​Feast on Brisbane #43 has the 10 things every thinking Brisbane foodie needs to know about this week in Brisbane. It is quality all the way from new classic CBD dining and luscious strawberry ice cream to a taste of France and some special Sunshine Coast dining tips. Finally, proof that size does matter and tips to solve all your Christmas dilemmas.

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Feast on Brisbane #43 Rothwells


Feast on Brisbane #43 weekly top 10

There’s plenty to enjoy in this week’s Feast on Brisbane with new openings still taking plenty of attention.  I expect there will be a slow down as December madness hits and Christmas really starts to take centre stage.  Looking forward, it is hard to know how far the top is in 2022, but I will be gazing into my crystal ball to collate my 2022 predictions in the coming weeks.

Brisbane’s new classic CBD dining room

Hungry for a hit of timeless London or New York-style dining in Brisbane? New Rothwell’s Bar & Grill is the vision of Dan Clark (1889 Enoteca, Addley Clark Fine Wines) and Chef Ben Russell (Aria Sydney and Brisbane, Est Est Est).  They have distilled 25 years visiting some of the world’s iconic classic dining rooms and bars as their new venture.

Housed in the heritage-listed Rothwell’s building in the city’s luxury Edward Street precinct (the premises were formerly Jamie’s Italian), opposite Gucci, Rothwell’s channels The Savoy Grill in London and Musso & Frank Grill in Los Angeles.

“They are the places we love to eat because the food is terrific and the service is warm,” said Dan Clark.

The menu features favourites such as prawn cocktail, Moreton Bay bugs with café de Paris butter, Beef Wellington and as-you-like-it grass-fed T-bone steak.

The centrepiece of the 90-seat dining space is the Marble Bar. This is an expansive white Italian marble seated dining space where jacketed chefs will shuck oysters onto gorgeous custom silver trays handmade in London exclusively for Rothwell’s. Walls lined with cosy leather banquettes featuring vintage table lamps offer a more intimate dining experience.

The 40-seat Foyer Bar will serve timeless cocktails, the star of the menu being what promises to be the best Martini in town. Served bracingly cold in a smaller coupe glass with a top-up served alongside in an iced silver carafe, so your drink never strays from the perfect temperature. Other classic drinks such as The Old Fashioned, Gibson, Negroni and Hemingway Daquiri will be prepared to perfection to go with a classic bar menu of oysters, niçoise salad and a club sandwich.

An intimate private dining room, located in the restaurant’s cellar and surrounded by sandstone walls lined with more than 2,000 bottles of wine.

Ditch the pav for strawberry icecream

Three top Brisbane chefs have teamed up with medical research charity The Common Good to encourage families to ditch the pav and scoop up the last of this year’s Ekka Strawberry Ice cream. Buy a family-sized tub of this delicious ice cream, and you will fund one hour of medical research.  You can even choose where your research hour goes – heart disease, lung disease, dementia or mental health.

Brisbane’s top chefs – Shaun Hunt (Madame Wu and Chu the Phat), Javier Codina (Moda Tapas Brasa Bar) and Brendon Barker (Beach House Bar and Grill) have each created an easy recipe for home chefs using the ice cream

  • Mini Bombe Alaska – a sponge filled with Ekka strawberry ice cream, topped with glazed Italian meringue, served with fresh Queensland strawberries soaked in Queensland gin and strawberry and caramel sauces
  • Chocolate Steamed Bun – an Asian-inspired steamed chocolate bun filled with gooey chocolate and paired with Ekka strawberry ice cream.
  • Catalan Pyjamas – a traditional Spanish treat given a Brisbane spin with Ekka strawberry ice cream and fresh Queensland strawberries.

The limited-edition strawberry ice cream is available for pre-order now, with pick up from Thursday, December 9 across six different dates and three convenient locations.  To pre-order, visit The Common Good.

Taste the new Chef’s Menu

At C’est Bon in Woolloongabba, Chef Andy Ashby has a new carefully curated Chef’s Tasting menu that is sure to delight francophile foodies and those who love local produce.  The seasonal menu is a collaboration with local farmers, wineries, fromage makers and fisheries to create an experience worth remembering.

Available Friday and Saturday evenings, the menu has a choice of five or eight courses that heroes French-inspired cuisine. Standout dishes such as the Scampi Brulee with Buckwheat and Saltbush, which comes with an optional spoonful of caviar and the stellar Blood Orange with Champagne and Finger Lime dessert. Of course, your dining experience has other little delights, but I won’t spoil the surprises.

