Discover how a small Bundaberg cafe beat the state’s best restaurants to become Queensland’s favourite cafe twice in this food podcast, including the recipe for success used by owners Larry and Amanda Hinds.
Larry and Amanda Hinds have a recipe for success
When Indulge Cafe won the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide in People’s Choice award in 2015 and 2016, it came as something of a surprise except to those who had eaten there. Established by passionate food lovers Amanda and Larry Hinds, this cafe was a catalyst that has propelled local farmers into the spotlight as premium primary producers.
In 2016 Larry and Amanda sold their cafe to their sous chef Mitchell White who shares their passion for local produce and continues to create amazing dishes for an appreciative audience. They went on to establish Emeraude in the Hampton micro-region, another amazing food bowl located just out of Toowoomba. Sadly, due to a septic tank issue, the restaurant closed in 2020. Amanda and Larry continued to delight food lovers with Emeraude pop-ups at Bunnyconnellen.
Their latest venture, Myrtille, a European bistro and My Little Blueberry, a patisserie, opened in April 2022. Located at Crows Nest in a restored 105-year-old building. This is definitely a team effort with the whole Hinds family, Larry and Amanda, son Oliver and daughter Sabine, welcoming guests to their new abode. The moody decor of Myrtille echos the full-flavoured, hearty food filled with locally sourced ingredients that I have come to expect from the Hinds.
My Little Blueberry promises baked delights that will easily drag the drive market from Brisbane. This will be a place for coffee, cake, pies and eclairs. You will leave with bags stuffed full of the pastries that you can’t resist, ready to enjoy at home.
The formula that drove Indulge to such heights was not an accident but the result of much hard work and planning. In this food podcast on Spotify. I chat to Amanda about the secrets behind their success and discover how they became Queensland’s favourite cafe twice!
Emeraude at Hampton
The Hinds (pictured above with daughter Sabine in a photo taken several years ago) moved to a new region, the cool climate Hampton located on the New England Highway just outside Toowoomba on the escarpment of the Great Dividing Range. Amanda’s Emeraude, a micro-region eatery, again focused on showcasing local produce at its best.
Back at Indulge, Amanda was always adamant that the rich red tomatoes, the full-flavoured potatoes, the crisp capsicums, luscious eggplants, and the vibrant ginger make all the difference to the meals she dished up to eager crowds. “There’s something very special about knowing where your food comes from and who grew it,” says Amanda. Now she is working with luscious blueberries, amazing rhubarb and locally grown exotic mushrooms.
Queensland’s favourite Cafe Indulge under Amanda and Larry Hinds
I clearly remember my first meal at Indulge. It was scrambled eggs dusted with thinly sliced truffle and anointed with duck ham. My first taste of duck ham. I was fascinated with the flavour and eager to find out more. Amanda revealed it was something she ‘cooked up’ with Rick, the local butcher at The Chop Shop.
The menu of Indulge reflected whatever fruits, vegetables and seafood were in peak season. Farmers often appeared at Amanda’s back door with their arms full of the best of their crops. Later they sat in the café and smiled to themselves as patrons ordered their produce turned into tasty dishes. But the real reward for them was hearing the oohs and aahs as the dishes disappeared down eager throats. It clearly deserved the title of Queensland’s favourite cafe.
Where is Indulge Cafe?
Although no longer Queensland’s favourite cafe, you’ll find Indulge Café at 80 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg, and they are still serving up amazing dishes. I highly recommend it for people who like to support local and anyone who enjoys good food.
What to do in Bundaberg
As well as having some seriously good food, Bundaberg is a gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Here are some suggestions for your next visit.