Dishes to enjoy at QAG Cafe


QAGOMA is full of inspiring art — and at the QAG Cafe artistic creations inspired by the artworks on display are also edible! 

So, when you visit, we invite you to take a seat under the shade of the trees in the Cafe beside the Queensland Art Gallery Watermall and Sculpture Courtyard. While you’re there, take a moment to reflect on the art while enjoying the delicious food crafted by the QAG Cafe’s Chef and team. The menu is full of surprises which you won’t find anywhere else. Below are three of our favourite dishes.

Enjoying some quiet time at the QAG Cafe
Snowman 1987/2017-19 by Peter Fischli and David Weiss installed in the Queensland Art Gallery Sculpture Courtyard

Sticky sesame cauliflower, baby gem lettuce, smoked almond cream, sumac

Sticky sesame cauliflower, baby gem lettuce, smoked almond cream, sumac | VV GF

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower, our vegan friendly dish is a visitor favourite. All of QAGOMA’s food outlets source fresh Queensland produce and cauliflower is one of the very popular vegetables grown locally. We infuse this dish with a touch of Japanese flavours — we’re sure you’ll enjoy this dish, even if you’re not vegan.

We steam the cauliflower first and then it gets the tempura treatment in corn starch (instead of egg and flour) to ensure a gluten free meal. The sauce tastes like teriyaki, but we use maple syrup and white wine vinegar to replace honey and rice wine. Instead of serving the baby gem lettuce raw, we deep fry the whole bunch in a low heat so it’s nice and crunchy. The side sauce is almond cream, with a delicious cheese texture. Lastly it’s decorated with sumac and garnished with a slice of chilli. Another artistic creation!

If you love the sauce, here’s the recipe.

Smoked almond cream | GF, DF, VV

500g x whole peeled almonds
10ml x lemon juice
800ml x water
Sea salt
Clear liquid smoke

  • In a clean tub add the almonds and water together and cover
  • Leave to soak overnight in a dry cool area
  • The next day strain off the almonds and reserve the water
  • Using a blender add the almonds and enough water to cover the almonds
  • Puree the almonds and water together, working the puree down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula
  • Keep adding more water and working the puree until you get a smooth paste consistency
  • Place the puree in a bowl and season with sea salt, lemon juice and liquid smoke to taste
  • Place in a clean container and store in the refrigerator

Green peppercorn chicken, kohlrabi, vermicelli, plum dressing (no longer available)

Green peppercorn chicken, kohlrabi, vermicelli, plum dressing | DF GF

Have you heard of Sichuan Cuisine? It’ s one of the Eight Major Cuisines in China and famous for its spicy, mouth-numbing taste. Our Green Peppercorn Chicken is inspired from Sichuan Cuisine, but don’t worry, ours isn’t spicy at all. The magic is created by the taste of the chicken, accented by a colourful salad — combined, this visual and culinary pleasure will spark your taste buds.

The chicken goes through three steps of marination (which add to the taste). Firstly its marinated with a special salt and pepper powder for two hours; then steamed in a food bag, so the flavour is not lost and the chicken remains fresh and tender; then lastly it’s infused overnight in peppercorn sauce, therefore all flavours combine with the chicken gradually.

When you bite into the chicken, you’ll be surprised at how fresh and soft it is. Wait for a few seconds, and you’ll gradually feel a new sensation on your tongue. It’s the peppercorn doing its job — like a fine wine, the flavour changes from the moment you taste it.

Looking at the colours in the salad, you’ll see pink from plum jam mixed with red onion; yellow from turmeric marinated Kohlrabi pickle; and blue from the Butterfly pea flower pickled baby onion.

Soy-glazed local snapper, potato, kale, capsicum (no longer available)

Soy-glazed local snapper, potato, kale, capsicum | GF

Locally caught Goldband snapper is a familiar fish to most of Queenslanders, but at the QAG Cafe we cook this dish in an unconventional way. If you love fish, this dish is for you.

The secret is how we marinate the snapper in maple syrup and soy sauce — influenced by Japanese cuisine.  This allows you to taste the sweetness in the fish and it also accents the freshness. There are two kinds of sauce: honey and avocado mascarpone; and capsicum essence. The avocado mixes with the honey to bring out the smooth sweet taste without taking over the freshness, while the capsicum essence is made by blanching the capsicum before it’s pureed. The dish is then accented with wasabi pea powder. Why? The hit of heat provided by the wasabi highlights the fish.

The snapper is surrounded by colour: green from wasabi, red from capsicum, and gold from potato. Instead of the usual mash potato, we slice and deep-fry the potato in a low heat so it’s not scorched but just perfectly crunchy, then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. This dish is perfect for a lunch date during a visit.

The QAG Cafe is situated next to the Queensland Art Gallery Watermall and Sculpture Courtyard

The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) operates its own restaurant, bistro and cafe using local seasonal produce to create menus inspired by the art on display. Enhance your visit with a dining experience at the GOMA Restaurant, GOMA Bistro or QAG Cafe.

Every purchase supports QAGOMA’s mission to provide visitors with a wide range of exhibitons, events and programs. Read more

All our dining outlets are currently cashless for the health and safety of our guests and employees.



  1. Lunch at QAG Cafe .. fabulous food especially
    The Sticky Cauliflower which I will attempt myself. Thank you
    Regards Antoinette