and functions.
1889 Enoteca serves traditional Roman fare and hand-made pasta. The cosy, sophisticated setting provides a perfect backdrop for this authentic Italian experience. Like Detour, Enoteca is a little more upmarket to the casual cafes we mentioned earlier.
The restaurant is open on select days for lunch and dinner, so if comforting Italian food and great wine is what you feel like, this is definitely the place for you.
Image credit: Canvas Club
Their philosophy is simple: great food, a relaxed cool vibe, and interesting cocktails. They serve what they like to call Spanish cuisine with a Southern accent: rustic but modern comfort food and twists on classic dishes and cocktails, plus home-baked desserts that will make you feel like a kid again.
Canvas also has a selection of boutique wines and craft beer and are passionate about using only the freshest fruit and premium spirits in their range of cocktails.
Although they only have a limited Tapas menu, each item are signature dishes, which Chef Jared has refined over the past few years to make them some of the best Tapas dishes in Brisbane.
Cocktails are what are the real focus outside of their tapas and pair perfectly with each dish. Along with some of the best cocktails in Brisbane, their bartenders have won numerous awards and contests.
Whether you’re after food or a drink, Canvas, in our opinion is a must visit.
Image credit: Electric Avenue Jr
Electric Avenue is the latest project from the boys behind Canvas Bar – a comfortable spot for diners and revellers to take a step back in time. It is a venue that pays tribute to Woolloongabba’s history as an antique hot spot.
Electric Avenue boasts a fun vintage vibe along with new light fixtures, a host of comfortable furniture, a revamped bar area, a toy room-themed hangout spot and a separate 50-seater bistro.
The kitchen produces delicious bistro fare, blending fine-dining techniques with a casual approach. Here you can choose from a range of entrees, mains, desserts, bar snacks and cheeses.
Electric Avenue is well stocked with everything you could fancy sipping, including 75 kinds of wine from all corners of the globe, tap and bottled beer and five specialty cocktails to put to your lips.
But, that’s not all. This new venue also boasts a hidden bar. Head upstairs and head through a closet in the wall and you will find Jack Rabbits – one of Brisbane’s coolest speakeasy whisky bar.
These are just 7 of the great venues in this foodie hot spot, but after reading all about them, I’m sure you’ll agree they make this an amazing foodie hot spot to visit.
Want to discover more of Brisbane’s great food scene?
Right now is an exciting time to be in Brisbane. The food scene is constantly evolving and there are not only great new venues continuously popping up, but there are also numerous events and special offerings happening at some of Brisbane’s favourite spots.
Here is a round up the Brisbane venues getting both a lot of media and social shares at the moment.
Image via Wayne Murphy
Mr Chester is a modern Wine Bar who champions the boutique, smaller producers creating world class products. The wine menu is revolving and handpicked by their in-house Sommelier. Chat to the bar tender about what flavours you enjoy a wine and they’ll be sure to pick one you love.
Not only do they have a stellar wine list but they also have a limited selection of great spirits. You won’t find cheap vodka in this bar, as Mr Chester features only two boutique gins and two fine whiskies.
Their food menu follows suit with a few select items featuring a range of share plates suitable to snack on with your wine or spirit. Cheese, charcuterie, terrine, pate, sardines on sourdough, chilli peanuts and olives are available to order – although these dishes also revolve with the wines that are available at the time of visiting.
Image via Saville Row
Saville Row is an opulent speakeasy-style vintage lounge bar hidden behind a closed orange door.
The bar is lined ceiling to floor with a staggering line-up of spirits including some 400 whiskies, 60 rums, 50 tequilas and 40 gins.
Savile Row has its own signature list of 20 bespoke cocktails such as the Hedwig – Ketel One Citroen vodka, lemon thyme kirsch, fresh pineapple, fennel seeds, cardamom & coconut sugar. bar folk can make up any one of 200 classic cocktails on request and boutique beer and wine are also available.
No food is served and customers are welcome to BYO snacks.
Image via 321 Water St
This cool casual hub of inspiring food, live music and a good dose of creativity combines farmers markets, a cafe and street food.
It has a funky modern Australian cafe serving all day breakfast and fresh, healthy, lunch options.
For breakfast, the menu offers a range of fresh juices, smoothies, coffee, and teas, as well as the chow breakfast, bircher muesli with apricot and cranberries, fritelles (corn fritters with chorizo or halloumi), polpettes (broccoli and potato croquettes), or smoked ocean trout with Persian feta and sourdough.
For lunch, there is a popular range of paninis (beef cheek, paprika chicken, or vegetarian), as well as calamari, gnocchi, rigatoni and risotto of the day. These might be washed down nicely with a beer, wine, iced tea, or cocktail.
On a Friday night, they have happy hour from 4 – 5 pm, with $15 aperitivo and meal special from 5 – 8 pm. Every Sunday morning from 10 am – 12 noon, 321 Water St hosts live music, which is the perfect accompaniment to any leisurely breakfast.
Image via OTTO Ristorante Brisbane
Bar OTTO sits opposite its older sibling at 480 Queen. The Italian-style bar is bringing aperitivo hour to the city, set against the backdrop of the Story Bridge and Brisbane River.
The concept of Bar OTTO is simple – after-work or pre-dinner drinks and assagai (small bites) in true Italian style from 3:00 pm weekdays.
They serve traditional aperitivos of Aperol spritzes and Negronis and classic cocktails including a bramble, old fashioned, sidecar and espresso martini. Much like the restaurant, Bar OTTO’s wine list is extensive, with a key focus on Italian drops.
Keeping in mind that you’re likely to eat dinner afterwards, the menu is concise, with the OTTO kitchen preparing a selection of assagai all sitting under the $12 mark. The menu includes items such as oysters with eschalot and black pepper, arancini, artichokes with garlic breadcrumbs, and mortadella with grissini. Lunch is also served on Thursdays and Fridays, with blackboard specials changing each week.
Image via The Farm Wholefoods
The Farm Wholefoods is a newcomer to Gasworks Plaza that has breakfast and lunch sorted, with a range of nutritious and tasty bowls that promise to start your day the right way.
Founded in 2015 by Sydney foodies Josh and Lisa Thomson, The Farm Wholefoods concept was created to speedily deliver delicious and healthy food in a casual dining atmosphere. The Farm Wholefoods prides itself on supporting local suppliers and producers – sourcing the freshest ingredients for its rustic-yet-appetising culinary offering.
Bowls are a big deal at The Farm Wholefoods – there are ten varied choices ranging from breakfast to lunch.
Breakfast includes options like the Almighty bowl (featuring sourdough, smashed avocado, bacon and scrambled egg) or the Luxe bowl (poached eggs, smoked salmon, kale, avocado, quinoa and goats cheese).
Lunch offers up a sampling of savoury bowls, such as the Bento bowl (buckwheat soba noodles, salmon, pickled ginger and edamame beans) or the Burrito bowl (chicken, jalapenos, rice and smashed avocado).
Their takeaway counter is also full of rotating salads, fresh paninis, chia pots, almond milk porridge and even soup.
These are five of the most publicised venues around Brisbane this past month. Make sure you follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest happenings.
If you’ve visited our site or perhaps been on one of our food tours before, I’m sure you are aware of just how much we love the amazing variety and quality of local produce surrounding Brisbane. There are so many delicious ways to experience Queensland.
Queensland’s warm climate makes it the perfect location for producing tropical foods. The coastline is home to some exceptional seafood, including Moreton Bay bugs, mud crabs, king and tiger prawns, mackerel, sea scallops and fresh barramundi. Whilst the land produces some of the highest quality fruits, such as avocados, mangoes, pawpaws, pineapples, strawberries and bananas, along with native Macadamia nuts, peanuts, beef, honey and even Australian Native Lemon Myrtle.
Right now is the perfect time to experience Queensland on a plate because not only is July Good Food Month in Brisbane, but it is also the Regional Flavours Festival with a host of other events on too. There are so many delicious ways to experience Queensland.
Good Food Month offers a series of bespoke food experiences including delicious fine-dining lunches and dinners, and the crowd favourite, Night Noodle Markets. These events run throughout the month of July and can be booked directly via their site.
In addition to the Good Food Month events, the Regional Flavours Festival held in Brisbane’s picturesque South Bank Parklands on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July, features free entertainment from celebrity chefs and industry experts, delicious food, beer and wine, live music, kid’s activities and more.
Regional Flavours is also a great opportunity to sample gourmet fare from across Queensland. There will be stalls with everything from juicy tomatoes and zesty herbs direct from the farm; freshly pressed olive and avocado oils; handmade chocolate and pasta; jams and chutneys abundant with Queensland-grown berries and fruits; and so much more.
Both of these events make July the perfect month to visit or explore Brisbane, but we didn’t want the fun to end there. So, we’re holding a special Delectable Taste of Queensland experience on August 16.
Join us for this special Public Holiday Taste of Queensland experience (which you’ll also receive at the discounted price of $175) as we discover some of Queensland’s best local and iconic produce.
A Taste of Queensland is the perfect introduction to some of Queensland’s most renowned produce and flavours. This tour has been specially designed to showcase the ever-evolving food culture that Brisbane is now being recognised for.
So, why not indulge in a four-hour journey of local foodie delights that will take you from coffee to cocktails. This is a great way to spend the EKKA holiday!
Sweet tooths, chocoholics and dessert lovers rejoice, World Chocolate Day is here again! This delicious day occurs globally every year as a celebration of the consumption of chocolate. The celebration occurs on the 7th of July, which is claimed to be the date chocolate was introduced to Europe some 467 years ago! So, to help you celebrate, we’ve put in the hard work to bring you Brisbane’s Best Chocolate for World Chocolate Day.
With such a special day, it calls for some specialty chocolates. Not the kind you buy in the supermarkets, mass-produced or made and packaged weeks or maybe even months before it makes it into your hot little hands.
After researching numerous top lists, reviews and a little personal taste-testing (someone had to do it!), we’ve determined the cream of the crop when it comes to Brisbane’s best chocolate. Prepare to have your mouth watering and your tummy rumbling!
Here are Brisbane’s Best Chocolate for World Chocolate Day.
Image via 31 Degree Custom Chocolates
31 Degrees Custom Chocolates brings European style chocolates to Brisbane, using premium, locally sourced ingredients. The name comes from the working temperature for tempered couverture, specifically dark couverture, 31 degrees.
Set up in its Woolloongabba location nearly a year ago, it has become a popular chocolatier through its delicious range of gourmet chocolates. These exquisite chocolates are hand made in small batches, pairing the world’s finest covertures with the best local ingredients.
Choose from delicious options like raspberry, passion fruit, coffee and the salted caramel bars and heavenly honeycomb, or place your order for a completely customised creation.
Image via Chocolate Moments
Chocolate Moments is another Brisbane store serving up gourmet handmade chocolates. Their Belgium couverture chocolate is made with the freshest and best ingredients sourced from around the world. And, like a number of these chocolate makers, they also offer a 3-hour Chocolate Cooking Experience.
Here you might want to try some of their truffles or even chilli chocolate.
Image via Dello Mano
Unlike the first two chocolate delights, Dello Mano is all about the brownies. And, they’re not just any old brownies. They are considered by many to be the best brownies, which have been enjoyed by numerous celebrities, dignitaries, politicians and VIP’s throughout the world.
These premium handmade chocolate brownies are made in small batches from quality ingredients, free range eggs direct from the farm, Belgian chocolate and Australian butter are lovingly blended into the most delicious masterpieces. Various flavours include classic chocolate, honey caramelised macadamia, peanut butter, mixed nuts and much more.
Besides making the best brownies in town, Dello Mano also makes a range of wedding cakes, cookies, pastry treats, celebration cakes and other chocolate delicacies.
Image via Mayfield Chocolates
Mayfield Chocolates is one of Queensland’s and now Brisbane’s oldest chocolatiers. Since starting in 1993 their philosophy has always been to use real Australian ingredients and to use them in imaginative ways. They are not just copies of existing chocolates you might have tried elsewhere.
One flavour you might like to try is their Rainforest Lemon Myrtle Ganache. A true Australian flavour sensation!
Image via Murielle Vuilleumier
Murielle Vuilleumier Swiss Chocolatier or the monogram, MVSC Chocolates are all about making fine chocolate the Swiss way using only highest quality Swiss couverture. These guys are slightly different in that they use Swiss not Belgian couverture, which is equally as delicious.
Their chocolates are made fresh daily with lots of flavours. Such flavours you might like to indulge on include, wild blackberry, brandy truffle, mocha praline and Arriba fig.
Image via Noosa Chocolate Factory
The Noosa Chocolate Factory specialises in panning (chocolate coating) using their own high percentage cocoa dark chocolate. However, they also have an extensive milk and white chocolate range.
Everything that leaves the Noosa Chocolate Factory is handcrafted, made fresh from scratch and delivered to our stores and customers promptly. They also have an emphasis on Queensland produce and manufacturing.
In addition to their amazing chocolates with over 60 rotating seasonal Queensland made chocolate products, the Noosa Chocolate Factory also has a research range of signature hot chocolates and specialty coffee. Both of which make the perfect companion to their chocolates of course!
With a list like this, the only question really is where to start?
And while you’re enjoying your chocolate, why not enjoy some locally roasted coffee too?!
The lamington is an Australian icon, which even has its own ‘world’ day to honour this delicious chocolate and coconut covered treat. After its humble origins as an accidental chocolate covered sponge, there have been many reinventions of the recipe that include things like jam, chocolate and cream filling. Whichever way you enjoy them there’s no denying that Australia’s iconic lamington is a childhood favourite for many who have grown up in this great land.
I remember when I was studying in Spain and we had an International students dinner where we had to make an iconic dish from our home nation. A task that was a little harder than you might think. There are so many things that we good old Aussies borrow from other nations and claim them as our own. Just think about some of our much-loved acting and sporting heroes! We obviously have iconic products like Vegemite and Tim Tams, but I had to make something for this dinner, not just bring along a packaged item (plus, I only had a limited supply of Vegemite that I wasn’t too keen on parting with). So, after some brainstorming, I finally settled on the iconic lamington.
This sweet, fluffy cake was sure to be a hit, but I then realised that I didn’t have access to an oven. I didn’t fancy trying to make a sponge cake in the microwave either. After much searching around, I finally found a store bought sponge cake to use as my base. Not ideal, but the icing component is just as important right? Chocolate + coconut = happiness. In the end, it worked out fine and they were a hit. Since then, I have scoured old cook books along with numerous cooking sites and believe I’ve found one of the best classic recipes, which I’ll share with you shortly.
For such an iconic Australian recipe, the history of lamingtons is a little muddled. Once listed as a national icon by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, it seems nobody can quite agree on where the lamington was born.
Most accounts seem to agree that the lamington was named after Lord Lamington, Governor of Queensland at the turn of the 20th century, or his wife. But who made the original lamington, and why is a little more controversial.
One theory is that Lord Lamington’s French chef Armand Galland created the recipe (proponents of this theory like to point out that Galland’s wife was Tahitian, so could have introduced him to coconut, then a relatively unknown ingredient in Australia). Another account puts Government House temporary cook Fanny Young in the driver’s seat after dropping the sponge in chocolate by accident, while for others, Amy Shauer, a cooking instructor from Brisbane Technical College gets the credit. No matter, the exact person behind the creation or even why they created it, doesn’t stop this from being a delicious Australian icon that we can truly call our own.
It would be quite un-Australian of us to ignore the significance of one of our very own icons and there is even an Australian Lamington Appreciation Society (ALAS) which is committed to the preservation of their world famous Lamingtons and annually celebrating Lamington Day.
In honour of World Lamington Day (July 21), here is one of the best rated classic lamington recipes I’ve found.
Classic Lamington Recipe
125g butter softened
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup milk
2 cups desiccated coconut
3 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 3cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm (base) lamington pan. Line with baking paper, leaving a 2cm overhang on all sides. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture may curdle).
2. Sift half the flour over butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth top. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Cover with a clean tea towel. Set aside overnight.
3. Make icing: Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add butter and boiling water. Stir until smooth.
4. Cut cake into 15 pieces. Place coconut in a dish. Using a fork, dip 1 piece of cake in icing. Shake off excess. Toss in coconut. Place on a wire rack over a baking tray. Repeat with remaining cake, icing and coconut. Stand for 2 hours or until set. Serve.
If you’d prefer to buy some delicious lamingtons, check out this compilation of 12 of the best lamingtons in Australia.
If this has your mouth-watering, check out some of these delicious winter dishes
Brisbane hasn’t always had an array artisan coffee cafes, but over the past 5 years or so, there have been a number of great Brisbane artisan coffee cafes and roasters pop up all over town.
To give you a quick snapshot of Brisbane’s coffee scene, we’ve compiled a list of some of the city’s best roasters and artisan coffee cafes.
In the first part of this post, we served up some of Brisbane’s most delicious local roasters. If you missed it, you can check it out here.
Now that you’re sorted for your freshly roasted beans, which you can also enjoy at their respective cafes,
Let’s have a look at some other artisan coffee cafes where you can get a superb espresso, pour over, AeroPress, cold-drip or whatever coffee floats your boat.
