If you’re after gangster-themed espresso or Thai cuisine made with love, you’ll find it at Albany Creek. We discover some dining gems.
Wiseguy Espresso and Schnitzel Bar
This American gangster-themed espresso and schnitzel bar is known for much more than its great coffee and burgers – there’s a strong sense of community that’s helped its owners and customers ride out tough times.
Owners Jimmy Sreng and Matt Arcidiancono took on the business about two years ago and embraced the Wiseguy name and theme created by the previous owners in 2016.
They’re not ruthless tough guys, but their never-say-die attitude in recent months proves they are made of tough stuff.
Matt says when COVID-19 restrictions forced them to stop serving dine-in customers, they switched quickly to takeaway.
“We thought about closing, but people still wanted takeaway coffee. If we closed, we would have to be at home and we thought, we may as well be here,” Matt says.
Customers appreciated the gesture, and knowing they must be doing it tough, some donated $200 to pay-it-forward for health care workers.
“Everyone helped. We’re very appreciative. Customers came in and bought more than they normally would, so they could help,” Matt says.
The pair take great pride in the food and coffee they serve, making most menu items onsite.
There’s every burger you can imagine, plus all-day breakfast options, heaps of sides, toasted sandwiches, and even salads.
Matt says if he was dining at the café, he would have the Marsellus Wallace Burger, which is packed with a chicken schnitzel, two rashers of streaky bacon, a fried free-range egg, American cheese, spinach, tomato relish and Hollandaise sauce.
Jimmy can’t go past the Jimmie Jumbo burger, which has a double beef pattie, beer-battered onion rings, double American cheese, two rashers of streaky bacon, aioli, pickles, tomato sauce and French mustard.
Wiseguy Espresso and Schnitzel Bar is open 6.30am-2pm, Monday to Saturday; 7-11.30am on Sunday.
720 Albany Creek Rd, Albany Creek
0431 368 145
Family recipes, life experience and a deep love of spreading joy with food is at the heart of every meal at Yooty Suwanmanee’s restaurant Phuket Kitchen.
He’s been bringing smiles to diners’ faces for the past nine years, making them feel at home and sharing his own style of Thai cooking.
It’s a style he’s developed during the past 16 years using recipes from his grandmother and aunty, and skills he’s refined in restaurants across Brisbane and during his time at a four-star hotel in Thailand.
It all started when the once unruly Yooty was given an opportunity to make something of himself at his mother’s friend’s four-star hotel.
He was sitting with someone from the human resources department when a chef walked past, and Yooty was asked what he kind of job he wanted.
“I said, ‘I want to be a chef’,” he recalls. “When I started cooking, I loved it.”
He then learned what he could from his grandmother, including how to make two of his most-popular entrees – money bags and satay chicken.
Yooty came to Australia to study business at university and while he was studying, he worked in Thai restaurants across Brisbane – washing dishes to start with and progressing to chef.
His cooking today is a blend of his life experiences, and the skills and recipes he’s picked up along the way. It’s his own style and every dish is packed with love.
“I cook very good food, I try hard,” he says.
Yooty has high expectations of his team and often cooks them a meal before the dinner service begins. It’s a touching gesture, but also sets the bar high for the night ahead.
“I give them good food to eat, they must serve good food to my customers,” he explains.
“It is my reputation and customers expect good food.”
He’s the head chef at Phuket Kitchen and his other restaurant Phuket Coconut at Ferguson St, Albany Creek.
Yooty’s been back to Thailand, but the strength of this community called him back and it’s a feeling that’s grown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He sold $5 takeaway meals for more than two months, knowing many in the community were doing it tough. And while many gratefully took him up on this generous offer, others insisted on giving him $15 – paying-it-forward so the next customer, or someone worse off than them could also enjoy a meal.
Phuket Kitchen is open 4.30-9pm, seven days a week.
9-15 Jagora Drive, Albany Creek
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