Images: (left to right) Papa Jacks, Mighty Mighty, Gordita.
Look, some of us struggle just to know which knife and fork to use first (it’s outwards-in guys), or which way to leave the cutlery to signal you’re done, and that’s only after we figure out what we’re actually ordering.
So to take the extra worries away of firstly picking what you’ll be eating, and avoiding the food envy of what the couple two seats over just ordered, we went straight to the Chefs of five stellar M&A Dining Precinct restaurants to ask for their expert advice.
If all you have experienced of Spanish cuisine is chorizo, paella and sangria, well that’s not a terrible start I suppose, but there’s so much more to discover amigos! And you might as well start with the menu at the swanky Spanish restaurant and bar, with low lighting, dark oak tables and bar (it’s actually the best dining seats in the house), and leather booth seating; Gordita.
Chef Nick Stapleton pick: Baharat spiced lamb cutlets with rosemary and honey, available in a single serve or full rack with our Dutch carrots, goats curd, walnut and honey side.
Mad about meat? Embrace your urban cowboy with a southern barbecued, slow-cooked, and smokey meat orientated menu. Mighty Mighty Cue and Brew represents the best of southern smokehouse cuisine with handcrafted beers to complement the flavours.
Head Chef Josh Inglis pick: Mighty Mighty 16hr beef brisket with red onion and guajillo jam, smoked potatos and garlic pickle or country style pork rib cutlet with spiced pumpkin puree, green apple salsa and cress.
The most recent addition to the M&A Lane Dining Precinct is the adventurous Mexican restaurant SIN VIDA, hosting a menu that draws inspiration from the Aztec and Meso-American cultures to captivate your senses and excite your imagination, while breathing new life into the Day of the Dead experience. Think share plates and casual meals, both authentic and original.
Head Chef Adam Herbert's picks: Market fresh fish ceviche with mandarin and habanoro saucer, and the 7 chilli goat barbacoa (like a chilli con carne). He says the use of goat in the dish is really interesting.
Japanese dining at it’s finest, Nikuya takes on Japanese tradition with a two level restaurant approach, with each level having their own cuisine specialty. Experiencing authentic Japanese takes more than sitting at a sushi train, using chopsticks or having wait staff yell sake when you order one. At Nikuya, they specialise in fine meats, including Kurobuta pork, Wagyu beef, seafood and sushi and a wide range of sake.
Head Chef Takahiro Kawamura’s pick: Rosu (Panko-fried Pork Loin)
Being the first and the only restaurant specialising in Tonkatsu, Rosu is Nikuya’s specialty dish that you must try.
Downtown Brisbane’s slice of New Orleans flair, Papa Jacks offers live blues, soul and jazz music on the reg, Creole cuisine classics (have you tried Gumbo?), and delectable cocktails and house-brewed shrub. It’s intimate, it’s funky and it was even voted as Best Bar (QLD) at the 2014 Australian Bar Awards.
Head Chef Nathan Wood's pick: Red claw and chicken etouffé with saffron rouille.
Now you know the Chef's picks, Style and M&A Lane Dining Precinct want you to try them. Keep an eye out over the next few weeks on Style's Instagram account for how you could win 1 of 5 $50 vouchers to use at these restaurants.
M&A Lane Dining Precinct
McLachlan & Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Just a quick note: This post is sponsored, but we only write about things we reckon you’ll think are awesome. We’re all about sharing the love here at Style, and it’s the love from sponsors that helps make that happen. Thanks for helping us avoid food envy M&A Lane.