A good cup of coffee isn’t only about the talent of the barista, it also has a lot to do with the ingredients, as well as the brewing process itself. Brewing methods can greatly enhance the flavour of your brew; in fact, it’s brewing methods that tend to be the hallmark of a great artisan coffee.
Artisan Coffee Cafes
Image via Strauss
Strauss is focused on delivering some of the best coffee in town, simple tasting food and great service. Sourcing everything we can locally with a strict focus on quality and working with the best suppliers in town.
Here you’ll want to try the Strauss espresso blend or their bottled cold brew.
Image via Bunker
Bunker is nestled within the shell of a World War II air raid shelter and remains the perfect place to retreat.
Bunker specialises in quality coffee rather than a particular blend. They decided to buy their equipment outright and not contract with any company so they can source coffee from all of Australia’s top roasters.
They change their coffee weekly but always source from the best, quality-focused roasters. Locally, this includes Cup, Single Guys, Uncle Joe’s, Marvell St and Cleanskin.
Image via Ltd Espresso
Ltd Espresso has been opened by an owner who is passionate about teaching visitors about the beans, flavours and processes that go into each cup. Luke aims for each visit to be a lesson in coffee science. So if you want to learn more about what makes a great coffee this is a must visit place for you!
Ltd espresso + brew bar is all about the coffee. Its concept is simple. Offering up three different coffees each selected for a particular style. One for White, one for black and one for Filter.
Ltd offers limited batches of blends and single origin beans from Cleanskin Coffee Co ensuring an ever-changing variety of flavours. Separate roasting beans are used for each variety of coffee, with pour overs and cold-pressed coffee also available.
Black Sheep Coffee
Image via Black Sheep Coffee
Black Sheep was born from two creatives with a love of coffee and a passion for detail. Their attention to ethics in sourcing coffee and tea where environmental and human standards is a top priority.
If you care about where your cup of joe comes from this is a great place to go. Black Sheep Coffee like to ensure their customers can experience something a little bit different and hope that their passion can be tasted in the final cup. There are no shortcuts taken here, just time, effort and passion.
Image via Espresso Garage
Espresso Garage is a hole-in-the-wall coffee haunt nestled in an unassuming nook between Grey and Little Stanley Streets. It is the perfect place for people on the go needing a quick, delicious coffee fix and a treat to go.
The Espresso Garage team shares a love for fine espresso and will understand your craving and desire for a promptly served, hot coffee. Bean-lovers will appreciate the Di Manfredi coffee flavour delivered by talented baristas. It also serves a range of yummy treats including buttery croissants, and avocado on Turkish bread.
Image via Pourboy
Pourboy uses some of the world’s most exciting coffees and state of the art machinery, alongside alternative brewing methods to cater to even the most discerning of coffee aficionados.
The highly skilled team at Pourboy churn out house espresso blends, pour over, AeroPress and cold drips. Coming out of their state-of-the-art Synesso coffee machine, each cup is aromatic and smooth with full-bodied flavour.
There you have it, a fine list of some of the best Brisbane artisan coffee cafes.
If you’d like to discover more great must-try Brisbane foodie delights, download our free Must-Try Brisbane Food Guide
Australia has a distinct coffee culture and is often cited as being one of the most developed and vibrant in the world, and thanks to all the great Brisbane Coffee Roasters, Brisbane is no different.
To this day, coffee chains such as Starbucks have a very little market share in Australia. One reason for this is that unlike in the United States and Asia, Australia already had a developed coffee culture for many decades before coffee chains came to the market.
The development of the coffee industry has grown not from coffee chains but through independent cafés born out of early Greek and Italian immigration.
Despite the origins of our Greek and Italian migrants, we tend to roast our coffee a little lighter here. Not just to suit our tastes, but also because of our love of milk based coffee.
Whilst Queensland, and specifically Brisbane doesn’t have a huge Greek and Italian population, our coffee culture today is also built on smaller boutique coffee roasters and cafes instead of coffee chains.
Brisbane hasn’t always had an artisan coffee culture. Over the past 5 years or so, Brisbane has seen a number of great roasters and artisan coffee cafes pop up all over town.
To give you a quick snapshot of Brisbane’s coffee scene, we’ve compiled a list of some of the city’s best roasters and artisan coffee cafes.
The freshness of coffee beans is one of the factors that contributes to a great cup of joe so getting locally roasted beans that are also roasted to perfection is the perfect way to feed your caffeine addiction.
Like fruit and vegetables, coffee is a perishable commodity. After a certain period, coffee becomes stale as the oils become rancid and the aroma is lost. Fresh locally roasted coffee will always taste better than one that has spent months in transport and storage, no matter how good it is and how well it’s packaged.
In the first part of this post, we’re serving up some of Brisbane’s most delicious local roasters.
Brisbane Coffee Roasters
The Single Guys
Image via The Single Guys
The Single Guys is a specialty coffee company born and bred in Brisbane, Australia. With a focus on sophistication, character and integrity, we seek to source and supply the finest single-origin coffee and related products to our customers.
With a retail operation in the western suburbs of Brisbane, we also roast all of our coffee at a shared roasting facility for both our retail operations and our wholesale customers.
Wolff Coffee Roasters
Image via Wolff Coffee
Wolff Coffee Roasters was set up in 2010 by Peter Wolff after he decided to launch a new coffee roasting business. This time his focus was squarely on flavour in the cup, sourced in a sustainable way. The ultimate goal is to make specialty grade coffee available and approachable to everyday coffee drinkers.
Wolff Coffee Roasters also established Wolff College of Coffee – and educational platform that provides consultation, training and education in all aspects of roasting, cupping, green coffee purchasing and plantation management.
Image via Fonzie Abbott
Fonzie Abbott specialises in producing speciality coffee and offering three consistent blends (Highside, Boxer and Drifter) with a blend of the month (BOM) plus the rotation of many single origins, which they showcase throughout the year.
The Fox Street Factory’s main purpose is for both retail and wholesale and has been set up as a cool little place the Fonz would be proud of.
Image via Bellissimo Coffee
Bellissimo Coffee was established in 2009 and started roasting from their flagship store at Wandoo Street in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in 2010. Since then they’ve won multiple awards over the years to become the current highest awarded coffee roaster in Australia.
Their blends include the Italian Dark Roast, Ultimo, Mocha Java, and Emporio, as well as 13 different single origins.
Image via Campos Coffee
Campos Coffee use the highest quality beans in their specialty coffee blends. They pride themselves on the fact that they only ever use specialty grade beans, which includes all of their blends, all of their single origins and flagship Superior Blend.
Campos spend a great deal of time roasting, testing, cupping and assessing the beans to ensure every roast has the right balance and flavour profiles shining through. They repeat this process again and again until they’re convinced it’s just right, each and every time. And even after this rigorous process, they still cup every morning – without fail.
Their blends include Dark City, Blade Runner Blend, and the Campos Superior Blend.
Blue Sky Coffee
Image via Blue Sky Coffee
Blue Sky Coffee produce a range of award-winning blends to encompass milk based and black espresso, filter/pour-over, sustainable, decaffeinated and Turkish style coffees.
They seasonally source varieties of Arabica beans that will allow us to achieve the desired sweetness, bitterness, acidity and aroma of our blends.
Their signature blends include Crema Deluxe, Midnight Oil, Ebony Ivory, Morning Plunge, Clean Bean and Balkan Express in addition to their single origins, signature single origins and capsules.
This list is sure to have you well caffeinated. Make sure you check out part two of this post series on Artisan Coffee Cafes (coming next week).
In the meantime, If you’d like to discover more great must-try Brisbane foodie delights, download our free Must-Try Brisbane Food Guide.
Each season brings its own gifts. And, although for those of us who hate the cold, it may be hard to think of gifts that Winter brings, it, in fact, has a lot to offer and these Brisbane Winter Dishes we share here will surely prove this to you.
Beyond warm cosy fires, ski season, rugging up on the couch and comfort foods, there are plenty of Winter produce that make for delicious dishes.
Here in South-East Queensland and parts of Northern NSW vegetables like spinach, silverbeet and early-maturing cabbage, and herbs like dill, garlic bulbs, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, sage and thyme are all in season.
In northern parts of the state broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potato, pumpkin, spinach, sweet corn and tomatoes are in full bloom.
With a combination of some of this local Winter produce prepared in delicious comforting dishes, we’ve compiled a list of 5 Great Brisbane Winter Dishes to Enjoy Right Now!
The Goodness Gracious
Goodness Gracious Cafe (GGC) describes themselves as purveyors of high-quality food, coffee and service, and are home to our first great winter dish. Founded to provide healthy, sustainable and fresh produce to its community, GGC sticks close to those roots in serving classic and unique fare.
If you need a big boost to get your day started or get you through the cooler weather, this first dish is sure to give you lots of energy and fill you to the brim!
The Goodness Gracious bowl is made up of “Cape Grim” beef brisket, potato & kale gnocchi, cocktail onions, pickled tomatoes, red pepper sauce, dukkah, sourdough, and eggs your way. Combining seasonal, comforting and warming ingredients make this a great Brisbane winter dish to enjoy right now.
Smoked Duck Breast
Malt Dining pride themselves on using the freshest, organic ingredients to create an array of delicious dishes. Think Modern Australian cuisine created with the finesse of a formal dining venue.
Malt’s food reflects the restaurant’s grassroots beginning as a municipal marketplace by using the freshest of local produce and sourcing sustainable seafood. And this dish on their new winter menu is no exception.
Although the key ingredient, smoked duck breast, isn’t a seasonal winter ingredient, its richness is certainly a delicious way to fill you up this winter. Plus, it does include cucumber, which doesn’t necessarily come to the top of mind when thinking of winter vegetables. To make it even more interesting, it is served grilled.
This entree is Malt’s Smoked Duck Breast with crispy rice, a soft egg, and grilled cucumber. Both gluten and dairy free, it also caters to some of the most common dietary requirements.
Whole Smoked Eggplant
Gerard’s Bistro offers a Modern Australian tapestry of flavours woven with inspiration from the great cuisines of the Maghreb and the Middle East. Guests are encouraged to share the menu in a banquet experience, complimented by a unique and imaginative wine and drinks list.
So keeping with this, we’re showcasing two dishes here, which not only complement each other, but are also great winter dishes to share.
Firstly, the Whole smoked eggplant, which is complimented with turmeric, mint, kishke yoghurt and blackened onions. What better way to highlight a winter produce then serving it whole?
The second dish is the Roasted lamb rump with glazed lamb bacon, fresh set cheese, pea leaf oil, and buckwheat. Roasts are such a great winter warmer and even more enjoyable when prepared by expert chefs!
Ecco Bistro is one of Brisbane landmark restaurants located in a historic building and home to our fourth winter dish to enjoy right now.
The menu is constantly evolving. The key is to evolve, but to show restraint – people want to at least see a common thread through the menu when they return. Their newest menu highlights some great winter dishes in a way that stays true to their signature style.
When I think of winter produce, pumpkin immediately comes to mind so it would be remiss to leave a pumpkin dish out of this list. This fourth dish is all about pumpkin.
Ecco’s Pumpkin Agnolotti can be enjoyed either as an entree or a main. It is dressed in a sage spiced pumpkin veloute and walnut salsa. Such a yummy winter dish!
Hot Dark Chocolate Brownie
Victoria Park Bar and Bistro is the perfect setting for a casual meal. It overlooks the driving range and Brisbane city skyline but is also perfect for a bit of cheeky dessert.
The seasonal menu is crafted by Award Winning Executive Chef Jason Peppler. It showcases fresh, local ingredients and flavours. This particular dish is less about fresh and more about decadence.
Last, but not least, this fifth dish is sure to look after those sweet comfort food cravings. It is a Hot Dark Chocolate Brownie topped off with milk ice cream and salted caramel sauce. Plus, it’s gluten-free!
There you have it, 5 Great Brisbane Winter Dishes to Enjoy Right Now.
If you’d like to discover more great must-try Brisbane foodie delights, download our free Must-Try Brisbane Food Guide
Oranges are generally available from winter through summer with seasonal variations depending on the variety. However, this sweet and juicy fruit can make for some delicious winter orange recipes that also give you a good vitamin C boost.
They add a special tang to many recipes, which is why it’s no wonder that they are also one of the most popular fruits in the world.
These three winter orange recipes will have you forgetting about the cold and hopefully avoid catching one too!
Sweet and Spicy Orange Salmon
This is a healthy dinner idea that is quick and easy.
Juice from one orange (about ¼ cup)
Zest from one orange
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup honey
1 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp sriracha, more or less to taste
4 salmon fillets
1). Whisk together orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and sriracha in a bowl. Reserve about ¼ cup of the sauce in a separate bowl for glazing later on.
2). Add remaining sauce to a shallow dish (or a plastic bag) and place the salmon in it to marinate for about 20 minutes, flipping the salmon over halfway through.
3). As the salmon is marinating, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. You’ll want a rack to be situated in the middle of the oven, as well as one near the top.
4). Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Once the salmon has finished marinating, place the salmon on the prepared sheet, skin side down, and bake on the middle rack for about 18 minutes.
5). After 18 minutes, remove the sheet from the oven and brush the reserved ¼ cup of sauce over the salmon fillets.
6). Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and place sheet on the upper oven rack. Grill for about 2 minutes, or until the edges of the salmon begin to crisp and brown. Serve!
Orange Rosemary Chicken
This crisp-tender chicken is roasted in the most epic, melt-in-your-mouth orange rosemary glaze.
8 Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
ORANGE ROSEMARY GLAZE
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chilled orange juice
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2). Season chicken with thyme, oregano, salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.
3). Melt butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; set aside.
4). Add garlic to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in orange juice, chicken stock, maple syrup, honey and rosemary; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5). Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet.
6). Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
7). Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Chocolate Orange Cake
This chocolate orange cake is moist, rich, flavorful, delicious and simply gorgeous!
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoon cocoa powder (unsweetened)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
5 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
¾ cup heavy cream
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Orange slices for garnish
1). Preheat the oven to 350°F, grease 8×3 inch round baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper
2). In a large bowl, stir together dry cake ingredients: flour, pinch of salt, baking soda, cocoa powder, granulated sugar
3). Add wet ingredients white vinegar, 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, 1 tablespoon orange zest, vegetable oil, water and mix until completely combined
4). Pour the batter into the pan and bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
5). In a medium saucepan stir together cream, chocolate and sugar on low heat until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
6). Cool and spread over the cake and place back in the fridge until the topping has set.
7). Garnish with chocolate curls (optional) and orange slices
In recent years, Brisbane’s food scene has come a long way. Gourmet Traveller describes “The Queensland capital’s dining scene [as having] shifted up a gear, it’s popped to the top, and it’s revving its engine anew.” With this evolution, there have been a number of interesting and super scrumptious Brisbane foodie experiences created.
Here is a list of just 5 different foodie experiences to enjoy in Brisbane.
Image via Scrumptious Reads
This is a book club with a difference. It is a true foodie delight for those who love cooking.
Scrumptious Reads Bookstore runs a monthly cookbook club with Chef Danielle Dixon from nearby Bucci.
These events provide an intimate group of food fans with a scrumptious supper and great culinary chats.
Each event will have a menu of recipes from the book cooked by the talented Danielle.
Their upcoming event for June is Taste of Egypt.
Check out the link above for more details about this great Brisbane foodie experience.
Image via The Golden Pig Food & Wine School
The Golden Pig Food & Wine School focuses on quality ingredients, teaching a variety of cuisines in a fun and funky environment.
They offer hands-on cooking classes led by a professional chef, often Katrina Ryan who worked with Neil Perry.
Choose from a variety of classes covering a variety of cuisines. The classes run for 3.5 to 4 hours, including 1 to 1.5 hours for eating and enjoying your culinary creations. Better yet, they are fully licensed and provide premium beer and wine to accompany the shared meal.
Check out the link above for more details about this great Brisbane foodie experience.
Image via Thompsons Reserve
For those of you foodies who are intrigued by the creative process that goes into putting together a new menu at a fine dining restaurant, this experience has been created with you in mind.
Thomson’s Reserve at the New Inchcolm Hotel runs a regular Dr Thompson’s Test Kitchen where you can taste and sample your way through new dishes. In addition to discussing innovative flavours and having a say in what ends up on the final menu.
Each month, you can head in for an intimate degustation dinner with a creative twist, featuring 5 courses of innovative cuisine created by the talented chefs just for the evening. As if the chance to sample dishes before anyone else wasn’t enticing enough, you’ll be talked through each and every course, learning about each ingredient and the idea behind every dish.
Check out the link above for more details about this great Brisbane foodie experience.
Image via Delectable Tours
Brisbane is truly a foodie city on the rise and is evolving into one of Australia’s hot spots for both casual and fine dining. It is no wonder when you consider the amazing variety and quality of local produce surrounding the city.
This food tour has been specially designed to showcase some of the city’s finest produce and the ever-evolving food culture that Brisbane is now being recognised for.
The Delectable Taste of Queensland tour is the perfect introduction to some of Queensland’s most renowned local produce and flavours. Indulge in a four-hour journey of local foodie delights with everything from coffee to cocktails.
To kick start your day, you will be taken through a coffee tasting and learn a little about the process taken to create the perfect roast. You will then enjoy some coffee paired with a local sweet delight.
