Familiar Faces: Mel Moubarak

11th Dec 2013

Moubarak Brothers 600 by 300 WEB2

When people think of Brisbane’s food scene the Moubarak family name also springs to mind. Their four venues in inner-city Brisbane, including their restaurant Hatch & Co. at Newstead, are all highly rated. Grow Consulting Group caught up with Mel Moubarak (left) to discuss Hatch & Co. and inner-city Brisbane for our first instalment of Familiar Faces in December 2013's Grow Property Monthly.

1. What impact has Gasworks had locally?

Gasworks has given those living in and around Newstead an opportunity to shop, wine and dine in a modern, yet relaxed, environment. It’s a great precinct that you can do your groceries and catch up with a friend for a coffee or lunch in the one location.

2. Why did you choose Gasworks as the site for Hatch & Co.?

My business partner and I sat down over a glass of wine to discuss a new venue when we heard about the redevelopment of the Gasworks precinct. We wanted to create a venue with a welcoming atmosphere, with light and spacious decor where diners could enjoy a relaxed meal or drink with friends and family. We knew it would be a great inner-city location, as it offers a convenient [site] to shop and dine for those in and around the Newstead and Teneriffe areas.

3. What's next for the Moubarak brothers?

We’ll be opening up a charcuterie bar on James Street, directly behind Gerard’s Bistro in the new year. The menu will have a focus on house made salami and cured meats as well as sourcing other artisan charcuterie. One of the most exciting aspects about the menu will be the vegan and vegetarian options, which are a rare offering. Our head chef, Ben Williamson, has developed a process by which he smokes, dehydrates, and cures root vegetable with similar taste profiles to traditional charcuterie.

4. How do you rate Brisbane's foodie scene?

Brisbane definitely holds its own against Sydney and Melbourne. I think what distinguishes Brisbane from Sydney and Melbourne is our love for casual dining due to our great weather and laidback lifestyle.

5. What's your favourite thing to do locally to unwind?

We’re definitely spoiled for choices when it comes to great places to eat, drink and unwind in Brisbane. During the week, I generally start my day with a coffee from Sugar Jar cafe on James Street. For a lunch option, Fusion 54 is one of my top options. I can’t go past Laruche’s Espresso Martini for a Friday night. On the weekend I’ve been enjoying the new breakfast menu at Gerard’s and I’ll usually take my son to New Farm Park or catch a ferry into the city for a day. Obviously, Hatch & Co. is the perfect place for a Sunday dinner with friends and family.

6. Which menu items at Hatch & Co. do you recommend first-timers visitors try?

Hatch & Co.’s menu focuses on traditional slow cooking principles to produce rustic meals and generous share plates. To start I’d recommend the crusty sourdough, freshly shucked oysters and the Manchego croquettes. For the mains, you can’t go past the slow cooked lamb shoulder with lemon and garlic dressing to share. Our pizza’s cooked in Hatch & Co.’s wood-fired pizza oven are also a standout. Our chocolate nemesis dessert, with raspberry and mascarpone, is the perfect sweet dish to finish. For drinks, the Hatch & Co. house punch’s a great summer cocktail.