Stepping into Pause, the rumble of car engines is replaced by soft jazz, with timber, tin and stone forming the modern twist on a classic Queenslander that houses the restaurant. Owner Greg Robson flits between tables, catching a joke here and a chinwag there.
Although Greg himself does not pause, his vision, alongside co-owners Trung Le Phan and wife Isabelle, is to remove individuals from the perpetual engagement consuming our daily lives.
“This place isn’t for the hedonistic pleasure of eating fantastic food. It’s some kind of solution to a crisis that is absolutely looming. Unless we take the time to meditate, or contemplate, our increased connectivity never stops.”
The goal at Pause was to create a place of nourishment, with a restaurant, crystal and jewellery gallery and soon-to-open spa to remedy the stress of always being switched on.
The summer instalment of its seasonal menu recently secured Pause the Open Table Diners’ Choice Award.
The menu insists on “no trendy micro-portions”, promising generous meals to satisfy even the keenest hunger. We chose the Leave It To Chef, a degustation with the primary intention of ensuring diners do not leave hungry – and spoil you, they will.
The first course arrived in a flourish of plates. The citrus flavoured scallops, silky salmon tartare, and house made crackers sung with flavour, served with a side of freshly shucked Coffin Bay oysters for good measure.
Head Chef Rino Avellini brings his adoration of fresh seafood so sincerely to the plate, you would think you were dining seaside.
Another sip of Aperol, and course two arrived – a duo of meaty lentil meatball with tangy tomato sauce, and a creamy potato puree topped with a crispy noodle encased garlic prawn. Greg insists at each stage of dining that “everything is from scratch” with flavours meticulously curated to create a rhumba on the taster’s palate.
Sous Chef Andrea Leone’s Tuscan heritage is palpable in the course that followed – a red wine soaked octopus house made fettuccine.
The gold band snapper makes an appearance in course four, paired with a stewed Tuscan kale – yes, kale that is not just edible, but delicious.
Greg explains that their produce is farmed in Pause’s backyard – almost.
“We have our own bio-dynamic permaculture farm 300 metres up the road. People love coming here, knowing our produce is grown so close.”
The lamb tenderloin with pumpkin risotto was tantalising, and the white semi-frozen tequila dessert proved a refreshing end to an all-consuming luncheon.
Having tapped into the natural spring buried beneath the restaurant – more favourably known as Eau De Samford – the next step for Pause is to open a day spa.
Expected to be open by the beginning of next year, the spa will be complete with wet and dry treatment rooms, in-ground pools, and signature mineral treatments.
Pause is not for those in a rush, because “there’s nothing wrong with slow”. Pause is for the mellower; a place to savour perfect minimalism, and to simply … pause.
Our readers also enjoyed this story about Corganics.