After coffee comes lunch. And lunch is packed full of local ingredients and quality iconic Queensland produce. Lunch, as with all food and beverages will vary slightly depending on what is seasonally available, as well as to meet your specific tastes and dietary requirements.
To get the afternoon rolling you will then enjoy a tasting of local beers or wines paired with a delicious cheese platter.
Before the day is out, you’ll indulge in a locally created cocktail and learn exactly how to make it so you can include a tasty new drink to your repertoire.
Check out the link above for more details about this great Brisbane foodie experience.
Image via Sunnybank Discovery Tours
Over three hours, tour guide and experienced chef Tony Ching will show you the best places to eat and shop for fresh Asian food. Along the way, he’ll give you loads of hints and tips about choosing the best produce, advice on the key ingredients needed in your favourite dishes and some insight into Asian culture.
In addition, you can book in for a lunch time tour to enjoy Yum Cha at Tony’s famous Landmark restaurant, while their afternoon tour will conclude with a progressive dinner visiting several vibrant restaurants.
Check out the link above for more details about this great Brisbane foodie experience.
These are just a handful of the great food experiences everyone can now enjoy in Brisbane. Its food scene is continuously evolving and there are always lots of exciting things popping up, so make sure you stay tuned as we highlight more of these.
The modern Australian culture and cuisine have been greatly influenced by its immigrants. Two groups that have had a particularly strong influence include those from Mediterranean countries and South East Asia.
In celebration of one of these groups, the Greeks, who have had a particularly strong cultural and food influence on our society, the Brisbane Greek Festival – Paniyiri celebrates all things Greek.
With everything from Baklava, Tzatziki, Taramosalata, Saganaki, Moussaka, and even our coffee culture, we have a lot to thank them for and celebrate!
The first significant Greek migration to Australia began in the 1850s during the gold rush. After World War II, with the active encouragement of a Greek Government struggling with post-war reconstruction, large numbers of Greeks migrated to Australia.
Australia now has one of the largest Greek populations outside of Greece, with the largest numbers living in Victoria. Although Queensland only has Australia’s fourth largest Greek population, it has the country’s longest running Greek festival.
Now in its 41st year, the Paniyiri festival has grown to become Queensland’s signature celebration of all things Greek and the state’s largest cultural festival.
This year’s festival will be held on May 20 and 21 at Musgrave Park & The Greek Club. With everything from acclaimed cooking programs, a line-up of authors, chefs, speakers and home cooks; as well as the dancers, singers and stars there is something for all who appreciate some delicious Greek. Personally, I’m looking forward to some of the great dishes our Greek migrants have bought us.
Each year has a special theme and this year is Crete.
Crete is the biggest and most populous of the Greek islands in the Mediterranean with gorgeous beaches, wild mountains and gorges, fabulous food and ancient civilisations. Some of the most popular dishes from this island, include Dakos, Cretan Cheese Pies (Kaltsounia), and Lamb with stamnagathi.
Groups of Cypriot women will prepare all the Cypriot delicacies and with the many food stalls, you better make sure you arrive hungry!
In this sharing spirit, and to mark 40 flavour-filled years, the 40th Anniversary Paniyiri Cookbook has been created so Paniyiri lovers can create their favourite Greek recipes at home. This collection of recipes has been lovingly curated with help from some very special people and places and you can download your copy right here.
One of these recipes is a delicious Moussaka.
Here are the details again:
When: 17th to the 21st of May
Where: Musgrave Park & The Greek Club Edmondstone St South Brisbane, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Cost: Some events free others with a ticket
Interested in more things to do in Brisbane?
Mothers are certainly special people. They guide us, nurture us and love us unconditionally (well most of the time). So when it comes to Mother’s Day, it is the perfect opportunity to spoil mum and show her just how much you appreciate all she does.
If your mum is a bit of a foodie, we’ve got 5 great ways to spoil mum this Mother’s Day.
Image via Pexels
This is something that can be a lot of fun for the whole family! It is especially viable if there are a few of you chipping in and you can tailor the menu to suit mum’s tastes.
The basic premise behind this is that you hire a chef to come into your home (or mum’s) to cook a special meal for you and wait on for the evening. It is something that has taken off all over the world and there are many great companies now offering this worldwide.
If you’re in Australia there is a great site called At Your Table where you can select your state and style of menu that you’re after.
Their promise is to provide the very best private chefs and their exquisite cuisine from around the world, creating the perfect gourmet catering service.
It is certainly an experience that Mum would love the comfort of her own home with those she loves most.
Cooking Class or Food Experience
Image via Pexels
These options are great for either one-on-one time with mum or for a few of you to have some quality time with her.
If Mum loves to cook (although I’m sure she enjoys a few nights off, hint, hint) a cooking class can be a great way to share her love for cooking, whilst also enhancing your culinary skills to cook something special with her.
Perhaps, she particularly loves a certain cuisine or is fascinated by a country or culture, which should make it easy for choosing the type of cooking class that you can do together.
Again, there are so many options for these classes, just do a simple Google search for cooking classes in your area.
If Mum doesn’t love cooking (maybe it’s become a bit of a chore) or you think she would be on the other side of the kitchen bench, food experiences, such as a food tour can be a great gift.
Like private chefs, food tours have really taken off in recent years all over the world.
When it comes to special occasions like spoiling mum for mother’s day, we love creating customised experiences that are tailored specific to her tastes and your budget. All you have to do is answer a couple of questions about your budget and what mum likes and we’ll send you personalised recommendations.
Image via Pexels
For those mums that love food just as much as they love to be pampered, why not organise a special brunch or even high tea followed by a spa session.
Depending on time and money you might want to share all of it with mum or just join her for the dining aspect of the day.
If you want to make it an all-in-one kind of day, many hotels will offer a special brunch package or high tea and maybe even a spa deal. If they don’t, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask if they might be able to bundle a special package for you.
Image via Pexels
If the weather’s still nice in May where you live, a gourmet picnic can be a lovely way to spoil mum in a relaxing setting.
This is something that can also be budget friendly if you have the time (and skill) to prepare lots of mum’s favourite dishes yourself.
If you’d prefer not to do the cooking, there, of course, are numerous options for getting catering, take away or even gourmet hampers.
Then there’s the option to take it up to another level with the help of companies like Pretty Picnics. On top of the catering, they also offer great styling and props for your occasion. With everything from fresh flowers to complete table scrapings for your event including full silver service 3-course meal table setup and equipment.
All her favourite things
Image via Pexels
In line with the gourmet picnic hampers, putting together a hamper with some of mum’s favourite things can be a great gift idea.
It is something that you may also like to give her in addition to the above experiences or make it a gift in its own right.
After all, we know not everyone is as crazy about experiences as we are, and this is still a great way to spoil mum.
You could fill it with her favourite, wine, tea, coffee, scented candles, beauty products, photos and photos frames of the family, vouchers, chocolates, dried fruits and nuts, cheese, and the list could go on! Just think about what mum likes most.
Hopefully, these 5 ways will inspire you to spoil mum this mother’s day.
For more foodie indulgence inspiration, check out our post on Delicious Food Experiences From Brisbane
As we discussed in our recent post, ‘Why We Consider the Sunshine Coast a Must-Visit’, the Sunshine Coast really has so much to offer and here are 7 Great Reasons Foodies Will Love the Sunshine Coast Food Scene.
The Sunshine Coast has long been popular with families and those who love the great outdoors because of its relaxed and friendly vibe, as well as the breathtaking scenery and adventure opportunities that await. However, it isn’t often regarded as much of a foodie destination, but I’m here to tell you just why it should be.
Buderim Ginger and Ginger Factory
Image via Buderim Ginger
Ginger is cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. China and India lead the world in fresh ginger production with a global share of over 50%. In comparison to leading ginger producing nations, Australia is a relatively small producer. Australia’s contribution represents less than 1% of global production. However, Buderim Ginger has earned global recognition for producing the World’s Finest Ginger.
From a small farming community in the pre-World War 1 days to one of the world’s finest ginger producers, food processors and tourist destinations, Buderim Ginger is a long-standing and proudly successful Australian business.
When the Second World War cut ginger supply from China, sales of the Buderim produced crop soared. As a result of this, five Buderim farmers met together in an old blacksmith’s shop and formed The Buderim Ginger Growers Co-operative, which is today known as Buderim Ginger.
The Ginger Factory has been around for 40 years and is still going strong. Occupying a nine-hectare site at Yandina, on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, it is the world’s largest operating ginger factory within a themed tourist attraction that promotes ginger and associated products.
Be sure to check out the Ginger Shop, which boasts the largest selection of Buderim Ginger products in the world! We highly recommend trying the Buderim Ginger Beer and Dark Chocolate Ginger.
Image via Pexels
The natural beauty, healthy lifestyle and wonderful produce available on the Sunshine Coast attracts many top chefs, so it’s no surprise we have brilliant cooking schools and classes. Particularly in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands, there is a world of foodie delights just waiting to be discovered.
Tamarind Cooking School
The Tamarind Cooking School offers the opportunity to learn the intricacies of a range of cuisines from expert chefs in a state of the art cooking school, overlooking inspirational gardens in the heart of a beautiful rainforest. They offer two styles of cooking classes – long and short course demonstrations. Amongst the long course options are French, Italian or Thai classes. If a two-hour short course is more your style, they offer a range of classes including fast food for friends, BBQ, dessert, bread, or dumplings.
The Spirit House
Whether you’re a competent cook or simply want a basic understanding of Asian ingredients and cooking methods, a hands-on Spirit House cooking class is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and have an enjoyable day out which includes lunch/dinner and wine.
Image via Eumundi Markets
The Eumundi Markets are now the biggest art and craft market in Australia. The market has grown to more than 600 stalls and boasts an annual visitation of 1.6 million people. Beyond the handmade products, with the ethos of “make it, bake it, grow it, sew it, it is also a great spot for foodies.
The markets are full of goodies like laksa, calamari, paella, quality coffee, chocolate, great cakes, old fashioned lemonade, and so much more.
They are open on both Wednesdays and Saturdays, but make sure you get in early.
Fine Dining and Award Winning Restaurants
Image via Pexels
Not only is the Sunshine Coast full of wonderful produce, but also great venues where you can enjoy the produce cooked to perfection.
Some of the Sunshine Coast’s most renowned restaurants include The Long Apron, Wasabi Restaurant & Bar, The Tamarind Restaurant, The Spirit House Restaurant, and Ricky’s River Bar & Restaurant, amongst numerous others.
Awarded two Chef Hats in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Queensland Good Food Guide, two Chefs Hats in the 2015 and 2016 Australian Good Food and Travel Guide Chef Hat awards and ranked in the Top 100 Restaurants in Australia by The Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Long Apron continues to deliver European-inspired menus with flair and élan. Friendly, personal service adds to the relaxed atmosphere and there’s even the opportunity to get together and share a delicious meal as a group over our French Table.
Wasabi Restaurant and Bar is a multi-award winning Japanese fine dining restaurant located on the Noosa River.
The current menu led by Executive Chef and co-owner, Zeb Gilbert is designed to showcase seasonal produce from their farm at Honeysuckle Hill, other regional ingredients and the amazing seafood caught daily from the local fishing fleet. Wasabi hopes to try and provide a better platform in Australia for lesser-known seafood and the techniques used to prepare them.
Specialising in Modern Asian cuisine that tips its well-deserved Chef Hats awards to Western presentation and palates, The Tamarind’s menu effortlessly combines sweet, sour and spicy flavours with fresh local produce to create original and innovative taste sensations. The perfect meeting of the traditional and the new, every dish evokes the vitality of Asia and the warmth of Spicers Tamarind Retreat.
The Tamarind recently received one Chef Hat in the 2017 Brisbane Times Good Food Guide.
Romantic dinners, partying with friends in a private courtyard, or celebrating weddings and special occasions – Spirit House is a perfect recipe for a dining experience to remember. Set in lush tropical gardens nestled around a tranquil pond, at sunset Spirit House turns into a magic wonderland which will take your breath away.
Award winning contemporary Asian food, friendly staff and enthusiastic chefs have made the Spirit House a destination for lovers of all things Asian.
Image via Maleny Cheese
With the bountiful grazing land around the Sunshine Coast, it is no wonder that the Sunshine Coast is also home to a couple of exceptional cheese factories. One of which is, Maleny Cheese, a multi-generation family owned business based in Maleny.
Maleny Cheese has a strong core value of sourcing fresh regional whole milk from small local dairy herds, alongside other sustainably sourced ingredients.
One of the founders, Markus Bucher is a Swiss Master Cheese Maker and saw and opportunity of making dairy products from the first-class milk available in the area. Beginning with just cow milk products, they have now expanded their product range by sourcing local Water Buffalo milk and Camel milk too.
When in Maleny, a visit to their factory and cafe is a must for cheese lovers. The cafe offers a variety of meals and snacks and the opportunity to sample their cheese and yoghurts. If you want to see the cheese and yoghurt being made first-hand, visit during Monday to Thursday.
For something a little different with a little kick, we recommend trying their wasabi cheddar.
Image via Chocolate Country
It would be hard to find a town on the Sunshine Coast that is more charming than Montville.
Chocolate Country prides itself on being the highest quality chocolate producer in the region. They exclusively use Belgian chocolate, and source only the finest natural ingredients, using local products wherever possible to create a delicious array of chocolates.
Their Chocolatiers work in store to hand-make an extensive range of artisan chocolates in small batches to ensure freshness, producing unique products that both look and taste divine.
To taste a variety of their delicious chocolates, we highly recommend getting their tasting platter!
Moreton Bay Prawns
Image via Mooloolaba Fish Market
Moreton Bay is home to numerous prawn varieties, including Banana Prawns, Bay Prawns, Endeavour Prawns, King Prawns and Tiger Prawns.
If you want to experience these fresh from the sea, Mooloolaba Fish Market is a great place to go. It is the Sunshine Coast’s largest seafood market offering the biggest range of fresh and cooked seafood, and local wild caught seafood unloaded fresh daily from their wharf.
Nothing beats the taste of fresh juicy seafood by the sea!
So, there you have 7 Great Reasons Foodies Will Love the Sunshine Coast Food Scene. If you need some more convincing to make the road-trip, check out our article, Why We Consider The Sunshine Coast A Must Visit.
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration held on May 5, literally translating to May 5 in Spanish. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals. However, the relatively minor holiday in Mexico has taken on perhaps even greater significance in the United States and even beyond.
Many Mexican restaurants Worldwide now recognise the holiday with various fiestas and celebration specials. It is a chance to get together with friends, eat delicious Mexican food and sip (okay, maybe shot) some tequila.
So, if you’re a food lover who loves any excuse to enjoy a Mexican feast, we think you’ll love these 3 dishes for Cinco de Mayo.
Grilled elotes also known as Mexican Street Corn is one of the most delicious ways to enjoy corn on the cob. This dish is a classic street food in Mexico, where corn is either grilled or boiled, then dressed with a tasty combination flavours.
It is a dish that also makes for a great way to start a Mexican feast. If you’re in Brisbane, Pepe’s Mexican offers a pretty yummy version of this dish. However, if you want to make it at home, here’s how it’s done.
Image and recipe via creolecontesa
6 whole corn cobs
2 cups Queso Quesadilla Cheese, grated (otherwise Mozzarella will do just fine)
1 cup Crema Mexicana (sour cream)
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (roughly 236 ml)
2 teaspoons chilli powder plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons creole seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoon Mexican oregano, dried, crushed
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
extra virgin olive oil
lime wedges and green onions to garnish
1). Prepare grill.
2). Mix seasoning blend and set aside.
3). Prepare corn, rinse, dry, and coat in olive oil.
4). Sprinkle spice blend over the corn and grill for about 7-8 minutes per side or until corn begins to char slightly.
5). Remove corn from grill and dip and melted butter.
6). Sprinkle more spice blend on corn, top with crema, cheese, and extra chilli powder.
7). Garnish with green onions and serve with a lime wedge.
Camarones are simply prawns, but when prepared with an array of Mexican herbs, spices and sauces they make for the perfect Mexican party dish.
Fiesta Ole in Brisbane makes a delicious variety called Camarones Veracruzanos. These chilli prawns are cooked in a tomato and chilli sauce with garlic and herbs.
To make your own Camarones, try this Tequila Lime Prawns recipe. This is a dish best served with warm corn tortillas or over rice.
Image and recipe via thelemonbowl
1 pound (450 grammes) peeled and deveined prawns raw
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 dried ancho chilli peppers stems and seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic grated
2 ounces tequila (roughly 2 standard shots – 60 ml)
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons butter
1). Sprinkle the prawns evenly with salt and pepper and set aside.
2). Place the dried chiles in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Steep chiles in the hot water until softened, about 20 minutes.
3). Puree softened chillies and 1/2 cup of the steeping liquid in a food processor or blender until smooth and set aside.
4). Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil to the pan. Stir in garlic and warm until fragrant, about 15 seconds, being careful not to burn.
5). Add prawns to the pan, without overcrowding, and heat for 90 seconds per side. The minute the prawn turns pink, it is cooked so be careful not to overcook. It shouldn’t take more than 3-4 minutes total. Remove cooked prawns from the pan and set aside.
