From the new hidden restaurant gem on the north side to a festival dedicated to ice-cream, this month’s Fork Talk is guaranteed to have your mouth watering.

TASTE OF TRADITION

Hidden in the back of the Carseldine Central shopping complex, you’ll find new authentic Chinese restaurant Mo Charcoal Alley. The restaurant actually opened late last year, but two weeks ago it was recommended to me by a friend who had lived in Shanghai for seven years, so I knew it was going to be good.

Restaurant owners Reba and Jeffery Wong have created a menu that combines traditional cooking techniques with a modern twist, and it’s safe to say that this is my new favourite Chinese restaurant (Sorry, Happy Boy. I still love you).

You can choose from a wide range of dishes on the menu, or you can put your cooking skills to the test on an Asian BBQ with a set menu. Reba was also able to recommend some dishes after I described my favourite traditional Chinese meals. The Szechuan Mapo tofu and braised pork belly were standouts for me!

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MESSINA MOMENT

Ice-cream fans, rejoice! We told you about Brisbane’s first Gelato Messina last year but we finally have more news! The Melbourne Street store will open its doors in mid-March. You can look forward to 42 different ice-cream flavours instead of the usual 40, and the South Brisbane location will be the popular brand’s ice-cream production hub for Brisbane.

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LATE BREAKFAST CLUB

West End favourite Lock’n’Load has just launched a new brunch menu, known as The “Late” Breakfast Club. With $25 Bloody Mary and BLT combos, and $20 bottomless mimosas available from 10am to 12pm on the weekend, who could say no to a sleep-in? Weekend hangovers never tasted so good!

PEARL-FECTION

Woolloongabba’s Pearl Café has long been a foodie favourite. With new head chef Andrew Kokkinn at the helm, the reinvented autumn menu is set to impress. From barnyard quail with caramlised peach to charred Cape Grim rib fillet with crisp jamón, the new European-inspired menu is unlike anything else in Brisbane.
PEARL CAFE IMAGE

TRANSCULTURAL CUISINE

It’s finally time for Brisbane to meet the newest branch of Junk, brought to us by the culinary collaborators behind Donut Boyz and Hello Harry. South Bank will be home to the third location in the Asian fusion chain. Brisbane foodies have been raving about the salt and pepper tofu and crispy pork belly. This new spot is at the top of my March hit list.

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

James Street newcomer Fenek Cafe & Restaurant is inspired by Italian and Mediterranean flavours. This venue is all about producing good, wholesome comfort food with a little twist in each dish. The hearty menu offers a number of starters and sides, as well as a variety of main meals such as Fenek Fettucini, duck gnocchi and market fish with chorizo and prawns.
Fenek

BETTY’S BACK (AGAIN!)

We were over the moon when we heard that Betty’s Burgers would be opening its first Brisbane venue in Newstead this July. And now they’ve gone and outdone themselves by promising a second Brisbane location as part of Westfield Chermside Shopping Centre’s upgrade! The Chermside location will be dishing up the popular burgers from early June this year.

COOL AND CREAMY

Brisbane’s first ice-cream festival will be taking over the historic Peters Ice Cream Factory on March 11. Located in the new West Village food precinct, the Brisbane Ice Cream Festival is a free event that will feature pop-up stalls from the best in the ice-cream biz (think Gelato Messina, Mister Fitz and Nitrogenie), as well as live music and a pop-up bar full of boozy frozen treats.

BIEBS & BELLINIS

To celebrate Justin Bieber’s March 13 concert at Suncorp Stadium, Darling & Co Paddington is putting on a pre-concert dining offer: Biebs & Bellinis.

Choose between a two-course dinner ($55pp), or spend an extra $25pp to upgrade to two hours of bottomless Bellinis with the Biebs & Bellinis package. Bookings are recommended.

CHILI COOK OFF

The Kettle & Tin Annual Chili Cook Off is back for a fifth year! Held over two days, the official Brewsvegas event will highlight a number of Brisbane venues vying for the title of Chili Master.

On Saturday, March 18, the event will host a meat market, BBQ showcase, and Bloody Mary masterclass with live music throughout the day. And on Sunday, March 19, the venue will host the chili cook off to determine which Brissie venue is deserving of the coveted Tin Pot Chili.

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