One of the greatest thing about Australian food is that all of it either comes from, or is influenced by, other cuisines. Delicous food is made all over the world and every region has its own characteristics. From the exquisite dishes of the French to the romance and robustness of the Italian, one can never go hungry if open to and willing to try new experiences. It is impossible to objectively call which cuisine is the most delicious, but if you ask your tastebuds, they know what will make your mouth water.
Join us as we celebrate international cuisine in Townsville, together with the human stars who create it. You can point your compass in any direction in Townsville and you are bound to come across delicacies at every turn, quite simply, because our local restaurants, takeaways and cafés offer it all. We have picked just a handful of our favourites, and give a nod to their heritage, as we sample some of the finest multicultural cuisine offerings across North Queensland.
DESTINATION: CZECH REPUBLIC – PRAGUE RESTAURANT
The Precinct, Shop 1, 12 – 22 Village Dr, Idalia | 07 4729 0929 | praguerestaurent.com.au
Jerry and the Tilemakers is an iconic Townsville business, with few residents unfamiliar with their colourful marketing and global search for the best products.
North Queensland has been a happy home for owner and founder Jerry Kovarik, which is why he wanted to share the experiences of his birth country with its residents. Prague Restaurant Bar & Grill at Idalia’s The Precinct is Jerry’s way of doing this.
While our salty sea breezes and aromas of mango dance under his nose every day, Jerry still remembers the exotic scents that filled his childhood home.
That is what he wants to share with you.
The dining room table was never a boring place back home in Czechoslovakia (now split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia). Every meal would present a new experience to tuck into, which has been replicated at Prague Restaurant Bar & Grill, where you can expect a dynamic and ever-evolving menu.
All of the dishes are centered around Czech family recipes where the sauce is key. Fresh, local ingredients are used to craft all of these sauces from scratch, starting from the vegetable base through to the seasoning. Jerry regards these sauces as the hero of the plate, with the slow roasted and marinated meats the accompaniment. And then, these beautiful dishes are topped off with traditional, carbo-licious Czech sides like dumpling, potato or rice.
While Jerry is the muse, Dwayne is the architect. A chef of 18 years who has cooked for celebrities and even royalty across Australia and New Zealand, Dwayne works closely with Jerry to ensure the authentic Czech flavours are all present.
The signature dish is Svickova Na Smetane – marinated and slow-roasted sirloin of beef with a creamy vegetable sauce, cranberries and lemon, served with dumplings. The most recognizable offering is Gulas. It’s a traditional goulash made with paprika, onion and beef served with dumplings that will send your tastebuds on quite the journey.
One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the Hladovy Jarda – a slow roasted pork hock in dark beer with smashed potatoes, red cabbage, sauerkraut, and pickled vegetables. It’s also affectionately known as the Hungry Jerry.
Mealtimes in Jerry’s childhood were always about family, which is what he wants his diners to experience. Many of the dishes on the menu are served up with sharing in mind – encouraging robust conversation around the food centrepiece on the table.
Welcome to the best Czech restaurant in Queensland. Traditional family recipes presented in unique surroundings, perfect for sharing with friends and family. With homestyle sauces and slow cooked meat and dumplings, we invite you to enjoy the taste of Prague.
DESTINATION: ITALY – MICHELANGELO’S PIZZA & PASTA
117 Bamford Lane, Kirwan | 07 4755 1978 | pizzaandpasta.com.au
It goes without saying that there is no shortage of food at the family dining table when you sit down to eat in Italy, which is exactly why owners Bruno and Christian Moretto went big with their Italian fast food restaurant
Michelangelo’s Pizza and Pasta.
Hearty helpings are the order of the day at Michelangelo’s, with the restaurant known for its famous Bigfoot pizza… 12” x 24” and 18 slices of cheesy deliciousness.
The menu was inspired by a strong Italian heritage that dates back decades, and a love of large servings where no one leaves the dinner table hungry. You won’t find parmigianas (chicken or veal), as big as the ones at Michelangelo’s and each serving comes heaped with either spaghetti bolognaise or chips and salad on the side. And we mean it when we say ‘heaped’.
And if life gets too hectic to eat out, no problems. Michelangelo’s will come to you with home delivery all over Townsville including outer suburbs like Rangewood and Rupertswood (T’s and C’s apply).
Like Mama over the stove in Rome, the staff at Michelangelo’s take pride in every dish they serve up. Ingredients are fresh and sourced locally, and each recipe harks back to old family cookbooks to ensure the ultimate Italian experience. Everything is prepared daily and in-house as well, right down to the meatballs on the pizzas.