6). Stir the tequila into the hot skillet and use a wooden spoon to deglaze any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
7). Return the cooked prawns along with the pureed chillies and lime juice to the pan. Bring to a simmer then reduce to low and heat for 4-5 minutes or until warmed through.
8). Right before serving, finish the prawns with butter and stir until melted through. Check for seasoning and add more salt or pepper to taste.
9). Serve with warmed tortillas, rice or tossed into pasta if you wish.
Recipe and image via carlsbadcravings
4-5 lbs (1.8-2.7kg) pork shoulder/pork butt trimmed of excess fat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoons liquid smoke ** (you can usually find this in BBQ speciality stores)
2 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, deveined, deseeded, chopped
WET SPICE RUB
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tsp EACH dried oregano, salt
1 tsp EACH chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder
1/2 tsp EACH smoked paprika, pepper
1). Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Using tongs or 2 forks, sear pork on all sides until lightly browned. Transfer pork to cutting board until cool enough to handle.
2). Meanwhile, whisk together all of the Wet Spice Rub ingredients in a medium bowl. When pork is cool enough, massage Wet Spice Rub evenly all over then transfer pork to slow cooker. 3). Add orange juice, lime juice, liquid smoke, and 2 bay leaves to slow cooker. Top pork with onions and jalapeno. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours OR until pork is falling apart tender and easily shreds with a fork.
4). Remove pork from slow cooker to cutting board, shred, and add back to slow cooker and toss with juices. Cook on low for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil.
5). After 20 minutes, remove pork (do NOT discard juices in a slow cooker) and add shredded pork to both baking sheets in an even layer. Drizzle with some of the remaining juices (about 1/4 cup) and bake for 15 minutes then broil to desired crispiness, watching closely so the meat doesn’t burn (about 5-10 minutes). Drizzle with additional juices and toss.
6). Serve warm in tortillas, on rice, salad, etc. with favourite toppings.
If cooking isn’t your passion, there is sure to be plenty of celebrations at your local Mexican.
Feliz Cinco De Mayo!
After a recent trip eating my way around South Korea, I wanted to share a little about my insights into the local food culture and the lessons it reinforced from food travel.
Food travel is all about travelling specifically for the food, not the sights. It is something that is becoming especially popular and is no surprise when you consider how many food tour companies are popping up all over the world (just like Delectable Tours.) There is also a proliferation of food bloggers and culinary experiences to indulge our tastes, and people are lapping it up. This South Korean trip for us was all about the food travel with a touch of sightseeing thrown in.
South Korea’s food culture has evolved through its natural environment and cultural trends with an influence from its neighbouring countries, Japan and China. Overall, the Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, vegetables, and meats, as well as seafood in certain parts. The traditional meals are noted for the number of side dishes that accompany the main dish and certainly contribute to the flavour profile. Like anywhere in the world, dishes vary by province and some provincial dishes have grown into popular national dishes.
You can learn a lot about a country and even a city or town by its traditional cuisine and overall food culture. When you continue to come across recurring flavours it becomes evident of the key ingredients in any cuisine. Whether these ingredients are extremely fresh, dried or otherwise also tells you whether or not it may be seasonal or grown/produced locally. The type of ingredients, whether, meat, seafood, dairy, vegetable, or otherwise also gives another good insight into the food culture and local diet.
Another great insight is whether there are a lot of shared or individually plated dishes. It gives an indication into the importance of a mealtime as a chance to socialise and enjoy each other’s company over a meal, or if it is more or a necessity in our daily lives.
In South Korea, we found that many menus leant towards share dishes, which is no surprise when you think of the infamous Korean BBQ. Locals shared meals amongst family and friends and made the most of the chance to enjoy a few different dishes.
Like the saying when in Rome…we ate as much of the local cuisine as we could. After all, I really wanted to not only experience the local food culture but also as much of the local produce as possible. With everything from hot pot dishes, noodle soups, Korean BBQ, fresh local seafood, black pork, pork cutlets and kimchi, we tried it.
Perhaps we tried a little too many at once on this occasion!
Out of all of these delicious dishes, it was a spicy beef noodle soup that was a clear winner for me. The blend of spicy, sour, salty and a touch of sweetness came together to create a deliciously warming meal that also helped to battle the cold.
I must admit it doesn’t look like much, but looks can be deceiving.
However, with the good, comes the bad, and I must admit that I didn’t enjoy all aspects of the Korean cuisine. One thing that really stood out to me was that everything, especially anything packaged or slightly processed, was quite sweet. I can definitely see why sweet bread shops do well there.
We also tried a variety of cuisines and occasionally opted for whatever the highest rated restaurants were in the area, no matter the cuisine. This, with anything where you rely on a handful of ratings and basic reviews, produced mixed results. It reinforced a few key beliefs I have when it comes to relying on restaurant reviews.
Have you ever eaten somewhere based on the recommendation of someone who had a great dining experience, to end up not really enjoying the place or your meal? (Maybe you look to Yelp or Zomato, or even have been given a recommendation by someone who it turns out was getting a commission for sending customers to the restaurant, and if so, I know you know what I’m talking about!)
There can be many reasons for this, but generally, it comes down to your own tastes. And what you order…But even if you were to know what to order where it really only takes you halfway there to having a great dining experience because the venue and specific dishes matter too.
Who the recommendation is from also impacts on how useful the review is. Are the reviews by locals or other visitors that have certain expectations or preconceived ideas of specific flavours, quality, and value? It really is hard to know, but sometimes you just have to try things for yourself or employ the services of a local food guide, which I highly recommend.
On the plus side, it introduced us to a few fusion cuisines. I think one of the most interesting aspects of eating abroad is trying fusion cuisines and even a country’s take on another cuisine altogether. After all, different base ingredients, locally grown produce and the chef’s exposure to the authentic cuisine will vary greatly.
One fusion cuisine I did particularly enjoy in South Korea was what they like to call Ko-Mex – Korean-Mexican. It was full of fresh flavours, not too unlike Mexican we had tried elsewhere, but with some interesting additions that worked really well like kimchi. I would say that it was more like the Californian style of Mexican, and dishes such as fajita bowls and burritos were extra tasty with all the fresh herbs that were available in the region.
The margaritas were pretty good too!
To sum up my take on the cuisine, it was a whole lot of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty, which was mostly pretty enjoyable. This food travel experience gave me insight into the importance of spending time with friends and family, key local ingredients, and reinforced my beliefs that you can’t always rely on reviews when it comes to finding somewhere to eat.
The delicious full-bodied red wine that is a Malbec grows mostly in Argentina and is certainly a wine worth celebrating. World Malbec Day is celebrated on April 17, to commemorate the day when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry.
This highly celebrated Argentinian wine is known for its plump, dark fruit flavours and smoky finish, but actually originated in France where it grows in the Sud-Ouest. Today the majority of France’s Malbec is found in Cahors, a small town on a switchback river that gently flows towards Bordeaux. Malbec quickly became common as a blending grape in Bordeaux’s top 5 wine grapes. However, because of the grapes’ poor resistance to weather and pests, it never surfaced as a top French variety. Instead, it found a new home in Mendoza, Argentina. Today, Argentina leads the production of the grape with over 75% of all the acres of Malbec in the world.
The structure of Argentinian Malbec has a lot of very ripe fruit but lower acidity overall; with Cahors, the structure is built around the freshness of dark blackberry fruit and higher acidity.
YOUNG, FRUITY MALBECS
The lighter-bodied, young and fruitier styles are great with charcuterie and other meat dishes with a medium flavour profile like fajitas or beef burritos
BEEF, BEAN AND CHEESE BURRITOS
- 6 flour tortillas
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, more or less to taste
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 16 oz. can refried beans
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup salsa (medium for more of a kick)
- Hot sauce to taste
ADDITIONAL FILLINGS/TOPPING INGREDIENTS
- Sour cream
1). Add onions and beef to a large skillet and cooked over medium heat until onions are softened and meat is cooked through. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Drain off any excess fat (if there is any).
2). Stir in all of the spices/seasonings, followed by refried beans until well incorporated, followed by sour cream and salsa. Heat through.
3). If using raw tortillas, cook according to package directions. If using cooked tortillas, stack them together on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds or until warmed through.
4). Line the middle of each tortilla with the desired amount of cheese. Top with Bean and Beef filling and any additional desired filling ingredients. Fold in the edges of each tortilla and roll up “burrito style.” Serve with additional sour cream, guacamole, etc. (optional).
5). Optional to “crisp” burritos: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add burritos, 3 at a time, seam side down, and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.
HEAVYWEIGHT MALBECS (MORE EXPENSIVE, FULL-BODIED MALBECS OF 14%+)
The higher-alcohol Malbecs pair perfectly with steak, roast beef and venison, and also with more substantial vegetarian dishes such as burnt aubergine or roasted root vegetables.
Another dish that packs a punch is Lamb tagine, which rich flavours make a delicious match for a heavyweight Malbec.
LAMB TAGINE WITH DATES AND APRICOTS
- 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp blanched almond slivers
- 2 red onions diced
- 3 cloves garlic smashed and diced
- 2 tbsp ginger paste
- pinch of saffron threads
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp coriander seeds crushed
- 1 lb lamb cubed shoulder or leg
- 8 dates seeded
- 8 apricots
- 4 strips of orange peel
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp of Ras el Hanout optional
- kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1). Heat the butter and oil in a tagine or heavy casserole baking dish. Stir in the almonds and sauté until golden. Add the diced onions and garlic, stir and cook over low heat until golden. Stir in the ginger paste, saffron, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds. Add the cubed lamb pieces and stir to make sure everything is coated with the onion and spices. Sauté for 4 minutes.
2). Next, pour enough water in to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender.
3). Add the dates, apricots and orange peel, stir to mix and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4). Stir in the honey and ras-el-hanout (optional) and simmer another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce should be syrupy. If it is too watery, allow to simmer and thicken with lid off for 5 minutes, or add some water if necessary.
5). Top with chopped cilantro and serve alongside couscous and bread of choice.
MORE RUSTIC STYLES OF MALBEC SUCH AS CAHORS AND COT
Look to the foods enjoyed locally in the South of France, such as slow-cooked lamb, cassoulet, or confit de canard.
Other dishes, such as a braised leg of lamb, lamb shanks or braised beef stews are great to enjoy with a more rustic style of Malbec.
SLOW COOKED LAMB SHANKS WITH RED WINE SAUCE
- 4 lamb shanks, around 500g each
- 2 tsp salt, separated
- 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil, separated
- 1 cup onion, finely diced (brown, yellow or white)
- 1 cup carrot, finely diced (optional)
- 1 cup celery, finely diced (optional)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2½ cups red wine, full bodied (good value wine)
- 800g can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken stock (or water)
- 5 sprigs of thyme (preferably tied together), or 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves or 4 fresh
- ½ to 1½ cups hot water
1). Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
2). Pat the lamb shanks dry and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt and black pepper.
3). Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy based pot (dutch oven is ideal) over high heat.
4). Sear the lamb shanks in 2 batches until brown all over, about 5 minutes.
5). Remove lamb onto a plate and drain excess fat (if any) from the pot.
6). Turn the heat down to medium low. Heat remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in the same pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes until the onion is translucent.
7). Add the red wine and turn up the heat to medium-high. Bring it to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix all the brown bits into the wine. Simmer for 3 minutes to evaporate the alcohol a bit.
8). Add the remaining ingredients (including remaining 1 tsp salt and pepper) and stir to combine.
9). Place the lamb shanks into the pot, squeezing them in to fit so they are mostly submerged.
10). Bring back up to simmer, cover, then transfer to the oven for 2 hours.
11). Turn the lamb shanks, cover, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes (so 2½ hours in total). The lamb should be very tender, the exposed surface of the liquid should be browned and the sauce should be reduced down to about ¼ of the original amount.
12). Carefully transfer the lamb to a plate and pick out the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
13). Skim excess fat off the surface of sauce. Use a stick blender to puree the sauce to make it smooth and thick. Use hot water to adjust the thickness and intensity of the sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
15). Serve the lamb shanks on mashed potato or cauliflower puree with plenty of sauce!
SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT, 3 GREAT RECIPES TO ENJOY THIS WORLD MALBEC DAY
Montville is a small town in the Sunshine Coast hinterland known for its quaint shopping and excellent dining scene. This small town packs quite the punch in the sweets department with everything from fudge, to Devonshire teas and even has its own chocolatier. Montville’s Chocolate Country is forging a strong reputation for producing the highest quality chocolate in the region. It is a true Montville delight, where they make chocolate dreams come true.
Image Credit: chocolatecountry.com.au
Chocolate Country is owned and operated by the lovely Julie Walters. Julie has been learning the trade as a chocolatier over the past 2 years under the guidance of fellow Swiss chocolatier, Konrad, who has 40 years experience. Combined they make quite the team, producing stellar chocolates.
The attention to detail and work that goes into each handmade chocolate is not only what has earned them an excellent reputation, but is also why we love to take guests to this special spot.
One of the secrets to making such delicious chocolate is the fact that they only use chocolate made in Belgium. The Belgians are world famous for making fantastically smooth, rich chocolate, and this provides Chocolate Country with a quality product as a base for all of their creations.
Belgium had a troubled past with the Congo which became their gateway to Africa’s cocoa plantations. This resulted in Belgium bringing back cocoa beans to Europe from Africa from around the 1880s. This early access to cocoa gave them the ability to understand how best to process the beans, which enabled Belgians to produce quality chocolate before most countries in the world. Even the Swiss, who are famed for their chocolate, learnt much of what they know from the Belgians.
Julie is also really passionate about sourcing top quality ingredients, locally where possible, to create a range of indulgent chocolates. She loves using Australian produce because of the wide range of beautiful fruits and nuts it has. Unique Australian flavours like Lemon Myrtle and Finger Lime are also included in their range to show off some of the more unusual flavours this wonderful country has to offer.
Whilst, all of their chocolates are equally delicious, their range of hearts are definitely their best sellers. With so many flavours to choose from, including more traditional flavours like caramel and hazelnut to more unusual flavours like their, rose flavoured, Turkish Delight truffle, there is always something to suit even the fussiest of taste buds.
Julie, like myself, is a dark chocolate girl and certainly knows how to make some delicious dark chocolate, but for her, choosing a favourite chocolate would be as hard as choosing a favourite child. Rightfully so, she says, “when you design each one you always end up making sure you like it.” So each chocolate is a truly refined creation that you know has been designed to taste great.
Although I would rate myself as a pretty experienced chocolate consumer, I certainly don’t know a lot about the art of making the perfect chocolate. This is something that I hope to change in the future by taking some classes with the experts themselves.
Julie and Konrad offer chocolate making classes that will de-mystify the art of tempering chocolate giving you the understanding of what you are doing and why. During their classes, you get the opportunity to make a variety of different chocolates using pralines, ganaches, fruits and nuts. Of course, there is plenty of tasting along the way, lots of different types of chocolates to try, a constant supply of tea and coffee, and lots of chocolate to take home.
Chocolate Country isn’t just a boutique chocolate producer and shop, but they also have a lovely cafe. You can take in the ambience of Montville in the beautiful patio garden with a coffee (from local Brisbane roasters Campos) or perhaps even something from their range of hot chocolates made with Belgian chocolate. Yum! On top of the drinks, of course, there is plenty of chocolate and other sweets to be enjoyed too.
Image Credit: chocolatecountry.com.au
One of the best ways to sample a number of delectable delights is with their indulgent tasting platters, which we always recommend to our guests.
So next time you’re in Montville, do yourself a favour and pay a visit to Julie and the team at Chocolate Country.
Want to learn about more great local businesses? We’d love to take you on a food experience of course, but in the meantime, make sure you follow us on Facebook for more articles like this and to learn about other local hot spots.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is truly beautiful with stunning white beaches and lush hinterlands in the backdrop. Between the coast and the hinterland there is so much to offer, but unfortunately, this region can be overlooked as a place to visit. In our opinion, the Sunshine Coast is a must-visit.
With everything from Australia Zoo, to the Glass House Mountains, Eumundi markets, hinterland wineries, beautiful national parks, gorgeous beaches and canals, and so much more, the Sunshine Coast has a lot to offer.
The Sunshine Coast is popular with families, those who love the outdoors and even foodies. It is somewhere we want to take more guests because in our minds it is a truly unmissable Queensland experience.
Australia and specifically Queensland have an abundance of superb seafood, and Morton Bay prawns are some of our state’s most renowned produce. So, why not take people directly to the source of where this fresh and delicious seafood comes from?
Image credit: Flickr
On top of the prawns and other seafood grown and caught along the Sunshine Coast, the hinterlands are also well-known for some excellent dining, dairy farms and cheese factories, chocolate and other sweets, as well as its ginger.
Combine the fresh and delicately prepared produce with stunning beaches, breathtaking national parks, and unique dining options and you have the perfect location for a foodie’s road trip. It really is this whole combination that sparked the inspiration and desire to create new food tours that showed the true beauty and culture of the Sunshine Coast.
