The Bowl Boonah opened on March 17 to cement Scenic Rim dining as a food lovers’ destination just one hour’s drive from Brisbane in the amazing food bowl centred around the small country town of Boonah.

Boonah’s favourite, chef Jack Stuart, who has put the town on the fine dining map with his acclaimed 20-seater fine diner Blume, is expanding with a new family-friendly food experience that breathes new life into a town institution with The Bowl in Boonah with Kalbar local Emily Lochran, a local market, events and agritourism advocate.

Closed during Covid, The Boonah Bowls Club/Fassifern Sports Club has undergone a makeover. Expect cocktails at the bar, barefoot bowling on the green and spectacular mountain views to enjoy while you dine, with affordable dining inside and out. Jack Stuart’s menus will be based on food gathered from paddocks you can see from the restaurant!

“We live in an incredible food bowl,” said Emily Lochran. “There’s no need for long food miles when everything surrounds us here in the Scenic Rim.

Just under a one-hour drive from Brisbane, the Scenic Rim was named one of the Hottest 10 Regions in the World to visit this year by The Lonely Planet.

If you’ve fallen in love with the art by Jack’s stepfather artist Tony Rice on the walls at Blume, there’s a treat in store for you at The Bowl.  Tony has been busy creating a new series of works, including massive pen and ink drawings and a painting that capture the Scenic Rim to hang on the walls at the former bowls club.  There’s also a new work on the wall at Blume.


The Bowl Boonah

Dine on local produce at The Bowl Boonah, a new Scenic Rim dining destination

What’s on the menu at The Bowl Boonah?

Don’t expect typical bowlo fare at this new Scenic Rim dining destination. There will be no frozen schnittys here. Instead, it will be handmade pasta with in-season local produce, like ricotta gnocchi, broad bean and walnut pesto. Other options include lasagne of rabbit, duck and wild boar or risotto of Harrisville mushrooms with truffle pecorino.

Local producers, like From the Dairy, 2022 delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Award winnerTommerup Dairy Farm and Coochin Fullblood, will have their own dishes with Tommerup veal cotoletta with anchovy butter and Coochin Fullblood wagyu T-bone topped with Boonah butter.

The Outside Menu will feature snacks, shared plates and taste-bangers. Expect Scenic Rim olives and cheeses, zucchini pickles, free-range chicken liver parfait, and toasted focaccias. There will also be  Beaudesert Crayfish and potato brioche rolls, Harrisville mushrooms, along with hand-cut russet fries with smoked garlic mayo.

The Bowl Cheeseburger with Mt Tamborine mozzarella and Troy’s tomatoes from Peak Crossing is sure to be a show stopper.

Scenic Rim suppliers already on board include Tommerup Dairy, Towri Sheep Cheeses, Mt Tamborine Cheese, Scenic Rim Farm Box, Oppies Fruit & Veg at Boonah, Summer Land Camels, Fifth Acre, Harrisville Mushrooms, Rob Joyce Heritage Poultry, The Butcher Co at Boonah & Kalbar, Kalbar Lamb, Witches Fall Winery, Scenic Rim Flower, Farm Australian Sweetwater Crayfish Traders at Beaudesert and Scenic Rim Brewery.

The drinks menu will feature a wide range of options. Expect anything from your classic fave cold beers on taps to local Scenic Rim and Australian wines.

Why is Scenic Rim dining so popular?

Jack Stuart said the success of his first Boonah restaurant, Blume was unexpected.

“When I opened Blume here in Boonah, I had two staff members. I never expected the success that followed, which was almost instantaneous. We have had one customer who dined nine times just for the Rainbow Trout signature dish!”

Jack says there is incredible local produce in the Scenic Rim. He gets the best cream and milk from Tommerup Farm. There’s great sheep’s milk and cheese from Towri and live crayfish at Beaudesert from Alex at Australian Freshwater Traders.

However, it’s Jack’s personal relationships that have unlocked the produce that is unique to Blume, like the Apple Marigolds and rare herbs grown by his aunt Jenny. This extremely pungent and aromatic variety has become a signature touch on their desserts.

“One day, I was talking about potatoes to a customer who has a farm five minutes away, and he started growing baby Heritage Andean Sunrise potatoes the size of your thumb just for Blume!”

“I was looking for a pig grown to around 120 kg for charcuterie. Tommerup Farm obliged, and the result was pork with high-fat content, perfect for curing cuts in different ways for Blume.”

Tommerups Dairy feeding calves

Feeding calves at Tommerup’s Dairy

Next stage for The Bowl Boonah

There are already plans underway for stage two that includes a wood-fired pizza oven.

There’s also a project to link with hospitality training for Boonah’s school-age children. A twice-a-month Friday twilight producer market on the green, along with activations for Eat Local Week in June, also on the list.

The new restaurant is a great turnaround for a club that has been 73 years in community hands. According to The Fassifern Guardian, it was formed in 1947, but dwindling membership led to amalgamation into a new Fassifern Sports Club in mid-2018.

The club became unviable during Covid and the doors closed. However, now the property has been bought by locals and leased to Emily and Jack.

Getting to The Bowl Boonah

The Bowl Boonah will open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am until late from Summer 2023. Find it at 42 Coronation Drive, Boonah

Things to do in the Scenic Rim

So close to Brisbane, the Scenic Rim is one of my favourite places to visit.  Here are some ideas to get you going there too!