Regional Flavours | South Bank

After falling in love with the event’s launch last Friday,  I decided to swallow my distaste for (see: deep-seeded hatred of) enormous crowds and tackle South Bank’s Regional Flavours festival!

My boyfriend played chaperone to make sure I made it out alive and didn’t eat myself stupid, and together we uncovered some pretty delicious local treats that almost made it worth braving the crush.

Next Door Kitchen and Bar

Next Door, the food truck baby sister of Little Stanely Street’s permanent resident of the same name, was the first food truck to take our eye. I went with the pulled beef brisket burger with slaw on a brioche bun and my boyfriend went with the hot wings with blue cheese sauce but both were incredible! Hindsight is a beautiful thing and, looking back, we shouldn’t have started with something so filling but it’s hard to regret it when the food is this good.

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Cucina by Toscani’s

With a little room left in our tummies (mostly just from sheer force of will) we descended upon Cucina, another food truck side product of a permanent Brisbane instalment. Cucina and Toscani’s cook up Italian fare and this time around we went with the mushroom arancini and the spiced lamb and halloumi skewers.

Neha’s Indian Inspired Ice Cream & Chutney

Full of savoury now but somehow with room to spare we were seeking out something sweet and watching Neha Sen’s beautiful toppings scattered over Sundaes of her Indan-inspired ice cream was more than enough to catch us. We went with a mix of Coconut Lemon Myrtle and Macadamia with Mango and Honey Lassi. The salty-sweet mix of ice cream and toppings (spiced granola, yum!) was exactly what we needed to finish our brave adventure .

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We finished off the day by taking home some fresh, homemade gnocchi to whip up for dinner and a Cabernet Merlo from Clovely Estate to match (I’d had my eye on the Clovely Estate range since tasting it at the launch of The Hunting Club and was thrilled to find they had  a stall).

The final verdict? Crowds are awful and I wish I’d planned better (and taken full advantage of the wine tasting!) but I saw some cute dogs and the great food might just have been worth it.

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Regional Flavours launch 2016 | South Bank

Today, as a part of my internship, my editor and I slipped out of the office to rub shoulders and drink wine at midday for the launch of Regional Flavours in South Brisbane, held at the festival’s pop-up bistro The Hunting Club.

And, just quietly, I loved it for much more than the self-important feeling of drinking red wine in the middle of a work day.

The Hunting Club is the jewel in the Regional Flavours crown, mixing sophistication with Queensland’s rugged centre.

With minimalistic decor that draws its inspiration from the rustic Australian outback, the hybrid event and dining space juxtaposes unpolished concrete with faux fur and centrepieces sprouting natural fauna for a sophisticated but laid-back feel.

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As suggested, The Hunting Club covers all bases  as a bar and bistro, serving some of The Charming Squire’s signature fare with top notch locally brewed beers and wines to match.

Today’s sample treats included swordfish sliders, mini pumpkin and feta tarts, and The Charming Squire’s crowd favourite: mushroom and truffle arancini balls!

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The Hunting Ground will be serving up a full menu of farm fresh Queensland goodies throughout the weekend festival. You can check out the full menu here.

The launch event  also introduced the festival’s shameless array of sparkling foodie talent including the complete Masterchef trio, Adriano Zumbo, Luke Hines, Miguel Maestre, and Maggie Beer, who’ll be sharing their food secrets in demonstrations and events throughout the weekend festival.

I’ll be elbowing my way back into the bar when I visit the festival in full swing tomorrow night, and I am fully prepared to fight to the death for a faux fur covered seat.

Regional Flavours runs from July 15 – July 17. The Hunting Ground is open every night until late. 

Little Loco | New Farm

I’m probably the last known human to finally discover New Farm’s worst-kept secret: Little Loco.

When my boyfriend and I made the (terrifying) cross-city move to Fortitude Valley at the start of the year, we were driving around town aimlessly scoping out our new surroundings, trying to cover basics like where the hell do we get our groceries now and where do you people keep your booze. In what felt like the heart of the suburbs (but we would later realise was only a few blocks from the hub of New Farm) we drove past a tiny cafe. It zipped by like a flash but it was small, homey, busy and had flowers out the front so, I immediately declared we would go there as soon as possible. That was around February and today, six-ish months later, I finally did go there, and boy was it worth the wait!

In case you hadn’t guessed already, Little Loco is a tiny cafe nestled in the suburb of New Farm. It occupies a small but beautifully furnished space that screams to be Instagram-ed for its simple, clean elegance. More to the point, though, the food is amazing.

Think of your trusted brekkie favourites but as generously portioned plates of goodness. Options range from the green bowl (poached eggs with mixed greens); porridge with fresh, seasonal, fruit; a brekky burger with all your guilty essentials; and, of course, waffles!

Healthy and not-so-healthy options sit comfortably beside a range of fresh smoothies, locally pressed juices and Single Origin coffee (topped with 100% real heirloom chocolate if you fancy yourself a cappuccino).

On this particular day, I took my beautiful mum and we both become besotted with the signature Little Loco Breakfast. That Little Loco trend of brekkie stalwarts with generous portions? That applies doubly to this one!

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Trust me, It was just as delicious as it looks. Think of that feeling of warming up on a crisp cold, Brisbane day and you’ve hit the culinary nail on the head. Paired with a coffee and a green smoothie (spinach, banana, mango and coconut), to shoo away the guilt, it was the perfect winter pick-me-up!

Personally, I’m now fighting for excuses to go back and try the Egyptian Eggs breakfast bowl.

Oh, and those flowers I saw? They come beautiful and cheery courtesy of Flower and Bloom and much to the dismay of the gentleman whose reluctant butt made it into the photo.

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Little Loco is offering up breakfast goodness from 121 Merthyr Rd in New Farm, 7 days a week

Facebook: Little Loco Cafe
Instagram: Littlelococafe