Tina Takagaki has a long history on the Darling Downs food scene. As a chef she did her apprenticeship here, she has also run restaurants and worked for large hotel chains in our region, but now she seems to have found her perfect niche in a cosy café in the heart of the Toowoomba CBD.
Tina’s Place is a buzzing little cafe, in fact, during our interview, we had to take a break several times so Tina could help serve the line up at the counter. We discovered most of the customers are regulars and the staff know them by name. Nice right! So why do they keep coming back?
With her Mum Sue in the background icing a carrot cake just cooled from the oven and another staff member racing past with a plate of homemade lamb pot pie I can easily see the attraction. In fact, I was seriously trying not to drool to be honest. You see it seems people love homemade food. I mean the hearty, old fashioned good stuff that many of us grew up with. Nourishing favourites like casseroles, pies, and soups. They are all made from traditional family recipes at Tina’s Place often using vegetables from Tina’s own home garden.
In the cabinet are sweets to die for like rich caramel tart, deep dish apple pie, a luscious lemon meringue pie and a selection of tasty muffins and slices (some GF options) these are best enjoyed with coffee or a nice pot of tea. They also sell preserves and jams made by Tina’s mum Sue, we loved the tomato chutney and tangy lemon butter, yum!
Also popular on the menu are the burger specials and these do change regularly. Southern Chicken, Tex Mex and Pulled Pork are some of the varieties on offer priced around $12 w fries. If morning tea is more your thing, then try the homemade scones and “tea for two” offer for just $10.
Open Monday to Friday between 6am and 2pm, try Tina’s place in Ruthven St. Firstly because it’s a family run business and supporting local is so important and secondly because the food is wholesome and just absolutely delicious!