You'll find this woodfired eatery serving up a Jordanian- and Moroccan-inspired menu in Spoon Deli Cafe's old James Street digs.
Sarah Ward
Published on May 24, 2024


From a cinema to one of the world's best hotels, plus plenty of food and drink options as well, James Street is home to many things. Also now included: a garden sanctuary in a brand-new woodfired diner that heroes Jordanian and Moroccan flavours. That's what Brisbanites will find at just-opened newcomer ēmmē.

All-day dining is on the menu, with the latest addition to the Fortitude Valley precinct doing breakfast, brunch and lunch daily, plus slinging coffees from 6am–5pm — and opening for dinner Wednesday–Saturday. Whatever meal tempts your tastebuds, or even just a caffeine fix, you'll be heading opposite James St Market to Spoon Deli Cafe's former site.

The look is luxe, but the vibe is laidback. Think: hues that bring flames to mind, fittingly, whether you're settling in at the bench seating by the window, perching at the bar — where you will indeed see fire — or surrounded by greenery outdoors.

A source of inspiration for ēmmē is wabi-sabi, the Japanese take on impermanence and imperfection — which comes through in the textures around the place, the hues and also an aesthetic that isn't afraid of raw edges.

In the kitchen, Thomas Tze Lian, fresh from Greca, oversees the culinary lineup. The range of dishes is tightly curated from avocado with harissa and native dukkah on sourdough to start the day through to mustard-spiced wagyu striploin for a big midday meal. Breakfast highlights also span pickled eggplant with fried egg and chilli, french toast paired with date caramel and whipped yoghurt, and crab and eggs. Come lunch — and dinner when ēmmē starts serving it — swordfish kofta with saffron yoghurt, wagyu rib skewers and barbecue chicken with garlic labneh are among the standouts.

And for dessert? A plate of brie, quince, lavosh and fresh fruits is one option. Or, opt for the chocolate tahini cake or rosewater custard.

Images: Ciaran Murphy.


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