We know it’s still winter, but we’re already dreaming of summer. Sunshine, balmy breezes and icy treats – what’s not to love? Noosa-born outfit Happy Pops is set to deliver the latter when it opens its first Brisbane location in South Bank on Thursday August 15. The cool brainchild of chef Augusta Puttkammer and husband Ian Offering, Happy Pops hawks what they describe as ‘happiness on a stick’, that is premium artisanal gelato and sorbet made with natural Australian ingredients. Taking over the former home of Nitrogenie on the Stanley Street Plaza, Happy Pops is looking to create beach-inspired fun all year round, with a menu of delicious pre-made gelato pops pasteurised and infused at the time of creation. Pre-made flavours include Hokey Pokey with Australian honeycomb, homemade caramel sauce and Belgian chocolate, fruit pavlova with vanilla gelato, Belgian white chocolate, freeze-dried raspberries and real passionfruit, and the salted caramel with caramel sauce, chocolate and Murray River pink salt. Guests can also create their own custom pop, while vegans can enjoy pops containing milk alternatives. We’ll have a closer look at Happy Pops (and its icy treats) when it opens on Thursday.
Paddington’s resurgence as a catch-all culinary hub is continuing with the forthcoming addition of brew lab and roastery Blackout. The newcomer comes from the crew behind The Black Lab Coffee Co. (also known for Fortitude Valley hotspot The New Black), and is set to be a multi-faceted expansion incorporating the brand’s Queensland headquarters, barista supply shop, warehouse, roastery and coffee pitstop. Blackout will be a one-stop shop for baristas looking to nab some last-minute gear, sharpen their skills at the on-site barista training school (specialising in intermediate to advanced courses in espresso and filter brewing) or broaden their network through industry events. The brew bar will be pouring batch, cold-drip and espresso-based drops (using single-origin beans freshly roasted out back), with a San Remo Opera and a V60 Filter station on hand for coffee gear heads to marvel. Those feeling snacky can peer into a small ambient cabinet housing sandwiches, house-baked croissants and Butterbings. Keep an eye out for Blackout’s opening, tentatively slated for the first week of September.
There’s nothing like a bowl of homemade pasta and a glass of some full-bodied red. It’s this heart-warming experience that brand-new pop-up restaurant concept Ciao Papi is bringing to the Howard Smith Wharves precinct. Located on the deck outside of top-flight restaurant ARC Dining & Wine Bar, Ciao Papi started serving up a tight menu of Italian homestyle dishes last week. Guests are encouraged to cruise by and pop in (the concept accepts walk-ins only) for some antipasti, snacks, pasta, mains, desserts and a glass or two (or three) of European wine. If the sounds of spanner crab and chilli ravioli, vegetable lasagne, crumbed fish with lemon, wagyu skirt steak and roast chicken with a side of barbecued greens sounds like a delicious winter treat, Ciao Papi is dishing it out from Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.
A little while back, we let our readers know about a brand-new degustation dinner series kicking off at Mongrel, and now the flavour pimps themselves have announced the next in the quirky culinary series. In May, Mongrel plated up a host of vegan dishes for PLANTS, and now the crew is flipping the script for GUTS, a six-course degustation celebrating offal. Although largely uncommon and under-appreciated in Australia, offal is a staple of many cuisines around the world, especially in cultures where nose-to-tail techniques are employed to minimise food waste. The degustation will present offal in six different ways, highlighting flavour potential and breadth of textures. Dishes will include liver and gizzard with black-pudding cream and chicken skin chips, fried pig blood, tripe and chilli stew, pig head with blue cheese and maraschino cherries, and bourbon and bone-marrow ice-cream. Come get weird with the Mongrel crew on Monday August 26 – tickets are available here.
Dining in the Dark at The Mix Bar
It’s time to hone your other senses – The Mix Bar in Woolloongabba is taking sight out of the equation with its new Dining in the Dark series. The venue has announced five dates taking place across late August, September and October, with each dinner serving a mystery set menu made using seasonal ingredients (served by waitstaff wearing night-vision goggles!). More details on how the evening operates and bookings information can be found on The Mix Bar’s website.
Atelier Brasserie x La Macelleria
Two of King Street’s finest are joining forces for a one-off collaboration dinner that might be one of the most unique pairings imaginable. Atelier Brasserie head chef Dallas Costello and La Macelleria Gelateria’s founder Matteo Zini have worked together to develop a menu that blends Dallas’ European-inspired dishes with Matteo’s artisanal gelato. The five-course degustation segues through flavours, textures and temperatures, framing gelato in a new context through some savvy sweet and savoury applications. Dishes include mortadella and ricotta gelato with crostini and pistachio, beef tartare with mustard gelato and pickled beetroot and Cone Bay barramundi with fennel sorbet. The event will take place at Atelier Brasserie on Wednesday September 4 – you can book your spot here.
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