BTC celebrates launch of Brisbane’s first Tongan-owned cafe – ‘Umu Kitchen

Updated: Feb 13, 2019

28 January 2019 | Sulieni Layt of Pasifika Media


Brisbane, AUSTRALIA: The Brisbane Tongan Community Inc. (BTC) strongly supports the entrepreneurial aspirations of our Tongan community, including the vast contribution that Tongan migrants make to the Australian business sector.

‘Umu Kitchen proudly launched as Brisbane’s new premiere Tongan cafe on 28 January 2019 at the corner of Denham Terrace and Toohey Road in Tarragindi offering a range of Polynesian and European dishes with a distinct Tongan flavour.


Owner Soane ‘Ali migrated to Brisbane from the Kingdom of Tonga in 1994 and trained in European, Asian and Japanese cooking. Together with his Australian wife, they have infused a successful balance of European and Tongan dishes presented in a contemporary fashion.



Members of the Tongan community enjoying breakfast at Umu Kitchen

Open 7 days a week, Soane stated that he was inspired by the traditional Tongan underground oven, known as an ‘umu, before naming the cafe – ‘Umu Kitchen. He added that the traditional ingredients from the Kingdom of Tonga, such as manioke (cassava/tapioca) and the #coconut are naturally gluten free and organically grown to ensure the diner has a healthy culinary experience.


Umu Kitchen big breakfast

Interwoven with their locally-baked range of cakes and pastries, some island music in the background and their friendly service, ‘Umu Kitchen is now a popular suburban retreat for both Tongans and the community at large. #TonganOwned #contemporary #fresh #CassavaGnochi#UmuBigBreakfast #CassavaChips


Soane has pledged to source his produce from local Tongan farmers, where possible, with a longer term view to explore selling Tongan coffee to patrons on Brisbane’s southside.


BTC’s media associate, Pasifika Media, facilitated a radio interview with Soane ‘Ali to promote the ongoing contribution to the Australian economy by a Tongan businessman, which was aired on Broadcom Radio 87.5FM in the Kingdom of Tonga and the Voice of Tonga on Radio 4EB FM in Brisbane.


#BTC #UmuKitchen

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