Matthew Bailey made a significant splash when he entered the Brisbane food scene with Harajuku Gyoza. After opening in both Fortitude Valley and Indooroopilly, Matthew is bringing the vibrant Japanese eatery to South Bank to join his other epicurean venture, Nitrogenie, which serves up experimental dessert options from Stanley Street Plaza.
How long have you been in the restaurant industry?
I’ve only been in the industry for a few years. My business partner and I sold our advertising agency to John Singleton’s STW Group and decided to take our chances in the food and beverage business.
How was Harajuku Gyoza born?
It all started with our frequent trips to Japan for business. We fell in love with Japanese dumplings (gyoza) and cold Japanese beer. The rest is history.
What is your favourite dish on the Harajuku Gyoza menu?
I can’t go past the grilled pork gyoza. It’s a simple and tasty dish you can have time and time again – and I do. It also goes fantastically with an icy cold Kirin beer.
You are also the brains behind Nitrogenie, a very unique concept – where did this idea come from?
Heston Blumenthal is our inspiration here. Unfortunately most people can’t afford his creations, let alone secure a reservation at The Fat Duck. We saw an opportunity to take five-star chef quality ice-cream and make it accessible to everyone. Plus we’ve added a little magic show as we create your ice-creams in front of you.
What gourmet trend has inspired you recently?
I am involved with an olive oil company and have since grown a real passion for fresh extra-virgin olive oil. Ultimately good extra-virgin olive oil is just the juice from the olive and I believe quality produce will be the winner in every trend going forward.
What inspired you to open a business in South Bank?
South Bank is a true entertainment and dining precinct. I can’t think of another precinct in Australia that offers the diversity and quality of restaurants that South Bank has.