Holy wow, what has happened to Westfield Mt Gravatt? It is like you’re standing in the middle of one of those 'artist's impression of the future' drawings, only the rendering is real life and people’s teeth are not as white. The new ‘town square’ is nearly ready and the new and refurbed restaurants are already mostly open, including welcome newcomer The Palms Bar & Grill.
The creators of well-known restaurant Alchemy in the city are behind the fresh-feeling Mediterranean restaurant. Semicircular in shape, The Palms' nautical styling and location by the fountain make you feel anywhere but in a shopping centre. At the heart of the restaurant is a white chevron-tiled kitchen, at the perimeter is a curved bench with blue-and-white padding and parrot cushions, and within the venue is split into restaurant and bar with a blue, yellow and white theme. Welcome to this tropical oasis.
The Palms puts the focus on shared foods, using top-quality ingredients and the hero Josper oven to grill meats. The menu is split into bites, small plates, big plates, charcuterie, cuts from the Josper oven, sides, sweets and cheese — so it is pretty safe to say, no matter the mood, there will something to satisfy your appetite.
Perhaps pork crackers ($4) may tempt you first, before you dig into a plate of deep-fried manchego cheese. Eating out should be an experience, and squid ink aioli with baby calamari ($15) sounds like completing the circle of life. While it may resemble the colour of wet concrete, the aioli and calamari is in fact supremely delicious, perfectly cooked and goes down a treat before you really tuck in.
Grilling meat is something The Palms have clearly mastered. The braised short rib beef ($27) simply fell off the bone and was both juicy and flavoursome, while the half chicken ($30) with carrots and the most delicious almond puree was also super succulent. If you’re sharing, add a side or two.
We consider a square meal to include dessert, and the popcorn panna cotta with a caramel sauce ticks all the boxes. Or for a dessert playing on the tropical surrounds, try the roasted spiced pineapple with a pina colada ice-cream.
With giant palm trees, LED lights, projection screens and a fountain in the centre, we expect the glamorous new restaurant quarter at Westfield Garden City to be a hit, and The Palms may just be the shining star of the precinct.