Opt for a matched wine pairing curated by C’est Bon Sommelier, Charles-William Gossart and enjoy a choice of Tour d’Australie, celebrating local wines, or Tour d’France, honouring C’est Bon’s French heritage in wines. Share countries with your partner, and you can alternate between French and Aussie wines as the courses change.

C’est Bon Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday to Friday. Do allow a little extra time for a pre-dinner drink at Le Bon Bar & Rooftop.

Size does matter

Brisbane Valley Quail started farming, processing, and distributing the world’s largest table quail next to the Wivenhoe Dam three years ago. It was a big change for a fourth-generation cattle and poultry producing family, but they hit the streets of Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne and South East Asia, and the quail is being gobbled up by astute chefs and their customers. Chefs Javier Codina and Jason Peppler staged a quail off at Moda Restaurant to demonstrate the deliciousness of these birds.  Both were winners as all dishes were the sort of food you’d come back for again. So look out for Brisbane Valley Quail on the menu next time you dine.

Weekend Fire Pit at Kenilworth Homestead

Draws inspiration from the traditional Argentinian Asado Barbeque, Terra Firma Dining has launched the Weekend Fire Pit at Kenilworth Homestead. This new weekly event invites food lovers to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland for a feast of local produce slow-cooked over an open flame. So bring a picnic blanket and tuck into a selection of three meats and seasonal produce.

It’s all happening in Palmwoods

It used to be a pretty, sleepy little hinterland village with a strong food culture, but Palmwoods is the centre of a new Sunshine Coast foodie revolution. Tony Kelly, the driving force behind some of the Sunshine Coast’s most iconic restaurants (Rice Boi, Spero, Giddy Geisha and Market Bistro), has expanded with a new restaurant in Palmwoods called Piggyback.

Iconic Palmwoods eatery Rick’s Garage has opened a bakery aptly named Rick’s Bakehouse next door. Home to a dedicated team of pastry chefs who create fresh sourdough loaves daily, pies, sandwiches and an eye-popping selection of sweet treats, The Bakehouse also supplies thousands of buns to the kitchen for the famous Rick’s Garage burger menu.

Head to the high country

Crows Nest fast becoming another country food hot spot.  This region, knowns as the High Country Hamlets, is a prodigious food bowl highlighted by the lovely Amanda Hinds and her husband, Larry.  Formerly of Emeraude in Hampton, they are now operating pop-ups at Bunnyconnellen until the restored buildings in Crows Nest are ready to welcome them.

In the meantime, Harpers County, operated by Shane and Tracey Ford, has opened at 22 Toowoomba Road, Crows Nest.  It’s a place to find great coffee and lovely country food. So put it on your day list visit list and follow on Instagram.

Cheap airfares for your Sydney or Melbourne getaway?

Rex is launching flights from Brisbane to Sydney and Melbourne from December 17 with a sale. Brisbane/Melbourne flights start at $79, and Brisbane/Sydney start at $69.  Rex offers a full service for passengers, including 23 kilograms of check-in luggage and free refreshments on board, so there are no hidden extras. Hop onto these Rex fares quick smart.

Finally, you can order your salads online!

Botanica Real Food has been my go-to for quality prepared salads and the occasional cupcake since it opened at Red Hill many years ago.  Now they have quite a few stores, but they have been taking orders by pen and paper, yes, pen and paper or over the phone for the past nine years.

Finally, they are online, and you can order via descriptions, photos, and, wait for it – a dietary filter.  Perfect for the gluten-free, lactose intolerant, vegan guest who hates coriander.  (You know I still love you!).

How to organise Christmas

I do love celebrating at Christmas, and this year we have some little ones to add to the excitement.  It’s going to be epic.

If you want to dine out, I have collated a Christmas Day Restaurant dining in Brisbane list with 35 options.

Dining at home?  I’ve updated my tips on planning an easy Christmas lunch so that you can enjoy the day.  It includes links to my favourite recipes, including many that can be made ahead of the day.  Do try the plum pudding!

Harris Farms watermelon cake

Recipe of the week – Watermelon Cake 

When you want a statement cake that’s not actually a cake and will be loved by all, including vegans, I have the answer!

Try this Watermelon Cake as a light dessert or Christmas brunch star.  It worked for me.

What happened last week in Brisbane? Check Feast on Brisbane #42