Spicers Hidden Vale Homage restaurant
Spicers Hidden Vale Homage restaurant

Queensland’s top 5 vegetarian restaurants

VEGETARIANS need not miss out when it comes to dining out.

We've found Queensland's best vegetarian restaurants, as seen in the Delicious 100 list.

Here are the top 5.

*BSM food review for Stellar magazine*... Gerard's
*BSM food review for Stellar magazine*... Gerard's

 

 

GERARD'S BISTRO

More than four years into his tenure as head chef at Gerard's Bistro, Ben Williamson is still bringing the same flair and creativity that he did on opening day.

Williamson's unique twist on modern Middle-Eastern cuisine is both innately simple and abundantly complex, harnessing traditional flavours with technique and finesse to create a dining experience unlike anything else in the state, or even the country.

Take restaurant favourite the bekaa wings. These seemingly uncomplicated, tongue-tingling hot chicken wings are coated in a sauce made from harissa emulsified with house-smoked butter and kishk yoghurt to deliver a fiery snack that's peppy with sherry vinegar.

Or how about the achingly tender suckling pig with cellophane-like crisp skin on a zingy fermented pumpkin puree and with a salsa-style blend of juicy golden raisins, barberries and macadamias.

The desserts deliver creativity and flavour in equal measure, such as the buttery pear ice cream with a caramelised paste of roasted white chocolate, puff pastry crumbs and chip-like wafers of dried pear. With a setting that's as equally approachable as the menu, and unpretentious, yet highly knowledgeable, staff who can guide diners through the diverse menu and extremely sharp wine list, Gerard's is befitting of everything from the casual weekday lunch to the special-occasion dinner.

Must-eat dish: bekaa wings

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Ben Williamson

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Bookings: Yes

Address: 14/15 James St, Fortitude Valley

Ph: 07 3852 3822

Website: gerardsbistro.com.au

Instagram: @gerardsbistro

 

 

Urbane restaurant, Brisbane. Pic by Richard Waugh.
Urbane restaurant, Brisbane. Pic by Richard Waugh.

 

 

URBANE

After taking over from former executive chef and co-owner Alejandro Cancino earlier this year, incoming Michelin-trained, Brisbane-bred chef Andrew Gunn has subtly but confidently put his mark on the Brisbane fine dining institution.

Alongside fiancée and head chef Amelie Rabaud, Gunn has reimagined the restaurant's five and seven-course omnivore and herbivore offerings harnessing his background in France's two Michelin-starred Le Taillevent and three Michelin-starred Le Cinq. amplifying the use of European technique to create a globally inspired menu as diverse as it is delicious.

Take zucchini three ways - its flesh spiralled, its stem battered and deep fried and its flower stuffed with vegan cheese which melts into a sublimely delicate tomato consomme. Or perhaps a red lentil dahl, its texture aerated against crisp disks of roti and an ethereal herb salad. Wagyu is handled with expert care and attention, ensuring its aching tenderness, alongside almost foam-like bernaise.

It's considered, thoughtful cooking enhanced by an extensive drinks list.

Must-eat dish: Zucchini flower

Price: more than $80 for two courses

Chef: Andrew Gunn

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Dinner Thur-Sat

Address: 181 Mary St, Brisbane

Ph: 3229 2271

Website: urbanerestaurant.com

Instagram: @urbanebrisbane

 

 

Spicers Hidden Vale Homage restaurant
Spicers Hidden Vale Homage restaurant

 

 

HOMAGE

For chef Ash Martin, Homage is not just a restaurant, it's a way of life. Dedicated to ethical, sustainable and organic, where possible, produce, he has turned much of the acreage of luxury retreat Spicers Hidden Vale, where the fine diner sits, into his personal pantry and larder. An entrée of pork neck comes from the property's drove of pigs, the tender meat charry and smoky, balanced by sour native Davidson plum wafers and a creamy pork fat foam. While an on-site fermenting room delivers concentrated tomato puree and fermented barley, which provide equilibrium against the fishiness of locally farmed Barcoo grunter in a surprising main. Dark chocolate is then left to flavour up in the retreat's smoke house before being set as bark alongside chocolate ice cream, soil and shavings for a textural interplay brightened by mint and pine. With no stoves or cooktops only an outdoor fire to cook over, there's a distinct barbecue flavour that runs throughout the dishes. While cooking caveman-style may be "on-trend", here it's undeniably fitting as Homage is set inside a historic barn - rustic and cosy, yet polished and expensive with its stone-clad fireplace, weathered timber beams and corrugated iron roof. Service echoes the relaxed yet refined ambience, with restaurant manager-cum-sommelier Tim Mordue delivering charm, expertise and passion alongside an extensive, considered drinks list where cocktails and spirits excite and wine harmonizes with the food. It may be an hour out of Brisbane by car, but Homage is worth the drive.

