Posts Tagged ‘chapel hill’

Gluten Free Take Home Meals

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Our chefs at Simon’s Gourmet Gallery, who also prepare the gluten free meals at our Brisbane cafe, are always creating delicious gourmet meals for customers on the go.

We aim to cater for special dietary needs so that no one misses out on enjoying a little everyday gourmet. We have a selection of low gluten meals in our homemade Take Home Meals range in the chilled section of our Chapel Hill deli.

Butter Chicken

Chicken Korma

Thai Chicken

Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Ratatouille

Chicken & Corn Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Red Wine Beef

Osso Bucco

Lamb Shanks Pomodoro

Lamb Tagine

Madras Beef

Moroccan Lamb Casserole

Chicken Mushroom Risotto

Lamb Korma

Rogan Josh


Our kitchen staff uses almond meal, cornflour, or yoghurt as a thickening ingredient in certain low gluten meals.

The Queensland food safety laws disapprove businesses from declaring products made without gluten as ‘Gluten Free’ unless the products have been made in a separate kitchen or prepacked by a supplier. Since we cannot declare products made in our kitchen as Gluten Free, we label our products made without gluten as ‘Low Gluten’.


Gluten Free Marinades and Meat Products

Gluten Free Deli Products

Gourmet at Home with Simon’s: Cooking with Halloumi Cheese

Monday, September 24th, 2012


This beautiful, smooth halloumi cheese comes from Barossa Valley in South Australia. Unlike regular halloumi cheeses that have an extreme squeaky and rubbery texture, the Barossa halloumi is smooth and soft, but firm enough to hold its shape when grilled.

Commonly used in Greek-style dishes, grilled halloumi can be used in a variety of simple dishes to add that extra kick of cheesy-salty flavour and springy texture. The next time you put together a fresh salad, lamb burger or a full-on barbecue, toss in a few slices of halloumi to add a twist to your dish.

To grill halloumi, thinly slice haloumi (about 1 cm-thick), grill on both sides until browned and eat immediately while it’s still warm to enjoy the full light and milky taste of the Barossa halloumi.

Here’s a simple halloumi recipe combo from our Delicatessen Manager at Chapel Hill, Brisbane:

Wrap a piece of grilled halloumi with a slice of sopressa (we used Della Nonna sopressa in the picture above) and add some rocket to bring out the flavours of both the Barossa halloumi and the Della Nonna sopressa. The grilled halloumi goes brilliantly with fresh figs as the sweetness in the figs complement the flavours of the halloumi and refreshes your palate at the same time. Pair the halloumi, figs and sopressa with your favourite wine. Not sure which wines, fruits or nuts go best with your favourite cheeses? Refer to our in-store cheese & wine guide in our Brisbane deli for the full list, or check out our soft cheese and wine list here.

Here’s another idea on how to add halloumi to your cooking, adding a little twist of Greek flavours to your favourite classic dishes:

Rosemary & Mint Lamb Burgers

These rosemary and mint lamb burger patties are all made in-house by our butchers. Grill the lamb patties on the barbie or pan-fry it to your liking. Superb with grilled halloumi cheese, sliced tomato, onion, lettuce and tzatziki sauce or your favourite relish in lightly toasted buttered burger bun…yum!

Easy Tzatziki Sauce Recipe

Ingredients and Method

Plain Greek yoghurt 450ml

2 Lebanese cucumbers — one to be shredded and the other to be diced

Salt and pepper

1 lemon

Mix all the ingredients together: shredded fresh cucumber, diced cucumber, minced garlic, lemon juice, finely grated lemon rind and salt and pepper to taste.


Variations–eggplant tzatziki

– For an eggplant tzatziki, char-grill an eggplant and set to cool on a paper towel

– Once the grilled eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel skin and mash eggplant with fork

– Stir through olive oil, tahini and tzatziki sauce

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Party Essentials: How to Entertain with an Easy and Cost-effective Gourmet Cheese Platter

Handcrafted Pepe Saya Butter, Bocconcini and Basil


Spring Entertaining Ideas

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Here’s one of our favourite spring entertaining ideas to get you in the mood for spring: Simon’s (edible) Echidna!

