THE CHELSEA BISTRO celebrates simplicity in 2014, welcoming to its kitchen a new chef with a passion for plating up lighter, healthier French cuisine.

Chef Dallas Costello, who previously worked at French favourite Piaf at South Bank, takes the reigns at Paddington’s The Chelsea Bistro to dish up their signature offerings, alongside many new additions.

For many, French cuisine is commonly associated with rich flavours and heavy ingredients, but this year The Chelsea Bistro has adopted a lighter and more innovative approach to European delicacies, taking cues from current local food trends of simplistic, shared options.

After five years in the business, owner Steve Ackerie has developed The Chelsea Bistro to become a brand known for its authenticity and commitment to using top quality ingredients.

It is his dedication to reinvention and transformation, debuted in this exciting new menu, which cements the venue as a local foodie favourite.

Ackerie is delighted with the bistro’s New Year reinvention and promises lunch and dinner offerings that are lighter and simpler in style to show off classic French cooking and great fresh produce.

“We are not a French restaurant, we are modern Australian, but our reference and passion is in what you can enjoy at a good French bistro,” said Ackerie.

“You can always find something that is satisfying, at any time of the day”.

The new menu hero dishes include a delicious brandade (Barramundi poached in milk blended with fresh herbs, lemon zest and potatoes) served with pickled vegetables on tasty sourdough from Jocelyn’s Provisions.

A classically French Confit duck with de puy lentils and orange also graces the new menu, along with a generous whole braised lamb shoulder perfectly shared between two.

For the true meat-eaters The Chelsea Bistro offers a light option of the sirloin, petite salad and fries or for those with a heartier appetite, a Wagyu rump, broccoli puree and wild mushroom ragu.

The Chelsea Bistro is alive and vibrant as always for breakfast, staying true to their most popular dishes such as poached eggs, smoked bacon, carrot jam and hash cakes, with new inclusions such as poached eggs and zucchini fritters with tarragon.


BRISBANE’S much-loved watering hole, The Fox Hotel, is set to unveil its fresh new look at an official launch party to be held last night.

Now, if you’ve been living in Brisbane for a few years, you probably would have visited or, at least, heard about The Fox Hotel in South Brisbane. You may not have noticed however, that the four-level establishment had been closed for the past six months during a major refurbishment.

This week saw the relaunch of a savvy new look that is set to reinvigorate Brisbane hipsters. Think, bright fresh colours, funky decor, vibrant wallpapers in more than eight beautifully appointed spaces, including the new dedicated NYC-style meatball restaurant, which is appropriately named The Meatball Company.

The highlight for daytime drinkers and night owls is the new Dandy’s Rooftop bar sporting a vintage tennis club decor and serving up char grilled fare in a relaxed outdoor setting, aimed at inner-city apartment dwellers.

Among the food and wine offerings is the contemporary Fish Lane Studios, a multipurpose art space that features the works of local Brisbane artists in exhibitions, fashion shows and creative workshops.

It’s really a matter of serving up something for everyone, with the focus being to play on the tapestry of cultures in the surrounding arts precinct. We think it’s a great spot to grab a bite to eat before seeing a show at QPAC or even for the corporate crowd, who like to share a drink with their work colleagues.

The Fox Hotel’s general manager, Rohan Topley, said the emphasis on good food and service had been a central part of the redevelopment, while the inspiration for each of the different spaces had come from the local community.