Must-eat dish: Pork neck

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Ash Martin

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Daily, Lunch and Dinner

Address: 617 Grandchester Mt Mort Rd, Grandchester

Ph: 1300 179 340

Website: spicersretreats.com/spicers-hidden-vale/dining

Instagram: @homagerestaurant

 

 

Executive Chef Cameron Matthews from The Long Apro
Executive Chef Cameron Matthews from The Long Apro

 

 

THE LONG APRON

Housed within the charming, French-provincial guest house of Spicers Clovelly Estate with its intimate, formal (if a little dated) dining room, The Long Apron is made for romantic dinners.Couples are encouraged to dress up for the evening and let the competent and professional staff guide them through what is to be a culinary experience rather than just a meal.

Select from the tight three-course a la carte menu, or settle in for a five-course omnivore or vegetarian degustation, with all the extras.

A series of delicate and refined amuse bouche kick things off, before an entree of, perhaps, sweet, melting suckling pig juxtaposed with tart fermented pumpkin and studded with shards of crisp crackling.

Mains may include expertly executed full blood Angus beef on lush parsnip and celeriac puree with a parsnip chip for crunch; while a toasted hay ice cream incorporates the European trend of adding vegetables to desserts with pickled artichoke and artichoke chips, alongside meringue shards and a white chocolate smear. It's one of the best interpretations of this fad in the state, but perhaps even better is the cheese course with an oozing washed rind to be scooped up by paper-thin linseed wafers met with sweet rhubarb puree and medallions of just-cooked potatoes. Sensational.

With a well-rounded drinks list that supports Sunshine Coast brewers and Queensland winemakers, and the kitchen's commitment to local produce, The Long Apron is a salute to some of the state's best.

Must-eat dish: the cheese course

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Chris Hagan

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch Fri-Sun; Dinner Thu-Mon

Address: 68 Balmoral Rd, Montville

Ph: 1300 252 380

Website: spicersretreats.com/restaurants/the-long-apron

Instagram: @thelongapron

 

 

STELLAR MAGAZINE RESTAURANT REVIEW. Detour restaur
STELLAR MAGAZINE RESTAURANT REVIEW. Detour restaur

 

 

DETOUR

One bite and you understand why Detour chef-patron Damon Amos enlisted lawyers to ensure his KFD (Kentucky Fried Duck) dish is exclusively his. The meat is juicier than an overripe pear and rolled in a secret spice mix even The Colonel would be jealous of. With a side of chilli salted mayo for dipping and buttery, jalapeño-dotted corn bread, it's a dish worthy of being his signature.

But challenging the KFD for top spot is the vegetarian smoked pumpkin from Amos's creative omnivore and herbivore-split menu. Like a canyon with cliffs and valleys, wedges of thick kent pumpkin come roasted until soft and yielding and dusted with a nubbly maltose powder, supporting hunks of aerated fudge pieces resembling honeycomb. Another herbivore standout is the coal-roasted broccoli, charred and entangled with spinach and tri-coloured quinoa, with umami notes from miso and wilted seaweed. Desserts offer lightness, delicacy and a bit of theatre courtesy of a hibiscus tea being poured at the table around heavy droplets of white chocolate yoghurt, poached rhubarb pieces and paper-thin lemon myrtle crisps; while a nitrogen meringue made with chickpea brine (aquafaba) rather than egg whites arrives smoking and harbouring fresh and frozen berries, toasted almonds and pearls of yuzu curd. Charming staff appreciate the finer details of old-fashioned service that make a restaurant experience special. Detour offers an experience worth going out of your way for.

Must-eat dish: Roast pumpkin

Price: $41 - $80 for two courses

Chef: Damon Amos

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: yes

Open: Lunch Thu-Sat, Dinner Tue-Sat

Address: 11 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba

Ph: 07 3217 4880

Website: detourrestaurant.com.au

Instagram: @detourrestaurant



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