Towards the river end of Hardgrave Road, on the corner of Loch Street. PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Tucked away in Brisbane’s West End, Mondo Organics is Australia's first licensed organic restaurant. Opening in 2000 as a restaurant, cooking school and catering company, Mondo Organics is a stalwart in the Brisbane dining scene.
Co-owner’s Brenda Fawdon and Sonja Drexler have created an unpretentious dining space with timber slated window shutters, blue feature walls and wooden chairs. Guests can choose to seat inside in the bistro-style dining room or alfresco, in the street entrance courtyard area.
On a balmy Friday night, we opt for the courtyard where the lighting is dimmed and seductive, slow music plays overhead. Accustomed to the more upbeat Sydney dining scene, the atmosphere here is relaxed and tranquil. Expecting things like alfafa, tofu and bean sprouts to feature on the menu, Mondo Organics abandons the traditional expectations of what diners expect from organic restaurants. Each dish on the menu is presently elegantly and simply. An entree of cured ocean trout is rustically served on a wooden chopping board with a cauliflower puree and sprinkled with micro herbs. The mushroom consommé arrives with a grey ceramic cup – storing the broth – to be poured over the poached quail egg. The result is a subtle combination of flavours and textures – and as you eat it, you feel nourished. The gnocci is served with chorizo and a rich, piquant sauce while the Mulloway is simply pan-friend and served with grilled parsnips, puffed kamut and spinach. The chefs at Mondo Organics don’t push culinary boundaries but, rather, they simply work with quality ingredients. The result is a delicious and healthy dining experience, where guests leave feeling neither too-full nor too-hungry.
As for the wine list, organic and bio-dynamic drops sit beside hand-picked grapes and international big-time names. The diversity in both the wine list and the menu allows each guest to forage their own dining experience. Whether you are gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan or a meat-loving maniac – Mondo caters for all. In a society where fussiness appears to be a God-given right, places like Mondo Organics are a blessing.
Brunch is a popular affair at Mondo with foodies spilling out onto the pavement every weekend, craving the restaurant’s crunchy muesli with rhubarb compote and yoghurt and tea-smoked trout on sauteed green leaves served with lemon butter and spelt sourdough soldiers. Mondo Organics is also widely recognised for its first-class cooking school with classes ranging from health-focused “Super Foods”, “Gluten and Dairy Free” and “Detox” to classics such as “French Provincial” and “The Turkish Feast”. Held in the restaurant itself, these classes are booked out for up to six months in advance.