Jess is Brisbane based word-wizard. She lives with one man-shaped companion and a small cat. Jess enjoys writing, travelling and collecting the memories of other people. Engage her services at contentable.com.au/
Published February 9th 2014
Hungry & Restless in Brisbane? 3 Places You Must Try ASAP
When I moved from Sydney to Brisbane I expected to starve. My tastebuds had grown accustomed to the subtleties of Dumpling King, corner stand Krishna food, and a cheeky Thai takeaway after a sweat surging session at the gym. My palette was a gastronomic snob, salivating over the finest aromas known to my budget and even those cuisines beyond my meagre bank balance. Deprived and desolate, I settled myself in for an immediate lifetime of barely-there lunches, ignoring the diversity of Fortitude Valley.
Learn from my mistake. Pull up a chair and count out your loose change; you will need it. I've reduced my top five Valley lunch spots down to a ruling podium. Who will take out the gold?
I must have an obsession with collecting shiny, funky coffee houses; it makes no sense, I hate coffee. Despite my aversion to all things bean and java, Monk & Grind has become one my favourite places to catch a quick lunch between or before meetings.
Speaking of meetings, Monk & Grind offer an assortment of business solutions, appealing to the go-getters among us hoping to close out a fresh deal. Board and meeting room rates are very reasonable and the food will melt any will-be client resistance. Seduce them with food, go on!
If you can pull yourself out of the comfortable lounge chairs, I highly recommend the pulled pork with smoky barbecue sauce and slaw (kitchen trendy for coleslaw) laid over a ciabatta. My favourite though? My gold medal winning, heart stopping go to post swim or verbal ju jitsu bout? The sweet potato and rocket salad; sweet potato, rocket, Australian feta, cranberries and quinoa, drizzled in balsamic vinegar and easily devoured at my desk.
Tip: Try the home-made muesli snacks. They will blow your mind for only $2.
I love sushi as much as I hate coffee. I can't live without it and I refuse to be parted from it. Wagaya is similar to a touch-screen style restaurant I frequented in Sydney, though it wasn't within walking distance. A financially dangerous proposition, indeed.
The menu is varied and option loaded, from the crisp katsu roll, a simple bowl of miso, sashimi plates and bento boxes, to lightly grilled salmon aburi nigiri and Agadashi tofu, I find it difficult to control myself and my screen pressing fingers. Popular with the office girls, Wagaya enjoys a vigorous work out at least once a week.
Tip: Take cash. Wagaya has a one bill per table policy.
Yes, it's certainly a little bit fancy, a smidge decadent and altogether delicious. Although I rarely enjoy lunch here (though I have sampled their almost identical dinner menu), the office gang and I enjoyed a few sweet treats following a particularly hectic day. Wander through James St Markets, drop into the gourmet grocer and pay way too much for a manicure before spoiling yourself with a Friday afternoon cocktail.
Feeling a tad peckish? Try an irresistible cheese platter, weighted with as many different cheeses as you can justifiably order, rich quince paste, thick Turkish bread and textured lavish biscuit. You know you deserve it.
Tip: Buy a juice from Quench to fill you up on your way through; while the pleasure of life should be enjoyed, your credit card won't thank you later.
Did I skip your favourite place? Do I have it wrong? Let me know in the comments below and educate this Far North Coast native on fine Brisbane fare.