Top 10 Ekka food finds

Gourmet vs Glutton - the best places to eat at the 2018 Ekka, presented by RACQ.

When it comes to the Ekka, it used to be all about flavour and value for money, but gamechangers have turned the show into a gourmet feast with exciting new options.

RACQ sent The Road Ahead journalist Nathan Torpey and food writer Kerry Heaney to find their top 10 culinary delights in the Ekka crowd. 

Here are their Gourmet and Glutton picks. Stay tuned for the winner at the end.

Scones and jam

  • Location: Queensland Country Women’s Association, John MacDonald Stand.
  • Price $3

Glutton Rating 5/10

"Didn’t disappoint, but there was nothing spectacular about these scones."

Gourmet Rating: 5/10

"The scones lacked that freshly-baked flavour I was hoping to enjoy from a CWA stand, but logistics probably defeat that. However, the colourless and flavourless strawberry jam and cream that didn’t taste like it came from a cow were disappointing. It’s a small spot that is hidden away under the stand so look carefully or you will miss it. Seating inside is closely guarded by older show visitors so take your scones out into the stand and enjoy the ring show at the same time."

Big Mick

  • Location: Mick’s Bakery, Gregory Terrace
  • Price: $6.50

Glutton Rating: 7/10

"Tastes like a burger in a pie with a juicy beef patty, cheese, pickle, cabbage and two sauces encased in pastry. It’s as disgusting or delicious as you think and will definitely fill you up."

Gourmet Rating: 5/10

"I tried Big Mick’s cousin, the Donut Pie. This is a pie with a doughnut shaped hole in the middle. At $4 it is a cheap snack that will leave room for other delights. Handy for light eaters."

Brisket burger

  • Location: Mack From Way Back, Gourmet Plaza
  • Price: $14

Glutton Rating: 7.5/10

"A bit pricey but this is the ultimate burger – with brisket, bacon, mac n cheese, onion rings, bbq sauce and mustard, there’s not much more you could want here. It’s a gluttonous feast and a feat to eat!"

Gourmet Rating: 7/10

"I couldn’t bring myself to look at the brisket burger, so opted for the Original Mac n cheese bowl with panko crunch ($11)."

Puffle

  • Location: Gourmet Plaza
  • Price: $15

Glutton rating: 8/10

"A glutton’s treat that will leave you wanting more with each bite. It’s on the pricy side but will fill you up for the rest of the day." 

Gourmet Rating: 7.5/10

"Surprisingly tasty, this is definitely fast food but it is as addictive as salty chips. The thinly-sliced meat is topped with a cheesy sauce all encased in a soft waffle. This could be your guilty secret favourite."

Mini Hot Dogs

  • Location: Gotzinger, Woolworths Food Pavilion
  • Price: $2

Glutton Rating: 8/10

"Won’t hit the spot like a Bunning’s snag but they're cheap and affordable. There’s a choice of mustard, tomato or barbecue sauce."

Gourmet Rating: 8/10 

" A gem from local smallgoods manufacturer Gotzinger. Reminds me of a cheerio on a fresh, mini white bun. Perfect small snack for children."

Butter Chicken

  • Location: Mudgeeraba Spices, Woolworths Food Pavilion
  • Price: $10

Glutton Rating: 8/10

"There are three varieties of curry – chicken, lamb and beef – and the serving is a substantial meal size. The butter chicken included plenty of meat and a few veggies along with fluffy rice."

Gourmet Rating: 7/10

"The sauce is more interesting than a standard butter chicken. Use the discount coupon from The Courier Mail and you’ll only pay $5."

Gourmet cheese platter

  • Location: The Cheese Pleaser, Woolworths Food Pavilion
  • Price: $15

Glutton Rating: 7/10

"In the beginning, I thought $15 for cheese and bickies was too expensive. Then I tasted the cheese and it is some of the best I have ever eaten."

Gourmet Rating: 9/10

"This is a cheese lover's dream plate with generous slices of Le Dauphin, Shadows of Blue, Maffra Cheddar, quality biscuits and apple and walnut chutney to work you way through. The wood knife is a nice touch too. Ideal to pair with a sample of wine or beer for an afternoon or pre-dinner snack. Buy some cheese to take home too."

Barista coffee

  • Location: Merlo, Woolworths Food Pavilion
  • Price $4 medium size

Glutton Rating: N/A The glutton does not drink coffee or eat chocolate.

Gourmet Rating: 9/10

Good to see local coffee supplier Merlo sharing their full-flavoured coffee magic at the Ekka. Team it with a special limited-edition Choc Raspberry Brownie from I Heart Brownies ($5.50) for the ultimate mood and energy lifter.

Beef Platter

  • Location: RQFWS Tastings, Gourmet Plaza
  • Cost $5 for 100gm rib fillet or Tasmania lamb cutlet

Glutton: 10/10

Value for money is aplenty with this quality lamb and beef. Be warned – there is no sauce available! They think the meat is so good it doesn’t need anything extra. I don't always agree with this mantra - but letting the meat speak for itself certainly works here.

Gourmet: 10/10

The rib fillet is Royal 100 grain fed Paddock to Palate Champion from JBS Australia and the Tasmanian lamb cutlet is the 2018 Gold Medal Winner from Woodward Food Australia. It’s tender, juicy and a delight to eat.  The meat is cooked to order so have it medium rare as recommended and enjoy. 

Tip:  Bring some baby wipes for your fingers at the end.

Strawberry sundaes

The judges and people choice, these Ekka icons have been filling the bellies of show goers for years. Despite multiple outlets, this is where you will find the longest queues. Hang in there and wrap your lips around the frozen delicacy.

  • Location: Sideshow Alley, Alexandria Lane, Gregory Terrace
  • Price: $5.50
  • Rating: 10 from both judges

Glutton: It’s worth going to the Ekka for these alone. The sundaes are so good they'll have you counting down until next years show.

Gourmet: Real cream, quality LICK ice cream, fresh Queensland strawberries and a crisp cone – it doesn’t get any better.

Bonus: Sales of these treats have been funding medical research for Prince Charles Hospital foundation for 30 years.