I'm a writer/creative person living in Brisbane. Visit my work at: www.emilynuhn.com
Published January 31st 2013
Hungry in Westfield Chermside? Go here
Westfield Chermside on the Northside of Brisbane, is one heck of an enormous shopping centre, with a vast array of retailers and restaurants that will more than likely satisfy all your shopping and dining needs. But, if you happen to make your way down to the southern end, and your feeling a bit peckish, there are a couple restaurants that are worthy of a glance from your hungry eyes. They are:
The first time I went to a Groove Train Restaurant, it was at the Brisbane Riverside. One of my friends had been raving about how it was 'just so much fun'. So, to Groove Train I went and much fun was definitely had. But the next time I went, an embarrassing incident involving me getting short changed twice, a verbal battle with a waitress, some tears and an apology from the manager, pretty much guaranteed that I would never be able to dine there again for, quite possibly, ever. All of which made me very sad indeed, because I sincerely enjoyed both the atmosphere and food offered by this funky café/bar/restaurant chain.
However, as luck would have it, a Groove Train restaurant has recently opened at my local hub Westfield Chermside. It is located in the heart of the main restaurant strip at the southern end of the complex, facing Gympie Road, sitting in-between The Beach House and Gilhooleys. It has replaced the recently closed Toscani's, with the new refurbishment being a very good move indeed.
When we arrived on a Friday night we knew the chances of getting a good meal was high because the restaurant was absolutely packed. Thinking we would be turned away the welcoming hostess swiftly found us a table out front. The setup is very relaxed and casual, with the option (on a quiet night) to dine inside or out. And, with everything being new, the restaurant is spotless and a sight for sore eyes, with the use of dark woods contrast with the orange trimmings really creating a fun/retro/funky atmosphere. And, as we soon discovered, the staff are just as integral to the Groove Train atmosphere. Our bubbly and super helpful waitress had a moustache drawn on her index finger, which she used to entertain us throughout the evening (it definitely got us laughing).
When she handed us the menu all I could fathom was: where to start. One side was for drinks, the other for food. And it is extensively filled with yummy dishes, not failing to cover all bases. They have every thing from starters, to salads, to curries, to seafood, to wood fire pizzas, to pastas and risottos. And the most important part is that they do it all well. In addition to the all day menu they also have a breakfast menu, kids menu and even a Groove2Go takeaway menu, which you can pre-order online, over the phone or via there iPhone app for a swift pickup. And if you like to be more organised you can book your table, or even a function with pre-ordered meals, via the same methods.
Just a warning: I wouldn't order an appetiser unless you're starving or your with a huge group and can share it around, because the meals are huge. You really do get what you pay for and the prices are reasonable. In fact, our meals were so huge we couldn't finish them! But our lovely waitress even offered a take home box, which is rarely (if at all) done and was very appreciated.
Upon leaving we also discovered they have a Groove Train Club Card, which gives you monthly specials and a free meal on your birthday. A card can be picked up at the restaurant and you can register your details online. They also have Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare – talk about being refreshingly up to date.
All in all, the social media savvy Groove Train have a good thing going on: delicious food served within a fun atmosphere, with a bill that won't hurt the wallet – very groovy indeed.
For more information on restaurant locations please click here.
Lets face it, some things in life are undoubtedly true: the sun will rise and set, kids will scratch their knees, and everyone enjoys a good burger. And a good burger is undoubtedly what you will get at Grill'd. The first time I saw this restaurant I was confused; a place that only serves burgers, is that even a restaurant? But as I discovered it's like the Hilton, oh so healthy and tasty version of your average burger joint. After my first dining experience at Westfield Chermside, located in the heart of the main restaurant strip at the southern end of the complex next to the entrance, I have been a fan ever since.
The setup is open and casual, with the option to dine inside or out. The restaurant has a modern design, featuring birch timber, free hanging light bulbs and red trimmings. Behind the counter you can see the kitchen staff grilling away. But I do have to say the atmosphere here is a little different to your typical restaurant. Everything moves at a faster pace, with more of a focus on serving your meal efficiently, rather then pampering you with service. But that said, this is pretty standard for non-table service restaurants. You do have to order from the main counter, from menus hung on the wall, but you are given a table number and your meal is brought out to you.
The menu is jam packed with some pretty delicious and gourmet sounding burgers. They serve a full range of burger types (either beef, chicken, lamb or veggie) after which they garnish their burgers with some pretty fancy stuff (such as coriander, brie, harissa paste etc etc and they do offer add ons). Additionally, they let you choose your bun/bread type (panini, traditional or even gluten free). Also, if you're feeling like something just a little bit different they even do a steak sandwhich, snack burgers, salads and kids meals. Plus you can order delicious herb covered French fries along with a cool little dipping sauce (either herbed mayo or tomato relish sweet chilli mayo). The meals are huge, so if you go for French fries, make sure your starving. And the best part is that they do it all for under $20.
Some delicious Grill'd burgers (Image courtesy of grilld.com.au)
The best thing about this restaurant is that they are legitimately healthy, not shying away from providing information on the meals they are selling. On their website they list information about the sources of their ingredients, they have detailed nutritional panels and further information for those who are gluten intolerant. After all it is there philosophy to sell you a burger that is a 'wholesome' and 'nourishing meal' and they stick to it. Not to mention they support local charities with their 'community donation' program, whereby (with the input from restaurant goers) they donate a particular monetary value to local community groups. And they have Facebook and Twitter if you want to keep up to date.
All in all, Grill'd is both a healthy and delicious dining experience, where you'll get a fresh gourmet burger that will leave you full and satisfied, without breaking the bank. They say each burger is 'made with love' and I must say I definitely believe it.
For more information on restaurant locations please click here.
Overall, although these restaurants are great, there are a lot of other great restaurants in Westfield Chermside. If you've dined somewhere great, don't be shy and feel free to share. After all sharing is, more often than not, caring.