28 Jul 2017

Kitchen Confidential: Queensland foodie news


BRISBANE’S Adelaide St is all set to score a tasty euro-style deli-fromagerie and takeaway next month.

The Cheese Pleaser is the handiwork of Sharyn de Kort and chef-son Sebastiaan and the two will offer everything from Single O takeaway coffees to cheese melts and traditional raclette.

There will be a tight selection of cheese and charcuterie on offer plus ready-to-heat restaurant quality meals by Sebastiaan, who formerly worked as a chef at the highly regarded Moda Restaurant in Edward St.

The Cheese Pleaser takeaway meals include the likes of roast Scenic Rim chicken with rosemary potatoes and Moroccan-style osso bucco with organic polenta.

The shopfront is expected the first week of July and is an extension of the duo’s catering and cheese business first set up in 2014.


There have been speed bumps en route – but luxury north Queensland holiday resort The Sheraton Grand Mirage, Port Douglas, is finally set to show off its new fine diner, Harrisons by Spencer Patrick.

The 100-seater, which includes a 50-seat palm-fringed alfresco terrace fronting the famous lagoon pools, has been in the pipeline for months and replaces Il Pescatore, the resort’s former flagship eatery.

Patrick will personally man the kitchen at Harrisons, with 2IC Tyrone McConnell working alongside. McConnell was formerly based at Bistro H, Patrick’s more casual venue in Port Douglas village (formerly known as Harrisons) and will now divide his time between the two projects.

“This will be my baby,” says Patrick, who worked for years in the UK with Marco Pierre White and was once celebrity chef Curtis Stone’s boss.

“I’ve gone back to England to my roots for this but I’ll be using the European techniques I learned cooking in all those Michelin-starred places, and heroing local produce.”

Local mud crabs will be a feature, but Patrick says his version will be done with a twist, rather than with chilli. “They’ll be salt-baked with spice of Madras, a UK spice mix, and served with a lime pickle.”

Ossetra caviar will be served with sour cream and crisped potato skins rather than blinis, while north Queensland cobia will star in an updated gravlax with bush lemon curd and a lemonade dressing.

The opening is a milestone for Patrick, marking his tenth year in Port Douglas. “I want to make this restaurant matter,” says Patrick.

“I want people to come in, have a great experience and to have fun.”

A Simply Harrisons menu will also be on offer – featuring anything from a spanner crab linguine to a classic burger, for guests not ready for the full a la carte experience.


Well-known hospitality face-about-town and former Coats Group general manager Tracey Rayner and husband Kwan Fong have struck out on their own. The duo is now busy at work on a cool sounding stand-alone project aiming for a late August debut.

Their new venture, The Palace Supper Club, will be a premium bar-focused venture, housed in the former digs of Chinahouse restaurant on Chinatown’s Duncan St, Fortitude Valley, serving modern-Asian food.

The search is now on for a suitable chef who can furnish a different spin on traditional Asian flavours and concepts.


Top secret plans are now afoot to add a third Italian-accented offering to the Beccofino family. The new venture will sit alongside longstanding pizze favourite Beccofino, Teneriffe and its newer South Bank sibling, Julius Pizzeria.

“Paolo (Biscaro) and I will be doing something around Gasworks (Newstead) early to mid-2018,” confirms Beccofino chef and co-owner Cordell Khoury.

“It will definitely be Italian themed – with a lot of wood-grilled stuff – just very simple Italian.” No name or location details yet. Stay tuned.


The ever-expanding Mantle Group is embarking on a seachange. But it’s unlikely busy workers will put their feet up and admire the view anytime soon.

The Brisbane-based company behind brands ranging from Pig ‘N’ Whistle to Jimmy’s On The Mall and The Charming Squire has earmarked a fresh, two-storey site at The Oracle development in Broadbeach for a massive but as yet unnamed hospitality venture.

Mantle Group chief executive Arj Rupesinghe says project designs and the concept are being finalised and the aim is to open the venue by the end of the year, or failing that by end of February, so everything is running smoothly in time for the Commonwealth Games in April.


Etsu Izakaya at Mermaid Beach has bagged a new chef for its bustling Japanese bar-eatery. Nooei Wongchaaum, former head chef at Toko in Melbourne has relocated to the Gold Coast to take control of the kitchen.

Wongchaaum is due to hit the pans this week, with a new menu also in the works to take more advantage of the venue’s Robata charcoal grills.


The Ze Pickle burger-meisters are prepping to bring grill-thrills to Camp Hill’s buzzy Martha St precinct, with construction of a new venue due to get under way this week.

Co-owner Aaron Wilson says the new venue’s footprint will be similar to Ze Pickle’s original project in Burleigh Heads, a tiny 48sq m. I

It’s the second Brisbane store for the group, which now also has a branch in Sydney’s Surry Hills with another earmarked for Sydney’s northern beaches.


Taro Akimoto’s experiment with wagyu – dry-ageing it for 28 days and cooking it in golden triple stock for the Japanese hotpot treat shabu-shabu – will soon be up for tasting at his Taro’s Ramen Queen St branch as part of a special Artisan Series event running July 8-9.

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