Brisbane restaurants getting hands on in the kitchen | Gourmand and Gourmet

Brisbane restaurants getting hands on in the kitchen

In-house growing, curing, distilling, churning, ageing, drying, fermenting, pickling, smoking – chefs are more than just chefs these days, with old school cooking skills returning to kitchens everywhere. Why are we excited about this? Less packaged goods means less waste, less nasties and best of all, more deliciousness. Home cooking is always better than what comes out of a bottle, and that applies to commercial kitchens too. The movement is slowly taking over the food scene, with housemade joining the ranks of sustainable, locally sourced and slow-cooked as a new trend in food. We’re not talking about just making their own pizza bases and spaghetti sauce (which should be made in-house anyway – no excuses), we mean kitchens boiling their own jams and relishes, ageing their own cheese, rolling pasta – even baking their own bread! And there’s more than a few places doing just that. Affinity in Paddington is one place where fresh does not mean freshly bought. Everything, we repeat, everything on Affinity’s tantalizing menu is made in-house. From the beef and buffalo mozzarella in their arrancini balls, to the pork mince in their dumplings, right down to the chocolate pasta in their signature dessert. Nothing but fresh ingredients on their shopping list! It might be a labour of love, but it’s a dedication that shines through on the plate. And you know how a curry that you’ve made from scratch, right down to grinding the spices, always tastes better than one taken off a supermarket shelf? Well, that’s the basis of West End’s Chop Chop Chang’s flavoursome menu, with all their pastes and sauces made in the kitchen. Never experience the difference? We’d suggest finding out with their corn and coriander cakes with housemade chilli ginger sauce and a big bowl of yellow curry of pumpkin. brisbane restaurants bar altoRefuse to go out for Italian unless the pasta was hand rolled that day (and so you shouldn’t)? There’s a few top spots to get your carb-loading on. Bar Alto rolls out fresh durum wheat pasta to go with their mouth-watering sauces and river views daily, as do Bucci, Popolo and Beccofino, the stars of Brisbane’s Italian line-up. If it’s the classic flavours you’re into, pass your eyes over the menu of Lennon’s in the CBD and you won’t see anything that hasn’t been prepared in their kitchen, from the carrot marmalade on the cheese plate to the peanut toffee on the banana parfait dessert. How they resist eating it all before it makes it to the tables is beyond us. brisbane restaurants gerards barCarnivore’s are no doubt thrilled by all the smoking, slow-cooking and curing happening around town at the moment, with spot’s like Gerard’s Bar leading the charge in prepping their own charcuterie meats rather than ordering them in that way. The Smoke BBQ might be a bit messier, but their smoked ribs and beef brisket are no less delicious, while a whole bunch of food trucks around town are getting in on the action too, including Bella BBQ and That BBQ Joint. For sauces and condiments made fresh with a hefty dash of creativity, you can’t go past Nantucket and NKB Express in Indooroopilly. Bacon jam is one of the more drool-worthy burger toppings at NKB Express, but the housemade ice-cream across both venues is worth stopping by just for dessert. If a scoop of jam that tastes just like Nan used to make is more your squeeze though, Room with Roses and The Jam Pantry might be your new fave spots. Get fresh strawberry jam on scones at Room with Roses or on some very creative breakfasts at The Jam Pantry – you can even take jars of the jams home from both cafes. It’s not just the big boys having all the fun either, there’s some hole in the wall spots finding the space to get hands on too. Tuck into a burger or sandwich at Two Wheels and a Handlebar and you’ll be munching on bread baked that morning, house made chutney and possibly even pulled pork that’s been slow cooking all night. At Place of Stones in Taringa and Goodness Gracious Café in Graceville you’ll find housemade ice-cream in their smoothies and iced coffees and as an added bonus – it’s dairy free! Merriweather Café in South Brisbane doesn’t just make relishes, they also make bake up breads to spread them on every morning. Could you get any fresher? With so many kitchens embracing the challenge of whipping up their own goodies, we feel like we should reward their efforts by eating our way through all their hard work! Who’s with us? Words by Ranyhyn Akui