Well, folks, we held out as long as we could, but it’s time to strike another tally in the heated Northside vs Southside debate. Boasting everything from Texan barbecue to Thai-style banquets, the once-sleepy suburb of North Lakes (and the surrounding 'burbs) has well and truly exploded onto the foodie scene recently, and we are here. For. It.
Add these spots to your list of reasons to head north for the winter (or, y’know, any time you’re feeling peckish).
In a brilliantly delicious move, the team at KatsuCo cherry-picked one of the best-loved facets of Japanese cuisine and became the slam-dunk masters of it. Take your pick from offerings of panko-crumbed and golden-fried chicken, tofu, or the crowd favourite: pork wrapped around spades of gooey mozzarella. Each signature set comes with side serves of rice, sliced cabbage, katsu sauce, miso soup, pickled vegetables and wasabi. What’s wrong–katsu got your tongue?
Noble as it is, James Kyung Je’s venue Blaktan does more than furnish North Lakes residents with their own house-roasted coffee spot. The specialty cafe (adorably named after James’ beloved rottweiler, Mango) plates up clever fare spun with Asian fusion flavours. Ditch your normal humdrum sandwiches for lunch plates of bao buns, okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancakes), and handmade gyoza.
Old Skool BBQ
Unlike those old MySpace photos, some things just don’t go out of fashion. Deception Bay’s Old Skool BBQ loads tables up with platters of authentic, Southern barbecue sourced from the wood-fired smokers out back. Pre-load those napkins and wrap your hands around burgers toppling with sliced brisket, saucy pulled pork and crispy fried chicken, baskets of loaded fries and nachos, and plates of meat straight from the pit.
We’re not exactly taking this list low ‘n’ slow, are we? Twelve Boar is another pitmaster on the North Lakes scene, and take it from us: when you’re measuring your food by the kilo, it’s gonna be a good night. Dive into racks of saucy ribs, burgers and crispy buffalo wings paired with all-American sides like curly fries and gooey mozzarella sticks.
Westfield North Lakes
Handily located in the Town Square section of Westfield North Lakes, Kinn Thai is solid proof that not all shopping centre food is created equal. Ditch the stale food court selection for a punchy, fragrant lunch of gad phed ped yang (red duck curry) and tiger prawns served on betel leaf with ginger and toasted coconut. If you swing by around dinnertime, expect to spy pitchers of vibrantly-coloured cocktails standing above tables of crispy soft shell crab, slow cooked lamb shank massaman curry, and wok-fried noodles.
Dude & Duke Beer Hall
Mark this one down as a triple threat. Deception Bay’s Dude & Duke Beer Hall splits their venue into three distinct sections: Burgers, Smoke & Wings, and Pour Easy. Whet your whistle at Pour Easy with a futuristic pour-your-own-drink wall laden with craft beers, ciders, and even on-tap espresso martinis. Drink in hand, wander over to the the Burgers section for toppling creations stacked with brisket and pulled pork, or follow the yellow brick road to Smoke & Wings for crispy wings and next-level barbecue platters.
Broken Hearts Burger Club
Hollywood who? At Broken Hearts Burger Club, the neon lights and hand-smashed burgers will whisk you away to the bustling streets of LA (sans the Santa Monica traffic). Packed to the rafters with retro charm, you’ll only face one question when next visiting this Mango Hill superpower: single, double, or triple?
Ready for the next course? Treat yourself to a scoop at Brisbane’s best ice cream and gelato spots.
Image credit: Katsu Co, Old Skool BBQ, Dude & Duke BBQ