Townsville is one of the fastest growing regional areas in Australia, and alongside this growth comes a demand for high quality dining destinations.
JAM, at the top of Townsville’s ‘food street’, Palmer Street, is happy to oblige – and they do so with creative flair, award winning cuisine, and the perfect location, overlooking the Ross River and the CBD.
JAM is a versatile venue offering multiple dining options: a restaurant, the Luxe private dining room, and the Loft first floor function and event space. JAM brings a touch of Melbourne cool to the Townsville restaurant scene, with its modern design, elegant boutique dining areas and host of awards, including a 1 Chef Hat rating for the last three years running. JAM also won North Queensland Restaurant of the Year and National Breakfast Restaurant in 2014.
Owner and Head Chef, Matt Merrin, has been at the forefront of restaurant innovation in Townsville for many years. As the Executive Chef at the renowned Watermark, Matt was instrumental in introducing North Queensland to modern, creative food. As a young apprentice in Perth, Matt worked in a number of award winning restaurants before moving to Melbourne to further develop his passion for fresh, modern Australian cuisine. A career highlight was working at Donovan’s Restaurant in St Kilda alongside Robert Castellani; Matt now endeavours to inspire and develop young chefs who come through his kitchen in the same way that Robert inspired him.
JAM has always had a focus on using seasonal local seafood and produce. With the restaurant’s close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, it’s no surprise that you will often find local reef fish, scallops and prawns on the menu. The growing regions of the north provide tropical fruits and vegetables, and, as Matt said, “with the Federal and State governments pushing for more food bowls to be established in the North, I look forward to seeing what may be produced next.” Whatever it is, you can be sure it’ll have pride of place on JAM’s menu.
Matt has always bought his pork directly from the Western Plains Pork farm; he’s been buying there for 15 years. The pigs are all female, which gives a sweeter meat. They’re bred to only 60kg to ensure they remain succulent. At some of the many functions hosted at JAM, you’ll see a Western Plains Pork suckling pig being carved by the chefs on the balcony in front of the guests. A little theatre with your meal!
JAM is the number one venue for boutique functions and events in Townsville, with the Loft function room able to cater for up to 100 guests. With large balconies overlooking the city skyline and river, the Loft is the perfect spot for wedding receptions, large parties or sit-down gatherings. Some wedding parties book out the entire restaurant and first floor together, giving them the run of the place! The Luxe private dining room holds up to 18 guests, and is perfect for both business events and personal celebrations.
Check out JAM’s new exciting series of events, Taste the North: a venture aimed at showcasing the regions talented chefs, performing artists and produce.