I’m chuffed to let you know Gourmet Chick has been ranked as the number two Melbourne food blog in a new list put out of Ed Charles of Tomatom and Thang Ngo of Noodlies. Thanks to everyone for reading, it’s very inspiring to know that these words are not just entirely disappearing in the internet! It made me think that Gourmet Chick is supposed to cover travel as well as food so I thought it was worthwhile sharing my recent trip to Brisbane. A friend’s wedding was the perfect excuse to revisit the Sunshine State’s capital. It is quite a few years since I was last in Brisbane and it’s certainly changed for the better. Not so sleepy anymore I loved the laidback attitude of “Brisvegas” and the beautiful old Queenslander style houses proudly standing on their stilts. Lots of my time was taken up in events for the wedding but I did manage to check out a few places which are worth mentioning on here. I crowd sourced where to go on Twitter and Instagram and special thanks to Joyce from Mel: Hot or Not (a former Brisbanite) and Claire of Melbourne Gastronome for your tips.
This cafe is like a little bit of France in Brisbane. From the “Bonjour” when you walk in the door to the delectable pastries on display it’s like a mini holiday without the plane ticket. The modern shop front doesn’t have much room for seats inside as there’s a huge counter topped with strawberry tarts, jewel coloured macarons and crusty baguettes. But Chouquette’s specialty are its buttery, flaky croissants ($3.50). Served fresh with jam and a pat of golden butter or as a pain au chocolat.
The name Gerard’s Bistro is a bit misleading as this is no French restaurant. At Gerard’s the references are Middle Eastern and the food is modern and vibrant. We sat on the verandah outside amongst tropical plants and wondered just why we lived in Melbourne.
To start there are fried chicken wings ($16). These are called “Bekaa wings” at Gerard’s, named after a valley in Lebanon. The Lebanese touch comes in the accompanying kishk yoghurt and rose.
The slow cooked lamb shoulder served with pickled chilli and garlic yoghurt was the perfect sharing dish. It was teamed with crisp flatbread so that each person could construct their own mini souvlakis. We also shared the Wagyu brisket for two ($42) between the four of us, pulling apart the meat with forks as it fell easily into tender shreds.
Details: Gerard’s Bistro, Gerard’s Lane, 14/15 James Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Queensland (Ph 07 3852 3822)
Gourmet Travel Tips
- We flew to Brisbane with Virgin from Melbourne. Flights were around $300 return but it was a long weekend so you can generally get a better deal than this.
- We stayed at Central Dockside apartments. The attraction here was the apartments have two rooms – a separate bedroom and living area which is handy when you are travelling with a baby and they were located right next to the wedding venue. The downsides were the apartment itself, which was quite dated and tired looking. The location in Kangaroo Point was not too far from the city centre, but we spent a lot of time walking across the bridge to Fortitude Valley to head to cafes and restaurants. Not recommended. Central Dockside Apartments, 44 Ferry St, Kangaroo Point QLD 4169 (Ph 07 3891 6644) $192 a night.
- When in Brisbane I’d highly recommend a visit to the Gallery of Modern Art. Sensational.