For Brisbane restaurateur PJ McMillan, his love of pizza was borne out of childhood memories of Friday night visits to his local pizzeria, where they served up unpretentious woodfired pizza with a side of cool beats in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand.
It’s a passion that flourished through to adulthood, and with the acquisition of the space beside Harvey’s (formerly inhabited by CJ’s Pastas), his passion has culminated in his newest venture: Tinderbox Kitchen.
With a few masterful strokes, including the installment of a column-like beech pizza oven, the affable chef/owner’s latest offering is a pared-down approach to food, with a menu offering both shared options, dishes from the oven, salads and the star of the show; woodfired pizzas.
Heading in on its first night open in the week, Tuesday, the vibe is positively bustling. Young women giggle perched on a window seat among tables of well-dressed older couples, all enjoying cocktails, the spot’s extensive Queensland only beer list, and pared-back chow.
We shared the lamb main with toasted almonds, green olives and a slick of date puree, and the restaurant’s namesake: the Tinderbox pizza - Mooloolaba prawns, chilli, zucchini, fior de latte, oregano and cherry tomatoes.
It’s an honest serving of premium produce, drinks and ambience that transcends generations.
But you wouldn’t expect anything less from PJ’s kitchen.
Shop 7/31 James St , The Valley P 3852 3744