AGFG Chef’s Hat recipient, Matt Merrin is the Executive Chef at JAM, one of Townsville’s top performing restaurants. Matt shares his passion to grow the food scene in Townsville, bringing you his own expert insight about what’s hot on the culinary front each season.


Tapas originated from local bars in Spain as snacks between drinks, enjoying slices of cured meats on thin bread. Today, tapas has become a very popular way to explore food and flavours from around the world and can be combined to make an entire meal.

North America, Asia, Brazil and Mexico are all countries that produce exciting tapas and share-style dining.

Our ‘Tapas Sunday’ lunches are a great way to relax, enjoy great food, wine and explore an array of flavours. A few popular items that can be found on our tapas menu include mushroom and herb arancini, sticky duck rice paper rolls with peanut sauce and a steamed bao bun selection of chicken, pork and tofu.

A recommendation for a lazy Sunday lunch (especially on a winter afternoon) would be to enjoy one of the local Townsville Brewery beers on offer at our bar, followed by a French Rosé, sitting outside on the terrace overlooking the river and city skyline.

Tapas Sunday lunches are a great way to relax, enjoy great food and wine and explore an array of flavours.


As the trend of smoking meat continues, we recently purchased a smoker at JAM.

I have been hesitant of trying smoked meats on many a menu after a few disappointing experiences in the past, involving extremely overpowering flavour.

This was until I tried this new smoker and straight away knew we would have to purchase it for our own menu.

The smoker allows the meat to cook slowly and injects a subtle flavour, and there is an array of wood chip flavours available including hickory, apple and, for the guys, JD bourbon.

A number of Food Trucks feature smoked BBQ meats and if I you are ever given the chance, I definitely recommend giving it a go.

If you would like to go one better, pop in and try our own Hickory slow roasted chicken, served with  sweet corn and almond emulsion, figs, leatherwood honey, silverbeet and radicchio.


Winter is the perfect time in North Queensland for a wedding!

If you are looking to redesign the ‘traditional’ wedding day, consider adding some unexpected elements – all designed to give your wedding an individual and unforgettable touch that you and your family will cherish forever.

The food needs to be a huge factor; think creative canapés, live-action food theatre and local produce. No boring buffets please!

Make your wedding more social for everyone:
1.  Enjoy a stunning cocktail party
2.  If you want a sit down meal, consider a share table styled menu. It’s such a great way to bring everyone together as guests receive a variety of food (and it tends to be more relaxed).
3.  Celebrate in style with Magnums or Jeroboams of Champagne; it adds a special touch to your pre-dinner drinks.
4.  Consider how many guests you invite, keeping your numbers to a controlled level will enable you to personally spend time with everyone at the wedding. It also gives you a chance to increase the quality of food and beverage on offer, honeymoon or the all important wedding dress…
5.  With several leading restaurants now offering catering at home or selected venues around town, you have good options when it comes to  serving quality food and beverage.

And finally, a little quote:

“My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best.” – Sir Winston Churchill


JAM is an award-winning restaurant. Our passion is in showcasing modern inspired menus while providing a high level of personal and professional service. Food is at the heart of what we do. Restaurant, private dining room, function room. Winner: AGFG 2017 – 1 Chef Hat  |  Winner: Gourmet Traveller Wine List Award 2016 – 1 Glass.

1 Palmer St, South Townsville  |  07 4721 4900  |