A mouthwatering tour around some of Queensland’s best eateries

Travel News from Stuff - 22-05-2023 stuff.co.nz

From legendary one-kilo cream doughnuts to a fine-dining restaurant run by wood fire, Brook Sabin and Stephen Heard take a mouthwatering tour around some of Queensland’s best eateries.

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You’ll find this unassuming fine-dining bistro tucked away down a side street in Brisbane’s lively Fortitude Valley.

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Owned by head chef Phil Marchant, an alum of Auckland’s The French Cafe, the moody space of charcoal walls and black marble tables is known for its inventive contemporary dishes cooked over wood fire.

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A visit might involve sitting down for barbecued cabbage stuffed with chicken, cheese sauce-covered fried potatoes made to resemble sour cream and chives Pringles, the flavour-bomb Jerusalem artichoke cream bun, and yuzu meringue finished with lemon myrtle.

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Book on a Sunday and you’ll experience the restaurant’s relaxed and boozer weekend service. See:

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If there’s one thing you should try at this local favourite on the sands of Burleigh Heads it’s the Moreton Bay bug roll.

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Rick’s hand-held brioche filled with fried lobster, lettuce and the zingy combo of sriracha and mayonnaise has inspired several knock-offs along the Queensland coast - it’s often called one of Australia’s best sandwiches.

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There’s no better place to devour the famed dish than one of the front-row beach tables, complete with views of the Surfers Paradise skyline and spray from the rising ocean - only footsteps away.

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Elsewhere, the Asian fusion set banquet menu moves between duck red curry to barbecued quail and crispy lamb wontons. See:

From its launch as a pop-up during Brisbane’s lockdown, Agnes Bakery has become one of the city’s must-visit spots for a mid-morning pastry and coffee.

On weekends you’ll encounter hungry locals and tourists queueing around the corner from the heritage-listed cottage in New Farm/Fortitude Valley.

They’re all waiting to score crispy loaves of sourdough and moreish pastries like creme brulee kouign amann, orange and cardamom doughnuts, and burnt basque cheesecake.

The bakery’s popularity is often put down to the complexity of flavours gained by cooking with fire. You’ll find smokey hints across all of the treats here, both savoury and sweet. See:

This boutique distillery in the Gold Coast neighbourhood of Mermaid Beach is entirely dedicated to the owners’ spirit-loving grandfather from New Zealand.

The core range of spirits, from three flagship gins to a smooth and velvety coffee liqueur voted one of the world’s best, are named after moments in Granddad Jack’s life.

Visitors to the operational distillery can sit down for a tasting and bring their own food to match, or take a guided tour around stills and mash tuns for a more indepth introduction to the spirits and liqueurs.

The four-hour make your own gin experience guides visitors through botanicals and the art of distilling in a copper still. The experience includes dinner, drinks and a take-home bottle of bespoke gin. See:

The southern Gold Coast revitalisation is in full swing, and that’s embodied in the new waterfront restaurant Siblings.

This historic building was built in 1922, and has had a colourful past – it was even one of the last remaining dine-in Pizza Huts until 2019.

Today, after a dramatic 1950s Miami Beach-style makeover, Siblings is unmissable. It offers a new twist on classic dishes, and its seafood offerings are unmissable - don’t go past the grilled Moreton Bay bugs and king prawns.

The exceptional food, combined with its waterfront views, make for an unforgettable meal. See:

This vibrant new restaurant sits in a prime position on the Nerang River, and in many ways, reflects the beating heart of the Gold Coast: it’s in a constant party mode, with lots of live music.

Alongside tasty burgers, pastas, and seafood, you’ll find lots of popular share plates like chicken fried riblets, oven baked scallops, and white wine cream mussels.

There’s also a dedicated oyster bar – with a half price special running from 4pm until 6pm weekdays. See:

If you have a big appetite, and we mean enormous, you'll want to head to the historic Kenilworth Country Bakery in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

This bakery is almost always the busiest place in town, serving a rotating selection of delicious doughnuts and pastries.

It's also home to the one-kilogram doughnut challenge - if you manage to finish the gigantic dessert, it's free. And you get to sign a plate and have it hung for public display.

If you prefer gigantic savoury dishes, you can also try devouring a 1kg sausage roll. It's best to preorder the 1kg dishes on their website, because they often sell out during the day. See:

Don’t hesitate: book a table here. The Lodge Bar & Dining is actually a Kiwi restaurant by Rodd and Gunn, but you’ll want to check out their Aussie arm - its dishes are some of the best in Queensland.

From perfectly marbled wagyu, to Bundaberg red potato agnolotti or die-in-your-mouth duck fat potatoes, a meal here will be the highlight of your holiday.

Don’t miss the carrot cake sundae - an understated name for an exquisite dessert that plays with flavours and sensations that could go horribly wrong if it wasn’t at the hands of a world-class pastry chef. This dessert is a biblical experience for the taste buds, and you too will leave a disciple. See:

This hinterland restaurant combines the best of Asian and Australian flavours in a luxurious setting nestled among towering eucalypts at Spicers Tamarind Retreat.

The menu is crafted by esteemed local chef Dan Jarret, who has put a Thai flare at the heart of his craft. Some of the must-try dishes include crispy soft-shell crab or slow-braised beef curry, alongside an expertly-curated wine list. See:

The best Asian street food outside Asia is arguably found at this funky hinterland hideout. The drool-worthy menu features dishes like lamb rendang buns, ten-hour coconut braised beef and barbeque chilli sambal prawns. Don’t miss the fried scallion bread with sesame, black vinegar and olive oil.

Our advice is to come with a group - because you’ll want to share and try everything. See:

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