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The Que Club makes BBQ cool again

An impressive triple threat that sets a sky-high standard as a barbecue superstore, presenting a cafe, retailer and cooking school in one.

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Image source: 
Mike Hilburger

The Que Club is a unique, multidimensional go-to hub for all things barbecue. The café could be considered the ideal entry point for most people, as diners are offered a glimpse – and a taste – of what The Que Club is all about.

The café is open for lunch every day other than Monday, and dinner on Friday nights, while you’ll want to make time for a return visit, noting The Que Club’s rotating menu. The Pitmaster’s Plate with entrees makes for the perfect introduction, offering a complete picture of the barbecued brilliance that The Que Club has to offer. A key highlight of the entrees has to be the brisket, jalapeño and cheese croquettes; the spheres of molten, gooey deliciousness matched with smoked garlic aioli. Later, the saltbush lamb ribs with dill yoghurt are the cause for salivation, and the explosively-tangy, pickle-brined chicken wings prove particularly moreish. The sensational chopped free range Borrowdale pork also rates a mention. If you’re a ravenous meat eater with a love of all things barbecue, The Pitmaster’s Plate is the clear go-to option.

Pleasingly, The Que Club goes above and beyond to provide an exquisite dining experience. When first brainstorming slogans, the minds behind The Que Club arrived at their core mission for the business: to help people barbecue better. Doubling as a retailer, the venue well and truly ticks that box, enabling inspired diners to forge their own path towards DIY barbecue deliciousness. The ingredients they combine in their flavourful dishes are available for purchase, with shelves of local and international products, as well as barbecue equipment at diners’ fingertips. If there’s a particular sauce or rub that takes your fancy, you can grab it right there and then, and set about recapturing your experience at the venue.

Of course, not everyone has taken Charcoal 101 or  smoking classes, and some are more capable than others when presented with a barbecue. However, The Que Club has that concern covered too, incorporating a cooking school on location. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t fancy yourself the most capable cook, as the venue offers a rotating schedule of classes to people at all levels. And so, it wasn’t just a cute turn of phrase after all – here, you can quite literally enrol in Charcoal  101 and smoking classes. Through classes, the team delight in sharing the finer points of their expertise, offering up a blueprint to master the art of great barbecue.

Overall, The Que Club is an impressive triple threat that sets a sky-high standard as a barbecue superstore, presenting a cafe, retailer and cooking school in one. The word that springs to mind time and again with the The Que Club is, simply, “inspired”. The venue itself, as a self-contained, multi-dimensional, barbecue-centric paradise, is an inspired concept. It’s ambitious and executed wonderfully. Importantly, though, as a diner, you feel inspired with every bite to not only return, but to try your hand at recreating their mouth-watering morsels for yourself.

THE INSPIRED BARBEQUE-LOVER'S PARADISE

Could you fill us in on the history of The Que Club? How did it come about? The Que Club basically consists of two couples – myself (Andrew) and Pam, and Dean and Dana – who form a competitive barbecue team, the Natural Born Grillers. It’s a competitive barbecue team that’s had a fair bit of success on the circuit and I guess due to the long distances travelled whilst competing, we spent too much time in a car. Hence, we came up with an idea to start a barbecue store that was everything that we love about barbecue in one place. We opened late in September 2017.

Could you elaborate on the initial vision for The Que Club? What we wanted was a barbecue store that was completely different than anywhere on the globe. We’ve incorporated a barbecue store with a thriving café, a sought-after cooking school, together with fresh cuts of meat. So, everything that we love about barbecue is under one roof and everyone that works on the floor is an expert. We believe that when you come here, you’ll get the right advice the first time, with people that are just as passionate as you are.

Pam: That’s why we called it The Que Club, as well, because we want people to feel they’re part of a club, that they can come in here and feel welcome, whether they need to pick up some spare ribs or they want to come and have a meal or have a class or buy their next barbecue, whatever it is. We want everybody that comes in to have a really positive experience and want to come back and continue barbecuing.

The Que Club is an ambitious venture. To what extent is it a measure of your passion for barbecue? Andrew: When we told our friends that we were starting a barbecue store that was going to have a café, a cooking school and a fresh meat department, they thought we were freakin’ crazy. Here we are eight months later and it’s thriving. We’re so super-passionate about it. We believe in what we’re doing and we believe in this style of cooking.

Find The Que Club at 205-211 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North.