Champ Kitchen and Bar has a lot of things going for it; a prime position in the newish ABC building near the Cultural forecourt in South Bank, a cool retro/scandanavian interior, a breezy open space and an owner (Justine Whalan) whose previous accomplishments are the ever popular Gun Shop Cafe in West End and Anouk at Paddington.
Champ is open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch, and for dinner til late on Thursdays to Saturdays. As we figured breakfast was probably our best bet (due to Anouk and Gun Shop both being awesome at breakfast), we headed there early on a Saturday morning.
It is table service but not well signed unfortunately, so many patrons just ended up helping themselves to a table, or going up to the counter to try and order.
Knowing that Anouk has fabulous fruit shakes, we were pleased to see these were on the menu at Champ, so both ordered one. Mine was apple, raspberry and mint, and L had apricot, mango and passionfruit. Both were cold, sweet and refreshing. I could see the juicer and blender were getting a massive workout with at least one shake on every occupied table.
Champ’s breakfast menu tends towards being a bit unusual and interesting. We passed over choices such as chilli creamed corn, rissoles and crab omelette with chinese sausage.
I did the unthinkable (for me, I am usually a savoury girl), and ordered a sweet breakfast; buttermilk pancakes with caramelised banana, creamed maple, coconut flakes and praline sprinkles. Pancakes were dense and thick, but I liked both the sweetness of caramelised banana and the crunch of the praline sprinkles. In the end, the sweetness became too much, the pancakes were too filling and I had to leave part of my dish untouched.
L’s eyes lit up at the mere hint of the moreton bay bug, whiting and chorizo with cherry tomato, chilli, lemongrass and ginger on garlic toast. Panfried all together with spinach, this was a colourful, flavoursome dish with fresh, succulent and plentiful seafood. The garlic toast wasn’t particularly garlicky, which might be a good or bad thing dependent on your position on garlic… we love it and always add twice as much when cooking.
Champ is a beautiful spot, overlooking the wheel and South Bank parklands, it adds a bit of class to otherwise touristy South Bank eateries.
CChamp Kitchen and Bar Ground floor, ABC building 114 Grey Street South Brisbane Ph 07 3844 4470 Open 7 days Breakfast and Lunch, Thurs-Sat Dinner www.champkitchenandbar.com.au