Trying Ipswich’s foodie scene
What struck me about the food scene in Ipswich is that it is evolving with more and more eateries cropping up every month in this majestic city. But not only this, the dining establishments are making use of Ipswich’s charming little cottages and historical buildings that exude warmth and comfort. A little like visiting Nanna’s place on a Sunday!
Whether you are after a rich aromatic cup of coffee in one of the trendy little cafes in the CBD, a healthy wholesome meal, a quick bite or snack, a long luxurious lunch or a sumptuous a-la-carte dinner, the eateries in Ipswich cater for all tastes.
Newcomer, The Cottage Restaurant, opening in October 2016, with a full a-la-carte menu offers fine modern Australian cuisine. The Limestone Street cottage is perched high above the street, surrounded by a cottage garden and exudes the charm and elegance of a bygone era with décor in keeping with its 1860’s heritage. The restaurant consists of three separate dining rooms that interconnect, opening out via pretty French doors, onto an alfresco dining area on the front verandah, perfect for catching summer breezes.
There are original timber floors, fire places, chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, starched white table clothes with candles and fine silverware, all giving credence to a fine dining experience. I’ll give you the scoop, the specialty of the house, or should I say cottage, straight from the chef’s mouth is the Double Cutlet of Victorian Lamb with Slow Cooked Breast. This mouth-watering dish is slow cooked for 48 hours and simply falls apart on your fork!
If good quality organic coffee is your thing, then you can’t go past The Urban Pantry at Top of The Town precinct in Brisbane Street. Sourced from none other than Byron Bay, the freshly ground coffee brew is aromatic and flavoursome, just as coffee should be. Open from early mornings for the early birds until mid afternoon, the quirky café also serves up some tasty food choices with an all day breakfast menu.
There are choices such as Cheesy Baked Eggs with salami, cherry toms and sourdough, the Urban Parfait with natural yoghurt sweetened with honey, apple and cinnamon, coconut and cranberry muesli and almonds or the decadent Brekky Banquet. For a healthy lunch try Urban’s Rice Paper Rolls with brown rice Asian salad or one of the freshly made salads.
Directly across the street is the gorgeous Fourthchild Restaurant, situated in what was once an old bank building, complete with a high, vaulted skylight lined with pressed metal, giving the place a warm and ambient atmosphere. The spacious restaurant with its black timber floors, exposed brick walls, large colourful print taking up almost an entire wall, timber chairs with cushion covers depicting the names of the suburbs of Ipswich, feels homely and comfortable.
The restaurant and its kitchen staff pride themselves in making everything on the menu from scratch, sourcing fresh ingredients from local producers in the Lockyer Valley and Gatton. All cakes, pies and desserts are lovingly handmade on the premises and I can vouch for this after sampling a particularly delightful Lemon Slice, perfectly presented with fresh whipped cream and edible flowers. Fourth Child is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week and is fully licensed.
Further uptown, the American themed Dusty’s Bar & BBQ, another relatively recent addition to the Ipswich food scene, gives patrons a taste of Uncle Sam’s finest foods and beers. Menu items take your taste buds on an American road trip and include Crab Cakes, New Orleans Shrimp, Southern Fried Chicken and Cajun Cod from the Deep South; to the North East with a choice of a Boston or Chicago Dog or a New York Porterhouse; to Dusty’s Smoked Ribs and Steaks.
The main bar is decked out with a variety of American sports memorabilia and the restaurant, that extends out onto a rear deck has a definitive “down on the ranch” theme with whips, cowboy boots and cow horns adorning the exposed brick walls. The front bar at Dusty’s really amps it up on Friday and Saturday nights with live musical entertainment.
Behind Our Picket Fence
Behind Our Picket Fence, as the name depicts is about good, old-fashioned home-cooking in a country kitchen/farmhouse space, down at the other end of Brisbane Street at number 10. The South African born owners have brought with them one or two unique recipes from their homeland and have combined that with good, hearty food.
Without a doubt Vetkoek, fluffy deep-fried bread, is one of the big drawcards on the menu. You can pair this sumptuous bread with homemade jam or stuff it with curried mince for a savoury flavour – the choice is yours! Open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch, BOPF specializes in High Teas comprising of dainty little Petit Fours, Ribbon Sandwiches and homemade Scones as big as your fist.
Just out of town in the adjoining suburb of Booval, is the majestic PA Hotel and Tap’d, where you could literally spend weeks tasting the amber ale from their extensive beer menu. They have an impressive 72 beers and ciders on tap – which is the largest selection of craft beers in one bar on this side of the equator. Name your poison and they have it!
From India pale ales, lagers, stouts, brown ales, wheat beers to ciders. A beer tap fountain feature sits centre stage in this earthy space, with barrel shaped booths with brown leather seats, exposed brick and timber frame walls and pendant lights made from beer kegs.
Since you’re going to be here a while, there is some great grub on offer from the Tap’d Burger Kitchen focusing on tasty homemade burgers, seasoned chips, BBQ ribs & wings or hand stretched pizza – the perfect accompaniment to your tasting paddle of beers. Tap’d is located within the PA Hotel at 170 Brisbane Road, Booval.
Springfield is also emerging as an alternative place to dine with restaurants and cafes opening their doors in this beautiful lakeside community. BLVD Restaurant serves up a smoking hot menu at Springfield Lakes Hotel. In fact BBQ never tasted so good! BLVD’s menu offers an American smoked BBQ menu which consists of dishes such as Pork Baby Back Ribs, Beef Ribs, Smoked ½ Chicken and Pulled Pork all of which are hand seasoned and slow cooked on a smoke pit over ironbark logs.
The tasty menu also dishes up a whole range of other delectable foods with options for gluten free and vegetarian diners. Meal prices are very reasonably priced and there is a special menu section for children.
For lakeside dining in Springfield, Moselle’s Restaurant is an elegantly appointed restaurant with gorgeous lake views of Spring Lake. Moselle’s offers Western and Vietnamese cuisine, but also doubles as a café serving up coffee and light meals during the daylight hours. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for meals or for a coffee fix whilst relaxing by the lake.
For a summer thirst quencher try one of Moselle’s homemade Smoothies or Frappes. Or try their delicious specials of Swordfish with Nicoise salad or T-Bone Steak with chips and Diane sauce for the price of $17.50 per dish on Friday and Saturday nights.