What makes Brisbane food and diners different from our southern cousins?
02 Sep 2014
I must admit I had very preconceived notions about the Brisbane food scene before I moved up here from Sydney. I opened Comfort at My Table with a very Sydney menu and tickets on myself. I learnt very quickly that hullabaloo isn’t your style. Honesty and integrity is. I love that. The Brisbane food scene is really coming into its own. A maturity has set in and I don’t mean in a ‘you’ve grown up’ way; that’s quite condescending. I mean it in a way that means the focus is on what’s important to the individual. Venues have stopped looking to others for inspiration and have found the answers and inspiration in what they like and who they are, with no fear of judgment or consequence. The food scene has begun to really embrace and value what they have and want to give and it’s a beautiful thing. As diners you know what you like, simple dishes that you can recognise. You love a schnitzel. You love chips. You love your meat and well cooked fish. Vanilla slice makes the list as does rocky road and lemon tart. In fact you love food that you know, food that is a part of your familial history, and that’s a good thing. Those menu items are classics and when delivered well you are unquestionably loyal. I love that you don’t take things at face value. I love that you always give someone a go. But if there’s any question of us as restaurateurs taking the piss or making you feel that you need to be “taught,” you respond very quickly via whatever form of social media that’s currently in your repertoire. It is in our favour to be honest with you, to develop a relationship with you, to listen to you and adjust what we’re doing accordingly. I don’t think by any means that this means adjusting what we as food establishment owners want to do, but quite often it means adjusting how we do things. Delivering our ideas and our creativity to you with respect and including you. Leaving our egos at the door and inviting you on this journey of discovery together. Brisbane still is a big country town in its values and the heart of its people. Food needs to be eaten and delivered with that in mind. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We don’t need to be big city sophisticates – there’s no warmth in that. This was my epiphany when I moved to Brisbane and opened Comfort at My table. I had to earn your respect. Then you trusted me to introduce other things to the menu and you were excited to go there with me. It wasn’t an adventure with my ego; it was our adventure together into our love of food. Love you Brisbane. nims xx