We are blessed with winters at the warmer end of the scale here in Queensland, but there’s still enough of a dip in temperature to get us craving hearty comfort food in a cosy restaurant.
Around Ipswich you can enjoy a stroll around the heritage city or hit one of the region’s many biking or hiking trails before retiring at day’s end to sate your well-earned appetite.
A majority of the city’s restaurants are located in century-old buildings, adding a warm, welcoming ambience to this character-filled dining scene.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll find on menus around the heritage city this winter.
Fine dining at an affordable price is the promise of this Ipswich dining gem and with a talented chef at the helm in Mark Naoum, you can expect the unexpected here – like the beautiful rabbit dish he is doing this winter.
The Sarano rolled rabbit is served with wild mushrooms, olives, caperberries and cherry tomatoes.
Naoum honed his skills in a number of fine dining restaurants in Australia and Scotland before opening The Cottage with wife Ange in 2016.
It occupies a converted house built in 1961 so you’ll really be soaking up the heritage feel of the city when you enjoy dinner here. Book on 31432644.
Prepare to drool. Golden waffles topped with a caramelised pork and butterscotch sauce is amongst the unashamedly seductive winter offerings from the city’s famous icecream slingers, Ungermann Brothers, in the 88 Limestone St heritage precinct.
Put some pure joy into your winter with the desserts they’re doing here – or opt for a good old-fashioned cone, albeit with flavour combinations you won’t find anywhere else! Phone: 3281 4038.
Pumpyard Bar – the home of 4Hearts Brewing
Beer lovers who also love good food are well catered to at this popular city brewery amid the heritage brick buildings that make up the 88 Limestone precinct.
There’s a sloooow cooked brisket dish that demands return visits once you’ve had it the first time, or go for the classic burger and fries in this buzzing night spot.
Also check out the slightly more refined offerings next door at Dovetails Restaurant. Both venues feature the vast array of 4Hearts Brewing beers, including exceptional seasonal editions made on site by head brewer Ken Friend.
Char’d at the PA
It’s all about steak this winter at Char’d – the inviting steakhouse at the PA Hotel.
While this venue projects a decidedly modern vibe these days, it was actually built back in 1842 but rebuilt after fire in the 1960s.
The hotel today enjoys a loyal following and is also home to Tap’d boasting the largest range of craft beers on tap in the southern hemisphere at around 72 at any given time.
Since re-opening after restrictions the hotel has been trying to keep up with rampant demand for comfort food and particularly steak dinners – their T Bone steaks have never been more popular! Book on 3282 1577.
Heisenberg Haus is your go-to for beautiful hearty German food and authentic ales to go with it.
But there’s more here than meets the eye – sibling café Tighty Whities next door has recently sprouted a pizza oven and a menu of crowd-pleasers such as saucy wings.
All housed in heritage brick surrounds in the middle of Brisbane St in the city’s famous Top of Town stretch. Book on 3142 2303.
For many, the mere mention of winter food conjures images of one dish… lamb shank.
The tender Aussie favourite makes an appearance on the menu this winter at the Orion Hotel – the large entertainment hub in the heart of Orion Springfield Central.
It can be enjoyed in the restaurant or out in the vibrant Terrace Bar at lunch or dinner. Just one of the many crowd-pleaser dishes you’ll find on the menu here. Book on 3470 5549.
This winter is no different and the customary integrity – and charcoal influences – shine bright in this chicken dish. Chicken cooked over olive wood charcoal with fermented white garlic, Jerusalem artichoke and pearl barley, presented with all the understated artistry regulars have come to love from executive chef Ash Martin and his team.
It’s that classic winter favourite – with a spiced twist. Indian Mehfil brings its popular lamb shank curry, served whole on the bone, for short stints so watch out for it at this Ipswich CBD restaurant, in the 1800s heritage building in the heart of town.
The shank is slow cooked and teamed with a fabulously spiced gravy. There are also plans to have it on the menu for Father’s Day – perfect with a Kingfisher beer!
In the meantime, there’s a vast menu of traditional Indian dishes to explore, including many gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Book on 3281 8683.
Memories of India
Across town, there’s more Indian comfort food to get excited about this winter, from the team at Memories of India.
Adventure beyond butter chicken with dishes such as Goat Nihari and Chicken Lababdar.
Those who love hot food might like to try the specialty Lalmas, using various chillies – guaranteed to fire up your winter evening!
This restaurant offers specials every week so it pays to keep returning.
It occupies a beautiful spot, in the old corner Ulster Hotel dating back to 1910. The Memories team offers lunch and dinner daily and has function rooms available for special occasions. Book on 3418 3369.
Yet another modern restaurant in a heritage landmark is Bakehouse Steakhouse which, despite the crazy rollercoaster 2020 has delivered to our hospitality scene, has actually been able to increase the range of delicious things on offer.
Bakehouse Buns – delicious burgers – and Bakehouse Hampers proved so popular during restrictions that the team here are continuing with them.
There’s also a new range of winter sides on the menu to accompany those premium steak dishes the restaurant has become famous for. The spectacular bar in this converted bakery building is the icing on the cake here. Book on 3281 3281.
Meanwhile, those with a preference for plant-based dining will find plenty on offer in the heritage city and surrounds.