This isn’t about the attractions or things you can do, although there is plenty (just think surfing, kayaking or SUP on the many canals, hiking in the national parks and so much more). It is about creating an experience that takes people on an adventure to new places and sharing the love we have for this amazing location with others.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
To us, creating new experiences isn’t just about what guests want, sometimes it also needs to be about showing them things that they don’t necessarily know a lot about to spark their curiosity, and even unexpectedly delight them.
We hope this is exactly what our new Sunshine Coast food tours will achieve.
Where is somewhere you’ve explored that has truly delighted you?
As the weather cools down warming recipes can be just what you need. Pumpkins are a versatile and delicious autumn vegetable, which can be made into delicious warming dishes, especially these three great butternut pumpkin recipes.
A particular type of pumpkin I love is butternut squash. Although technically a fruit, butternut squash is used as a vegetable that can be roasted, sautéed, toasted, puréed or mashed and used in everything from savoury to sweet recipes.
To warm up your autumn days and nights, here are three delicious butternut pumpkin recipes.
Recipe and image by olivemagazine.com
A really attractive autumn recipe with sweet butternut squash halves stuffed with roasted vegetables and goat’s cheese and finished with a scattering of breadcrumbs.
- 2 small butternut squash
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- drizzle olive oil
- a pinch dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp thyme chopped
- 1 courgette cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 red pepper cut into 2cm pieces
- 2 small red onions cut into thin wedges
- 200g cherry tomatoes
- 50g pine nuts
- 1 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp parmesan*
- 100g goat’s cheese*
*For a vegan alternative simply substitute the parmesan and goat’s cheese for something like cashew cheese
1. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds and cut criss-cross patterns over the cut-side of each. Mix the garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil, chilli and thyme and brush over the flesh. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until tender.
2. Meanwhile, roast the courgette, pepper and onions with 1 tbsp olive oil for 20-25 minutes until starting to brown at the edges. Add the tomatoes and pine nuts and cook for 10 minutes. Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley and parmesan.
3. Arrange the roasted vegetables and crumble the goat’s cheese in the squash halves, scatter with the breadcrumb mix and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Recipe and image by halfbakedharvest.com
What could be bad about four cheeses, pasta and butternut squash? That’s got to be one of the best autumn combos…plus this recipe is simple to make and perfect for feeding a crowd or even just yourself!
- 1/2 a medium butternut squash seeded
- 1 head garlic outer skins removed
- 2 tablespoons oil
- kosher salt + pepper
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8-10 pepperoni optional
1. Preheat the oven to 205 degrees C.
2. Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet. Chop the top 1/3 of the garlic off to reveal the cloves and place on the baking sheet with the squash. Drizzle the squash and garlic with olive oil and season with salt + pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Turn the oven to 230 degrees C.
3. Next, bring a large oven safe pot of water to a boil and boil the pasta until al dente. You want the pasta to still have a bite to it. Just before draining, reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking water. Drain and add the pasta back to the pot.
4. Use a spoon to remove the seeds from the roasted squash. Discard the seeds. Now scoop the flesh from the squash and add it to a blender or food processor, discard the squash skin. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and add to the blender. Now add the 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta water, the milk, oregano and thyme. Season with salt + pepper. Pulse until completely smooth. Add the ricotta and pulse until just combined.
5. Pour the butternut squash sauce over the pasta and set the pot over medium heat. Add the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and 1/4 cup oil from the sun-dried tomato jar. Toss to combine. Cook until the spinach is wilted and the sauce is hot about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan and fontina cheese. Spread the pasta in even layers, or if needed, transfer to a baking dish. Top with mozzarella and pepperoni. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and gooey. Eat!
Recipe and image by lovelylittlekitchen.com
These little pumpkin-y pillows are sure to just melt in your mouth. They are a cross between a cookie and the top half of a muffin.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup pure pumpkin
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees C and line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick baking spray.
- Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat sugar and butter with mixer on medium-high speed, then blend in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until incorporated.
- Gradually mix in flour and dry ingredients. Refrigerate dough for 3-4 hours.
- Scoop dough into one inch balls. Roll in powder sugar, place dough balls on baking paper (12 per sheet) and bake for 11-13 minutes.
- Remove from baking sheet to a cooling rack. When completely cool, store cookies in an airtight container.
So there you have it. Three delicious butternut pumpkin recipes that are sure to keep you warm this autumn.
Queensland’s wine industry is one of the State’s best-kept secrets. The industry has grown significantly over the years and the quality of Queensland wines is beginning to be recognised as among the best in Australia. Today, there is a lot of award-winning Queensland wine, which we love being able to introduce our guests to.
Whilst we are a food based company, creating foodie experiences also includes exceptional wines and other delicious beverages, which makes great local wine a pivotal part of our job. Something, we are more than obliging to do of course!
Queensland’s wine regions lie between Mount Ommaney on Brisbane’s outskirts through to Ipswich, Toowoomba and Roma in the west and the Granite Belt in the south.
The State’s best-known wine growing region, and possibly the best, is the Granite Belt. The Granite Belt, with altitudes of 700 to 1250 metres above sea level, is a cool climate region and has a similar temperature range to central Victoria. An unknown fact for many not familiar with the local area. This Granite Belt experiences unique growing and ripening conditions, unlike elsewhere in Australia. The combination of cool weather and decomposed granite soils produces outstanding wines, many of which are also award winning wines.
So, at which wineries can you find these stellar wines? Here are just a few of the top award winning wineries in the Granite Belt to add to your must-visit list.
Image credit: http://www.ballandeanestate.com/
Ballandean Estate Wines is the oldest winery in the Granite Belt. Considering that they also took out all of the awards at Queensland Wine’s 2015 and 2016 awards night, they are also one of the best. They won the 2015 awards for Viticulturist, Winemaker, Cellar Door and Winery of the Year.
These guys clearly have their secret formula for success nailed down. The family owned and operated winery has been producing wine from these very vineyards since 1932.
Ballandean Estate blends the history of their four generations with modern winemaking methods that result in a remarkable wine experience. With one of the best cellar door experiences in Queensland, this winery is making a name for its alternative varietals, as well as its dry whites and premium reds using grapes from two vineyards in Ballandean.
On top of the numerous Queensland Wine awards, Ballandean has also be awarded many others and has been listed by leading wine expert James Halliday as one of Australia’s Ten Dark Horses of the Wine Industry.
Image credit: http://www.summitestate.com.au/
Another James Halliday 5 star winery, Summit Estate Wines offer numerous award winning wines of elegance and complexity. They specialise aromatic Mediterranean & European varieties along with alternative varietals.
A couple of their most recent awards in the 2016 Queensland Wine Awards were a bronze medal for their Summit Estate Fiano and a Silver for their Summit Estate Vermentino.
Image credit: http://www.robertchannonwines.com/
Verdelho fan? Robert Channon’s your man. James Halliday once called these verdelhos the best he’s ever tasted, but the wine is just the start of it. Robert Channon produces fine Verdelho, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Their wine is made at our winery from grapes grown in our cool climate vineyards at an elevation of about 950 metres, and are particularly known for their Verdelho and Chardonnay for good reason.
Their first 3 vintages of Verdelho won the Trophy for Queensland’s Best White Wine. Since then they have regularly won gold medals. They are also one of the few small wineries in Australia to have won a national trophy at a national show for a champion wine. This is effectively a ‘Best in Australia’ award.
Robert Channon has won numerous Queensland Wine Awards and Australian Small Winemakers Awards amongst others. A couple of their recent wins at the 2016 Queensland Wine Awards include bronze for their 2015 and 2016 Verdelhos, as well as a silver for their 2016 Shiraz.
Image credit: https://symphonyhill.com.au/
Another Granite Belt ‘MVP’, Symphony Hill is a James Halliday mainstay and picking up plenty of other awards along the way. Symphony Hill is the only Queensland winery to win gold medals at the Royal Sydney and Royal Melbourne Wine Shows.
Symphony Hill Wines is a group of family and friends bonded together on the quest to make world class wines and to never stop learning. Their vineyard is the highest in the region allowing their flagship wine, Reserve Shiraz, to produce a style of wine that is unique in Australia and totally different to Shiraz grown at lower altitudes. Their signature Reserve Shiraz is even fit for royalty: it was served to Wills and Kate when the couple came to Brisbane in 2014.
Some of their recent Queensland Wine Awards include gold for their Reserve Verdelho, silver for their Petit Manseng, bronze for their 2015 Viognier, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Reserve Shiraz, 2014 Reserve Shiraz, and 2014 Reserve Shiraz “The Rock.”
Image credit: https://clovely.com.au/
Clovely Estate is a family-owned business born out of a love of wine and a family agricultural history in the region. They have always been prepared to experiment with ancient and innovative winemaking techniques and became a James Halliday 5-star winery in 2015, giving them official recognition to what their loyal customers already knew.
Unlike the previous wineries we’ve listed here, Clovely Estate has a cellar door in Red Hill. They literally bring the South Burnett to the city.
In less than 20 years, Clovely Estate has become one of Australia’s leading boutique wineries. Recent Queensland Wine Awards include gold for their 2013 Semillon, silver for their 2010 and 2014 Semillons, and bronze for their 2013 Petit Verdot and 2013 Fortified Grenache.
Image credit: https://www.goldengroveestate.com.au/
The last award-winning Granite Belt winery we’ll mention here is a Golden Grove Estate. The first vines were planted in 1975 and were followed in recent years by other classic varieties. As the wine industry emerged they begun planting classic wine grape varieties for the making of commercial wine.
This wine is something that many have come to love and again have received lots of awards for.
They also took home a bag of awards at the 2016 Queensland Wine Awards, including silver for their 2014 Chardonnay, 2014 Durif, 2014 Mouverdre, 2016 Joven Tempranillo, NV Marnita Muscat and bronze for their 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 Vermentino, 2016 Accommodation Creek Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 Muscadean.
A smaller region, but one we love taking guests on the outskirts of Brisbane and the Scenic Rim.
The Scenic Rim wine growing area lies in the eroded interior of an ancient shield volcano. The Scenic Rim is one of the fastest growing wine tourism regions in Queensland, and its rich volcanic soils are producing premium wines which are making their mark on regional and national wine shows.
The region saw a resurgence in 1984 with the planting of Ironbark Ridge Winery. Since then another dozen or so vineyards have been planted, all boutique in size and unique in character. Being so close to Brisbane but removed from the coastal humidity and rainfall, the Scenic Rim wine region is in a great position to develop a thriving wine market.
Image credit: http://www.sirromet.com/
There is one winery here, Sirromet Wines that really stands out. Opening in 2000, Sirromet is one of the largest wine producers in Queensland. They grow grapes in Redlands (Mt Cotton), just out of Brisbane and in the Granite Belt. Sirromet produces a wide selection of varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Nebbiolo, Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Chambourcin, Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Pinot Gris, and Verdelho.
When talking about award winning Queensland wine, Sirromet is awarded to the hilt and basically Queensland wine royalty.
They have collected over 880 prestigious national and international wine awards since opening in 2000.
Recent Queensland Wine Awards include gold for their 2016 Vineyard Selection Verdelho and silver for their 2014 Le Sauvage Chardonnay.
These are just some award winning Queensland wines. There are some great drops out there and it is also a key element we wanted to showcase to guests as part of our Ultimate Delectable Experience.
If enjoying award winning wine is a priority in your life, you will definitely love The Ultimate Delectable Experience
Fine dining is often associated with big cities, exquisite food, well-renowned chefs, excellent service and breath-taking views. Collectively, with an exceptional wine list, of course, these components are what make fine dining the experience it is. However, you don’t always have to stay in the city to experience fine dining. Country fine dining is available too!
Right across Australia, we’re lucky to have numerous regional areas with an excellent fine dining scene. Names like the Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley or even Margaret River might come to mind, but they certainly aren’t the only ones. One of Queensland’s great country fine dining scenes is located just an hour out of Brisbane in the Scenic Rim.
The Scenic Rim offers everything from casual, relaxed dining, to five-star fine dining experiences. The region is quickly becoming known as a foodie hot spot, which grows much of its own produce within the Scenic Rim.
This country fine dining scene ticks all the boxes of exquisite food, well-renowned chefs, excellent service, great wine and breath-taking views. With all this just an hour away from Brisbane it is hard to pass up the opportunity to experience it first-hand.
Here are just a few of the beautiful restaurants you will want to visit in this region.
The first two restaurants are part of Spicer’s Retreats. There are common threads between all Spicers’ restaurants; the time that goes into the preparation of each ingredient, the thoughtful and generous service, the ability to offer guests an immersive experience, and the constant collaboration between the chefs. Despite this, each restaurant has its own unique character.
The fact that these restaurants work closely with local producers, including a number of farm suppliers to create bespoke produce for each season and menu, makes for an exceptional dining experience.
Country Fine Dining at Homage Restaurant
Homage is a new concept in dining and a 12-month labour of love for Spicers Hidden Vale Head Chef, Ash Martin. Set within a historic homestead on a picturesque 12,000-acre property, this exciting restaurant at Grandchester offers an unrivalled dining experience. As the name suggests, it pays due respect to the land, the local farmers and the produce itself, with each expertly crafted dish having added dimension.
Ash and his team design menus inspired by the local produce that they hand select daily. As a result, it is a menu that changes constantly based on what is harvested that day. Whether it’s fresh seasonal vegetables hand-picked from their market garden or local Freshwater Cray and beef from their own property, this is dining in its purest form.
Ash has been awarded a Chef Hat by both the Queensland and Australian Good Food Guides.
Homage restaurant has additionally been awarded one Chef Hat in both the 2017 Brisbane Times Good Food Guide awards and the 2016 Australian Good Food. The restaurant also received the 2015 Travel Guide Chef Hat awards.
Country Fine Dining at The Peak Restaurant
Spicer’s Retreats Peak Lodge is home to The Peak restaurant. Inspired by the fresh, seasonal, local produce and regional wines of the Scenic Rim and Granite Belt. Their Contemporary Australian á la carte and degustation menus deliver quite the culinary taste sensation. It is little wonder that The Peak was awarded two Chef Hats in the 2016 and 2017 Brisbane Times Good Food Guide awards, and the 2015 Australian Good Food Guide awards.
Head Chef, Tomasz Kornacki’s strong culinary ability with international cuisines allows him to showcase the region’s fruits and other locally sourced produce in a creative and unique way.
Country Fine Dining at Kooroomba
Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm is a masterfully designed property, making the most of the position and the views. Kooroomba consists of a cellar door, restaurant and lavender shop. The property overlooks a six-hectare vineyard and a breathtaking lavender field, with magnificent views of the Scenic Rim mountains. However, it isn’t just the views that make Kooroomba a great spot.
The award winning cellar door and restaurant complex is a blend of rustic and contemporary architecture. Modern Australian cuisine is served in the restaurant from local produce, providing a unique regional wine and food experience.
Country Fine Dining at Pethers Rainforest Retreat
Pethers Rainforest Restaurant is recognised as one of south east Queensland’s most romantic dining experiences. Set within Pethers luxurious boutique retreat, the restaurant and retreat were designed exclusively for adults.
The intimate restaurant is set around a massive open sided and elevated fireplace and overlooks pristine rainforest. The restaurant is extra spectacular at night when it is dramatically floodlit. You can enjoy Modern Australian fine dining here with stunning rainforest views.
Country Fine Dining at Songbirds Restaurant
Songbirds Restaurant in Songbirds Rainforest Retreat offers a unique combination of nature, luxury and indulgence. Located on over 50 acres of rainforest, Songbirds is a multi-award winning restaurant, most recently receiving an AGFG (Australian Good Food Guide) Chef Hat for 2016.
As with these other fine dining restaurants, we have mentioned, Songbirds’ creative culinary team selects the finest ingredients and uses organic produce when possible. Meals are prepared in a fresh, innovative style and served in a beautiful environment with the menu changing frequently to ensure diners enjoy the freshest seasonal flavours.
The sheer beauty of the region and exquisite food scene make the Scenic Rim the perfect destination to enjoy The Delectable Experience.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller
No matter the economic landscape, opportunities exist and are there for the taking. These opportunities will always come in different shapes and sizes, but there is one type of opportunity that I always seek, which is the opportunity to work together.
As Mattie Stepanek once said, “Unity is strength… when there are teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” This is exactly why collaborating with like-minded businesses is a strategy I pursue passionately.
Collaboration of unique skills, experience, personality and product
When you can combine the unique skills, experience, personality and product from others that harmoniously aligns with what you offer, wonderful things can and will be achieved.
For me, finding someone with over seven years of experience serving customers just like mine, with a strong passion for what they do, and who constantly embraces the challenge of creating new products was just the kind of collaboration I was after. It created the perfect opportunity to come together to do so much more.
This someone is Mike and his team at Pterodactyl Helicopters. They offer helicopter tours through the scenic areas of Ipswich, Brisbane, The Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Logan, and the Redlands regions. They regularly work with 63 on the ground experiences and each one is fantastic in their own right.
Combining the skills, experience, personality and product of Pterodactyl Helicopters with those we share at Delectable Tours, we’ve been able to create what I believe to be one of our best products yet, The Ultimate Delectable Experience.
The Ultimate Delectable Experience
The Ultimate Delectable Experience is a first-class tour that includes both luxury car and helicopter transportation, visiting fine-dining establishments in the outer Brisbane region.
