Doting grandmother and grey nomad who should join Volunteers Anonymous and is greatly in favour of a ten day week. So much to do, so little time.
Published February 6th 2013
Gallop to this economically priced gourmet eatery
Eight months after my first visit to Willes Fine Foods and Gourmet Workshop at 153 Oxford Street in the trendy suburb of Bulimba, I found that very little had changed. The service, ambience, friendly staff and gourmet treats remain top class. "Casual gourmet repast" may seem like an oxymoron, but that is the best description of the menu and setting in this unpretentious little eatery.
The first impression of the food is colour, followed closely by fresh. The array of salads would go well on the wall of an art gallery, such is their colourful appeal. The appeal to the tastebuds is in the freshness of the imaginatively combined ingredients. Vegetarians especially will be spoilt for choice.
As usual, my husband could not go past an offering of fish and chips with salad. Although I try to be good, I always take advantage of the odd chip. They were crisp and golden. He is known to be "good on the tooth", but his meal accompanied by a Grinders cappuccino stopped him in his tracks.
My neighbour liked the look of the Lorraine Quiche, and I was tempted by the Vegetarian Slice. Peter Willes himself suggested various salads to accompany the pastries, and what a selection there was. This selection can change from day to day depending on what the markets have on offer, but you can be assured they will be assembled creatively. Some flavours come as quite a surprise when a variety of herbs and spices is combined with the usual salad suspects.
Neighbour and myself could not finish the large plate of assorted salads which accompanied our pastries despite enjoying every mouthful. The pastry of the slice was crisp although reheated, and the topping savoury and substantial.
As well as a wide choice of coffee types, there is a large refrigerator containing some unusual cold drinks including flavoured coconut milk.
Our order of three hearty meals plus drinks came to $58.70. Considering the quality of the food on offer, prices are amazingly low. Gourmet sandwiches start at $4.90, and one can enjoy a cooked breakfast including coffee for $11.50. Catering for outside functions is also available.
Despite its unpretentious exterior, Willes FF&GW is a surprise package of culinary delights to suit every pocket. The extent of smiling customer service extended to topping up our water bottles and giving local tourist information. To paraphrase a certain philandering politician, "We'll be back."