We made two combinations of pinchos (pintxo) for the echidnas’ ‘spikes’:

The first: sundried tomato, half a feta olive and a cube of cheddar (pictured below)

The second: pepperbells stuffed with smoked salmon, a cube of cheddar and a silver of watermelon (pictured below) — the watermelon brings sweetness and moisture to the combination.

We  took about 15 – 20 minutes to put together the echidnas. The platter cost about $15 – $20. Get creative and entertain effortlessly this spring at an affordable cost.

p.s. Once your guests are done picking away, simply take the fruit stand (the pineapple halves) back to the kitchen, slice them up, and serve as a palette cleanser.


The Vintage Gold Cheddar is a 42-month-old cheddar with a very sharp taste and is locally produced by King Island Dairy. Cheddar is simple to present as it holds its shape when cut. The Vintage Gold Cheddar is great in sandwiches. With matured cheddar, our Delicatessen Manager advises to indulge and enjoy the cheddar by itself, having it with fruits or antipastos that complement its distinct flavour.

If you have any other spring entertaining ideas that you’d like to share, tell us on our Facebook page–we’d love to hear from you!


Father’s Day Gift Baskets

Monday, August 20th, 2012

If you can’t decide on just one gift this father’s day, why not create your own father’s day gift basket filled with dad’s favourite things.

Pick a basket and fill it with dad’s favourite goodies and we’ll gift wrap it for you. Choose from our range of confectionery, teas, coffees, marinades, sauces, marmalades, jams, cookbooks and gift cards.

We also offer a range of flower bouquets and gift vouchers in values of $20 and $50 for purchase in store.

Simon’s Gourmet Gallery Celebrates Ten Years at Chapel Hill

Thursday, June 21st, 2012


Yes—it has been ten years since Simon’s first opened in Chapel Hill as some customers had playfully insisted otherwiseWe celebrated our 10th birthday on the 16th of June in fashion of our passion for food, having an open day of taste tests, bringing in boutique and family-owned food merchants, to add a touch of gourmet into everyone’s Saturday.

Thankfully, the weather was on our side–as it was cloudy and rainy the Saturday before. We started off the day with a fresh fruit platter followed up by biscuits from Mamma Marilena’s kitchen.


Mamma was popular with the crowd with her sweet demeanour and display of enthusiasm for her products. Mamma Marilena herself was in store to generously offer everyone a taste of her biscuits, macaroons and nut bread. She proudly exclaimed her nut bread won Best Bakery Product at Fine Foods Australia 2009. Well done, Mamma!

Over at the deli section, we had a nibble at Brubecks Boutique Foods homemade, preservative-free dips, which got everyone picking at the basil & parmesan, whipped feta & beet and roast vegetable dips—yum!

The butchers added to the festive feast with their favourite party finger food—Italian meatballs, sausage rolls, classic meatballs and sausages—all prepped by the butchers and cooked on the spot but our amazing kitchen crew.

Just as we thought we were about to go into a food coma, Carina, co-founder of Lick ice-cream set up her gourmet Dry Roasted Cinammon ice-cream, a flavour especially created for the cool season, up for a taste test. Some say that Lick’s ice-cream should just lose the ‘ice’ and be called ‘cream’ instead due to its smooth, creamy texture. Here’s a little trivia for you, chatting with Carina on the day, we found out that she started the business with her brother, who is a qualified chef. They even create customised flavours for restaurants to match their menus—how cool is that!


Not to be left behind, the deli put up a beautiful party platter to amp up the festivity. Smoked Dutch beef, ham, prosciutto, three-milk cheese, which was a hit with cheese lovers—a cheese made of goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and cow’s milk), camembert, double smoked chicken, chorizo and plenty more…We spotted a few people coming back for thirds!

Steve from Pukara Estate of the Hunter Valley treated customers to a gourmet selection of flavoured oils and balsamic vinegars—think fig infused balsamic, lemon infused olive oil—with traditional dukkah and Turkish bread.


