Good Food Guide critics bowled over by Stumps
STUMPS Hotel has been recognised as the best restaurant in the region with a glowing review in the Queensland Good Food Guide 2013.
The review score of 14 out of 20 saw the restaurant go within a whisker of a prestigious Chef Hat, which is awarded for scores of 15.
Stumps Hotel owner Raj Sharma said the review was "a great ad for the work that we have been doing".
"It has been a very challenging times for most businesses but for us to get a review like this - 14 out of 20 and the best restaurant in the region - really says something," he said.
"I don't think many people would have thought an Ipswich restaurant would have been in the running for a Chef Hat.
"We have not been in business a year yet, so this is remarkable achievement for Stumps and good for Ipswich."
Mr Sharma said head chef Ms Suwisa Phoonsong was "a very hard working and talented girl and comes from a very humble background back in Thailand".
"There aren't many female chefs in the industry," he said.
"I used to go with my wife to a restaurant in the city called Bar Barossa all the time and we loved their food. Suwisa was the head chef there and I started to make my move. I was persistent and finally I was able to get her here. What she was doing there was my vision of what food should be."
Ms Phoonsong was originally the head chef at Stumps under Jamie Pearce who has since moved on.
The review in the Queensland Good Food Guide raved about the quality tapas at the restaurant and Ms Suwisa has continued that trend while adding an Asian theme.
"We are back to the original idea that Raj had of concentrating on tapas," she said.
"I put an Asian twist into our food so it is full in flavour with lots of variety and Asian ingredients in the marination.
"The spiced quail we make with a mild curry paste and we marinate that."
A Thai-style satay chicken satay skewer is a favourite.
"We leave the skin on so it keeps the chicken nice and juicy and moist," Ms Phoonsong said.
Mains include harissa chicken, lamb kebabs, crispy pork belly and roasted wagyu.
Mr Sharma said the restaurant would soon be extending the back deck and bringing pizza back on the menu due to popular demand.
STUMPS WINS BIG
- Stumps Hotel restaurant scores 14 out of 20 in the 2013 Queensland Good Food Guide.
- Head chef Suwisa Phoonsong puts Asian twist on the menu.
- Specialties include grilled marinated chicken skewers, spiced quail and meat balls with pistachio nut.
- Pizza is set to return to the menu soon.