Although Brisbane’s food scene is a melting pot of worldly cuisines, Balkan food has been largely underrepresented across the city’s culinary spectrum. That’s all set to change come July when Kasina begins showcasing the gastronomic delights of ex-Yugoslavian countries such as Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia at its forthcoming Morningside restaurant. The brainchild of Dragan and Marija Sestic of Dramanti Artisan Roastery fame, Kasina is an ode to the culinary cultures of their homeland and will see the couple (who boast Bosnian and Serbian heritage, respectively) and their family share the flavours of Balkan food and drink. Kasina’s build is currently underway, with a 65-seat site on Wynnum Road getting a modern update courtesy of a newly installed bar and a teal, gold and green colour scheme. When it opens, Kasina will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings that mix Balkan and Australian elements – think hearty village-style eats like cevapi (grilled minced-meat sausages), peksimeti (deep-fried savoury or sweet dough) and sarma (meat-stuffed cabbage rolls), as well as a drinks list featuring Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and French wines, local craft beers, signature cocktails and plenty of rakija – a fruit brandy that is incredibly popular in the Balkans. Kasina is targeting a late-June or early-July opening – stay tuned for an up-close look upon launch.
After winning the hearts of Brisbane residents with its lockdown-saving pastry pop-up, Agnes Bakery has finally found a permanent home. Owners Ty Simon, Ben Williamson and Frank Li have long been on the search for a long-term site for the woodfired bakery, finally securing the former Arc + Family space on the corner of James and Harcourt Streets in Fortitude Valley. During its initial pop-up at the Agnes restaurant site, the team worked out of the restaurant kitchen – the permanent site will feature a custom-built kitchen and woodfired oven specifically designed to perfect the mouth-watering baked goods Agnes Bakery is so loved for. In other words – expect that these treats will be better than ever. All of the pop-up favourites will be making a return, including a rotating selection of sourdough, kouign amann and pizzette, as well as additions such as cakes, choux pastries, tarts and sandwiches. Much like the pop-up, Agnes Bakery will feature a fully stocked larder brimming with goods such as cheese, house-made wood-smoked butter and relishes, salumi and even some items from the group’s restaurants. Agnes Bakery is due to open in August – we’ll have full details for you then.
During a year when comfort food became a go-to lockdown coping method for many, the arrival of Yums! Chicken’s flagship Woolloongabba restaurant in November 2020 helped cement fried chicken as one of the most in-demand comfort foods around. Though they had set goals and benchmarks from the outset, Yums! owners Chukwuemeka ‘Julius’ Azubuike and Alison Reid were blown away by the local response to their cluckin’ good chook and shake joint. Buoyed by this rapturous reception, the duo began scouting for an expansion location in February this year, quickly hitting gold with a vacant space at Rosalie Village (the former home of gastropub The Brass Barrel). Yums! Chicken’s Paddington expansion is set to officially open in late June, with its entire menu of eats (including crispy buttermilk fried-chicken burgers, half- and full-kilo serves of chicken wings, spicy chicken tenders and decadent thick-shakes) expected to be available. The site is shaping up to be larger than its Woolloongabba sibling, with an outdoor space giving locals a breezy spot for casual snacking. We’ll have more for you later this month!
Siffredi’s x Baja
Last week the crew at cheeky Teneriffe-based spaghetti bar Siffredi’s announced the latest event in its popular Snack Series, which sees the eatery teaming up with like-minded venues from across Brisbane and Southeast Queensland to create singular and fun dining experiences. Following April’s collab with Burnett Lane hotspot Alba Bar and Deli (which saw 80 percent of tables booked out within 12 hours), Siffredi’s is linking up with the crew behind Fortitude Valley Mexican restaurant Baja on Sunday June 20 for a day of good food, wine and cocktails. Both teams will be pooling resources and ideas to create a menu encompassing 10 snacks and eight signature cocktails, with the likes of short rib barbacoa with pickled tomatoes and smoked-onion cream, Fraser Island spanner crab bhajis, fish tacos with mole verde, chayote and escabeche, cacio e pepe spaghetti jaffles, sweet-potato tostadas, and wild-boar sausage rolls with caramelised onion and tarragon mayo featuring alongside concoctions such as mezcal negronis and elderflower and maraschino margaritas. Groups of five or more can book between 12:00–3:00 pm or 3:00–6:00 pm, while four and below can opt for shorter sittings between 12:00–2:00 pm, 2:00–4:00 pm, 4:00–6:00 pm. Bookings are available now so don’t sleep – get in touch with the crew via a direct message email [email protected] to snag a table!
Gerard’s Bar’s Shawarma Party Sundays
James Street’s Middle Eastern-inspired cocktail spot Gerard’s Bar is shaking up its Sunday afternoon and evening offering, exchanging its established snack selection in favour of some succulent shawarma. Every Sunday from 2:00 pm until late, Gerard’s Bar will host a weekly Shawarma Party, which will boast a special rotating shawarma selection that comes paired with a side of sumac-spiced chips and tahini mayo for $20. Expect the likes of brisket with muhammara and pickled chilli, felafel pita pocket with cabbage and garlic yoghurt, Hawaii chicken with toum and red onion, harissa pork neck with cabbage and labne, and mechoui lamb neck with cucumber and tabouli, plus a reduced mezze menu and Gerard’s full range of cocktails, wines and beers.
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