Just at the entrance/exit of the café, for those people who thought they made it out of the food taste tests maze, there was Debbie from OMG It’s Gluten Free, a family-owned business, who put up pistachio, chocolate and berry cakes up for tasting—and they tasted absolutely divine…you wouldn’t even be able to tell that there wasn’t any gluten in them.

The taste tests open day came to an end at 4pm, with the ballot box full of entries for the *$500 shopping spree at Simon’s. It was a big day for all of us at Simon’s—filled with food and nostalgia. Here’s to another 10 years of building memories together!


Special mention:

Halfway into the day, we had a pleasant surprise…Glenn, owner of Simon’s, pointed out that our first ever customer, Ann Holt, who walked through the doors ten years ago was in store! Intrigued and excited, we rushed up to Ann for a chat.

Picture: Glenn Brown and Ann Holt

We asked Ann what brings her back to Simon’s throughout the years.Her reply:

Oh, the customer service definitely…I get all my gourmet speciality products here…Simon’s has gone from strength to strength…so they must be doing something right all these years.”

We were over the moon to hear such kind and encouraging words. Thanks, Ann! What a privilege it was to meet you on the day.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers—whether you have been shopping with us since day one, or newly acquainted over the weekend—from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all your support.

Congratulations to Simon’s Gourmet Gallery customer, Chris Byrne. Her name was randomly chosen from 100s of customers who participated in our lucky draw on our birthday open day. Chris won a $500 shopping spree at Simon’s Gourmet Gallery.

Thank you to everyone who participated on the day! Stay on top of future competitions and specials by following us on our Simon’s Gourmet Gallery Facebook page.



Party Essentials: How to Entertain with an Easy and Cost-effective Gourmet Cheese Platter

Friday, June 15th, 2012

There’s only one thing we love more than good food—good company. As much as we love creating in the kitchen, we love watching the expressions of our guests as they tuck into the food and, of course, compliments are thanked with more food!


In this blog post, we’ll show you how to entertain the gourmet, fuss-free, and cost-effective way with a cost-effective cheese platter…shining the spotlight on Pastore Sardo Pecorino—a cheese made from sheep’s milk. Pecore is Italian for sheep.

Pecorino sheep's cheese

The Pastore Sardo Pecorino comes from the Sardinian region in Italy, hence the name of the cheese. This particular cheese is a semi-hard cheese.

In general, a cheese platter should have three main cheeses:

  • a soft cheese—camembert or brie
  • a cheddar
  • a goat’s or sheep’s cheese for guests who have an intolerance for cow’s milk

In this cheese platter, we used a soft cheese, Simon’s Select vintage cheddar and the Pastore Sardo Pecorino. We added some muscatels, Hungarian salami, South Cape Water Wheels Crispbread, fresh strawberries and salad to bring colour to the plate and to complement the cheeses.

The total cost to make this cheese platter was about $25. The platter serves approximately five people. Prep time was less than 10 minutes. Our Deli Manager’s time saver tip: try to visualize the platter before platting up.

Here are a few combinations to try with the flavours and colours on the platter:

Crispbread/water cracker topped with a generous slice of strawberry and a cube of Simon’s Select vintage cheddar







Crispbread topped with camembert and salad leaves





Open hot Hungarian salami with salad, camembert and muscatel


We call this a baby in a blanket–cute, no? Same ingredients as the open Hungarian salami with soft cheese, salad and muscatel–folded and held together with a toothpick. A great idea for a cocktail platter. 


Top tips:

  • Three basic cheeses–a soft cheese (brie or camembert), cheddar and goat’s or sheep’s cheese
  • Serve cheeses at room temperature to get their full flavour
  • Don’t be afraid to play with your food and experiment! You’ll be surprised how certain unusual combinations may sound ‘odd’ at first, but you’ll be glad you gave it a go!
  • Lastly, have fun and enjoy with good company–be it your friends, family, or your favourite bottle of wine.


We hope we’ve inspired you and added some gourmet to your day! Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more tips and inspiration. All the ingredients featured in this post can be found in our Chapel Hill gourmet food store in the deli and fruit & vegetable section.

Coffee Essentials: Ethiopia Sidamo Single Origin Coffee in Brisbane

Friday, May 25th, 2012

We’d like to introduce you to our single origin coffee, Ethiopia Sidamo,* from our local coffee roaster Dancing Bean.

