Maria Caribbean Kitchen
Maria Caribbean Kitchen is a taste of sunshine bringing authentic flavours of the Caribbean to Toowong.
Perched on the corner of Jephson and Lissner Streets, this vibrant eatery boasts a bright, colourful wall mural with bespoke lamps and woven baskets displayed throughout the light-filled space.
The menu is a mix of Caribbean cuisine, from Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba and Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, inspired by Spanish, African and Creole cooking with bursts of spice and sweetness.
Starters range from crunchy plantain chips served with sour cream, hogao (Colombian creole sauce) and guacamole, to grilled corn on the cob served with chipotle mayo, spices and cheese, and sweet plantain poppers - plantains stuffed with cheese, crumbed and fried, served with pineapple chilli jam.
Mains include Jamaican jerk chicken with toasted coconut rice, Caribbean slaw, jerk gravy and grilled corn, Cuban-inspired slow-braised steak in rich tomato, onion and capsicum sauce with garlic rice, sweet plantains, black beans and cheese, and Colombian-influenced fried fish - barramundi chunks covered in Colombian creole sauce served with toasted coconut rice, crunchy plantain chips and avocado salad.
Otherwise, there's chuzo (a popular Central American street food of chargrilled marinated beef, chicken or halloumi skewers) and papotas (giant potato croquettes filled with braised steak and gooey cheese, topped with creamy creole sauce and served with avocado salad and Trinidadian green salsa).
Desserts do not disappoint with sweet dishes like Coconut Lemonade Mousse served with spiced pineapple mango salad and coconut crisps, Churros Mess (hot churros served with ice-cream, chocolate sauce, strawberry salad and whipped cream), and Drunkie Monkey, a sizzling chocolate and banana brownie with spiced rum, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Drinks are a tropical affair with creative cocktails such as Island Hopper, Pandanis Club and Sundancer - a heady concoction of tequila, Jamaican rum, Curaçao, Angostura bitters, tamarind and orange jam, passionfruit and lemon juice.
In addition, there are mocktails, a concise wine list, and beer including local craft brews, Mexican beers and Jamaican Red Stripe lager.
By Deb Lidster
Maria Caribbean Kitchen
48 Jephson St
0416 037 131