This tour highlights some of Queensland’s best locally grown produce and has a real focus on farm-to-table dining. It is a five-course experience that also includes premium wine tastings and two bottles of locally produced wines (to take home).
With the vast produce grown in these regions, it provides a scenic adventure in Brisbane’s own backyard. Helicopter flights, fine dining and award-winning wine are just some of the reasons why I believe it is our best product yet. There are also many others, which you can read about here.
Creating this collaboration really only required one key ingredient to creating a success, which was being open-minded about working together, rather than working against each other. Although our products and services do differ a bit, they still come down to creating wonderful foodie experiences for our guests. They are just as much about our guests and the local produce we share with them, as it is about the transport we use. Technically, we are competitors, but we are competitors who have the gift of seeing the value in working together.
This is just one collaboration I hope to establish. It has given us both the opportunity to give our customers even more. And, at the end of the day without you, the customer, we are nothing.
I’d love to hear what you think about The Ultimate Delectable Tour that we’ve created. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
There is so much value in serving others. Giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. We are always taught of the importance to give more to receive more, and that is true in many ways. Creating an ultimate experience that gives guests even more value, more amazing experiences, and more luxurious services also fit into the give more to receive more notion.
Serving others is important, even essential, but I also believe it is important to put yourself first from time-to-time. This may sound selfish or even impossible for parents, but just like others, it is important and even essential.
Let me explain. This was a lesson that I learned the hard way. It was something that for a long time, I thought was completely selfish and far from everything I had been taught. However, without putting yourself first when needed, you will have nothing or at most very little to give to others. The old adage of not being able to fill other’s cups when your own isn’t full certainly rings true here.
I was lucky/unlucky enough to experience a number of chronic health issues that taught me the importance of putting yourself first, and specifically taking care of your health. Giving yourself some time out and doing things you really enjoy doing. By doing this; helping myself first, I was then able to help others. It taught me a life lesson that will stay with me forever. It also gave me an epiphany that the experiences we have in life matter the most. They are what we really treasure.
From that moment, I knew I had to create experiences that people would treasure. That would give them so much joy. Give them time out from their everyday lives, and something that even made them feel special.
These were the driving force behind creating Delectable Tours. However, I felt that I needed to create an extraordinary experience that took things to another level and really made people feel special.
This is exactly what this ultimate experience is all about – making you feel special. Giving you the chance to take some time out, doing something that makes you feel great, and something that gives you the opportunity to do so with someone you really care about – perhaps that person who is your personal cheerleader.
Experiences, especially those once-in-a-lifetime experiences are things we always remember and deserve more than we may believe. They are also things I believe that we won’t regret spending money on.
I urge you to think of the value of experiences rather than goods when you want to spoil yourself because the experiences we have in life shape us into who we are and how we see the world. Obviously, they don’t have to be as indulgent as this ultimate experience, they can just be simple pleasures but remember you work hard and you deserve to be spoilt from time-to-time!
A colleague once said to me, we are so caught up buying s***t we don’t need that we end up stuck in s***t jobs we don’t like, so we can buy more s***t we don’t need! I thought it perfectly summed up a big piece of the rat race many of us find ourselves in. It also really made me conscious of my buying decisions and the need for quality over quantity. Whilst I’m lucky to do work I love doing, I still want to make sure I’m spending my hard earned cash on things I actually need and/or really love.
This again made me even more determined to create this ultimate experience to the highest quality possible. I wanted to make sure that guests would truly love it and made sure it was full of lots of things many of us love.
For all of these reasons I created The Ultimate Experience, and I hope it brings guests as much joy as I had in creating it.
Even if this ultimate experience isn’t your idea of an ultimate experience, I urge you to think about what is and indulge in it.
Here’s to creating memories we will treasure!
Image credit: Pixels
Look no further, there are now some great new tasting food tours from Brisbane on offer.
In recent years, Brisbane’s food scene has come a long way. Brisbane is truly a foodie city on the rise and is evolving into one of Australia’s hot spots for both casual and fine dining. We first started our food tours to showcase all that Brisbane has to offer in culinary delights, but now have even more to offer with food tours from Brisbane.
Queensland and specifically Brisbane isn’t well known for food, but when you consider the amazing variety and quality of local produce surrounding the city, it really is no wonder the city has a lot to offer. It is also because of this quality local produce surrounding the city, that we felt it was essential to also create food tours from Brisbane, showcasing amazing venues in the surrounding regions.
You may have already heard about our Ultimate Delectable Experience, but we also have just launched two other experiences in the greater Brisbane region. These two new experiences take you on a scenic journey to the Sunshine Coast and through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
The Sunshine Coast is considered one of Queensland’s premier holiday destinations and with both a pristine coastline and beautifully lush hinterland it really is a spectacular destination to take guests.
Like all of our food tours, these Sunshine Coast food tours showcases local produce and iconic ingredients from the regions we visit with additional stops along the way to ensure you can take in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast.
If you’re looking for delicious food tours from Brisbane, these two Sunshine Coast tours, along with The Ultimate Delectable Experience make for wonderful locally inspired foodie experiences.
So, what exactly do these food tours involve you may ask? Well, I’m glad you did.
Here’s a quick rundown of these delectable experiences.
Image credit: Pixels
The Delectable Healthy Tastes tour will take you on a scenic journey to the Sunshine Coast and through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. This health-conscious food tour showcases local produce and iconic ingredients prepared in a tasty and healthy manner with additional stops along the way to ensure you can truly take in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast.
If you’re someone who is healthy minded, this tour has been designed with you in mind. It is a three-course lunch-time experience with freshly squeezed juices, amongst other refreshments including a cheeky organic wine and a relaxing private yoga class to really get you into a zen-like zone.
- Welcome pack with delicious healthy treats and refreshments to help you enjoy your journey even more
- Freshly squeezed juices
- Variety of deliciously healthy vegetable, seafood and chicken dishes
- Organic wine
- Variety of raw treats with tea or coffee
- Private yoga class in a stunning outdoor location
- Premium transport for the experience, including pickup and drop off at your desired location – OPTION TO STAY IN NOOSA
- Tour Host
- Non-alcoholic refreshments
Image credit: Pixels
The Delectable Farm-to-Table Indulgence tour will take you on a scenic journey through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and along the stunning Sunshine Coast. This food tour showcases local produce and iconic ingredients from the regions we will be visiting with additional stops along the way to ensure you can take in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast.
It is a four-course lunch-time experience with wine and cocktails that gives you the opportunity to stay in beautiful Noosa or return to the city life of Brisbane.
- Welcome pack with delicious treats and refreshments to help you enjoy your journey even more
- Share style entrees and wine
- Individual mains with sides and wine
- Luxury handmade chocolates and coffee
- Cocktail with delicious savoury nibbles
- Transport for the experience, including pickup and drop off at your desired location – OPTION TO STAY IN NOOSA
- Tour Host
- Non-alcoholic refreshments
Image credit: Pixels
The Ultimate Delectable Experience is just that. It is a first-class tour that includes both luxury car and helicopter transportation, visiting fine-dining establishments in the outer Brisbane region. If you enjoy the finer things in life, this tour is definitely for you!
This tour highlights some of Queensland’s best locally grown produce and has a real focus on farm-to-table. It is a five-course experience that also includes tastings and two bottles (to take home) of locally produced wine. With the vast produce grown in these regions, it also provides a scenic adventure in Brisbane’s own backyard.
- Premium wine tasting and cheese platter at a five star James Halliday winery
- Share style entrees and mains with paired wines at two different locations
- Dessert, coffee and wine tasting in the Scenic Rim
- Two bottles of your favourite wine to take home
- Cocktail back in the city to cap off your experience
- Luxury car transportation for the experience, including pickup, and drop off at your desired location (surcharge will be charged for locations 10kms outside of the Brisbane CBD)
- Scenic helicopter flights
- Tour Host
- Non-alcoholic refreshments
- Option to include accommodation with dinner and breakfast package
For more details on these food tours from Brisbane, and more, check out our signature food tour packages.
This ultimate experience is our newest creation of delicious local produce, award winning venues and amazing wines. It is called the Ultimate Delectable Experience for a reason and that’s because it also entails a lot more!
The Ultimate Delectable Experience is just that. It is a first-class tour that includes both luxury car and helicopter transportation, visiting fine-dining establishments in the outer Brisbane region. This tour highlights some of Queensland’s best locally grown produce and has a real focus on farm-to-table. It is a five-course experience that also includes tastings and two bottles (to take home) of locally produced wine.
Here are 10 reasons we believe you’ll love an ultimate experience.
Quality One-on-One Time with Someone Special
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This experience has been specially designed for two. Although you’ll have your host guide you along the way, you will dine privately and have a chance to just sit back and enjoy your time together. So often we get distracted by our everyday lives and even everyone else’s problems or concerns, but this experience is just about you.
You don’t have to think about a thing as everything is taken care of for you.
Image credit: pexels.com
Okay, who doesn’t want to arrive at five-star venues in a helicopter? It is the real celebratory factor! Besides this it allows you to see some beautiful scenery from above and travel quickly to different locations outside of Brisbane.
We wanted to give you a real taste of the amazing produce South East Queensland produces, so why not take you directly to the source. You’ll fly and arrive in style to these various areas with breathtaking views.
Image credit: pexels.com
Being a food tour company, it is no surprise that our main focus is on amazing food. This ultimate experience is all about gourmet dining at award-winning restaurants.
We know first-hand that no one-size fits all, so your menu will be customised to your tastes. No matter what your tastes it will be full of seasonal local produce prepared by excellent chefs.
Award Winning Wine
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Starting with a private premium wine tasting and cheese pairing with more wine tasting and paired wines to enjoy along the way, this experience is heavily geared towards the wine lover.
Plus, did I mention that you get to take two bottles of your favourite wines home with you?
Image credit: pexels.com
So, unfortunately, we can’t just rock in with a helicopter anywhere. There are a number of restrictions preventing that! But, we will pick you up in a prestige vehicle from your home or accommodation and take you back when the experience is finished. It wouldn’t be an ultimate experience if you had to jump in a taxi or even get on a bus when you’re finished. And, realistically after all that award-winning wine you really shouldn’t be driving!
Image credit: pexels.com
The Scenic Rim is exquisite! It is home to six National Parks, World Heritage listed rainforest, and three dams, so amazing the view from above. Amazing!
From the ground, you’ll not only see the views of vineyards, lavender fields and the Great Dividing Range, but you’ll also get to experience the land’s produce.
Image credit: pexels.com
The Lockyer Valley is home to so much more than farming and agriculture. It is a blend of town and country living with everything from top class restaurants and art galleries to stunning national parks and bushwalking.
You’ll have a chance to experience this both from the sky and the land. Plus, you’ll get to spend time on 12,000 acres of true Australian Bush.
Scope Out Venues For Your Wedding or Other Special Celebration
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All of the venues we take you to on the Ultimate Delectable Experience are excellent, award-winning wedding venues so this could be your chance to scope out a few places all at once.
If a wedding is on the cards for you, you might also be interested in some of these venues for another special occasion or just a weekend away in luxury accommodation.
Image credit: pexels.com
“A cocktail done right can really show your guests that you care” – Danny Meyer
We want to indulge you on this ultimate food experience, and to us, this includes a cocktail. It’s our little way of showing you how much we care! Because the experience can’t just end with a drive back to the city, it needs to be capped off with something a little more memorable.
Make a weekend out of it
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This ultimate experience has specifically been designed with two options. Option one to have all of the amazing things above and option two to have all of the amazing things above plus accommodation with a dinner and breakfast package.
If a special weekend is what you’re looking for, why not extend your experience and enjoy even more delicious food, drinks and alone time?!
And, that’s a rap! Seriously, tell me you don’t love the sound of this! We hope you do, and if you’d like to book one for you or someone special, visit our
Ultimate Delectable Tour page.
I know this statement is going to make a number of people pretty mad but bare with me here for a second.
I’m certainly not against romance or the original origins of the day as a feast day honouring one or more early saints named Valentinus, or even its evolution into an occasion in which lovers express their love for each other.
To best honest, I like many others enjoy receiving flowers and chocolates and other nice things. The day does have some perks and can’t act as a great reminder to show those that we love just how much we care and appreciate them. But…. (you knew this was coming)
Many believe it has become over-commercialised, and I’d be the first to agree. Does the day really hold any meaning for you? I know it does for some, especially those that met, got engaged or even married on this date, and that’s great, but for different reasons. It is special because of what happened on this date, not because of the International meaning of the day. Some might argue that it is special or only happened on this date because of what it stands for, which is exactly what I want to get down to.
In my opinion, Valentine’s Day acts as a reminder for us to show each other how much we love each other and make sure we spend some quality time together. This doesn’t need to be once a year, it needs to be a lot more frequent! Whether it is a regular date night, doing something together that you both love, or celebrating your milestones together, it doesn’t matter, it should just be special to you.
Instead of worrying about buying gifts or booking expensive restaurants for the occasion, stop reading this and just tell your loved one how much you really appreciate them!
Valentine’s Day gives us an excuse to put this all off til one day of the year, and that’s not okay. We don’t need Valentine’s Day, we might need some calendar reminders to schedule some special time together, but we don’t need to spend big on overpriced roses for one day just to show someone we love them.
Plus, if you’re single, wouldn’t you rather see Valentine’s Day disappear? Trust me, I’ve been there! Okay, this might be a little dramatic.
Whilst banning Valentine’s Day is a tad extreme, I’d still urge you to think about ways you can continually show each other just how much you love one another. Perhaps, I should have included a disclaimer warning for some sappiness here.
No matter your opinion on the day, don’t wait just to say you love someone, and show them in your own unique way. If you do want to do something really special and would like some help, we’d always be happy to put something together for you.
When you think of great food spots you might think of Melbourne, Barcelona or Rome, but Brisbane has some amazing food too. Brisbane’s West End, South Bank Precinct and Fortitude Valley are all areas recognised for their delicious food scene. However, there are also a number of other suburbs that make a great secret foodie hot spot.
Clayfield, in my opinion, is one of Brisbane’s best secret foodie hot spot and here’s why.
Clayfield is less than three square kilometres in size, but it is full of foodie delights. It has both good cafes and restaurants and has some great fresh food markets in case you want to cook something up at home.
Here are four places that I believe make Clayfield one of Brisbane best secret foodie hot spots.
Image credit: Let Minnow Cafe
This is a cafe I frequent a lot and for good reason. Let Minnow Café comes from a family that shares a love for food and Brisbane. Their meals reflect the Brisbane region: its climate, its farmers and its culture, which is really why I love this place.
They restored the beautiful 100-year-old house, formerly known as the Clayfield Aquarium, hence the name references a fish. Minnow means – a small freshwater Eurasian fish of the carp family, which typically forms large shoals. It has been beautifully restored so that its rich historical character remains and another interesting thing is that they’ve actually used the VJ panels they took off the walls for the table tops.
Food miles are really important to these guys, which is why they source the majority of their fruit and vegetables from a 160km radius of Brisbane. And is also why they have a beehive and herb garden set up in their very own backyard. Can’t get much fresher than that!
Although you’ll find a lot of delicious dishes on their menu, I personally think their barramundi tacos are hard to pass up.
Image credit: My Mistress
This is another amazing Clayfield cafe, that is starting to become a popular breaky spot with the locals. If you’re looking for a great breakfast spot with amazing coffee 7 days a week, this little gem is what you need.
They have a quality menu made-up of tasty all-day breakfast and lunch items. With healthy items like their Amazonia Acai Bowl with seasonal market fruit to more decadent dishes like the french toast with smoked bacon, maple syrup, it certainly has something for everyone.
Image credit: The Wooden Horse
So Let Minnow and My Mistress should have you covered for breaky and lunch, now for the main affair. Right around the corner from Let Minnow Cafe is The Wooden Horse on Junction Road. It is really a secret foodie hot spot in its own right.
This restaurant was created by two brothers who trained as chefs in different corners of Brisbane, have joined forces to make all this possible.
Something that makes this a great foodie spot is that they have a strong focus on using the freshest local produce. They do a great take on a number of classic dishes with a modern twist, which makes up most of their Modern Australian / Mediterranean menu.
It is somewhere you can also take your kids. It’s not the usual affair as they have a number of items that aren’t just junk food focused.
With a drinks list containing quality wines, beer and cocktails it certainly is a great venue to visit for a weekend celebration.
Image credit: Clayfield Markets
Lastly, markets. We all need some groceries, and for fussy foodies, you’ll likely be looking for some better quality produce. This is why I like to visit Clayfield markets when I’m in the area.
Amongst the fresh fruit and vegetables is a great range of deli products like Spanish and Italian meats, as well as fresh antipasto, freshly made gourmet dips, cheeses and more.is
They even have designer ice-cream and chocolates. Yum!
Another great perk is that there is also a butcher and seafood market next door so you can get all your fresh goodies at once.
So, there you have it. Four great venues that make Clayfield one of Brisbane’s little secret foodie hotspot.
Want to discover more foodie hotspots?
We’d love to be your personal guide a take you on a delicious food tour.
There are so many things to love about summer, but a couple of my favourites have to be trips to the beach, BBQs and picnics with friends and delicious Summer iced-treats.