Single origin coffee is coffee that  comes from one country. Several factors define the flavours and aroma of a single origin coffee, such as soil, altitude, climate and its harvesting and processing methods.



Ethiopian coffee cherries (left)  and coffee beans (right)

(Above) a lovely cuppa by our Star baristas at Simon’s Gourmet Gallery, cafe, Brisbane

This Ethiopian single origin* coffee come from the highlands of the famous Sidama region (marked in the  map below).

The coffee beans are grown between 1,800 – 2,200 meters above sea level and processed naturally, giving it a distinct mocha flavour with a fruity aftertaste of cherries and strawberries — yum! 

(Above) freshly harvested Ethiopian coffee cherries — simply stunning

Photos of the coffee cherries, coffee cherry trees and coffee beans were taken by Rob Mergard, owner of our boutique coffee roaster in Banyo, Dancing Bean.


*Available for a limited time only, while stocks last

Mother’s Day flower bouquets available for pre-order

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, happening on Sunday 13th May. Simon’s will be receiving a wide range of stunning flower bouquets. Spoil that special woman in your life with your choice of a single or multi-coloured bouquets, throw in her favourite chocolates and handmade card to suit!  These lovely bouquets below are available for pre-order, please see our friendly staff in our Chapel Hill store today.

Place your Mother’s Day flower orders  by 30th April 2012. Payment must be made upon ordering.

Bouquets below $10

Chrysanthemum posy

Chrysanthemum posy $9.98

Mixed chrysanthemum bouquet also available for $7.99


Bouquets below $20


Gift arrangement box_pink flowers


Gift arrangement box $19.99


Orchid Arrangement

Orchid arrangement $19.99


Bouquets below $25


Mum's Delight Bouquet

Mum’s Delight bouquet $24.99



Bouquets below $35


I love you Mum bouquet with chocolates

I Love You Mum bouquet — chocolates included $34.99



Bouquets below $45

Large gift box with vase and chocolates included

Large gift box — vase and chocolates included $44.99

FREE taste testing Brisbane event 20th April, 11am – 1pm, Simon’s Gourmet Gallery, Chapel Hill

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012


Our deli and delicatessen managers are teaming up to host a FREE taste testing event this Friday, 20th April, 11am – 1pm at Simon’s Gourmet Gallery, Chapel Hill. 



Casa de Sabor Mocha Mousse for taste testing event in Chapel Hill, Brisbane

Come on down to our store and try some yummy mousses and dips by

Casa de Sabor Mousses, flavours include:
Chocolate Orange
Mocha (pictured)


Brubecks Dips, flavours include:
Basil & Parmesan
Blue Roast Pumpkin
Feta & Red Chilli
Roast Vegetable
Thai Curry

See you there!

Free Dancing Bean coffee all day, Tuesday 13th March 2012

Thursday, March 8th, 2012


New coffee range, same friendly baristas

We are excited to announce that Simon’s Gourmet Gallery’s cafe in Chapel Hill will be introducing a new range of flavours and aromas from Dancing Bean Espresso to our avid coffee drinkers. As we take our coffee as seriously as you do, our passionate baristas will be undergoing additional intensive coffee training over the next few days to add to their existing coffee knowledge. They’ll be learning how to work on our new coffee machines and learn how to handle our new range of premium coffee beans to ensure that they get the best out of each pull.

Why the coffee changeover?

Some people may not have heard of Dancing Bean Espresso (brownie points if you have!) and may wonder why we have decided to switch from our previous coffee supplier Segafredo Zanetti, an international brand, to boutique coffee roaster Dancing Bean Espresso…so here’s our story:

Being a wholly Australian owned company, based in Brisbane, we wanted to share our humble success, which we have enjoyed over the past decade, with other local businesses who take pride in what they do.  We found locally established Dancing Bean coffee to be a perfect fit as we both share a passion for offering premium quality food products to our customers. We felt that we could relate to Dancing Bean as both of our companies had entered the food industry scene in Brisbane around the same time, flourished over the years, hit a few bumps along the way, yet we still feel as passionately about our businesses as we did 10 years ago–keeping it true to its roots.

