Review of the Queen Street Markets, Brisbane

qut-markets-flowers
For the last couple of weeks, I have been sampling a different lunch at the Jan Powers Queen Street markets in the Brisbane City.

Here is my list of favourite C.B.D market day lunches:

  • Bagel Boys – They are always popular so you have to line up, but the time goes pretty quickly. Always excellent.
  • At the Skinny Scoop, I had an icy cold acai classic bowl, topped with muesli and fresh fruit. It was yummy but perhaps more suited to the warmer months.
  • The Pocket from Burleigh makes a delicious falafel with fresh salad in a pita bread. Recommended.
  • Goetzinger Small goods make good German Sausages, but it is filling. They serve Swiss and German style sausages in a hot dog style bun.

Other produce you can buy at the city markets are as follows:

  • Goat Pie Guy – I have previously had Goat Pies from the Goat Pie Guy and I highly recommend them to take home and pop in the oven for a quick and delicious meal. Unfortunately, they don’t sell them hot at the city markets.
  • Good Mix is a combination of superfoods to have instead of your regular muesli – Chia seeds, almonds, pepitas, coconut, buckwheat, flaxseed, sesame seeds, goji berries, raw cacao nibs, puffed amaranth, puffed millet.
  • Iced Tea – I’ve tried the mojito and raspberry iced tea, and both were refreshing.
  • I Heart Brownies – I tried the Jaffa flavoured brownie from I Heart Brownies. It was a rich chocolaty and orange flavoured cake in the shape of a heart.
  • The Popcorn Man – is very morish, but one big bag is better shared with a group of people.
  • Deliciously flavoured peanuts from the Peanut Van make a great snack.

The Queen Street markets may be crowded at lunch time, but are worthwhile to try some of Brisbane’s best produce.

Chester Street Bakery and Bar review

Chester Street sign

Chester Street Bakery and Bar has reopened to the public today. It will be a sourdough bakery by day and a neighbourhood bar by night.

Chester Street outside

I was fortunate enough to be invited to Chester Street for a sneak peek at a test kitchen. The restaurant was only open to friends and family and media to allow staff to perfect the dishes and gain valuable feedback.

Chester Street oven

The bakery is fitted out with a combination of new and rustic furniture. But the main attraction is an impressive cobalt-blue wood-fired oven which bakes the bread.

In the last couple of weeks, while the bakers have been learning to perfect the bread, they held an honesty box system, where locals could exchange their loose change for a loaf. What a novel idea.

Chester Street pork main

For my main meal I couldn’t resist trying the wood roasted pork belly. It was two generous slices of soft pork with cubes of apple and quince, on a bed of radicchio leaves. It had a lovely sauce with hints of anise and citrus.

Chester Street chocolate cake

The chocolate and almond cake was moist and soft and came with a delicious light and airy expresso creme fraiche.

Chester Street bread

Bread is baked daily and starts from $6 a loaf. There is currently a choice of Classic Sourdough, Olive and Rosemary, Walnut Sourdough, Rustic Fruit, Seven Grain Loaf and Roman Style Pizzas.

Breakfast is also available and you can choose from doughnuts, granola, rhubarb and pear compote, frittata, sweet and savoury muffins, baguettes, fish cakes, fruit salad, savoury galette, and pecan scrolls.

We took home a loaf of sourdough. It has a mild sour taste and robust texture – it’s so nice I wish we lived in the neighbourhood because I would eat this bread every day if I could.

Chester Street Bakery and Bar
32a Chester Street
Newstead, Brisbane

Thank you, Chester Street Bakery and Bar for inviting us to their test kitchen. 

Northey Street City Farm tour

Northey Farm Tours sign

Northey Street City Farm is a permaculture garden in the centre of Brisbane. It is located on 2 hectares of flood-prone area, which is leased from the Brisbane City Council.

buliding

In Zone One is the cafe, kitchen gardens and building. The building has been positioned on poles so that it is at the highest point of a 1 in 100 years flood so that it will not be flooded. The kitchen gardens are for demonstration purposes and are in the shape of keyholes to maximise the output.

There are at least three large meeting places which can be used by visiting groups, but in particular school groups.

Bob gave us an eye-opening demonstration of earth art.

Across the road, there is a regeneration area, which is maintained by the local Bush Care group. There are also groves of native fruit trees in outer zones.

compost

There is a dedicated green waste recycling centre, which includes a large worm farm and compost tunnels. They use the worm liquid to fertilise their plants, rather than as castings. Northey St uses a three bay compost system to rotate the waste matter.

chicken

There are three chicken tractors and these are moved every fortnight.

Also across the road are the productive gardens for the markets and lunches. The new vegetable beds are made up of cardboard, compost and straw. Northey St use the no-dig technique and the beds are raised to make the most of mini-floods. They plant open-pollinated seeds and collect them again for saving.

allotments

Nearby are the allotments which are available for hire. Some people are using nets to keep the bush turkeys away.

orchard

There is also a citrus orchard and this area includes sub-tropical fruit trees. As an investment in the future, there is a grove of hardwood trees which will be harvested in 20 years time.

Northey Street Farm sign

There is a nursery on site called Edible Landscapes Organic Nursery. The organic markets are held in the car park on every Sunday.

Thank you to Northey Street City Farm for the free tour. Tours are held every Tuesday at 9:30pm and highly recommended. 

Plants for honey bees

northey-honey

It is important to encourage bees to our gardens, so that they can help pollinate our fruit and vegetables. The best plants to grow are nectar-producing natives and flowering plants such as basil, borage, catmint, coriander, cornflowers, fennel, garlic chives, heather, hyssop, lavender (heirloom varieties), lemon balm, marigolds, mint, rosemary, scabious and sea holly, thyme.

Jerry Coleby-Williams recommends growing begonias, blue ginger, pigeon peas and salvias to encourage the native Blue Banded bees. He also says:

There’s a lot more I’d recommend, but one crop that is often overlooked is corn – for its pollen.

I’ve planted Eucalyptus tereticornis and Melaleuca leucadendron in my street for honeybees.

I use ‘Honey Flora of Qld’, by S.T. Blake & C. Roff, published by DPI Qld, ISBN 0-7242-2371-1″>0-7242-2371-1 as a standard reference book.

If you aim for a variety of different plants which flower at different times of the year, you’ll have more success with encouraging bees.

Northey Street City Farm honey