Bistro Boom

Written by: The Chambers Cairns | September 27, 2018

Success chats to Cairns’ newly opened dining scene, The Chambers about the rise of bistro dining. 

Founded by The Wilson Group, The Chambers has been open for three-months and will transform its menu to reflect a bustling bistro eatery this October, in line with a boom in fine-casual dining. The Chambers houses three unique dining experiences – café Tattle, restaurant SoMa, and bar esters – and is set to create a simple yet flavour packed menu that is affordably priced.

The Chambers Bistro dining experience

Head Chef, YJ Kim and Sous Chef Michael Orford have injected their own personality and heritage into every dish at The Chambers, with the menu reflecting a Euro-Asian cuisine with Australian Flair. 

“The new menu reflects our heritage; mine Asian, Michael’s Australian and European,” says Kim. “We want to spark conversation with our food. Take our desserts in SoMa, we have played on childhood nostalgia in the form of chocolate bars we all grew up with, mine a green tea Kit Kat. We want people to take a bite and say, ‘this tastes so familiar, what is it?’”

Kim says the revitalised menu comes from an understanding of customers evolving preferences. “People are time poor, so when they eat out they want a social experience, one that allows them to escape the everyday and one they can share and talk with friends, family or colleagues. 

“To me, eating out is social activity, where food brings people together. We wanted to create a place where people can come a few times a week, rather than being reserved for a special occasion,” says Kim.

“Our menus are playful, simple, tasty and made to share. We don’t over complicate things – we offer wholesome food that people want to come back for.”

Joan Wilson, General Manager of The Chambers says, “While the venue is changing their approach, the quality of produce will remain high. Majority of customers might not want a four or five course meal anymore, but they still want something that doesn’t skimp on taste, that is sourced well and lets them experience something different. Our Chefs have found the balance between offering customers what they want to eat now and guiding them towards exciting new culinary flavours.” 

With an all-day breakfast menu at café Tattle, customers can try twists on classic dishes like fluffy Asian style pancakes or pig’s ears chips and pork croquettes at intimate bar, esters. 

The Chambers’ new menu at restaurant SoMa will host a range of Australian dishes with a twist, like garlic and parsley crusted lamb, smoked brisket with a rum glaze, and a smoked mackerel cracker with macadamia puree, with each dish having an emphasis on local ingredients.

“We head down to our local market weekly to select the freshest produce for our dishes,” says Kim, “It is amazing how using locally grown produce enhances the flavour of the food.”

Growing their own herb and edible flower garden on site, Sous Chef Michael Orford says the tactic gives The Chambers kitchen and bartenders more control and creativity.

“It allows our team across kitchen and bar to experiment with new flavours and ideas to keep all venue menus as innovative as possible, which is essential thanks to social media,” says Michael. 

“Instead of placing food and vegetable orders, the team has an appreciation of where the food is coming from and it allows them to see the bigger picture of fresh, locally sourced, organic produce,” continues Michael. 

With social media impacting the way businesses operate, Joan says customers are looking for a dining experience that is worth sharing. 

“Reviews and word-of-mouth via social media are crucial to business, people like to share great experiences and that’s what we want guests at The Chambers to have – a great time, with great people and great food,” says Joan.

Success North Queensland | Connecting Cairns and Townsville