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Famous for its striking skyline of stupendous skyscrapers, Brisbane is a city of business, culture and great food. From the finest examples of French dining par excellence to beautiful views and small, local restaurants, the city boasts a dining scene to match those of Melbourne and Sydney. We revisit Brisbane with an updated selection of the top restaurants in the city.
Tumble into the effortlessly elegant Montrachet, Brisbane’s French restaurant par excellence. This exquisite eatery was founded by Lyon-born Thierry Galichet and is the perfect location for Francophilian diners to sample high-end cuisine. Although at the more expensive end of the dining spectrum, with plats principaux costing around $42, the quality of the food and the opulence of the interior confer inestimable value to the establishment. Imbibe a finely concocted cocktail or a glass of piquant French wine while you decide what to select from the broad menu. For your main course, try the divine canard aux deux façons, succulent confit duck leg set against roasted duck breast and serving with crispy fried Brussels sprouts and smothered in a Jerusalem artichoke and blueberry sauce. The restaurant is not open at the weekend so book over the phone well in advance to ensure a table.
Montrachet, 224 Given Terrace, Paddington, Australia, +61 7 3367 0030
Inspired by the Italian wine repositories or enoteca, 1889 Enoteca is the choice destination for connoisseurs of the Italian culinary persuasion. Snuggled in the shell of the 19th century, heritage listed Moreton Rubber Works building, this establishment is both an excellent eatery and wine repository, inspired by its namesake. Slurp one of the restaurant’s many fine wines whilst choosing what to consume on the delightfully broad menu. Try the famed bucatini all’amatriciana, hollow spaghetti tossed in a fresh tomato sauce with cured pork cheek, chilli, and Pecorino Romano. To secure a seat at one of the fine wooden tables in this eatery, ensure you book in advance over the phone.
1889 Enoteca, 10-12 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba, Australia, +61 7 3392 4315
Sequestered away right in the heart of Brisbane’s central business district is Sono, a sanctuary of Japanese cuisine and culture. The interior is swathed in an aesthetic cloak of traditional Japanese interior design lending authenticity to the dining experience, while many of the eatery’s chefs were trained in Kaiseki, the highest level of authentic Japanese cooking. The menu is extensive and offers a range of food, including sashimi, sushi, and a multitude of traditional Japanese dishes. Highly recommended is the soft shell crab kara-age with shiso sauce, deliciously crispy deep-fried soft shell crab served with shiso leaves, salsa, and a tangy vinegar sauce. Diners can book a private room or booth should they wish to indulge in an evening of clandestine romancing, or covert consumption.
Resting peacefully in the venerable Wenley House building is eclectic Australian restaurant, Malt. Wenley House, constructed in 1865, used to serve as a municipal and its current owners have fastidiously imbued the interior of the restaurant with rustic, working-class charm. The establishment is divided in two parts, a bar and the Attic Restaurant. Sample the fresh market oysters that echo the building’s practical past; these come in a variety of guises including natural with shisho and delectable pickled melon. If seafood is your bent then the menu at Malt offers some of the best, including the ‘tastes of ocean trout’ dish, which consists of the eponymous fish served with gin and tonic gel, pickled beetroot, and avocado cream. This restaurant caters for groups of all sizes, from amorous couples to roistering event bookings.
Malt Dining, 28 Market St, Brisbane, Australia, +61 7 3236 4855
For an evening of generous dining, sharing and laughter, totter down to Brisbane restaurant Public. This excellent eatery specializes in the concoction of delicate small plates that easily be shared enabling frequenters to sample all manner of taste sensation. The menu offers a tantalizing range of these plates to select from, including the smoked pumpkin, served with macadamia and mustard, and fresh octopus with eggplant and pomegranate. The restaurant has been the esteemed recipient of a number of awards including the Best New Restaurant and One Chefs Hat awards from the Queensland Good Food Guide Awards 2012/13.
Sniff a whiff of the Mediterranean Sea in Brisbane restaurant Moda. With a prime location right in the center of Brisbane’s central business district, this restaurant offers food inspired by a startling variety of traditions and cultures. Head Chef Javier Codina supplies diners with diverse and beguiling menus suffused with influences from France, Italy, and Codina’s native Barcelona. Quaff heartily on one of Moda’s many enticing wines while scanning the enthralling menu, then tuck into the heavenly wagyu beef cheek, which is finished with fluffy truffle mash and saturated in elegant, luxurious red wine. The restaurant’s interior is sleek and understated, with cosy corners allowing diners the opportunity to engage in coquettish colloquy while they munch.
Moda Restaurant, 12 Edward St, Brisbane, Australia, +61 7 3221 7655
For the best British Indian cuisine in the whole of Brisbane, slink along to The Spice Avenue restaurant. This eatery specializes in cooking in the Balti style that originates from the northern region of Pakistan, from where it subsequently traveled the world over, stopping off in Birmingham in the United Kingdom before winging over to Brisbane. This restaurant is the ideal destination for raucous revelers or relaxed recliners alike, as the diners can choose to either eat in-house or take-away. A highly recommended signature dish is the chicken sharagama: chicken tikka slung in with fresh mushrooms, chopped onion, zingy ginger, cabbage, and spiced with fenugreek and coriander, before being served perched on a sizzler.