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Eating in Brisbane


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#1 Roger McShane

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Posted 03 March 2002 - 03:35 AM

What is the reason why I can never get a decent meal in Brisbane without going to Ecco or Green Papaya?
There are so many restaurants that are hyped in the press, but they just never deliver.
I find it more satisfying to drive to Noosa where there are probably ten restaurants where I am happy to dine at, whereas in Brisbane there is only one.
Any comments?
Roger McShane
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#2 Niall

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Posted 03 March 2002 - 09:35 PM

I think thats just Brisbane. I spent a day there and was bored by lunchtime. Apparently its a really good place to go and get hammered on tasteless XXXX beer.
I am assuming the reason for the lack of anything in brisabane is the closeness of the tourist dollar in the Gold coast and Sunshine Coast.
It does have a reasonable Chinatown though; it is small but I remember eating some good dessert stuff there.. that sweet ginger tofu stuff with some green and red jellies... Yummy. Can't remember where we got it; I went there 3 years ago and haven't felt the need to return.
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#3 Heather

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 12:59 AM

There are only a couple of Brisbane restaurants that I fancy eating at, none of which have ever been hyped. But, hey, when one of those restaurants is Korean Barbeque Restaurant and they do me an all-you-can-eat seafood BBQ special...

It has been a while since I was last there, but I can't imagine anything will have changed. The restaurant is on one of Fortitude Valley's Chinatown pedestrian malls - the one closest the city. Often, Korean restaurants offer chilli-mush seasoned with meat, or - if you go the seafood option - with thawed imported baby octopus. At this Korean place, you get platters of delicate kingfish slices, maybe marinated in a little sesame and spring onion. Prawns, squid and scallops receive similar minimalist treatment. Meals served with five different light, fresh, vinegary salads - bean shoot, cucumber and cauliflower, among others. Rice is good, and comes with cute Korean boy to serve it up whenever your bowl approaches empty. Every Korean restaurant I've been to post-Korean Barbeque Restaurant has been a major disappointment. I could eat at this place every night.

I did enjoy Green Papaya, too, which I initially went to on account of friend's huge crush on owner's rock star son (he fronted Regurgitator). And I always enjoyed the sushi at Oshin, on Adelaide Street, in the CBD.

I went to ecco once and didn't get excited. My main was a piece of overcooked salmon, on a big pile of avocado mash with soggy whole blanched almonds mixed through it. But perhaps I just wasn't in the mood to appreciate it, on account of being on the date from hell at the time.

As for why there are few places in Brisbane that offer decent meals, I think Niall has got it right when he says "that's just Brisbane".

#4 Campbell

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 12:00 AM

We're on the Gold Coast making a movie here for 9 months, and one of my jobs is coordinating with the actors to make their afterhours life pleasant.  So one of the things I did was put together a book of restaurants in the area, and to do my research, I went to a great deal of local restaurants, which was a very cool job!  Anyway, I was astounded at the variety and high quality of so many restaurants:  yum cha, seafood, Italian, Indian, Thai.  Many, many pleasurable experiences.  It sure is better that the last movie I worked on -- in the middle of the Sahara Desert with camels and donkeys and flies so thick you couldn't even see what you were eating!

#5 Campbell

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Posted 20 June 2002 - 10:20 PM

Restaurants I've recommended:  Mandarin Court in Mermaid Beach for yum cha; Fellini at Marina Mirage for Italian with deck on the harbor; Hatsu Hana in Nara Hotel near Sea World for excellent Sushi; Vecchia Roma for really terrific thin and crispy pizza from a wood burning oven in Burleigh Heads; Omeros Bros. for fine fresh seafood, also in Marina Mirage and I could go on, but I was really pleasantly surprised.  

And in answer to where we're shooting, it'll be Bribie Island, rain forests on Mt. Tamborine, and various locations around the Gold Coast that will pretend to be the Phillippines

#6 jango

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 11:41 PM

Go to Philip Johnson's restaurant E'cco in Brisbane. I haven't eaten there yet, but I know a little of his style through a visit he made to Melbourne a couple of weeks ago.

http://www.eccobistro.com/

#7 nolly

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 10:44 PM

What is the reason why I can never get a decent meal in Brisbane without going to Ecco or Green Papaya?
There are so many restaurants that are hyped in the press, but they just never deliver.
I find it more satisfying to drive to Noosa where there are probably ten restaurants where I am happy to dine at, whereas in Brisbane there is only one.
Any comments?

