According to Marissa Kentrotis, the goal behind Pablo’s Pantry – the cafe, deli and wine bar she runs with her mum, Helen Kentrotis – was to “create a place we would want to spend time [in] and share the food we eat with family and with friends.” And that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Tucked away in the backstreets of Woolloongabba, Pablo’s Pantry feels a world apart from the chaos and traffic of the area. The fit-out, by Fortitude Valley interior designers Collectivus, is inspired by the Greek island of Cythira – the Kentrotis family’s ancestral home – with soft furnishings offset by the pastel banquet seating.
“There is nothing like this in Brisbane,” Marissa explains to Broadsheet. “We make everything here. I spent my childhood with Mum in the kitchen, and she spent her childhood watching my grandmother in the kitchen.”
Save 20% when you buy two or more Broadsheet books. Order now to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas.SHOP NOW
Everything at Pablo’s is made in-house daily from family recipes – from the cookies, muffins and cinnamon buns to the pastitsio and spanakopita. Even the labneh – served as part of the cured fish plate alongside salmon, trout, capers, caperberry and a soft-boiled egg – is hung to dry in the kitchen.
“It just doesn’t align with our ethos to buy things in,” says Marissa. “We want [everything] to be fresh and healthy,” adds Helen.
The breakfast menu offers a selection of Australian staples with deft Greek touches. Fried eggs come with pistachio-and-kale pesto, feta and “lots of herbs”; shakshuka is made with confit garlic, Helen’s tomato salsa, and marinated capsicum; chai-and-nut ricotta pancakes are topped with orange and cinnamon syrup, berries and Greek yoghurt; and fresh baguettes are smothered in mascarpone with bee pollen and blueberry compote.
Lunch includes a selection of sandwiches on sourdough and ciabatta sourced from Doughcraft in Albion. So far, the most popular is the roast pork layered with apple sauce and coleslaw.
There’s also a distinct selection of character-driven drops from small-batch Australian winemakers, designed to reflect Greek tastes, and takeaway meals to reheat at home, including kefthedes (Greek meatballs with garlic and tomato salsa); spanakorizo (a traditional rice dish with artichokes and dill); pastitsio; and spanakopita.