There are 25 different pizza options available, with too many varieties to list here… and if you find none of them fit the bill (we think it would be a rarity), then you can always mix and match with their offerings of the freshest ingredients to create your own.
But If pizza and parmigiana are not your thing, there is plenty of variety in the menu as well. You can indulge in a tender cut of meat with the Steak Dianne or try your hand at any of the mouthwatering chicken dishes. These include the Chicken Princess (chicken pan-fried in garlic butter with caramelised onions with a mushroom, asparagus and pink peppercorn sauce with camembert cheese), the Cacciatora (garlic sauce including caramelised onions, capsicum, mushroom, olives and a red wine tomato salsa) and the Chicken Royale, resplendent with its crispy bacon garlic prawn sauce trimmings.
Look out for the value meals and the regular deals, including the Early Bird Special and Cheap Tuesday. Gluten free options are also available.
So if you have a massive hunger, some and see the team at Michelangelo’s… yumma mia!
Michelangelo’s Pizza & Pasta is a locally owned family business and home of the Bigfoor Pizza. Now with gluten free pizza and home delivery to all areas including Rasmussen and Rupertswood. Find us on Facebook!
DESTINATION: FRANCE – CEDRIC CORRE PATISSERIE
Hermit Park Shopping Centre, 124 Charters Towers Rd, Hermit Park | 0400 551 701
If Cédric Corre’s pastries could talk, they would sing. And local fans of pies, short crusts and pastries can thank their lucky stars that his global journey has ended up here in Townsville.
French sweet sensation Cédric Corre Patisserie has recently opened the doors to their new site at ther Hermit Park Shopping Centre and it has been a long trek to get there, with Cédric beginning the journey in his native France – the undisputed home of the pastry.
With the words of his mentor ‘you will never make it as a chef’ ringing in his ears, a teenage Cédric was at a crossroads 20 years ago. Luckily for us, his path was guided by the advice of three young men who persuaded him to pack it all in and move to Australia to try his hand at pastries.
Cédric has never been one for the conventional, and after working in France, he took his thirst for culinary learning to Réunion Island, the USA, London and eventually to Sydney.
With every footstep, he gained a new slice of knowledge and much to our delight, armed with a cookbook full of tasty pastry treats and a desire for warmer air and a beachside lifestyle, Cédric’s journey ultimately ended up in Townsville.
Cédric Corre Patisserie cut its teeth on Bundock Street, where Cédric remembered the words of those three lads back in France and took the plunge to start his own business. Here he learned the art of customer service, staffing and baking on demand. Now Townsville, lick your lips. Because the new store offers everything you crave from a bakery and so, so much more.
First of all, the iconic Australian pie gets a unique Cédric twist, with burgundy steak, jalapeño chicken and breakfast pies just some of the options on the new, mouth-watering menu.
Everything on the menu is influenced by Cédric’s travels and experiences, with vanilla slice, lemon meringue, fruit tarts, chocolate tarts, birthday and celebration cakes, croissants and heavenly baked bread just some of the items on offer.
The journey continues, with North Queensland’s love of seafood set to shape some of the option. A lobster or crayfish pie baked with real caviar inside as well? Don’t mind if we do!
And to make it all that more special, all ingredients are either sourced locally, or from France (for those special Cédric touches).
So for baked goods that are elegant and upmarket, but also feature a unique North Queensland twist, join the chorus that are singing the praises of Cédric Corre Patisserie.
Cédric Corre Patisserie is a modern French Australian patisserie / cake shop, where you can buy delicious small cakes, pastries, homemade gourmet pies, quiches and sausage rolls and order your birthday and celebration cakes. We also cater for weddings and other special occasions.
DESTINATION: USA – AMERICAN BIG DOGZ
CastleTown Shoppingworld, Hyde Park | 0423 884 722 | americanbigdogz.net
From sprawling ranches to Kim Kardashian’s derrière, Americans like everything to be big. This certainly doesn’t exclude the humble hot dog, which is so much more than just a ‘bun and hot dog’ in the Land of the Stars and Stripes.
So slide on some extra comfortable pants, strap on your bib and prepare to be gobsmacked by the inventions on offer at American Gourmet Hot Dogz at Warrina Arcade and their newly opened store at CastleTown.
Theirs is a menu with a mission: to prove that hot dogs can be the world’s premier fast food.
With this mission in mind, all inspiration has come from the home of the dog in the United States. There, 20 billion hot dogs are sold every year with each of the 50 states providing their own unique twist on the classic.
