Gourmet Traveller

Dining out


Chef Ben Williamson is heating up Brisbane’s dining scene once again, writes SARAH BRISTOW.

Ben Williamson is a man blessed with more than his fair share of patience. It’s been nearly two years since the star chef of Brisbane’s Gerard’s Bistro announced plans for an ambitious fire-focused foray with the team behind Same Same and Hôntô. Hurdle after hurdle (from building approvals to a pandemic) saw Agnes’s debut delayed until August 2020. But good things come to those who wait – the result of a marathon hospitality effort is a multi-level Fortitude Valley eatery that lives up to the hype.

Unusually for a Queensland restaurant, Agnes is a space that’s not light and bright, but dark and suave. Like a rather moody trifle, it comprises a trio of tiers – on entry you’ll greet the main restaurant, a 66-seater equipped with communal tables focused around the kitchen. Downstairs sits a sleek wine bar, while above resides the outdoor rooftop courtyard – ideal for balmy Brisbane evenings.

As for the fare, Agnes is a celebration of food over fire which forgoes gas and electricity for

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