Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of different cultures from Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago. In Toowong, you can sample and experience the taste of these islands at the newly opened restaurant, Maria Caribbean Kitchen.
Found on Jephson Street, Maria Caribbean Kitchen serves a diverse selection of dishes created from authentic family recipes that Colombian restauranteur Camila Mendieta has collected over the years. Growing up in a family-owned boutique hotel in the Caribbean, Ms Mendieta had a grand plan of connecting her roots to the Australian scene after moving to Brisbane several years ago.
The result is a spacious restaurant with colourful murals and weaved decorations indoors and outdoor seating with an abundance of greenery. This foodie hive imbibes the vibrant energy of the Caribbean.
The kitchen, on the other hand, is manned by Colombian chefs Jenny Quintero and Andrea Garcia. Food choices are prepared using locally sourced ingredients and served in large portions.
To start off, the plantain chips sourced from a farm in up north of Queensland would pair nicely with hogao (creole sauce), sour cream and guacamole. The grilled corn on the cob has a hint of Mexican flavours, while the sweet plantain poppers with pineapple chilli jam bring a delightful burst of tangy taste.
Maria Caribbean Kitchen’s main favourites on the menu include the Jamaican jerk chicken paired with toasted coconut rice, the fried barramundi dish with Colombian creole sauce, and the chargrilled meat in skewers known as the chuzo, a Central American street food fare.
Veggie diners will love this restaurant’s KFC or Krispy Fried Cauliflower. It’s seasoned to perfection and comes with the diner’s choice of side dish.
The dessert choices are also varied with guava and cheese empanadas, coconut lemonade mousse, and the iconic churros.
Maria Caribbean Kitchen opened its doors in Toowong in June 2019. Its trading hours begin at 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. It’s also open from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. except on Thursday.
“I love Caribbean food! The bold flavours are delicious. I used to go to Queenies all the time when I lived in Sydney so I was thrilled to find a Caribbean place in Brisbane.~ Elliott Bledsoe, Facebook
My partner and I went there tonight for my birthday. I had the jerk chicken which was perfect. My partner had cauliflower and pumpkin curry which he really enjoyed.
But the regular serving size is very big so make sure you’re hungry. And it was busy – almost a full house – so it’s not a bad idea to book ahead. We’ll be going back again soon!”
“Fabulous new restaurant! We were a large group and the staff was so accommodating with a last-minute seating change and split billing. Everyone enjoyed their meals, which were super tasty. I had a seafood dish, and the produce was very fresh. Highlights of the night were the cocktails and vibrant mural. Will definitely be back!”~ Emma Knights, Google Reviews
“Great menu. The Carribean ‘slaw is SO refreshing. Really tasty bowls of jerk chicken and coconut rice. The space is super cute with great lighting, decor, and crockery. The vibe is laid back. The staff was all engaged and helpful. I had a lovely rose to drink and my son went mad for the homemade lemonade. Will definitely be going again and bringing friends as I didn’t get a chance to sample any of the intriguing rum cocktails!”~ Lily C, Open Table