Getting to know Dancing Bean coffee

Dancing Bean coffee is roasted and blended daily in its boutique roaster in Banyo, on the north side of Brisbane. Dancing Bean coffee was established in 1999 by Robert Mergard, an enthusiastic coffee lover who felt passionate about having control over the blend and the coffee roasting process, handling only the highest graded coffee beans. Dancing Bean has won awards at the 2011/2012 Golden Bean Awards, which attracted over 1,200 entrants from around the world.

In celebration of our new partnership with Dancing Bean coffee, we are hosting a coffee launch this coming Tuesday, 13th March 2012 at Simon’s Gourmet Gallery cafe in Chapel Hill and will be serving up free coffee throughout the day. Don’t be shy, do drop by–we love seeing familiar and new faces at our cafe, and be sure to invite your friends and family. Come meet Rob and our friendly baristas, and enjoy free Dancing Bean coffee throughout the day.


Still curious about Dancing Bean coffee? Find out more on their website .

Simon’s Brisbane cafe’s new menu launch promo, Thursday, 16th Feb

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Simon’s Gourmet Gallery’s Brisbane cafe to revamp cafe menu

After much experimenting and sampling going behind Kylie’s Kitchen doors, we’re excited to announce that will be launching our new cafe menu this Thursday, 16th of February 2012, at Simon’s Gourmet Gallery in Chapel Hill, Brisbane.  We will be keeping a handful of our classic favourites and adding a bunch of tasty newbies to our new all-day breakfast and lunch menu.

Here’s a sneak peek at our upcoming cafe menu in this week’s blog post…

Introducing our glorious summer feeds at our Brisbane cafeCrispy Chicken Mango Salad (bottom-left) and Chicken Burger (bottom-right–note the melted garlic butter slowly oozing down the perfectly grilled chicken breast…yum!)


Gail absolutely loves the new buttermilk French Toast with Berry Compote and fresh cream–a mix of sweet and sour, perfect for a light breakfast or afternoon tea.

Emma, our Store Manager, couldn’t pick just one for a favourite…

“I love the Rosti Stack for breakfast and the risotto for lunch. Both dishes are super yummy. I love the new textures and flavours they bring to the menu,” says Emma.

Rosti Stack–homemade potato rosti with grilled mushroom and tomato, wilted spinach and our tasty homemade tomato relish.


creamy chicken and mushroom risotto

Creamy chicken risotto with Parmesan and rocket

This high and mighty Veggie Stack is bound to convert anti-vegos. Pretty layers of pumpkin, sweet potato, aubergine, capsicum, zucchini, and our homemade white sauce. Served with a side of wedges, sour cream and tomato relish.


And for the manly men seeking a big feed, or for the ladies with an amazing appetite, start off your day with our Big Breakfast. Glenn is a big fan of this dish right here:

Big Breakfast–what you see is what you get: scrambled eggs, roasted tomato, generour bacon rashers, homemade sausage and herbed potato rosti, served with a side of our famous homemade relish and Turkish bread.

In celebration of our new menu launch at our Brisbane cafe, we’re having an exclusive introductory offer this week from Thursday till Friday (16th – 17th February 2012)…buy three meals in one sitting and enjoy the fourth meal for free*!

Bringing a party of six or more? Brilliant! Just give us a call to make a booking.


*the free meal will be the meal that is of least value in the final bill

Please note: bookings required for a party of six or more people

Prepped Fruit and Vegetable Packs

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Peeled, cut and marinated, ready to be tossed straight into the wok or oven. We know that preparing vegetables can be time consuming with all that peeling and chopping. That’s why our Fruit and Vegetable team at Simon’s  prep the veggies for you so you can whip up a quick and healthy meal without compromising on the greens. No more excuses for not eating your veggies. We have Classic Veggie Packs which are your typical stir-fry vegetables, Fruit Packs for convenient and healthy snacks, and Vegetable Dinner Packs, such as sweet potato chips and oven bake spiced potatoes, so that you have more time to spend preparing your mains.

