What started as a small family-run market stall selling homemade curry pastes has now turned into a collection of five restaurants and cafes. Pawpaw Asian Kitchen, a smaller spin-off of popular East Brisbane eatery Pawpaw Cafe, is the latest instalment for The Venzin Group. It opened this week in the Brisbane outer suburb of Tingalpa.
“We have taken the best parts of Pawpaw and made a smaller express version,” co-owner Giorgina Venzin says. “There aren’t many great restaurants in Tingalpa. We want to [offer] a higher quality dine-in and takeaway with great ingredients and consistent meals.”
The takeaway angle comes from the Venzin Group’s positive experience with delivery services such as UberEats and Deliveroo. “Our night restaurants have been thriving with takeaway,” Venzin says.
The small venue can still accommodate dining in; there’s an intimate setting for around 30 people. The décor will be familiar to Pawpaw regulars – plenty of copper and timber elements, pockets of greenery and a mural by artist Caroline Gasteen.
The menu draws inspiration from South East Asia, but everything has a twist to it. All the Pawpaw favourites feature, including the chilli-popcorn chicken, the roast pork belly steamed baos and the signature massaman curry with chunks of slow-cooked beef cheek, kipfler potatoes and peanuts.
In the future Brisbane may not be the only city with a Pawpaw takeaway. “This will be a tester for us,” Venzin says. “[We’re] practising to see what we like and don’t like.”