American Big Dogz aims to take you on a tour from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. From Texas beef to Florida’s beaches. Take the Miami South Beach Dog as an example. First of all, the American Hans hot dogs are individually sliced and left to marinate in a special barbecue sauce. These pieces, popping with flavour, are then placed into a fluffy nine inch roll, where Mexican taco beef bean, seasoned and cooked with fresh onion and bacon, is heaped on top. Mouth watering? We’re just getting started.
The pièce de résistance is the toppings, with mozzarella cheese and three different sauces – sweet chilli, barbecue and aioli – all drizzled over the meaty goodness. It truly is like biting into an explosion of flavour.
This is just one example, with the Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Hawaiian, Great Big Texas and Brooklyn Pizza Dogs all waiting for you to sample. There is also the Classic Dog to ease you in, the Puppy Dog for the young ones and other treats like nachos, tater tots and the Trump Dog (fried hot dog on a stick) so you can get adventurous and mix it up.
Still not big enough? Then take your pick of seven additional toppings and six sauces to create your own masterpiece. And because American Big Dogz know you will back for more, there is a loyalty program where you get your fourth dog for free, and when you saddle your hot dog into a combo meal, the kids will get a free Puppy Dog (and who doesn’t love puppies?).
Walking through the doors of American Big Dogz is just like taking a trip to America; with travellers, US ex-pats and those who have always wanted to travel to the Land of the Free all remarking that this as close as you can get to the real thing.
American gourmet Hot Dogz, 80% gluten free Hahns American Hot Dogz, on a freshly baked roll. Bringing America to Australia by with the iconic Hot Dog and all the American Cities toppings! The NY, LA, Brooklyn Pizza Dogz, Famous South Beach Dogz, San Fran, Extra Big and extra Spicey Big Texas, the tropical Hawiian, or you can make your own dogz…
DESTINATION: TEXAS/MEXICO – CACTUS JACK’S BAR + GRILL
Palmer Street and Cannon Park | Palmer St 07 4721 1478 | Cannon Park 07 4723 7839 | cactusjacks.com.au
Between colour-bursting cocktails and fragrant dishes that will have your eyes rolling in foodie pleasure, you’re going to want to get all ‘south of the border’ and sort your Tex-Mex cravings at Cactus Jacks Bar & Grill.
It’s difficult to cram in nearly 30 years of history behind the Cactus Jacks story, but it starts in the 1980’s, right here in Townsville. Founders Jon and Sharon Van Grinsven were well travelled, having visited Texas numerous times, where they developed a deep seated love of South-Western and Mexican food, and were taken away by the unique and infectious atmosphere found in the bar rooms, roadhouses and restaurants of cities like San Antonio and El Paso.
At that time, the whole scene showed the restaurants here at home to be very, very boring and so the pair decided to create something of their own that reminded them of those places they’ll love to visit… opening the first Cactus Jacks restaurant on Palmer Street – where it still stands today.
The menu at Cactus Jacks bears some weight, with loads to choose from and absolutely something for everyone. It’s the sort of food you can pick up, eat with your hands, make a mess and most importantly, absolutely savour – it’s no surprise that this place brings the crowds. We’re suckers for a good steak and the Cactus Jacks menu has got that covered. It also spans other Tex-Mexican favourites such as chimichangas, enchiladas, quesadillas and nachos (with buckets of beers, cocktails and sangria to wash it all down). But the pillar of their menu would have to be their signature fajitas. It’s a simple, yet eyecatching dish, made with their own secret Texas BBQ sauce (proudly made on site). The whole thing just has that little somethin’ somethin’ and an aroma that will make sure you don’t forget you’re at a Cactus Jacks restaurant.
Dessert should never be forgotten and these guys are famous for their chocolate nachos – served with a rich and velvety chocolate sauce and ice cream. They’re just so eye-rollingly good. Add one of their famous frozen margaritas to your meal (original or flavoured) and settle in for a Tex-Mex themed fiesta.
The long tables make Cactus perfect for large groups, with the bustling atmosphere and awesome bar pretty much guaranteeing a fun night out.
Yep, Tex Mex food is epic and we are of the strong belief that you should eat as much of it as possible. Do it at Cactus Jacks and thank us later… it’s tex-mexcellent!
Everything tastes better hand made, don’t you agree? We think so, and this is the way we’ve prepared our famous Tex-Mex menu since 1989.We know you are going to love our dishes, because we put so much love into them.