There’s never been a better time to explore our local region than the present. With restrictions lifting and the weather simply gorgeous, why not step out and enjoy Flavours of Ipswich, a food festival held from April 7-24, 2021. During this time, some of Ipswich’s favourite restaurants are offering fixed price lunches and dinners aimed at the everyday diner.
With prices ranging from $25 for two-course lunches to $35 for three-course dinners across more than twenty participating restaurants, there is a lot of choice for hungry foodies.
Adding another dimension to our dining, we choose five venues spread across world cuisines, taking the opportunity to travel the world within one city.
Raw Energy Springfield, 6 Yoga Way, Springfield Central Ph: 34131021
Perched up on the hill overlooking the Orion Lagoon, Kirstie and Tim Sharman offer two different brunches during Flavours, the one we choose including Turkish-inspired poached eggs with their own house-made hummus and Greek yoghurt accompanied by a fresh minty avocado, tomato and cucumber salad. There’s an accompanying dessert and a small orange juice to make sure you have a sunshiny day.
Indian Mehfil, 116 Brisbane Street, Ipswich Ph: 3281 8683
Indian Mehfil is an Ipswich institution and rightly so. Owners Raj and Prianka Sharma, who own several restaurants, have hosted prime ministers and sporting royalty during their time as restaurateurs. They will give you the same royal welcome when you visit.
Indian cuisine is always a family favourite. The popularity of Indian Mehfil’s butter chicken is unrivalled, the family cooking 100kg of chicken each day, half as much again on each weekend day. Another of our favourite dishes is Fish Methi Malai, the fish cooked in cream, dried fruit and fragrant spices. It’s superb! Dine at lunch and enjoy the chef’s selection of appetisers followed by a curry of your choice, dessert added for the dinner deal. Better still, dine with friends and make it a banquet!
Montezumas, Riverlink Shopping Centre, 2 The Terrace, North Ipswich Ph: 3143 2099
Montezumas, in the family dining area of Riverlinks, faces onto a verandah with a great view of the Bremer River below. Tina and her son Simon are welcoming hosts, the bright colours of Montezumas showing us that it’s party time. Following an entrée of Jalapeno Poppers, one of our favourite dishes there is the Chille Verde, Montezumas’ take on the smoky green jalapeno and tomatillo-cooked pork dish. At Montezumas, prime chunks of beef are slow cooked with onions, herbs and green capsicum, garnished with a spicy jalapeno sauce and cheese and served with Spanish rice. It’s quite the flavour bomb, so you’ll definitely need a margarita to wash it down.
Chai House, 75 Blackstone Road, Silkstone Ph: 3812 3583
The Chai House’s Head Chef Sudesh Shrestha gains inspiration from the cuisine of his homeland for several of his dishes in this popular local café. Both Mt Everest Fried Rice and the Nepalese Wok Noodles, the dish we order, carry the flavours of Nepal (albeit toned down for our palates). Noodles, tossed together in the wok with flash fried chicken, prawns and vegetables and a delicious house-made spicy sauce are topped with sesame seeds and a poached egg to make a tasty lunch. Choose a slice of brownie or cheesecake from the cabinet for dessert. All the cakes are all made in house.
The Retro Diner 195 Brisbane Street, Ipswich Ph: 3143 9623
You could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve stepped onto a Hollywood ‘Happy Days’ film set when you walk into The Retro Diner in Ipswich’s Top of the Town precinct. Sit down and dine at Nan’s laminex kitchen table surrounded by Elvis memorabilia and you’ll feel like rocking around the clock. The home of the big Hawaiian Chicken Parmi and the Fresh Beat Croissant, this 50s-styled diner presents plenty of main course choices for the festival, followed by eight different flavours of adults-only Boozy Cupcakes complete with a pipette of your choice of alcohol. Choc-hazelnut cupcake with a shot of Kahlua? Don’t mind if I do!
While you’re in Ipswich, take time to visit its unique stores and street art. With ten murals within a few blocks of the city centre, Ipswich is a new hot spot for an exciting art trail. After all, you’ll need to walk off your meal.