Now that we’re into the full swing of Summer, now is the perfect time to really enjoy all the summer goodies, and if you’re spending a lot of time in the sun, you’re sure to need some cooling down.
These three delicious Summer iced-treats are sure to tantalise your taste buds and cool you down this Summer. They’re refreshing, tasty and packed full of flavour!
PINEAPPLE COCONUT ICE
Living in the sub-tropics the summer fruits are plentiful, fresh and so refreshing, which is why I particularly like this recipe. It combines just three ingredients and just oozes summer flavours. The perfect Summer iced-treat!
Recipe and Image via UIT Pauline’s Keuken
1 whole pineapple (frozen)
2 bananas (frozen)
400ml coconut milk
Cut the bananas into small pieces and put in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Hollow out the pineapple by cutting the pineapple horizontally and then vertically. Then scoop out the pineapple. Or remove the core.
Place the pineapple shell in the freezer for at least 4 hours in.
Keep the hollowed pineapple in the refrigerator.
Put the frozen banana and refrigerated pineapple in the bowl of your food processor. Add the coconut milk to this, including the thicker part, the moisture leaves behind in the can.
Process all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Scoop the pineapple coconut ice-cream into the hollowed out pineapple and serve immediately. For harder ice cream, place the mixture back in the freezer for about 45 minutes.
Makes roughly a pint of ice cream.
GIN AND TONIC SORBET
This classic drink makes a refreshing and cheeky summer party dessert.
Recipe and Image via BBC Good Food
400g caster sugar
400ml tonic water
4 tbsp gin
Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra slices to freeze
Zest of 1 lemon, juice of half, plus extra slices to freeze
1 egg white
Put the sugar in a pan with 400ml water and warm over a low heat until dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 1 min. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Pour the tonic water into a bowl, add the sugar syrup, then chill in the fridge until cold.
Once the tonic mix is cold, add the gin, lime and lemon zests and juice, and pour into a container, then freeze until just frozen – this will take about 2 hrs.
Remove the just-frozen sorbet from the freezer and break up with a fork. Froth the egg white with a fork, then add both to a food processor and pulse to blitz together – do it quickly so it doesn’t actually start to melt. Pour the mix back into your container and freeze until solid.
Freeze extra slices of lemons and limes on a tray until solid. Serve the sorbet scooped into glasses or small bowls topped with lemon and lime slices.
Makes 6 – 8 serves.
SALTED CARAMEL CRUNCH ICE-CREAMS
This last recipe is definitely a little more decadent so if you’re on a new year’s health kick, you might want to stop reading.
As a huge fan of Donna Hay I often find it difficult to go past her recipes and this one is no exception.
Recipe and Image via Donna Hay
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
¼ cup (6g) puffed rice
2½ cups (440g) store-bought vanilla ice-cream, roughly chopped
⅓ cup (100G )dulce de leche or thick caramel
200g 70% dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
Place the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 12–14 minutes or until deep golden in colour, swirling the pan occasionally. Working quickly, fold through the puffed rice and pour onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Allow to cool completely. Finely chop and set aside.
Place the ice-cream in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed until softened. Add the dulce de leche and the chopped puffed rice crunch, and gently fold to swirl through. Spoon into 6 x ⅓-cup-capacity (80ml) popsicle moulds, insert popsicle sticks and freeze for 8 hours or overnight. Run the moulds under hot water for 10 seconds to remove, then place popsicles on a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Freeze until needed.
Place the chocolate and oil in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Set aside until the mixture comes to room temperature. Working quickly, dip the popsicles halfway into the chocolate and place on the baking tray. Sprinkle immediately with salt. Serve immediately or freeze until ready to serve.
Want some more Summer inspiration?
Another new year is here and with so many people making new year’s resolutions, we thought you’d appreciate some inspiration.
It’s a twist between resolutions, goals to do, and a couple of trends thrown into the mix as well. So, without further ado here are our top 10 delicious resolutions we believe every foodie should make this year.
1. Visit a new cafe or restaurant every month
Image credit: http://www.pexels.com
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of new restaurant and cafes opening every year so we really are spoilt for choice. We all love to dine at the best places and of course, we all have our favourites, but these places were all once unknown to you. So do yourself a favour and do some more culinary and dining exploring this year.
2. Plan a trip specifically around a food experience
Image credit: http://www.soneva.com
Since stumbling across an article that featured this Treepod dining experience at Soneva Kiri I have been dreaming of visiting this amazing looking resort just to try out this experience. This year I’ve decided to stop dreaming and make specific holidays around experiences like this that I really want to try.
The unique Treepod experience allows you to comfortably sit in a bamboo pod while gazing out the tropical foliage of Koh Kood’s ancient rainforest. And of course, be showered with gourmet delights and your chosen wines, delivered via the zip-line acrobatics of your personal waiter. Amazing!
3. Make picnics a regular outing
Image credit: http://www.stylemepretty.com
Picnics are making a revival and are such a fun way to spend an afternoon. From packing your favourite food and drinks to getting a completely catered picnic, including the gorgeous cushions and rugs, you can create the perfect picnic outing.
This year, I plan to make these a regular occurrence and tie it in with trying some great produce and take away from different cafes.
4. Visit the local food markets at least once a fortnight
Image credit: http://www.pexels.com
How amazing does a fresh apple taste when you bite into it? I love supporting local farmers and getting to know where my food comes from. When you think about how long fruit and vegetables, in particular, are kept for plus transportation times, they’re not exactly fresh by the time they make it to our kitchens.
Farmers Markets are also a great spot to try up and coming cafes or restaurants as well. They are a great place of discovery and if you go towards the end of the opening hours, you’re sure to get a number of great bargains too.
5. Make weekday brunch a regular occurrence
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I know if you’re a 9 – 5’er this can be a little difficult. Perhaps it will be a little less brunch and a little more breakfast, but either way, there are so many great cafes to check out during the week without the crowds.
Brunch or going out for breakfast on the weekend is one of my all-time favourite things to do, so this year I want to bring even more enjoyment to my weekdays and do it more regularly.
6. Dine on an Observation Wheel
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Obviously, the London Eye is one of the more iconic observation wheels, but Australia has some great ones too. On most of the scenic rides, you can also dine in a VIP carriage whilst sipping champagne.
In Brisbane, you can enjoy a gourmet dessert platter with wine.
7. Host a dessert dinner party
Image credit: http://www.pexels.com
So this is a bit of a silly new year’s resolution, but people are continuously asking for dessert tours, which got me thinking about how many dessert options there really are. There is so much from healthy to sickly sweet and a lot of different options in between that you can really make a few courses to suit a number of different taste buds.
It is something I’m still putting together in my mind, but when I get a clearer idea of what dishes I will do, I’ll be sure to share them with you.
8. Attend an event(s) as part of the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Image credit: http://www.theworlds50best.com/
The 50 Best programme will coincide with Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, now in its 25th year, over a week of foodie events from 31st March to 9th April.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards event on 5th April will see the elite of the culinary world – chefs, media, VIPs and even some fortunate food-lovers – descend on Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building for the ultimate gastronomic party. There’ll be a host of other events you can take part in, whether in person or via our social media channels.
For more details check out their official site.
9. Take a cooking class in your favourite cuisine
Image credit: http://www.pexels.com
I love doing cooking classes, especially when travelling. It’s a great way to experience local ingredients and dishes and getting a better understanding of the food culture.
Funnily enough, my favourite cuisine is Indian, however, I have never done an Indian cooking class, so it is something I definitely want to do this year.
Simply Google cooking classes or schools in your area and there are bound to be a number of great options.
10. Have breakfast in bed every week
Image credit: http://www.pexels.com
So this might be something I love doing, but for some reason never seem to do it that often. Obviously, it’s really nice to have someone bring you breakfast in bed, but if that’s not an option there is certainly no harm in doing it for yourself.
Breakfast in bed means there are very little distractions and it gives you a chance to just sit back, relax and enjoy your food perhaps with a good book. Pure bliss!
We’d love to hear about your foodie new year’s resolutions in the comments below. Do any of these inspire you?
Christmas is yet again just around the corner, and with the weather heating up down under, these Christmas cocktails will both refresh you and get you in the festive spirit.
This cocktail screams Christmas and is quite unique with the scent of rosemary combined with the herbaceous tones of gin. It’s not all herbaceous tones, bringing together a juxtaposition of tart, sweet and pine. It both looks like and smells like Christmas, so how can you go wrong, it makes a wonderful Christmas cocktail?!
Recipe and Image via Creative Culinary
- 1/4 cup gin
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp rosemary simple syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 sprig rosemary. Boil water until sugar dissolves, remove from heat, add rosemary and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Remove rosemary and refrigerate simple syrup)
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate juice
- Club soda, chilled
- Rosemary sprigs and pomegranate arils for garnish
- Mix gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and pomegranate juice in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously 10-12 times then pour over ice in a lowball glass
- Top with club soda and stir gently.
- Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a large spoonful of pomegranate arils
This is a quick and simple sangria made with fresh strawberries, rosé wine, and kicked up with some vodka! It’s light, refreshing, and fruity, perfect for a warm Christmas day.
Recipe and Image via Jennifer Meyering
- 1 bottle (750 ml) rosé wine
- 1 cup strawberry flavoured vodka
- 2 1/2 cups lemon-lime soda
- 1/4 cup stevia or sugar optional
- 8-10 large strawberries hulled and sliced
- In a large pitcher, combine wine, vodka, and 1/2 of the strawberries. Taste for sweetness and add sweetener if necessary, and stir.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 6.
- Just before serving, add Sprite, the rest of strawberries and gently stir.
- Serve over ice with strawberry garnish.
This final Christmas cocktail also looks like Christmas with its cute red and green colours but will require a little more time to prepare. Lucky you’ve got a couple of other options to drink while you’re waiting!
This Moscow Mule is a refreshing spin on the classic.
Recipe via Halfbaked Harvest
- Crushed ice
- 3/4 cup ginger beer
- 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
- 30 -60 ml vodka (depending on your taste)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- Pomegranate arils, for topping
- Candied mint, for garnish (recipe below)
Candied Mint Leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Fill your glass with ice.
- Add the ginger beer, pomegranate juice, vodka and lime juice.
- Stir to combine.
- Garnish with pomegranate arils and candied mint.
Candied Mint Leaves
- Gently dip each mint leave in water and then cover in sugar. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining leaves.
- Allow the leaves to dry 3-6 hours at room temperature.
- The mint can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
So, there you have three festive cocktails to make your Christmas even more colourful. Enjoy!
Image credit: Pterodactyl Helicopters
When I set up Delectable Tours, I wanted to work with a support other great businesses, and one of those is Pterodactyl Helicopters.
Mike and his team offer helicopter tours through the scenic areas of Ipswich, Brisbane, The Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Logan and Redlands regions. They regularly work with 63 on the ground experiences and each one is fantastic in their own right.
Mike, also know as Captain Mike is the Chief Pilot of Pterodactyl Helicopters. He is a character that will certainly enhance your experience. Mike’s passion is clear, he loves the flying, the people, and the challenge in finding new products that haven’t been done before. This passion and these products are exactly what have won the Pterodactyl Helicopter a number of awards including, Ipswich Chamber Tourism and events 2015 Runner-up, Ipswich Chamber Small Business of the Year 2016 Winner, and Ipswich Chamber Customer Service Award 2016 Runner-up.
Image: Captin Mike, credit: Lockyer Valley Visitor Centre
Like us, their helicopter tours allows you to sample delicious local food and wine and meet real Australians along the way. They offer numerous helicopter experiences with everything from joy rides to group experiences and so much in between!
I think one of the unique helicopter tours they do are country pub crawls. You can choose a tour of three to five of the best country pubs in the region stopping for a beer at each pub and a great pub lunch at one. Who would have thought helicopter pub crawls were a thing? Amazing!
If you’re not a beer drinker, you might like to check out their wine tours. Mike and his team have hand-picked some of the region’s best boutique wineries to show you by helicopter. Their pilots will fly you in comfort while you sit back in the helicopter, relax and enjoy breathtaking views matched by premium quality wines served by the region’s finest winemakers where you can select a bottle of wine from each winery to take home. And, of course, you can’t go hungry, so they also include a two-course lunch.
Not only can you go wine tasting or beer tasting via helicopter, but you can also enjoy a romance or indulgence package. These are the types of tours we are also working together on.
They can customise tours to your requests, or you can enjoy one of their packages like the Total Indulgence Country Wine Tour.
This tour includes:
Hotel/airport transfers by limousine
Meals – Lunch
Wine tasting at 3 wineries by helicopter – all entrance fees mentioned on the program
Image: Spicers Hiddenvale Retreat, credit: Pterodactyl Helicopters
So, if you’re looking for a great way to experience some of the Queensland landscape, food and wine, why not check out what experiences Mike and his team can put together for you?
Other than the indigenous climate and produce, Australian cuisine has been derived from the tastes and produce of immigrant settlers. Immigrants from the Mediterranean have had a particularly strong influence on Australia’s food culture. We’re now seeing more of this influence in the form of tapas bars and restaurants. It was also for this reason that we started offering a signature Mediterranean tour.
One of the things I love most about tapas is that with small bites, you can enjoy so many different flavours and taste a variety of dishes before filling up. So, why not make a delicious evening out of it and check out a few of Brisbane’s best tapas and drinks.
Here is my recommendation for a tasty evening of tapas.
First Stop – Elixir Rooftop Bar
Image credit: Visit Brisbane
This trendy, yet quaint rooftop bar is located in the heart of Fortitude Valley. With a combination of great cocktails, a great atmosphere, and friendly staff, it’s a great place to enjoy some tapas in a relaxed atmosphere.
If you’re a cheese-o-holic like myself, start with a delicious cheese board. It comes with three different cheese, quince paste, apple and lavosh. Do you really need some extra convincing?
I think it’s nice to kick things off with a refreshing cocktail like the Southside or Mojito.
If you love the vibe and enjoy your cocktails, stick around for some roast Kipfler potatoes with smoked tomato aioli or chicken and chorizo skewers.
Second Stop – Bistro Alegria
Image credit: Bistro Alegria
Located in the inner-suburb of Milton, Alegria’s menu stays true to the traditional flavours and taste sensations of rustic Mediterranean cooking.
Alegria is founded on a rich tradition of the powerful but elegant purity of Mediterranean fusion cuisine. Thier menu features the rustic influence of Spanish, Greek, Italian, and French culture, and changes seasonally.
This is certainly a more traditional venue for tapas. You will be taken to the Mediterranean as soon as you walk in the door.
Two dishes on their current menu I would definitely recommend are the pork, pea and potato croquettes and the octopus with chorizo, paprika and caramelised cauliflower. Both of these pair well with prosecco, but if prosecco doesn’t float your boat, the staff will be more than happy to find something else more to your liking.
Third Stop – Public
Image credit: The Weekend Edition
The innovative modern Australian share plates and creative cocktails at Public make it a great last stop for a tapas adventure with a really Australian twist.
Perched in a glass box, Public is part kitchen, part bar, and part New York loft. Again, some menu items will be available year round, while others will change seasonally to reflect their commitment to utilising fresh local ingredients.
One dish that is always on the menu and for good reason is their KFD. Kentucky Fried Duck with corn and lime. This dish is always a favourite with our guests. Another great dish is the brisket with chipotle and Oaxaca. Why not get a couple of sides to complete the meal like salt ‘n’ vinegar fries and Iceberg with green goddess dressing and you’ve got a delicious meal to devour.
As they have both a great wine and cocktail list, I’d recommend having some wine with your food and capping off your evening with a yummy cocktail like ‘A Parting Gift.’
With six different dishes, cocktails and wine you’re sure to have a great evening!
We all have that friend or family member who finds it painful when they have to hang out with people who don’t love food nearly as much as them. And, we know they experience a whole other level of hangry so we’ve put together a list of 9 delicious Christmas gifts for foodies to satisfy their taste buds.
From products to books and even experiences this list is sure to please even the most dedicated of foodies.
Image Credit: Urban Outfitters
For something fun and even a little quirky, this doughnut mug will surely give them a delicious start to their day. Coffee and a doughnut all-in-one, who could complain? This donut-shaped mug is crafted from stoneware and finished with glaze.
Image Credit: Üllo
This Üllo Wine Purifier is like the Brita but for wine. It simultaneously aerates the wine and removes sulphates, making it taste better and even easier for our bodies to digest. You can also check out this in-depth review by Wine Turtle.
Image Credit: Back to the Roots
Bring this mini ecosystem home, and take the family on a journey of food discovery!
Back to the Roots solved all of your urban gardening woes with its easy-to-use gardening starters — they have everything from Garden-in-a-Jar kits, Mushroom Farms, and Self-Watering Planters. These Water Gardens, in particular, are ingenious for the home cook.
Image Credit: Booktopia
This is certainly and oldie, but definitely still a goodie. Written by famed French Gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin this book is essential reading for budding epicureans. Now translated, the book offers eloquent and philosophical examinations of not just food and eating but examines foods role in everything from our dreams to our death. It is a must-read and makes a great Christmas gift for foodies.
