By The Road Ahead Food Writer Kerry Heaney
Just opened, The Kitchens at Robina Town Centre has a jaw-dropping range of 30 dining options over two levels of a $160 million bustling urban marketplace. You can feast on everything from wood-fired pizzas and hand-made pasta to traditional teppanyaki, fiery Thai dishes, South American and Greek street food, and New York-style bagels.
Among the food heavyweights is George Calombaris’ souvlaki bar Jimmy Grants. A prime selection of renowned local restaurateurs and chefs includes Trent Scarr of Honeyeater Kitchen, James Brady of Mr Pigs Bakehouse and Akira Takagi of Muso Ramen Noodle & Gyoza Bar. Fresh to the Gold Coast food scene are Eshai Teahouse and Crafted Coffee Co.
King Street was born as part of the Brisbane Showgrounds redevelopment in Bowen Hills and is now home to a restaurant precinct that includes Fat Dumpling’s juicy, hand-made dumplings, The George Bar & Bistro from ex-Wallaby George Gregan, and II Verde, where you’ll find fresh new modern flavours drawn from Italian dining heritage.
Remember the old Department of Main Roads building on Boundary Street at Spring Hill? Well you certainly wouldn’t recognise it now. Transformed into The Johnson, a swanky Art Series Hotel, it also features a standalone restaurant Tumbling Stone. It’s a beautiful space that’s a pleasure to dine in, even before the food arrives. A seasonal menu offers plenty of local produce, but my tip is to try the blackened pork belly with chilli and kimchi.
At the other end of Spring Hill, Kennigo Social House has opened in the gardens of the new Mantra Richmont Hotel on Kennigo Street. Share plates, a relaxed atmosphere and decadent cocktails set the scene for this social dining experience in a meticulously restored 130-year old Queenslander. KSC crispy fried chicken wings with a craft-blended seasoning of chilli, coriander, mayonnaise and more, washed down with a 24-hour Bloody Mary, will be a real crowd pleaser.
With a long list of premium local suppliers, including Wolff Coffee Roasters, Salumi Australia, Woombye Cheese Company, Newstead Brewing and Robert Channon Wines, The Croft House shines with its locally sourced, seasonal modern Australian menu. It begins with breakfast, continues with lunch options and transforms into a bistro-style restaurant at night.
Head chef Richard Mellor has created signature dishes that include marinated Binnorie goat cheese, pulled pork and potato croquettes, and slow-cooked Darling Downs beef brisket. My pick is the bittersweet chocolate mousse, choc fudge brownie and peanut butter molto with expresso ice cream disguised as simple textures of chocolate.
Find The Croft House adjacent to The Sebel Brisbane in Charlotte Street, CBD.
Located atop the Pullman and Mercure Brisbane King George Square hotel, Sixteen Antlers Rooftop Bar will show you Brisbane’s City Hall clock tower like you’ve never seen it before. Named for its lofty vantage point 16 levels above ground and roof ‘branches’ reminiscent of a deer’s antlers, the space is a green retreat overlooking a twinkling Brisbane skyline come dusk.
Now you’ve eaten your fill in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, take yourself on a food road trip around the Mackay region in the December/January edition of The Road Ahead, out early December.