After making us avoid the bathroom scales during July and August last year, Brisbane Times Good Food Month is coming back for an encore, shining the spotlight on Brisbane's flourishing food scene.
If you're serious about this once-a-year event, you will no doubt have the printed program on your coffee table, dog-eared your favourite events and set reminders in your iPhone calendar (or is that just me?).
"It’s been a lot of fun planning this year’s program," says Creative Director Natascha Mirosch. "We’ve managed to include something for everyone, from keen cooks who want to learn a new skill, to those who prefer to have their meals cooked for them by top chefs."
From July 9–August 9, Brisbane will be bursting at the seams with more than 200 delicious events taking over rooftops, laneways and tables all across town. If you're yet to map out your month around the food glorious food, here's a taste of what's in store.
Night Noodle Markets
Chopsticks at the ready! The Night Noodle Markets are back and better than ever, taking over the South Bank Cultural Forecourt from July 22–August 2. Upping the ante to 12 nights, Brisbane's favourite hawker-style markets will be churning out steaming bowls of ramen and tightly wrapped gyoza from 30 different stalls. In good news for hungry patrons, the markets are going cashless this year, with all food and drink available with a swipe or tap of your plastic.
The Breakfast Club
It's the most important meal of the day and a handful of eateries around Brisbane won't let you forget it. During Good Food Month, a host of brunch experts including Billykart Kitchen in Annerley and New Farm's Balfour Kitchen will be offering a $20 set menu on weekdays. Some cafes will also be pushing special Good Food Month meals, like Campos Coffee's confit duck and potato waffle and Anouk's Round The World breakfast degustation.
Hats Off Dinners
Culinary heavyweights who scooped up the accolades in the 2014-15 Brisbane Times Good Food Guide will be throwing their menus to the wind this month. Japanese restaurant Sake will turn their attentions towards French cuisine, 85 Miskin Street will offer diners the opportunity to pluck produce fresh from the garden, while Gerard's Bistro will serve a five-course dinner inspired by the eastern Mediterranean. Hats Off Dinners come at a cost but include a Tanqueray gin cocktail on arrival, so it all evens out.
On the other side of the coin, a selection of top Brisbane restaurants are set to host wallet-friendly two-course dinners for under $30. After all, Good Food Month is about 'good food', regardless of the price tag. Take your tapas under the stars at Lost Boys in the shiny new Bakery Lane precinct, enjoy an Asian sampler at Chop Chop Changs in West End, or pop in to The Spaghetti House Trattoria's new South Bank digs for an Italian feast that won't break the bank.
Wet Your Whistle
A tonne of Brisbane bars will be shaking, mixing and muddling innovative cocktails for Good Food Month. Twenty bucks will get you a Tanqueray gin cocktail and bar snack to match. Dutch Courage Officers' Mess boasts a Beez Neez honey-soaked cocktail with stuffed jalapenos and pickled figs on the side, while Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar will serve a Sweet White Lady partnered with a 'naked pop' ice cream, ready to be dressed in your choice of sugary toppings.
Pop Ups, Masterclasses & more
There's stacks on offer for hands-on types during July–August. The Brisbane BBQ Festival on July 18 & 19 is sure to leave you sticky-fingered, while Nant's 'Water of Life' masterclass will transform you into a whisky connoisseur after a few nips. Whether it's a secret creekside pop-up lunch hosted by the two-hatted esq. or an intimate bush tucker class at Wandering Cooks, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge your inner foodie during Good Food Month in Brisbane.
Good Food Month presented by Citi is Australia’s largest food festival, taking place across Canberra and Perth in March, Brisbane throughout July, Sydney in October, and Melbourne in November.