View Post

Well personally I think that the reason for the crappy media hype reports in various brisbane papers is that generally the reviewers, most of the time, personally know the restauranters or chefs and give them a good rap, whether they deserve it or not ...its the old case of its not what you know - its who you know. Other places I have had great meals are circa, fundies, but youre right about limited places in brisbane...

#8 Kenny

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 03:58 PM

Roger,
The best meal that I have had in Brisbane was at "Isis", bettering excellent meals at Ecco and others. Fantastic Guinea Fowl, entrees, service and wine list of great depth.
Cheers,
Kenny

#9 Roger McShane

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 05:41 PM

Yes, I agree about Isis - we have had wonderful food there since I first posted my plea for information about Brisbane restaurants. Also had a nice meal at The River House in Noosa recently.
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#10 tantan

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 02:46 AM

I think my favourite restaurant is "Koh-Ya" in Fortitude Valley. It's a Japanese bbq place. You can go all-you-can-eat or just order off the menu. There are three choices of all-you-can-eat. The most expensive one is $48 and lets you order as much as you want of pretty much anything on the menu.

Some favourites are:
barbequed beef tongue
bbq pork with lettuce and miso dressing
baby spinach, tuna and almond salad
Yukke (raw minced beef with shallots, sweet soy sauce and raw egg)
Various kinds of sashimi
Nattou bi bim ba
bbq ray wing with mayo (goes down well with sake)

Also, the sashimi at "Sakura" was fresh, and the chef seems skilled - but it was too expensive for me to eat there too often. $28 for sashimi moriawase.

For lunch my favourite place is "Top Noodle" in Sunnybank Market Square - they have negi toro don (raw tuna on rice) and salmon don, which is really difficult to get out of Japan. It's always been available for me, but one of my friends said they sell out of tuna sometimes because they import it from Japan. I also like their chicken karaage.

I was also shocked to find out that the new Hanaichi restaurant on the 2nd floor of Wintergarden is actually pretty good if you know what to order. Hamachi (kingfish I think) is 2.70 a plate, which is a bargain imo. There were also a few other surprises on the sushi menu. Seared salmon was pretty good. If you're ordering off the other menu, chikuzen-ni is nice (chicken, lotus root, gobou (burdock?) , bamboo and sweet potato in a soy sauce based broth). I wouldn't order kani korokke again - couldn't even taste the crab. Garlic Squid was good - squid was cooked to perfection, nice and soft and the sauce was delicious. Salads were pretty average and sake was served in wine glasses for some reason.

#11 annachan

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 08:54 PM

Just got back from Brisbane and found some good eats there. I really enjoyed the mussels at Belgium Beer Cafe. My husband enjoyed the steak and a beer that was brewed as far back as 1449. I discovered Banana Beer there. It really tasted like banana! For a Tuesday night, the place was packed!

The great find of our Australian trip was Urbane. It was an amazing experience. The chef was said to have worked with Thomas Keller at French Laundry and Per Se. The price (~$230 for a total of 5 courses each plus one extra dessert, 2 glasses of wine and 2 tea) was well worth it for the quality of food, almost a bargain, almost.

#12 The Old Foodie

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 01:53 PM

Three of us had a great meal at "Tonic" in Bulimba the other night. It is right at the ferry/City Cat terminal so overlooks the river. Mains about $28-30 so not cheap, but white tablecloths etc. The food was good and beautifully plated. We didn't try the desserts, but the menu looked good.
Happy Feasting

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#13 Maenad

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 04:27 PM

I last ate in Brisbane in 2002, so it's been some time, but.........

Anise (tiny wine bar on Brunswick St in New Farm) fantastic French food, awesome service, atmosphere, wines. Don't know if Tony still owns it, nor if Chris or Bec still work there, but if they do, they'll take great care of you!

