Thinking of travelling to Brisbane? Queensland’s capital city is located in between the ocean and rugged national parks. Brisbane is a cosmopolitan hub for arts, culture and dining. With almost more than 300 days of sunshine per year, spending time outdoors with your family and friends is the perfect activity. Dining in the Brisbane neighbourhoods is an activity that you must not miss out. Here is a list of must visit restaurants in Brisbane for you to plan ahead of your trip.
sAme sAme Brisbane, Fortitude Valley
Since opening in 2014, sAme sAme (formerly known as LONgTIME) has always been named as one of the country’s best Thai restaurants. From its roast pork belly and grilled beef short rib to whole crispy fish and grilled prawn, sAme sAme’s dishes are refined and memorable. Not only are its dishes top-notch, the restaurant visuals are beautiful and cosy. Thanks to the high quality of food, service and wine, sAme sAme continued to have earned its spot in Brisbane’s top list of eateries. If you are planning to come to sAme sAme, it is highly recommended to book in advance to avoid wait times.
Happy Boy, Fortitude Valley
Located under the fairy-lit trees on Eat Street, Happy Boy makes Brisbane happy with its authentic and regional Chinese cuisine.Customer favourites include red-braised pork belly, cha-siu-style barbecue chicken, and mapo tofu with Happy Boy’s special spicy sauce and ground pork. The Happy Boy also offers a great selection of wines, and share plates like crispy roast duck, prawn and pork wontons in chilli broth and their famous fried rice. If you want to move away from the westernised fusion style of Chinese restaurant dining, then Happy Boy will be the right place for you.
Hôntô, Fortitude Valley
Also located in Fortitude Valley, Hôntô is the younger sibling of LONgTIME and has earned its spot in several Brisbane’s top and award lists in just a few years’ time. And you will see why. Walk into the mysterious and dark space, the only light source are the hanging chandeliers. Just like the venue, its creative menu is what you will be looking forward to, as it transforms traditional dishes and reproduces them into local Japanese cuisine, which is what makes Hôntô stand out from any other Japanese restaurants in Brisbane. You will fall in love over its dishes like the savoury drumstick cones topped with raw tuna, grilled Hokkaido scallops, BBQ miso pork belly plated with fluffy steamed buns.
OTTO Ristorante, Brisbane City
If you are looking for a fine dining Italian restaurant, the award-winning OTTO will be your best choice. Cityscape and river views, and warm and colourful interiors with friendly service, OTTO has continued to deliver its dishes with an abstract approach to modern Italian. Head chef’s menu is creative, seasonal, delicious and simple, taking inspiration from the southern regions of Italy. Top-notch wines go best with Ranger Valley sirloin and butterflied spatchcock.
Julius Pizzeria, South Brisbane
Julius Pizzeria in South Brisbane offers top-notch food and service and prides itself on doing Italian classics while also selling some new-fashioned dishes. Specialty dishes are wood-fired pizzas, daily risotto special and hand-made pasta, while mains such as the signature duck and tomato ragu, slow-cooked beef shin and crumbed pork sirloin are the best dishes you need to try at Julius. Julius Pizzeria is a modern Italian restaurant with friendly service and a busy open kitchen. However, it does not take bookings after 6pm, but waiting at the bar is a golden opportunity to try some sample Italian wine. As the words on Julius’s menu says, ‘Come early, come often.’ you will be drawn to Julius’s dishes and come back often.
e’cco bistro, Newstead
Having travelled all the way to Australia, e’cco bistro is the perfect place to experience modern Australian dining before you leave. The restaurant is run by celebrity chef Philip Johnson, demonstrating the country’s best modern Australian cuisine for over two decades. Renovations were undertaken and the restaurant reopened in inner city Newstead in a new look. The best part though is its modest service, newest wine list and the kitchen’s simple menu based on Brizilian inspirations. Rannoch quail is a signature dish, with yellow corn purée scattered with peas and nubs of fried cotechino sausage. Prawn meat tortellini in a refreshing ginger and lemongrass broth will not disappoint you. For dessert, baked custard tart with burnt orange syrup, pistachio halva and sharp yoghurt sorbet is what you need not to miss out before you leave the restaurant.
Gauge, South Brisbane
Gauge is one of Brisbane’s most awarded and acclaimed restaurants. Under head chef Cormac Bradfield and Phil Marchant’s menu, every dish is executed sublimely and perfectly. To start with, you can order snacks like chicken-skin crackers with anchovy cream. The seven-course menu currently features pork sirloin with burnt apple sauce, sourdough noodles with braised broccoli, pan-fried fish with winged beans in koji. Other signature dishes include mushroom and bone marrow duxelles blood taco. For dessert, consider the garlic bread topped with brown butter and burnt vanilla. I am sure Gauge will be the best you can get for top-tier dining experience.
Maru, Brisbane City
What’s better to do then having freshly fried chicken under the scorching sunshine? If you are craving for Korean food, then you should try Maru. Maru is a fine dining and BBQ restaurant, which means it offers a diverse selection of food: high quality meat for BBQ, the famous korean fried chicken, stone-bowl bibimbap, hotpots… you name it. Staff work together to serve their authentic Korean cuisine with their passionate and friendly service.
Yum Yum Peking Duck, Darra
Last but not least, I would recommend a modest restaurant that serves the best Peking Duck you will find outside Beijing. If you find the list above too fancy, then you may want to try out this restaurant. The interior may not be refurbished and seating is quite restricted, but the quality of the food, generous portion size and excellent service has won people’s heart.
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