From the archives: This post is from our original site, MyCityLife back on 29 October 2014
Standard procedure of years past seems to have reserved the inner city as premium food destinations: Brisbane’s inner sanctum of fine dining. But a ripple effect has come into play, where the fine dining effect has spread from the nucleus of the CBD outwards. From Restaurant Two and e’cco Bistro in the heart of the CBD to Malt, Moo Moo Wine Bar + Grill and Urbane Restaurant, then Riverside with Alchemy Restaurant + Bar, Esquire, ARIA Brisbane the effect has butterflied out to Cloudland and Gerard’s Bistro in The Valley, Eve’s On The River and Anise in New Farm. This continues to Aquitaine Brasserie and Stokehouse from River Quay on South Bank, Bacchus South Bank and Era Bistro in South Brisbane to Libertine Bar & Restaurant and Peasant Restaurant in The Barracks, Montrachet in Paddington and further still to Lutece Bistro & Wine Bar, Bardon and Deer Duck Bistro, Auchenflower. In the East, 1889 Enoteca and Birdcage in Woolloongabba round out the top shelf dining destinations. This flow on effect continues from ground zero, as Indooroopilly Shoppingtown and Garden City in Mount Gravatt emerge as Brisbane’s latest food havens.
And to the heart of Garden City comes a retreat from the babble with The Palms Bar & Grill. Brad and Angelica Jolly (squint and it looks like Brad and Angelina) have brought the magic of Australian Fusion Alchemy Restaurant + Bar to the suburbs.
As a casual respite, The Palms presents stunning views of the pool with an alfresco ambiance. Terra cotta, limestone and stucco elements, with herringbone and chevron tiles extends from the bar through to the restaurant, with the kitchen showcasing the restaurant’s pride and joy; the lauded 300kg Josper oven and grill imported from Spain, complete with iron base working on Australian hardwood charcoal, with heat reaching a mere 700 degrees. Wall lamps gently undulate towards arches and facades with a slight classic Italian feel, setting up The Palms as a sanctuary of glistening Mediterranean whiteness. From bar to restaurant, overflowing fountains and limpid pools of cooling waters means this tropical oasis is far from the maddening crowd – certainly not in a suburban shopping centre. The magnetism of Alchemy’s touch and eye for quality produce and ingredients have made it across the concrete jungle, bringing a serene ambiance to this food paradise.
The Spanish influence upon the Mediterranean menu encourages casual communal dining with bites and shared foods, featuring small plates to share plates and something bigger. Traditional Spanish starters of marinated pickles, olives, pork scratchings with pork crackers and chorizo and chilli sauce served alongside the deep fried Manchego cheese and croquettes, are conventionally oily, allowing for the gorgeous house reds or fine bottles to appease the pomade. The sweetness of charcuterie plates with Spanish mountain Jamon and classic Iberico Jamon prepare the tastebuds for the coming of grilled meats.
The Porchetta of braised pork belly with apple and fennel pollen salad vies for attention alongside the Josper grilled spiced prawns with chilli and lime salt. But the lightly fried baby calamari with chilli and squid ink aioli is a taste revelation, though the aioli’s resemblance to the stucco walls might well serve as an obstacle. Place complete trust in the magic of head chef Josh Wilby and general manager Sam Petersen: every dish here is perfectly balanced to please the palate.
The Josper grill isn’t just for show either, with whole grilled fish to braised short rib beef, pork cutlets, Black Angus beef, slow-cooked lamb shoulder and half chickens served up as mains. The heat of the oven chars the meats, sealing in the moisture for ultimate juiciness. Add seasonal vegetables with varieties in jus and purees to taste – burnt onion and orange puree stands up rather hard against the red jus or almond puree. Or if Italian tastes are more the style, the sautéed clams with gnocchi and crab linguini are absolute stars in this Mediterranean tale.
And like every tropical adventure, ending on a sweet note just elevates this experience to a sabbatical. Panna cotta with puffed popcorn and caramel sauce or roasted spice pineapple with pina colada ice cream are sweet climaxes. Seated by the water, a Mediterranean cocktail replete with garnishes galore and served up in a bowl of a wine glass merely enhances this paradise escape.
From the city centre to the suburbs, we are definitely spoiled for choice. This flow-on effect of foodie hot spots is trickling throughout Brisbane, allowing The Palms Bar & Grill to serve as a Mediterranean departure for a sensational exploration of the palate.
The Palms Bar & Grill
Westfield Garden City, corner Logan and Kessels Road, Mount Gravatt.
07 3422 1870