Gerard's Bistro has the fanciest kebab you'll ever enjoy

The wraps are freshly hand-made daily by the owner's mother and the meat is premium wagyu slow roasted for 12 to 15 hours - that's what they call a kebab at Gerard's Bistro in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley.

Sunshine Coast Tourism chose one of Brisbane's favourite bistros to share their exciting plans for 2016, a year which promises much for the region including increased visitation from around the world.

Gerard's chef Ben Williamson explained the robust Middle Eastern flavours on the mod Oz share food that have become the four-year-old bistro's signature.

Ben spent five years living and travelling in the Middle East and although the menu strongly reflects that with harissa, preserved lime and spices such as ras el hanout, there's also a strong bond with local produce.

"We have relationships with organic farms on the Sunshine Coast that just grow for a few restaurants and use David Blackmore's highly regarded, full blood wagyu brisket for the slow roast," says Ben.

Our lunch menu is peppered with Gerard's classics.  These are the dishes that survived many menu changes and will never be taken off.

The meal starts with organic house made bread accompanied by smoked cultured butter.  It's almost too hard to resist a second piece.

The bekaa wings, a middle eastern influenced buffalo wing with harissa made from red chillies sourced from the Sunshine Coast, arrive next. They are spicy and my lips feel like they belong to a Hollywood starlet.

It's a deliciously messy dish to consume (do not order this on a first date if appearances matter to you)  but it's accompanied by slim round disks that magically transform into scented napkins when you place them in water.  It also provides much amusement for the table guests.


Slow cooked for 12-14 hours roasted with a spice crust on the outside, the brisket is broken up on the table so we can add it to our kebabs if desired.

The restaurant owner's mother, Selma, makes the flatbread for the diners everyday. It's around 1000 pieces a week on a big, heavy upside plate that looks like an upside down wok with a fire underneath it.

There's a selection of extras, laham nayyeh, harissa, preserved lime, shallot, picked cucumber and egg yolk to add to the kebab.

Fried cauliflower with tahini and as el hanout, smoked almond and sprinkled with pomegrante adds a whole new dimension to this versatile vegetable.

The prettiest dish is mars polow - a concoction of aged rice, saffron, sour berries, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachio.

Ed+bK rating: 4.5/5 stars
If you delight in robust flavours, share plates and something out of the ordinary, this is the place for you.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Sunshine Coast Tourism

Gerard's Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


How to find true love in Brisbane - 10 tips

Feeling that spark of attraction which means that you might have caught a live one or just want to rev things up with a date that shows you care?

Here's 10 places to take a lover or love interest that includes big ticket and low budget suggestions so there are no excuses, seriously!

Take the plunge.

1. Moda, Edward Street

Who can resist a Mediterranean menu with dining under twinkling lights and Spanish accents in the background.

2. e'cco bistro, Boundary Street, Brisbane
A classy choice that shows you know where to find food that looks as good as it tastes and speaks of the local region.

Eagles Nest, Kangaroo Point

3. Eagles Nest, Kangaroo Point
Sunday afternoon sessions here are a special treat and the Kangaroo Point view show a different face of Brisbane's Story Bridge and city skyline.  Wrap your lips around a Noilly Pratt or an Eagles Nest Club Cocktail and follow with Panko coconut prawns or Sinapore chilli soft shell crab. Open from 3pm with live music.

Eagles Nest, Kangaroo Point

4. Brendan's Cafe on the Goodwill Bridge
Coffee with a view goodwill bridge. This will not break your budget but the Merlo coffee is excellent and the river view unbeatable. A quirky stop that shows you know your city. 

5. Sake Restaurant, Eagle Street, Brisbane
The clean flavours of Japanese food at Sake Restaurant won't weigh you down for the night and the city is your oyster for after dinner shenanigans. Ask for a table for two overlooking Eagle Street or enjoy a drink and bar food under the twinkling light of the cherry blossom tree.

Fresh from the robata grill at Sake.

6. Stoke Bar, River Quay, Southbank
Stoke Bar is a great place to kick back on a Sunday afternoon or just take a seat on the grass and enjoy the laid back vibe of the free music sessions on the green. Stoke Bar has an innovative menu so you won't be stuck with the same old fries and olives.

7. Deer Duck Bistro, Milton
Intimate setting with degustation so you won't have to worry about what to order. Plenty of curiosities to gaze upon so there shouldn't be any awkward gaps in the conversation either.

The Chelsea Restaurant, The Barracks.

8. The Chelsea Bistro, Petrie Terrace. 
Tucked away in The Barracks, Chelsea offers relaxed, intimate candle-lit dining under the stars with some economical menu options.

9. Restaurant Two, Alice Street, Brisbane
It's stood the test of time but still guarantees an intimate fine dining experience with excellent service and a well-priced degustation.

10. Aria, Eagle Street, Brisbane.
This is a fine dining experience. Book ahead to secure a riverside table and there won't be any nos on this date.