It's been billed as a source of food security, a superfood and the sexiest alternative to grain on the planet. But in South America, where it originated, quinoa is still considered peasant food - a simple, humble, source of sustenance. And these no-nonsense origins are reflected in the name of Indooroopilly's new cafe and dining spot - The Humble Quinoa.
Curiously, you will not find a lot of quinoa on The Humble Quinoa's menu. (The bircher muesli, and one of the salads, were the only two exceptions I could see). However, you will discover a world of delicious all-day breakfast options including omelettes and pancakes; substantial lunches including slow braised pork belly served with fennel and apple salad; a selection of sweets; superb coffee and nourishing smoothies.
Chai latte with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Author image.
Located in a strip of shops adjacent to Indooroopilly railway station, The Humble Quinoa is located away from the hustle and bustle of Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, yet remains within walking distance (albeit up a hill). It boasts a vast cavernous interior that, in less skilled hands, could have remained a grey, squat, space. However, with its ample light, polished dark wood floors and exotic interior decorating touches (including a mud bead chandelier from South Africa), The Humble Quinoa rocks a super-stylish vibe. The round-the-world influences don't stop there. They include Vietnamese-inspired dishes (such as the fried chicken wings and savoury mince), Italian sodas (chinotto, limonata, aranciata) and hearty bacon-fuelled breakfasts that would do a British bed-and-breakfast owner proud.
I opted for the braised brisket burger served with onion jam, rocket and gherkins on a brioche bun, alongside beer battered chips. The burger really packed a punch on both the flavour and texture front. Telling details such as house-made ketchup further elevated the experience.
My companion went for something called 'The Humble Benny' - poached eggs served on grilled sourdough with smoked salmon. (Jamon, or ham, is also available.) He also insisted on testing out the super shake - a frothy mix of nutella, condensed milk and vanilla bean ice cream, topped with whipped cream, drizzled with melted nutella and finished off with a Kinder Bueno. After all that, would he seriously need to eat for another week? Unlikely.
The Humble Quinoa offers both dine-in and takeaway options. Orders are placed at the counter. While you're there, it's worth checking out the cabinet containing a selection of prosciutto, salami, sausages, olives and other delicatessen items which you can package up to take home.
If you're lunching with the sipper-cup set, it's good to know that there's plenty of room for prams, and that high chairs are available. Kids even get their own menu comprising bacon and eggs, pancakes and ice cream, fish or nuggets and chips, and pasta.