Asian fusion the key to new life for Brisbane restaurants

Brisbane’s restaurants have fallen under harsh scrutiny from critics and the press alike.

Its culinary scene has received harsh criticism over the years, with claims that Brisbane food culture represents a “cultural desert”.

Alchemy Restaurant manager Edward Bray rejects the criticism.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a cultural desert as such, it’s constantly evolving, desert sort of evokes barren, and I wouldn’t say it’s barren at all,” he said.

With 20 years’ experience, Jellyfish Maitre D’ John McNamara credits Brisbane’s food scene.

“I can only say from last year’s Gourmet Travel Awards Brisbane won the best award in the nation,” he said.

He also praised surrounding reputable restaurants along the Brisbane’s Eagle Street Pier such as Aria, Char Char Char and Kinsgley’s Steak House for having a wonderful selection of quality food.

“I think that we’ve actually collected the latest of Asian Fusion and mainly just a wonderful Queensland influence of fresh produce,” Mr McNamara said.

Defending Brisbane’s cultural food tag Edward Bray makes light of the fact that we are unlike Australia’s larger capital cities and hold a culinary identity fitting for our city.

“Brisbane’s signature style in Brisbane is generally very casual dining. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t have that super duper fine dining experience to it,” he said.

“We have to get past the fact that we are trying to be a mini-Melbourne, we don’t want to be a mini-Melbourne, we don’t want to be a mini-Sydney, we want to be a Brisbane, and again as long as we keep on getting better and better then that’s the goal,” he said.

A street poll found people from Brisbane and from other cities were happy with Brisbane restaurants and cafes, with “Asian fusion” food being be the popular choice.

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