Things that signal winter’s approach in the city of Ipswich…
Foggy mornings over the heritage rooftops, shivering Brisbanites commenting how much cooler Ipswich is (we have to agree!), hot air balloons lifting off a little later in the mornings to catch sunrise and heaters re-appearing in the 4Hearts laneway!
Perhaps best of all though, the city’s chefs get into comfort food mode and offer up fresh lashings of slow-cooked, roasted and wood-smoked goodness!
Here are a few places to check out over the cooler months in a city that is indeed a few degrees cooler that the state’s capital. Come and get your winter on in the heritage city!
4Hearts Brewing Co
Let’s start at the Pumpyard Bar, the brewery at the heart of the 88 Limestone precinct that has become such a loved entertainment hub over the years. The laneway that lies next to Pumpyard Bar (where the brewery is based) really comes to life in winter with those heaters and the festoon lighting, and regular live entertainment.
US-born chef Sean is wheeling out a smoker on Sundays to produce cherry-smoked pork and lamb, and he’s got a seafood chowder on the latest menu, served in a sourdough cob loaf with garlic butter and lemon thyme. He’ll be doing brisket cooked with a honey beer, one of two seasonal Belgian-style beers about to be released, and there’s a classic pork sausages spiked with Ipswich Challenger and served with caramelised onions finished with Coal Miners stout on a mound of creamy mash.
Rafter and Rose
And speaking of things botanical and lovely, it’ll warm the cockles of your heart to cuddle up to some Rafter and Rose hospitality and the eye-popping creations they bounce out of the oven here on a daily basis. Think light and airy sticky date muffins drizzled with a delicious brown sugar syrup with your morning coffee or hot chocolate or turmeric latte. Think smiling faces and cheery banter amid the botanical splendour this unique coffee is also known for.
Chef Mark Naoum waltzes into winter with a stunning list of dishes showcasing his classic European flair and eye for quality produce. How about an entrée of Pepperberry kangaroo with cauliflower brulee and Kakadu plum.
Mains include seventy-two hour pork belly served with a tagine of sweet potato an prunes, cumin foam and pearl cous cous.
There’s smoked duck on French lentils with garlic panisse and a cherry gel… and rolled rabbit in Serrano ham with mushrooms, potato puree, baby spinach and caponata.
Lamb is served two ways with a bean salad and white bean puree and sweet confit cherry toms. There’s an exciting wine list to explore at The Cottage Restaurant. Come and see why this fine dining establishment consistently lures a full house and regulars from out of town.
Their secret weapon in the kitchen here at St Shoebill is a South Korean chef, Young Song, who is about to unleash some good things on the new breakfast and lunch menus.
A Japanese-style curry will be one new option and, for breakfast, golden orbs of potato hash with a turmeric hummus. You’ll find exceptional Ona coffee here too, from one of the most highly awarded coffee roasters in the country, and hearty breakfasts, like their popular spiced savoury mince on toast with avo and a poached egg (pictured). They tried to take if off the menu here once but Ipswich said ‘no!’.
Char’d Restaurant at the PA Hotel boasts one of the most diverse menus across the land at any time of the year, but they’re ramping up the list even more for the cooler months.
Following hot on the heels of the city’s successful Flavours of Ipswich campaign, the Char’d team has introduced Flavours of Autumn with the same pricing structure – two lunch courses for $25 and three dinner courses for $35.
Check out these rustic seasonal offerings including a dessert of banana bread waffle with cinnamon-spiced icecream. See also the new From the Wok list for delicious options like pork and prawn noodles with a Thai-style sauce (pictured).
Jets Leagues Club head chef Liuanga Finau garnered new followers during the recent Flavours of Ipswich campaign with his hearty and beautiful creations and he’s not holding back as we venture into the cooler season.
His crispy surf ‘n’ turf (pictured) with pork belly, prawns and scallops, is just the start. Look for it on the new menu landing here in June.
In the meantime, rest assured that showstopper ribs and wings is still available in all its smoky saucy goodness.
This busy Silkstone café has a menu worth checking out for breakfast or lunch with interesting dishes by Nepalese chef Sudesh Shrestha.
It’s not new but do try his popular Everest fried rice if you haven’t already, and his spiced rice pudding. There’s a reason Chai House is one of the city’s top picks for a cracking breakfast and it’s a lot to do with the care factor and attention to detail going on in the kitchen – check out that scrambled eggs with haloumi. Delish!
Essence of Indya
Essence of Indya is releasing a new Curry Fiesta menu for winter featuring warming regional dishes. Both chefs here are from mountain regions of India and know all about comfort food! The restaurant offers a diverse menu of traditional Indian cuisine and modern dishes, as well an ever-changing list of tapas that you can enjoy with a glass of wine after a busy day.