Brisbane’s #1 restaurant, business is booming, another bakery queue, new vego takeaway, bottomless brunch, dessert is sorted, and the perfect Brisbane getaway.  It’s all in Feast on Brisbane #39, a carefully curated collection of the best food to find.

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Feast on Brisbane #39

Spice Central Kitchen & Bar Lamb Rack

Feast on Brisbane #39 with 8 Top Bites

Here’s your food week sorted.

Brisbane’s #1 Restaurant

Where is Brisbane’s #1 restaurant?  According to Tripadvisor, it is Novotel Brisbane South Bank’s Spice Central Kitchen & Bar. Hotel General Manager Jean-Phillippe Lagarde says there is a great misconception about the standards of hotel restaurants.  “We have demonstrated that we can serve quality and refined dishes and are able to be up there with the best in the city.” Find it at 38 Cordelia St, South Brisbane. Menu highlights include Pasta al Nero’ Grilled Octopus ala Luciana’, Mirin and soy glazed Atlantic Salmon with braised shitake and beans, four-hour slow cooked Braised Lamb Shank and locally sourced Toowoomba Borrowdale pork tenderloin. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast and dinner, and lunch on Friday and Saturday only. More here 

Three new restaurants a day

Yep, business is booming in Brisbane with the Brisbane City Council granting 852 new food licences for restaurants and cafes since the start of 2021. That’s up 20 per cent on last year and works out at about three a day.  It certainly seems like it from this food writer’s point of view.  Despite a lack of feet in the CBD, applications were received for 73 new food licences, but most are the burbs where people have been hiding during COVID. As COVID restrictions ease and border restrictions are scaled back the true state of the industry will be revealed. Will they all be there in January 2022?

Brisbane’s best vego restaurant now does takeaway

Famed vegetarian restaurant ZA ZA TA (more about ZA ZA TA here) has just launched takeaway. The menu includes Woodfired Za’atar Flatbread, Olive Oil Yemenite with Zhug Chilli or Silverbeet and Fine Cultures Feta Borek with Tomato Salsa, to start. For something small to share, the Burnt Capsicum with Rose Harissa and Lemon Thyme as well as the Old School Hummus with Braised Chickpeas and Jackfruit are the perfect Netflix and chill snack to warm your heart. Check out the menu which is available for pick up from Wednesday to Saturday via ZA ZA TA or the Hungry Hungry app.

Another reason to queue

A long line of people outside a cult bakery is starting to become commonplace.  On the Southside we have Lune at West End and Christian Jaques at Kangaroo Point.  From Thursday the queues will be back for the malt bread with smoked butter, kouign-amann pastries and basque cheesecakes that made Agnes Bakery a headliner during COVID lockdown last year.  There will also be a full larder stocked by Agnes Restaurant. Find it at 85 James Street or just follow your nose.

Restaurant quality reheats

If you have exhausted every supermarket reheat meal option and need some new tastes, Shannon Kellam at Montrachet has designed a range of restaurant-quality meals which are available for purchase at King Street Bakery. Dinner couldn’t be easier – just microwave and serve. You can keep them in the fridge for a week.

Festive seafood cooking class

Learn how to make seafood dishes ideal for the Queensland summer featuring the highest-quality seafood from The Fish Factory, Brisbane’s longest-serving seafood market, at Lumiere Culinary Studio. You’ll start in the kitchen and finish up in the dining room with a tagine built by you. You’ll also get 10% off at The Fish Factory. See the class line up here.   These are my tips on how to buy the freshest seafood.

New bottomless brunch

W Brisbane’s Three Blue Ducks will be plating up an epic alfresco style menu by Andy Allen, alongside live acoustic music and sweeping Brisbane River views every Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm. Curated by Andy Allen of Three Blue Ducks, the menu features nine signature dishes echoing the Ducks’ famed paddock to plate ethos and fresh dining philosophy. Seafood is the star of the menu, featuring Moreton Bay Bugs with fermented chilli & lemon, freshly shucked oysters with mango hot sauce, raw kingfish with chilli ginger dressing and pawpaw and grilled local prawns with pickled seaweed, chilli, garlic and avocado mousse. Round it all off with a light and summery dessert of sea salt meringue with berries, yoghurt ice-cream, lemon curd and macadamia crunch, or you can’t go wrong with a classic vanilla ice-cream sundae with fresh mango, passionfruit and salted caramel. Guests will also get exclusive access to WET Pool afterwards to make a day of it and spend their Sunday lounging poolside at W Brisbane. Price $90pp food only or $126pp for bottomless drinks package. Bookings 

Christmas dessert sorted

Looking for some awesome Christmas dessert ideas? I’m a bit taken by this hands-on class taught by chef Savannah Haigh from the Agnes restaurant group at The Golden Pig.  It covers a multitude of dessert techniques that will see you become a sugar wizard and create absolutely delicious desserts like Mango, Coconut & Lychee Crumble Trifle, Strawberry, Elderflower & Almond mille feuille, and Passionfruit, Peach and Jasmine ‘Eton’ mess. There’s also a Learn how to make a gingerbread house class or I have some tips here.  More about The Golden Pig cooking classes

Plan your next escape

*5 Queensland food tours 

Here are five Queensland food tours to feast on this summer. Pair a Queensland day tour with a tropical getaway and you have a food lovers delight. From now until 31 October 2021, you can grab a Great Queensland Getaway for travel through until 23 January 2022.  There are $75 Virgin flights and up to 50 per cent off Great Queensland Getaway foodie experiences.

Snorkel Southern Great Barrier Reef from Brisbane

Alliance Airlines and Lady Musgrave Experience have a new Great Barrier Reef Day Trip package to the pristine Southern Great Barrier Reef. It includes charter flights from Brisbane and Bundaberg and a day trip to the newest reef experience on the Reef, the Lady Musgrave HQ pontoon. When you arrive in Bundaberg, there is a transfer to Bundaberg Port Marina to board luxury catamaran Main Event for the journey to Lady Musgrave Island.  Once at the coral cay and its surrounding 1,400-hectare lagoon, the day will be spent snorkelling, taking a guided tour of Lady Musgrave Island and a trip on a glass-bottom boat through the Lady Musgrave lagoon and reef. Morning and afternoon tea is included as well as a buffet lunch featuring seafood, cold meats, salads and more. The package costs up to $620 and launches on November 21. Book here

You can also do Lady Elliot Island in a day with a scenic flight from Brisbane.  Here’s how it works.

easy Christmas pudding recipe in a slow cooker

Feast on Brisbane #39 Recipe of the week – Christmas Pudding

This is the easiest Christmas Pudding recipe ever! So easy my friend MV makes 20 each year for her friends.  I’m lucky to be in that group and love getting my Christmas pud.  I make my favourite Rum Balls for her in return.  Here’s the Christmas pudding recipe which has been refined over many years for simplicity and flavour.

What happened last week in Brisbane? Check Feast on Brisbane #38