Homemade stir-fry range by our Brisbane butchers

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

We know how time consuming prepping can be, so our Brisbane butchers took the opportunity to do the messy stuff for you! At Simon’s we have a variety of prepped stir-fries ready to be thrown into a wok! Choose from basil pesto rump, Thai coriander beer, beer stroganoff pan ready, Greek lamb, Moroccan lamb, Thai lemon, lime and chilli, nutty chicken, and more! Pop by your nearest Simon’s butcher to check out our extensive stir-fry range.

Beef and Veal

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

At Simons our butchers handle only the best quality beef and veal. Choose from Stockhaven beef, Stockyard Wagyu, or Barcoo.  Whether its beef or veal, have them in various cuts including diced , strips, T-bone, rump, ribfillet, mince in premium and lean. Real veal chops, fillets, cutlets, racks, Osso Bucco and crumbed veal schnitzels are also available.



Stockhaven Beef

From ‘paddock to plate’, combining his passion for farming and food, Glenn brings the best of his Angus Cross cattle to Simon’s.  Glenn’s free-range cattle are cared for on a 110 acre farm named Stockhaven, just out of Gympie.  Throughout their life, the cattle are fed on a rising plane of nutrition and handled in a stress-free environment which guarantees tenderness, so you can be sure to receive absolute quality when you purchase Glenn’s Stockhaven Beef.


Stockyard Wagyu Beef

Our Wagyu beef comes from Stockyard, one of Australia’s leading award-winning Wagyu beef exporters.

Easily identifiable through its heavily marbled characteristics, thus its alternative name for ‘white’ beef, Wagyu is tender, juicy and has a rich unique taste.

Wagyu is high in nutrients and healthy (unsaturated) fats, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6, which are said to defend the body from Alzheimer’s, heart disease and arthritis.

To get the most out of Wagyu, pan-sear or prepare as steak tartar.


Barcoo Beef

Barcoo premium steaks are of the highest quality and are one of the top choices by restaurants around Australia for Barcoo’s tenderness and flavour.

Barcoo beef is free-range and its quality is kept consistent throughout the year.



Veal  has a velvety texture and is tender and succulent. Veal has been an important ingredient in many traditional Italian and French cuisines and is low in fat compared to beef. Simons puts out only the top quality veal from our Highchester supplier.





Hormone and steroid free chicken

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

The Brisbane butchers at Simon’s Gourmet Gallery, Chapel Hill,  source poultry from only the finest local Aussie chicken farmers. Simon carries barn-raised chooks that are hormone and steroid free. Chicken meat is high iron, vitamins, chicken meat is a common source of protein and is high vitamins and minerals.

At Simons,  we sell your everyday chicken cuts from thighs and breastfillets, to wings, legs, diced, strips and even large whole chickens. We also have a wide range of prepped chicken meat ready to popped into the oven, on the grill, or on the pan. We have kebabs in different flavours, including honey soy, lemon and garlic, and satay. Try our BBQ butterfly chicken in a variety of flavours such as sun-dried tomato and basil, rivermint, and Thai lemon and chilli.


Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Simons butchers are proud to bring only the best quality pork with a 10mm score fat. Our pork comes from Darling Downs in Southern Queensland. Pork is an excellent source of vitamin B, protein and minerals.

At Simons, we have a variety of pork cuts, including cutlets, diced pork, stripped pork, pork chops, racks, spareribs and pork roast with or without bone. We also have prepped pork, ready for cooking,  such as bacon hocks and rashes, lemon and mustard pork cutlets, pork crackler roast, ultimate crackle roasted in lemon, salt and pepper, and  Portuguese pork rack.

Handmade Sausages — Chapel Hill butcher store

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Simon’s Gourmet Gallery is proud to have the biggest range of handmade sausages in Brisbane with flavours from Thai green coconut chicken, French Toulouse, pumpkin, pine nut and parmesan, pork apple and honey, Merguez, merlot and cracked pepper, and more! Our butcher has been crowned Sausage King by the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) awards. The butcher has won many awards with his homemade sausages such as the chicken, spinach and pine nut sausage, which won the Gold Award at the AMIC Sausage King Awards 2012.