For Muslims new to the St Lucia area in Brisbane, Australia, one of the first information you would probably seek is if there are halal eatery close to the university. Yes, for those of you who do not know, St Lucia is a suburb where a major part of The University of Queensland, Australia is located. There are several halal eateries on campus, sure, but the choice is rather limited. And most of the eateries close rather early, especially for those who usually work after office hours at the lab.
Just fifteen minutes walk from the university, there is the Hawken Village area. The area harbours supermarkets, eateries, bakery, post office, real estate agent, and other shops on both sides of the streets. The village is full of people during lunch and dinner hours, but also in the afternoon. Many of them come from the university, including Muslims, and Muslimas in hijab. The options of dining are very variable. Here are three favourite options.
As the name suggests, the restaurant serves Thai food. The place is comfortable to hang out with friends or to dine alone. Although they do not have a halal sign, they do not serve pork, both meat, and fat. I have asked them once and they confirmed this. People have been ordering food from the restaurant to sponsor iftar dinner at the university musalla. Students and staff of the university are often found eating here. I have come here either alone, or in a group lunch (as in group at the office), or in a farewell party with friends. My favourite menu is the tom yum fried rice, beef fried rice, phad Thai, and Thai beef salad. The tom yum fried rice is not on the menu, but you can order it and they would make it for you. For almost every menu, you can order them prepared either with meat, chicken, or shrimp. Their portion is quite big and convenient for the price. I usually pack my leftovers and heat them at home for the next meal.
Kushi is a halal dining place. Also a favourite for Muslim students, especially Malaysian and Indonesian students. They have a halal sign on their window, and they offer discounts for students. The waiters are friendly, and free Wifi is available, which is very convenient. My favourite menu includes their bento menu, their skewers (beef, tofu, prawn, squid etc), takoyaki, beef ramen, beef udon, Japanese style chicken, and chicken karage. It feels convenient to have a Japanese restaurant close to the Uni, especially when it is halal. Although they serve Asian food, but the taste is very different than what I am used to at home in Indonesia. And this is a nice change from what I usually have daily.
Kebab and Pizza
Unlike the other two stores which open during lunch and dinner hours, the “Kebab and Pizza” opens in the afternoon well into about 2 am in the morning. When all other diners are closed, the “Kebab and Pizza” is open for late eaters, those who spend the whole evening in the lab not able to eat, those who realise they do not have anything in their fridge and have cravings in the evening, those who come home from outing hungrily, but could not find a nice and halal place to eat, etc. Beside kebab and pizza, the place also sells turkish pide and gozleme, along with some soft drinks. Gozleme is my favourite.
So, those are the halal dining options in the Hawken Village area of St Lucia. This is true as of 11th May 2016. I hope you find this information useful 🙂