The Modern Temple of Chinese Food


Boasting some of the biggest names in the Australian bar and restaurant scene, the Brisbane hospitality dynasty the Ghanem Group recently added its latest restaurant Donna Chang to its impressive list.

Situated in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD in a heritage listed building which was once a bank, Donna Chang is now a hub for modern Chinese cuisine. The 120 capacity restaurant has 3 private dining rooms, hanging chandeliers and intricate ceiling carvings which serve as a reminder of its past life.

The Ghanem Group is very much a family run business, Nehme and Adonis Ghanem grew up in hospitality working in the family restaurant and cafe. Having worked almost every job possible whilst growing up from dishwasher to cook to barrister and waiter, the siblings decided to open their first venue – Byblos at Portside Wharf Cruise ship terminal and have since opened numerous others ranging from cafes, family diners, restaurants and cocktail bars. “We currently manage 9 venues between Brisbane, Gold Coast and Melbourne,” said Adonis. “When developing our concept for this beautiful old heritage building, we realised there was a gap in the Brisbane dining scene for a high quality Chinese restaurant comparable to some of the great options in Sydney and Melbourne.”

Donna Chang offers traditional Chinese cuisines combined with fine dining, locally sourced ingredients and modern flavor combinations. The menu which has been developed by Group Executive Chef Jake Nicolson and Head Chef Jason Margaritis challenges tradition by cleverly
incorporating native Australian flavors to deliver dishes like Peking style BBQ duck with native fruit glaze and Mangrove blossom honey char sui pork.

“Sustainability and supporting local native ingredients has long been part of the Ghanem Group’s offering. Jake has worked with these ingredients since his apprenticeship days and has carried his passion for native Australian ingredients into every kitchen he runs. Some of these
native herbs and spices lend very well to Chinese cuisine as a substitute to more traditional ingredients,” said Adonis.

The kitchen headed by Executive Chef Jake Nicolson and Head Chef Jason Margaritis is supported by a team of 15 chefs and a kitchen that would make most chefs envious. Complete with RATIONAL SelfCookingCenter®, Frymaster fryers and the first kitchen in Australian to house both
a Mibrasa Charcoal Oven and Mibrasra Parillia Grill it’s no wonder that the smoky BBQ grill aroma is filling the vast space of this stunning restaurant.

The team at Ghanem Group worked closely with Stuart Carlton Smith from Bunzl Delta and Jaime Patullo Regional Sales Manager, Comcater. “In a large kitchen with numerous sections, it always comes down to space and flow, with the different sections of the kitchen able to communicate effectively. Chefs always want and need more space but finding the right balance with the right equipment that will make the kitchen more productive and efficient is the big challenge,” said Jason.

“This kitchen brings together the perfect blend between technology and tradition. Equipment such as the RATIONAL SelfCookingCenter® delivers productivity and versatility; it is great for prep work, overnight cooking and steaming. The Frymaster fryer with built-in filtration not only
has great heat recovery but you can filter the oil at a push of a button and then we have the Mibrasa Oven and Parilla Grill that uses the oldest cooking technique known to man – fire. Combined together you get productivity and versility and a robust flavor,” said Jaime Patullo.

“The Mibrasa Charcoal Grill and Parilla Grill are positioned facing the dining room adding to the theatre and drama of the dining experience.

They impart an amazing dimension of flavor to our roast meats and wood fired seafood dishes by using aromatic woods and coal, “ Jaime added.

The Ghanem Group also occupy the basement of the building offering an opulent underground Bar called the Boom Boom Room where private rooms hidden inside the bank vault allow guests to step back in time as they enjoy cocktails and a smaller hand held offerings of some of the restaurants favorite dishes.

View More Results…