Image Credit: Penguin Publishing
Carneval presents itself as a “celebration of meat, in recipes”, but is also a highly thoughtful treatise on meat eating. It’s refreshing to be urged to eat less but better. That said, you might need a lot of self-control from the looks of these recipes.
Image Credit: The Nile
A little more light-hearted than the previous two books, Driving Hungry takes you on a fun food travel journey, telling the story of a great foodie business. When Layne Mosler asked her taxi driver in Buenos Aires to take her to his favourite restaurant, she didn’t expect that it would spark the idea for Taxi Gourmet, a blog with a cult-following chronicling Mosler’s adventures eating with taxi drivers all over the world.
Cooking Class – LONG APRON COOKING SCHOOL
Image Credit: Spicers Retreats
Cooking classes are a great hands-on experience for foodies to expand their skills and nourish their palates.
For Queensland based foodies, The Long Apron Cooking Skill can make a wonderful gift. To be the best, you have to learn from the best and chef Cameron Matthews is one of Queensland’s fine dining leaders. The specialist in European cuisine holds hands-on, French and Italian group classes at the beautiful Spicers Clovelly Retreat extending his passion, knowledge and skills to students in a relaxed, yet educational format.
Customised Food Tour – DELECTABLE TOURS
Image Credit: Delectable Tours
We may be a little bias, but our customised food tours are always so popular with foodies because they can tell us a little about what they do and don’t like and we then create an experience specially catered to their tastes and desires. It’s a great present for foodies to be able to just sit back, enjoy themselves, and experience a number of great restaurants in the one night. If they’re not Brisbane based, it also gives them a chance to do a little food travel!
Unique Dining Experience – TEST KITCHENS, THOMPSON’S RESERVE
Image Credit: New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites
One of Brisbane’s unique dining experiences is at Thomson’s Reserve. This restaurant does a good job of hiding itself away in Spring Hill’s New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites. Every second Monday, this fine dining venue holds a Test Kitchen, where guests can enjoy a 5-course degustation dinner of innovative Australian cuisine crafted by Thomson’s Reserve chefs just for the evening.
Not quite sure exactly what they’d like? Well, why not grab them a gift voucher and let them customise their experience to their tastes?
I recently had the pleasure of meeting the family behind the award-winning GrandVewe farm. The Tasmania property produces a variety of sheep cheeses and accompanying gourmet products, as well as a small distillery, Harthorn Distillery.
Sheep’s cheese isn’t out of the ordinary, but sheep’s why vodka and gin, well now that’s a little more out of the ordinary. In fact, Hartshorn Distillery are the first in the world to create this unique product.
It may sound quite strange, but in all honesty, it is the smoothest, well-balanced vodka I have ever tasted! It is officially described as having a delicately sweet bouquet and extremely smooth finish, thanks to the dairy influence and traditional ageing methods.
I also love that they are the smallest distillery in Australia only making small 10 bottle batches. Each bottle and label is hand painted by head distiller Ryan, and are unfiltered meaning you can enjoy a spirit with more character and complexity.
They also do a delicious Vanilla Whey Liquor, which would make the perfect accompaniment for dessert.
If you’re interested in getting your hands on these divine bottles, you can buy it online via their site.
Although I don’t often drink vodka straight, this is definitely smooth enough to drink on its own. However, if you’d like it in a mix, here is a cocktail you might like to try it in.
Image and recipe via www.delish.com
2 oz. sheep’s whey vodka
1 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 simple syrup
Lime wedge, for serving
Shake vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup. Pour over a coupe and garnish with lime wedge.
If you’re looking for some delicious things to do in Brisbane on a Saturday morning in the city, then this post was written for you!
Although many of Brisbane CBD’s great little restaurants and cafes close on the weekend (particularly in the mornings) there is still plenty close by (and even in the heart of the CBD) for foodies.
Here is something I love to do on a Saturday morning in Brisbane. From markets, coffee, a walk, and brunch this is full of yummy delights! What more could you want?! Okay, there could be a few more things on your wishlist, but it’s certainly not a bad start.
Whether you like to kick-off your weekend early or enjoy a sleep in, you can still enjoy all of these activities, as long as you’re up before midday!
Cruise Along the River
From the city, give yourself the chance to enjoy the city sights from the water with a ride on Brisbane’s free City Hopper ferry. It is a reasonably short ride to the Jan Powers Powerhouse Farmers Markets at New Farm.
- Jan Powers Power House Farmers Markets – Image credit: maccrerentals.com.au
These Saturday morning markets are quintessential on lists of things to do in Brisbane and a great spot for foodies. These markets run from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm. Grab yourself some fresh produce or simply pick up some great snacks to sustain you through the weekend. If you are planning on buying fresh produce, you might want to alter your itinerary to drop it off before brunch.
- Di Bella Coffee – Image credit: mimimusttry.com.au
Obviously, you’ll need to rehydrate or re-caffeinate. If coffee is your poison of choice, grab a Di Bella coffee. Di Bella Coffee was established in 2002 and has rapidly grown to become Australia’s leading speciality coffee company, offering consistent quality with an emphasis on excellence in customer service. And their coffee is pretty delicious too!
- Nodo Donuts – Image credit: nododonuts.com.au
NoDo makes and bakes their doughnuts fresh daily. Yep, that’s right – they’re not fried and some aren’t even baked. This might not be anything new to you if you’re a long-standing NoDo fan, but I especially love that they are free from sugar, egg, dairy, and gluten. I recommend trying the Love Spell – perfect for the chocoholic!
- Bagel Boys Bagels – Image credit gourmandandgourmet.com.au
Another great option are the bagels from The Bagel Boys. The sunflower and rye, blueberry or cinnamon and raisin are all delicious!
- Goat Pie Guy – Image credit aroundyou.com.au
If you’re in the mood for something hot, it would be a sin to leave without a visit to the Goat Pie Guy. You may even want to get some to reheat if you’re into that. The signature – The Deluxe Goat Pie is definitely worth a try.
If you’ve eaten your way around the markets and don’t feel super hungry, you might want to recover by catching a few rays in New Farm Park or go for a walk along the river.
Although I could easily give you a list of 10 or more cafes in the area for brunch, I’m going to recommend one that doesn’t require a huge walk just in case you’ve got an armful of shopping.
Just up the road from the New Farm park is the delicious Pablo cafe situated on Brunswick street.
Every time I’ve been here I’ve had a delicious meal, but there are a couple of items I highly recommend. If you aren’t sick of avo on toast yet, try their smashed avocado on sourdough. It comes with grilled halloumi, macadamia black sesame dukkah, minted labneh, heirloom tomato, virgin lemon myrtle oil, radish, herb salad and fresh lemon. Alternatively, try the Middle Eastern Breakfast. It is amazing!
This is a dish of herb tabbouleh, cumin roast pumpkin, house made hummus, beetroot puree, grilled halloumi, toasted Turkish bread, dukkah, and a free range fried egg. Delish!
Please note that they change their menus seasonally so these items won’t always be on the menu.
Now, what are you going to do after brunch? How about a spot of shopping and a drink at one of the many bars in the James street area to top it off? Or, why not continue your food journey with one of our delicious tours?
Enjoy your Saturday!
Want more inspiration for things to do in Brisbane?
I’m sure you’ll agree that with the stress of Christmas and the holiday period in general, quality time with friends and family is hard to come by. Now, you may be thinking, I’d rather avoid my family, but if you’re one of the 69% surveyed by the McCrindle Research group, you actually want to see them more.
Yep! Believe it or not, this study found that the number one thing Australians want for Christmas is time with friends and family. So, put your wallet away, rock up to your family Christmas and you’re set, right? Well, maybe Grandma would say she’s just happy to see you, but let’s be honest, we all want a little more.
I used to get so stressed by the thought of what I was going to buy everyone for Christmas, and we all have that difficult person to buy for! It was at this point that I started to think about what I could give them that they’d really treasure.
I’m quite the sentimental one and believe it’s the experiences we have in life that we remember the most. That day where you did something special, something you’ve never done before, or something that makes you feel alive! It is with all of this in mind that I created Delectable Tours.
If you or your loved ones fancy yourselves as a bit of a foodie, these are the perfect gift! (Okay, I may be a little bias) These unique experiences allow both friends and family to just sit back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company, and of course enjoy some amazing food and drinks too!
I know not everyone is interested in food tours and that’s totally cool. We’re all different! No matter your interests there are tons of experiences you can share. These don’t have to be expensive either. If you know someone who loves to play games, get them a game that you can play together, or if you love being active, you could get bikes for the whole family to go on rides together.
So why not give your friends and family what they really want this Christmas, and consider putting experiences on your shopping list.
Brisbane is evolving into one of Australia’s hot spots for both casual and fine dining. So, now is the perfect time to discover the emerging Brisbane food scene in a whole new way.
Indulge in the Delicious Brisbane Food Scene
It is no wonder that Brisbane offers excellent food when you consider the amazing variety and quality of local produce surrounding the city. However, it isn’t just the quality of ingredients that Brisbane is now being recognised for. Brisbane’s food culture, cafes, restaurants and local talent are being recognised for making the city a foodie hot spot.
The emerging food scene is still somewhat of a hidden secret, just like Queensland’s wine industry. It is something only locals seem to know about, but that is all about to change.
Experience Brisbane’s Food Scene in a New Way
Delectable Tours have come to Brisbane to showcase some of the city’s best food and local produce to visitors and local food lovers alike.
It is an exciting time to be involved in Brisbane’s emerging food scene. The world needs to know just how much we have to offer when it comes to exceptional food.
Delectable Tours were established in Brisbane to show the world just how good the city’s food scene has become. And, whilst there are existing food tour companies in Brisbane, there was no one focusing on what is local. This is paramount to what Delectable Tours offer. Additionally, no one offered guests a complete experience, taking them to different areas in one tour. Delectable Tours fill this gap, providing locally inspired foodie experiences tailored to your tastes.
The company specialises in providing a unique way to experience the city and the Brisbane food scene with personalised progressive dining experiences. Guests can experience local food that matches their tastes and desires.
A Taste of Queensland
In addition to these completely customised experiences, Delectable Tours offer a number of signature tours, including, A Taste of Queensland. This tour has been put together especially for international visitors. A Taste of Queensland is the perfect introduction to some of Queensland’s most renowned local produce and flavours. This tour allows guests to indulge in a four-hour journey of local foodie delights.
Now is the perfect time to experience the city’s vibrant food culture with Brisbane’s food scene on the rise.
When it comes to fresh produce, Queensland is spoilt not only for choice, but also exceptional quality. With the Lockyer Valley in the South Eastern part of the state (known as South East Queensland’s Salad Bowl), the sub-tropical waters along the entire coast, the Atherton Tablelands in the far north, and many other fertile areas in between, Queensland produces some of the country’s best ingredients.
However, it isn’t just the quality of ingredients that Queensland, and specifically Brisbane are now being recognised for, it is also the food culture, the cafes, restaurants and local talent that is making the state a foodie hot spot.
These five iconic ingredients are things we believe you must try when you’re in Brisbane. And, with good food must come a good drink, so we’ve also included 3 quality beverages that Queensland is also doing really, REALLY well!
#1 Iconic Queensland Food Ingredient – Bananas
Did you know that bananas are Australia’s number-one selling supermarket product? Which is great news for our local farmers because all fresh bananas available in Australia are grown in Australia. What can we say? We go bananas for our bananas!
They are Australia’s single biggest horticulture industry and the largest horticulture industry in Queensland. About 95% of this production comes from North Queensland in the Tully, Innisfail and Kennedy regions south of Cairns, on the Atherton Tablelands to the west of Cairns, north of Cairns near Mossman and further north at Lakeland Downs and Hopevale near Cooktown. Other production areas are in South East Queensland, northern New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Most bananas grown in Australia are the Cavendish variety, and although they are delicious on their own, we recommend trying them in a locally made banana bread. There are many places to get your hands on this sweet delight, but one place you might want to try is Alcove Cafe. If you’re after a fruity treat, their house-made banana bread is pretty darn good. Have it served hot with butter or add some honey ricotta for an extra kick.
#2 Iconic Queensland Food Ingredient – Seafood
Queensland is renowned for its Moreton Bay Prawns and Bugs, as well as its Barramundi. This mouth-watering seafood is in high-demand both locally and from afar, which makes prawn farming the largest aquaculture sector in Queensland, followed second by barramundi production. And, did you know that barramundi can be grown in the sea and freshwater? Cool fact, eh?
We all know that seafood tastes best fresh, so what better place to enjoy it than just down the road from where it was caught?
When dining on the Gold Coast, to Brisbane, to the Sunshine Coast and further north, you will be spoilt for choice of quality seafood. There are so many places and dishes that you could try that it really is hard to pick just one. But, if you’re in Brisbane, make sure you check out Portside Fresh N Wild Fish. Treat yourself to some fish and chips and enjoy them by the water.
#3 Iconic Queensland Food Ingredient – Nuts
Us Aussies are quite the competitive bunch and we love to be first. Whilst this usually relates to sport or even wine and quality produce, in this case we’re talking about peanut butter. Yep. Believe it or not, but the world’s first commercially available peanut butter was made in Australia by the Sanitarium Health Food Company and was launched commercially several years before peanut butter was first sold commercially in the USA.
Although peanuts aren’t native to Australia, peanuts are a key agricultural industry in Queensland, which produces more than 95% of the national output.
So, we practically introduced the world to the deliciousness of peanut butter and produce a lot of peanuts here in Queensland, so obviously we know how to make some pretty tasty dishes with the ingredient too. Makes sense right?
With ever changing menus and new places popping up all the time it is pretty hard to pinpoint just one peanut dish you’ve got to try, but we reckon the Peanut Butter Cheesecake from Chester Street Bakery is definitely worth a try!
Although we can’t claim the humble peanut as our own, we can take pride in calling macadamias our very own home-grown ingredient. In fact, Australia’s Aboriginal people have been eating the native macadamia nuts for thousands of years.
The first commercial orchard was planted at Rous Hill, near Lismore, however, nut cracking machinery was not imported until the 1940s, so the industry took a while to really take off down under.
For a macadamia treat, get on down to the Noosa Chocolate factory and get yourself some chocolate coated macadamias.
#4 Iconic Queensland Food Ingredient – Ginger
In comparison to leading ginger producing nations, Australia is a relatively small producer. Australia’s contribution represents less than 1% of global production. Ginger production in Australia is predominantly located throughout Queensland in the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay–Burnett regions.
From a small farming community in the pre World War 1 days, to one of the world’s finest ginger producers, food processors and tourist destinations, Buderim Ginger is a long-standing and proudly successful Australian business. Buderim Ginger has also earned global recognition for producing the World’s Finest Ginger and we highly recommend trying their ginger beer – It’s AMAZING!
#5 Iconic Queensland Food Ingredient – Cheese
When it comes to cheese, Queenslanders are spoilt for choice. From creamy marinated feta to delicious buffalo varieties, choosing a delicious Queensland cheese is made easy with several dedicated cheesemakers producing top quality products in a diversity of styles.
In Queensland, according to Subtropical Dairy and the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation, there are about 175,000 milking cows, which is also why Queensland makes many cheeses.
Whilst many cafes and restaurants will use locally produced cheese, we think one of the best ways to enjoy it is on a platter with some friends and yummy wine or beer. Check out Sourced Grocer‘s variety of local cheeses to create your local platter.
Queensland’s Coffee Industry
It isn’t widely available or well-known, but did you know that Australia, and specifically Queensland has its own coffee growing region? The Australian subtropical coffee is grown in an area stretching between Noosa in the north and Coffs Harbour in the south (okay, so it’s also in NSW). and produces coffee of superb quality and flavour.
One of the advantages of growing coffee in the subtropics is the long slow ripening period. The cooler climate and distance from the equator gives our coffee a distinctive character increasingly recognised for its complex flavour profile, medium to low acidity and natural sweetness.
But, before you get too excited, it is a very small and niche industry and is hard to come by on a commercial level. However, don’t despair, Brisbane has an ever-growing coffee scene and dedicated local roasters who are raising the profile of Queensland’s cafe scene with delicious coffee.
Brisbane now has a number of exceptional coffee roasters, and one we think you should definitely check out is Fonzie Abbott.
Queensland’s Wine Industry
Not many people think Queensland and immediately think of wine (okay, very few), and that’s because Queensland’s wine industry is one of the State’s best keep secrets!
However, Queensland’s wine industry dates back to the 1860′s – and like all good wines it has developed with age. It’s easy to lose count of the number of passionate vignerons and their families who warmly welcome visitors to experience the fruits of their labours. Within a couple of key Queensland grape growing regions, there are a number of award winning wines.
It is always great to taste the wines and chat to the winemakers at the cellar door, which you can do with companies like Tash Maree Travel.
If you don’t want to travel out of the city, you can try some local wines (amongst other local beverages) at Fitz + Potts.
Queensland’s Beer Industry
A few years ago if you asked someone about Queensland beer, they probably would have only been able to tell you about the infamous XXXX Gold. But just because it is the state’s best known beer (well used to be), it doesn’t mean it is the best tasting beer.
There are more than 10 microbreweries in the greater city region, and we’d highly recommend a pub crawl to them all. However, if you don’t have the time, head to Saccharomyces Beer Cafe for a sampling of many local beers.