Looking for Brisbane's new eats? There's plenty to choose from with a host of great new comers opening at the end of 2012.
It's all good news for those who love dining with an increase in choices right across the board but plenty of lower cost, casual eateries that make dining out less expensive without cutting the flavour.
One new restaurant missing from this list is Philip Johnson's new Bistro One Eleven. Stay tuned for a blog post on this soon. And, just between us, there's actually 11 on the list. I just couldn't stop.
One to watchGallery One has turned shopping centre dining expectations on their head with a slick fit out and an Italian themed menu at Westfield Carindale. It’s the latest baby of Tony Di Vincenzo, a first generation Aussie with a passion for great food and shared dining and gun chef Trent Robson, ex Pier Nine, 1899 Enoteca, Belle Epoque and Pescatore. Innovations include a ‘work table’ where you can plug in your lap top and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi plus cheeky replica Him & Her chairs modelled on male and female derrieres by Fabio Novembre.
Street of changeIt’s all happening on James Street. Cru Bar has opened a new offshoot called At Sixes and Sevens at 67 James Street while James Street Bistro took just two weeks to remodel and emerge as Chow House. Owners, the Andronis family, said they were responding to the street’s development with an all-day long robust, flavour driven dining experience and a competitive price point. With chef Timmy Kemp at the helm the menu buzzes with original interpretations of Asian street food and a few old faves including nasi goreng.
Moonshine madnessStep back to the times of moonshine, bootleggers and homemade hooch with Harun Gencerler’s Next Door Kitchen and Bar modelled on speakeasy establishments of the 1920s. A cocktail bar with an emphasis on shared dining, Nextdoor’s extensive drinks list includes old-style cocktails, craft beer and boutique wine served in kitsch jars and milk-bottles. Head Chef Dean Brewer has created a menu filled with shared plates such as whisky beef cheeks with creamed blue cheese polenta and smaller dishes including fresh oysters with gin and cracked pepper vinaigrette. The glamorous fit-out includes smooth timber, vintage décor and mirror detailing. Find it at Little Stanley Street, South Bank.
Next Door Kitchen & Bar
Made with loveColle Rosso, which is Italian for Red Hill, ticks all my boxes. Well priced, flavoursome, authentic Italian food, made and served with love.This traditional family trattoria which opened late last year, is owned and operated by two couples - David and Laura (both from Rome) and Marco (from Sardinia) and Lisa (a Brisbane local of Italian heritage), who together have more than 30 years of experience in hospitality. Busy even mid week, the restaurant was filled with plenty of locals dining as couples but also larger groups sporting distinct Italian accents.
I am the walrusBehind the bars at The Walrus Club there is no attitude, rather attendants who pine for an era where a Manhattan, old fashioned and straight up was made with love, and the patron enjoyed the wait. They pour neats and can tell the flight from the aroma, blindfolded. When it comes to their drinks, and only their drinks, they prefer the pure and the rare, to the transient and corrupt. They don’t ask questions, they don’t tell secrets and in this dimly lit space that could be helpful.Don’t bother checking for signs to find the Walrus Club, you’ll have to be guided by the aroma of molasses, leather and cigars, and the faint glow of dim orange-filamented bulbs.Best tip - start looking at 543 Coronation Drive.
Down by the riverCome on down by the river, pull up a deck chair and dip your fingers into a bucket of freshly peeled prawns.Filled with casual Queensland and yachty ambiance, Matt Moran's Riverbar & Kitchen is your new one stop for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From a premium Single Blend coffee in the morning to a crab slider and jug of Pimms in the evening, you are covered here. Forget fine dining, Riverbar is about as far away from Aria as you can get. Here it's all about fabulous, easy food that fills you up with fresh flavours that won't leave your pocket empty. And, I dare I say it, the Brisbane River views might even be better.
Riverbar & Kitchen
Use your noodleBrisbane you don't need to go hungry or resort to fast food when your tummy rumbles at 2am in the CBD on the weekend.The Treasury Casino and Hotel's new Fat Noodle, a noodle bar from one of Australia’s leading celebrity chefs Luke Nguyen, is open until 3am on Saturday and Sunday mornings, closing during the week at late-for-Brisbane midnight.Luke says he loves Brisbane and the Treasury building with its colonnaded balconies reminds him of the romance colonial Vietnam. Brisbane’s Fat Noodle is the second contemporary noodle bar that sees Nguyen join forces as consulting chef with casino entertainment group, Echo Entertainment Group, which launched the first Fat Noodle restaurant at The Star in Sydney two years ago.
Saddle upIt's hard to believe that one of Brisbane's best views once was home to a Maccas. Now instead of sucking up a McFlurry, Brisbane's fooderati are sipping on cocktails or sinking back a coldie after a meal at the newest hotspot in town, Pony Bar & Dining. Breathlessly awaited, Pony adds another touch of glamour to the burgeoning food scene at Eagle Street Pier. You are certainly spoilt for choice in this neck of the woods with a list of top restaurants and bars to choose from - Aria, Cha Cha Char, Il Centro, Mr & Mrs G's, Sake and Jelly Fish are just a few of them.
Pony Bar & Dining
Bottoms upFind Brisbane's new and only dedicated whisky bar, Nant, backing onto Wickham Street in Emporium in the far corner of the complex. The bar stocks more than 150 varieties of whiskies from around the world including Scotland, India, Wales Ireland and Japan. It seats just 46 people and showcases food from Tasmania including Cape Grim beef and Rannock Farm quail. There's also interesting art on display.
Hello Alfred & ConstanceTake a dash of Hawaiian smaltz, a truck load of garage sale finds, quirky Queensland humour, lots of piggie goodness and combine with desserts to die for and you've got one of the latest additions to Brisbane's dining and bar scene. It's been a long time coming but Damien Griffiths has really done himself proud. From the outside you might wonder what all the fuss is about. The place still looks like the Queensland-style cottages that have always been tucked next door to Limes Hotel in Fortitude Valley. But walk inside and a world of wonderment awaits. It's hard to know when to stop looking at the eclectic decor and start focussing on the food, but you will find your way. Designed by Alexander Lotersztain, who also had a hand in Limes Hotel, the fit out will surprise you with something new to discover on every visit.
Alfred & Constance
Godly goodBrisbane's newest fine diner, Bacchus is named after the god of wine. The slick restaurant fit out at Bacchus by LA-based Tracy Beckmann, resplendent with rich chocolate, cream and wood tones, chandeliers and plenty of shiny surfaces certainly has tongues wagging. Find Bacchus on the Podium Level of Rydges, South Bank.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest at some of these restaurants. Full disclosure details are included on individual blog posts.