Gourmet on the Go: November 2017

RACQ Food writer Kerry Heaney dishes up the best new dining around.

Feeling hungry? You will once you discover the new dining choices around Brisbane. Pull your stretchy pants out of the wardrobe before you read further.

New look revealed

The Osbourne Hotel in Fortitude Valley has unveiled a new look following its multi-million-dollar makeover.

Designed for hotelier Charles Osbourne by Brisbane architect James Furnival and opened in 1864, The Osbourne Hotel stands proudly as one of Queensland’s most-famous and iconic heritage hotels. It was the second hotel in Fortitude Valley and has had some interesting names over the years, including The Dead Rat, The Rat & Parrot and more recently, Fringe Bar and Kerbside.

It was a favourite with the infamous Painters and Dockers in the 1970s and its bars have 153 years of tall tales and colourful characters to share. Now, under the experienced hand of long-time owners the Fitzgibbons family, the hotel has been reborn, with serious nods to the original design and tributes paid to patrons present and past.

The new menu from Head Chef Jamie MacKinney, who recently won acclaim for manning the pans at The Alliance Hotel and The Walnut Restaurant at Royal on Park, is warm and welcoming – and a little bit unexpected. You’ll find pizzas served all day until late and char-grilled Cape Grim steaks. The starters and shares will satisfy all palates, with peking duck spring rolls sharing the spotlight with karaage chicken, sweet potato and cashew empanadas, arancini balls and cheese kranskies with onion jam.

Or you could go super-simple with the Tin the Table offer, which stars Spanish sardines preserved in the traditional European method, served on grilled sourdough with lemon. Perfect with a cold craft beer on a fabulous Queensland afternoon.

The Osbourne Hotel is located on the corner of Ann and Constance Streets in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Japanese with a twist

There’s a new menu and new chef at Sake, with the return of Shaun Presland. Shaun, who was founding Executive Chef for the Sake group, returns as Group Executive Chef.

Shaun has shared his take on steak and eggs in the new menu, with a beef tartare dish featuring eggs fried over easy in butter, then blitzed with dashi to create a puree and mixed through the beef. He has also invented a light salad – Chirashi salad sashimi – in which fresh sashimi is scattered through and a crunchy tempura topping adds a hint of naughtiness. The seaweed salad has a zingy, fresh mix of five different seaweeds and rice noodles, topped with ginger crisps and a yuzu, ginger dressing.

You will also find nori crisps with a sesame ponzu dressing over the diced tuna and kingfish, which sits atop a nori-rice crisp finished with a sprinkling of togarashi chilli pepper. Sake in Brisbane is located at 45 Eagle Street, on the second level of Eagle Street Pier.

Take a seat at Matt Moran’s family table

Food lovers think of Matt Moran as a chef and owner of some Australia’s most well-known restaurants, but he is also an eighth generation Australian and fourth generation farmer who knows good food.

His new book, Matt Moran’s Australian Food: Coast + Country, includes country food traditions from regional Australia to the rugged coastline. Expect the best slow-roasted lamb shoulder, an iconic passionfruit cheesecake and other recipes that anyone who has spent time in Australia will recognise as family favourites. There’s even an ode to the iconic Tim Tam biscuit.

“I consider myself to be so lucky to have discovered cooking when and where I did, as I’ve been able to witness and be a part of the evolution of Australian food into what it is today: world class, ever-changing and, quite simply, inspiring,” Matt said.

Matt said the recipes include dishes he loves to cook for family and friends and some that perfect for special occasions. Matt Moran’s Australian Food: Coast + Country is published by Murdock Books and retails for $45.