Gianni's is in the CBD, between the Port Office and II (which is also exceptional), right near the gardens. Incredible wine list, impeccable food, spot-on service in a beautiful space. It's also a lovely place for lunch, there's a pretty courtyard at the front, and they have a toned-down lunch menu.

#14 Shiewie

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 11:06 PM

Hi All

Any new recommendations for Brisbane? Will be there for a week in mid-March.

#15 roosterchef21

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:16 PM

Hi All

Any new recommendations for Brisbane? Will be there for a week in mid-March.

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So.... where to begin...

Salon - It's at tenerife. Tapas/sharing place. It's relatively cheap, the food comes out nicely and it's really good food. A chef's kind of place. Worth a visit for dinner with friends. Order the parfait & the zucchini frites.

Isis - It's lovely. Good service and outstanding food. The degustation is good value. Fortitude Valley

Bar Alto - It's at the Powerhouse Museum. Run by the same guys that run Isis. Mediterranean food. Better than Isis IMO. It's got a nice view of the river, the food is much simpler and it's just a really good place to do a relaxed lunch.

Restaurant Two - Mod European food. Expensive but the food is good and service is excellent. Worth a visit for the degustation. Business crowd lunch. At one stage they were doing 3 courses for $50 for lunch. Edward St

Gianni's - beautiful presentation of pretty good food. A little steep though... Near the Stamford Plaza & Edward St

Urbane - without a doubt the best restaurant in brisbane atm IMO. Stunning stunning food, excellent service and atmosphere. Take someone who is into food and do the tasting menu. It's worth it. $180+ a head after wine. Critics love it. Mary St in the City

Montrachet - Good place for french food. If your a bloke sit at the bar have a glass of red and a nice steak and frites. Critics love it. Paddington

Baguette - the chef is Bruno Loubet. he once held 2 Michelin stars. Nice place for a reasonably casual night out. At Ascot on Racecourse Rd.

e'cco - a little overrated IMO. It's bistro style dining. Quality of ingredients is outstanding but food is not as good as other places... On the corner of Adelaide st near where the dome used to be i think.

They are the places worth going to IMO. Not sure if you want the gold coast or not?

#16 Shiewie

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 03:02 AM

Thanks rroosterchef21. Sounds good - will definitely try to make it to some of them.

Will be in Brisbane to visit family so will probably only spend a day in Gold Coast.

#17 roosterchef21

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 04:22 AM

Thanks rroosterchef21. Sounds good - will definitely try to make it to some of them.

Will be in Brisbane to visit family so will probably only spend a day in Gold Coast.

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Skip going out for dinner in the coast then unless you are happy to drive back late at night or stay. But...

Vanitas - The most romantic restaurant I've ever seen. Beautiful Mod European food in a stunning setting. Quite expensive but if you want to take that special someone somewhere..... It's in the Palazzo Versace. We've done the degustation there and it's always been a "balanced" menu. No ups and downs just consistently good food. Mostly european waitstaff with experience in michelin starred restaurants I'd say.

Absynthe - Meyjitte Boughenout is the chef. 2 Michelin stars as well as 19/20 in the Gault Millau on his CV. Set in the Q1 building, it's a funny little place serving outstanding food. Not sure if it's trying to be casual of formal? Service is a bit lacklustre but the food...
He is one of those deconstructed kind of chefs if that makes any sense.

#18 lesliec

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:25 PM

This thread's been a bit quiet for the last five years so I thought maybe it was time for an update ...

 

We're off to Brizzy for a week or so in early August.  Prefer European; like modernist, like degustation, don't insist on either.  What's good these days?


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#19 annachan

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:06 AM

It's been years but had a memorable meal at Urbane. It should fit with what you're looking for.

#20 Ozcook

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:53 PM

Have you tried Esquire in Eagle Street?

www.esquire.net.au

Edited by Ozcook, 04 March 2013 - 03:53 PM.


#21 lesliec

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:14 PM

Thanks, Anna and Ozcook.  Urbane's website looks fantastic.  Esquire's other restaurant esq looks promising too. 


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