What do you know about Caribbean food? If your breadth of knowledge on the cuisine doesn’t extend much past jerk chicken, you need to get yourself to Toowong’s new Maria Caribbean Kitchen, stat, because this island-inspired eatery is dishing up some of the tastiest feeds this side of the Pacific.
Just around the corner from Toowong Village, Maria Caribbean Kitchen brings some seriously tropical vibes to the inner western suburb. Owner Camilla Mendieta roped her entire family in to helping with the fit out, but thanks to an industrial designer dad, the venue is quite the looker, from the handmade wicker light hangings to the pastel pink wall and cane baskets adorning the bar at one end. A vibrant mural takes pride of place across the back wall, created by local Brisbane artist Imogene.
So just what is on the menu at a Caribbean restaurant? Inspired by the flavours and traditional recipes from the likes of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago, here you’ll find a line up of dishes that embody the spirit of the island nations, but use Australian produce and keep Western tastebuds in mind. Starting with an epic bowl of plantain chips and guacamole that will have you ditching potato chips for good, you can move on to crispy skinned pork belly and spicy grilled corn on the cob, all while sipping on creative cocktails like the O-Hanami, with watermelon juice, cherry blossom syrup, vermouth, vanilla vodka and egg whites.
Still hungry? Good, because we haven’t even hit the mains yet, with everything from massive bowls of Jamaican-inspired boneless char-grilled jerk chicken, toasted coconut rice, Caribbean slaw and butter lime corn kernels, to roti topped with crispy fried fish, creole sauce and guacamole. You won’t have room left for dessert, though there is a hot churros mess that might take your fancy if you can bring yourself to keep eating
Perfect for everything from group hangs with plenty of cocktails to chilled weeknight dinners with your closest pals, Maria Caribbean Kitchen is open from Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, get all the details here.
Want to eat where the chefs do? We asked 5 top chefs where they grab dinner, check out there answers here.
Image credit: Ranyhyn Laine