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.


We are so excited about Spring 2017, that the team and I started launching the menus early; kicking off with the new breakfast menu, followed by the lunch and dinner menus.

Spring feels like such a fun, colourful and flavoursome time of year; how could we not bring this into the menu? I hope you pop in and enjoy some of the new dishes we have created for you.

Around Australia and the world, we are seeing pop-up hospitality operations, often in the coolest locations, from high-end restaurants to cafés and bars appearing. This concept is occurring mainly in the bigger cities – in unused buildings and shipping containers.

Pop ups also include new start-up businesses, providing budding new restaurateurs the chance to experience running their own restaurant without the full cost of setting up one from scratch (full restaurant setups cost huge sums of money, often millions of dollars, depending on the size and fit out).

In Brisbane, Fish Lane is quickly becoming Brisbane’s hip laneway with pop up restaurants, cafés and bars.
The precinct is in an old laneway originally named Soda Water Lane – this is where an old water company operated out of for many years. The laneway offers an abundance of cuisines; Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian, Greek and American BBQ.

Over the last few years we have also seen some BIG named international restaurants come to Australia setting up pop up restaurants. A couple of them include:

Noma: A staggering 27,000 diners registered their interest to dine, pre-paying $485 a head to secure a booking. The 5,500 seats available sold out in four minutes, wow. Chef Rene Redzepi created a very Australian produce-inspired menu.

Fat Duck: This three-star Michelin restaurant was another pop up restaurant in Melbourne, curated by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. To trump Noma, The Fat Duck received around 300,000 online requests for booking with only 14,000 diners fortunate enough to get in.   Guests this time, paid $525 per person, plus drinks on top.

We have expanded, launching our very own temporary pop up – exclusively for cocktail functions – until the end of December.

The pop up location is in our new venue at the rear of Oaks Gateway, corner of Dibbs St and Tomlin St South Townsville.

The first floor venue boasts stunning views of the water, Flinders Street East, Castle Hill and Melton Hill.

With a cool contemporary fit out, you will enjoy amazing sunsets and food is exclusively catered by JAM.

If you are looking for a unique experience for personal, business or Christmas functions, contact us at JAM

What happens after the pop up, you ask?

Well, you might need to read the Summer edition of Townsville Food Magazine to find out!

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” – Robin Williams

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 2017 – 1 Glass.

1 Palmer St, South Townsville  |  07 4721 4900  |