Hidden Brisbane gem, serving epic toasties

In Customer Service, Featured Home Page News, Food, Queensland

Rings a bell cafe in fortitude valley is an exciting new cafe that’s making waves in the local area.

The aesthetic set-up makes the outdoor area a hidden inner-city oasis, ideal for a time-out and one of the cafe’s signature loaded toasties.

There are six grilled sandwiches to choose from including a beef brisket and sauerkraut version and a vegan-friendly pulled jackfruit number.

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from courier mail 26.11.21

‘Where are you taking me?” asks my friend as we enter the historic Bell Bros building in Fortitude Valley.

On the corner of Brunswick and Water streets, the almost 100-year-old art deco site has become somewhat of a Brisbane architectural icon; and after housing a furniture manufacturer for decades, it is now home to a divergence of businesses including a hairdresser, appointment only footwear store, yoga studio and physio.

Inside the tiny Rings A Bell cafe in Fortitude Valley. Picture: David Kelly.

Inside the tiny Rings A Bell cafe in Fortitude Valley. Picture: David Kelly.

Its commercial facade suggests it’s the last place you’d find an eatery, but beyond the glamorous marble and black-tiled foyer, trimmed with walnut-hued timber and stained glass, and lit by elegant, crystal chandeliers, you’ll find Rings A Bell Cafe.

The recently opened operation is the work of siblings Jasmine and Jonathon Longstaff and tucks in neatly at the rear of the premises.

Jasmine, a barista who has spent the past few years working in some of Melbourne’s best coffee houses, cheerily welcomes guests into the shoe box-sized space where the coffee machine steals the eye, along with glass cloches hiding some of the day’s pastries and sweets – perhaps croissants, fruit toast and brownies.

The hidden leafy oasis at Rings A Bell. Picture: David Kelly.

The hidden leafy oasis at Rings A Bell. Picture: David Kelly.

There is a timber ledge to perch if you’re simply waiting for Jasmine to make you a ridiculously smooth coffee using the house Tim Adams beans; but if it’s food you’re ordering, the slimline stools and tables in the stunning foyer are best or, perhaps, the building’s secret spot: a tranquil, tropical courtyard bordered by palms and painted brick.

A cool breeze and plenty of shade makes the outdoor area a hidden inner-city oasis – ideal for a time-out and one of the cafe’s signature loaded toasties.

There are six grilled sandwiches to choose from including a beef brisket and sauerkraut version and a vegan-friendly pulled jackfruit number.

The pulled pork toastie. Picture: David Kelly

The pulled pork toastie. Picture: David Kelly

Our pulled pork sanga ($16) arrives on doorstop thick white bread rather than the sourdough listed on the menu, but this is, in my books, a win, with the fluffy bread there to expertly soak up all the juices from the exceedingly moist meat and stop them running down your arms, while simultaneously capturing all the flavour.

Filled also with pineapple, coleslaw, beetroot hummus and barbecue sauce, this is a damn good sandwich.
The chicken and cranberry toastie. Picture: David Kelly.

The chicken and cranberry toastie. Picture: David Kelly.

So too is the chicken and cranberry creation ($15).

About 5cm think, it’s jammed with soft, pulled chicken, oozy triple cream brie, baby spinach, mayo and cranberry sauce to tie it all together. Fabulous.

The cafe has added freshly made salads to its tight food offering, including a blood orange, kiwi, cucumber and spinach option.

Teas are another specialty, with blends supplied by local artisan producer Tour de Tea in New Farm.

There’s everything from English breakfast to honey dew to apple crumble available hot or iced; alongside a daily juice, which may include our sensational spring green juice with apple, cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon and lime.

The glamorous foyer area inside the Bell Bros building. Picture: David Kelly.

The glamorous foyer area inside the Bell Bros building. Picture: David Kelly.

Rings A Bell cafe may be a little hard to find for the uninitiated, but this is a place built on passion and love worth hunting for.

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