Meet your new food playground | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Meet your new food playground

Brisbane, are you ready? Flocks of foodies are set to head south for the summer with the opening of The Kitchens in Robina Town Centre on Thursday 3 November. The epic hub of over 30 new restaurants, providores and retailers is basically an unending carnival for food-lovers and shopping addicts – and being guilty of both, it’s no surprise we’re drooling at our desks. The space is the first of its kind anywhere in Australia, melding our love of eating food, learning about food, shopping for more food, and talking about food (seeing a pattern here?) into one glorious, super-sized shopping trip. Designed to make the act of cooking practically a performance art, every eatery and retailer will feature glass walls through which you can peek to watch the chefs and food crafters at work, with a hefty focus on all things local, seasonal and sustainably sourced. Sprawled over two floors and boasting an outdoor hub to mingle in, you’ll be free to work your way through the web of restaurants, butchers, tea houses, cooking schools, juice bars, markets, roasteries, delis – and, dare we say it, even a gym to work off the inevitable stop at Poppy’s Chocolates. kitchens-2Restaurant regulars will notice a few familiar faces, too, with Brisbane flavours like Saiko Teppanyaki and NYC Bagel Deli making their way down the coast, and Betty’s Burgers infamous Sunshine Coast feeds set to land in the southern city. Melbourne souvlaki haven Jimmy Grants is making the move as well, and with CocoWhip launching their very first stand alone guilt-free coconut soft serve bar, the ridiculous ‘should we have dessert?’ question is definitely null and void. If you’re already wiping away drool, make sure you head down there for opening weekend from Friday 3 to Sunday 6 November, for cooking workshops, live music, art installations and even an outdoor cinema featuring foodie movies. You might even get the chance to snap a selfie with celebrity chef Alastair McLeod, MasterChef Australia 2016 runner-up Matt Sinclair, and Gerard’s Bistro Head Chef Ben Williamson. So whether you’re craving Japanese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, burgers, seafood, or just dessert, take a short trip to The Kitchens at Robina Town Centre and learn that your parents were wrong – you can play with your food. Words by Samantha Chariton