Transitioning from a cafe and brunch spot into a romantic, softly lit restaurant, Salt is the hideaway of choice for couples on date night in Paddington. Salt’s mantra and their supposed key to success is ‘simple consistent food made to please the palate with a homely yet personable service’. The menu accordingly reflects this unfussy yet consistent approach to food service. Start off with a tapas plate of garlic chili prawns with sweet prawn salsa then move onto confit duck Maryland or ricotta gnocchi. Finish with a Mum’s Golden Syrup pudding.
2/5 Nash St, Paddington QLD 4064, Australia, +61 7 3367 0775
The Kettle and Tin
Firmly staking a claim in Brisbane’s most upmarket inner-city suburbs as one of the most affordable and quaint restaurants, The Kettle and Tin is a Paddington hangout par excellence. It is situated in an old hillside Queenslander cottage. Breakfast and lunch are served every day, but you’re in for something truly special at dinner hours on Tuesday to Saturday nights. With a philosophy of quality and experience, The Kettle and Tin delivers in spades with its array of beer and cocktail selections. Local brew Newstead 21 Feet 7 Inches Porter is on tap, and the barkeeps will fix you some of the best Bloody Marys in town. In terms of food, the focus is on ‘the sharing and enjoyment of meals with a fresh take on the degustation concept’. Take advantage of the varied tapas plates and chow on some duck nachitos before swiftly moving onto teriyaki salmon with violet pearl barley and closing with a meringue mess.
215 Given Terrace, Paddington QLD, Australia, +61 7 3369 3778
A family-owned and -operated Italian restaurant styled as a traditional trattoria, Grappino is informal yet packed to the rafters with heart and expertise. In an intimate space decorated with old movie posters and chalkboards advertising the daily specials that change depending on what produce is in season. Head chef Theodor Roduner, assisted by his father Freddie and brother Bernhard, hand-prepare all of the pasta. We implore you to chow down on Grappino’s spaghetti marinara and afterwards, gorge on the barramundi pan roasted with Moreton Bay bugs, black mussels, calamari and pescatore sauce.
226 Given Terrace, Paddington QLD, Australia, +61 7 3367 0033
Il Locale is so authentic, it’s actually been verified by the Ospitalita Italiana as a real Italian restaurant abroad. (Ospitalita Italiana, promoted by the Italian Chamber of Commerce, sets the benchmark for the expectations of Italian cuisine, quality, Italian hospitality and the importance of typical products.) With the comfort of knowing you’re dining in the closest restaurant Brisbane has to Naples, take an uninhibited exploration of all that Il Locale’s menu has to offer. Try the filetto di manzo con cavolini di brussel gratinati con pane, or fontina, e parmigiano servito con fondo di manzo (grass-fed eye fillet with crispy brussel sprouts and two cheese pangrattato with jus). The pizzas, too, are delectable, each made with a thin crispy crust and topped with milky white mozzarella fior di latte. Wash all these treats down with a fruity Pino Grigio or one of the many small producer bottles stocked behind the bar. Further dining options are available in the form of a takeaway menu and a Festa sharing menu for large groups.
21 Nash St, Paddington QLD, Australia, +61 7 3368 2122
Moga Izakaya and Sushi
The restaurant hub of Rosalie Village houses the superb Moga Izakaya and Sushi, peddling informal Japanese dining in the form of robata grill dishes (hot coal grilled meats), market fresh sashimi, and Japanese tapas style dining (izakaya). The venture is faithfully steered by head chef Satoshi Kubota, a skilled sashimi chef and dedicated guardian of the art of Japanese cooking. Satoshi maintains that his dishes are ‘a reflection of traditional Japanese cooking’ with dishes paying homage to ‘international ingredients and cooking techniques’. As such, Moga celebrates both traditional and modern tastes and aesthetics. As well as the garden courtyard seating area, there is a second dining area housing a sushi conveyor. It is designed in the vein of historical Kyoto venues, replete with wood paneled walls and dim lighting. Ensure you sample one of the house sashimi specialities, such as the salmon sasa-zushi. This is all washed down with an imported Japanese craft beer or a Sake-inspired cocktail.
Shop 2/146 Baroona Rd, Paddington QLD, Australia, +61 7 3367 2808
Montrachet does refinement better than anyone currently operating in Paddington. Step through the doors of this French bistro to be transported to la belle époque. A red leather banquet tale runs the length of the room to the black marble comptoir, passing French antiques, metal pastis signs and gilt-framed smoky mirrors. It all combines to create a truly sophisticated and elegant ambience. The food itself is built on the classical haute cuisine tradition. Montrachet’s chefs (who have all either come from France or worked in some of the most influential two- and three-Michelin star kitchens in France) aim to bring together the discipline of French gastronomic cooking and technical showcases via the medium of the best regional produce. You’ll find Gallic classics such as escargots en cocotee (snails baked in little pots with garlic butter, tomato, spinach and topped with puff pastry lids) and steak frites. However, we strongly suggest you find room for more avant-garde dishes such as longe d’agneau de Tasmanie poêlée, beignet de béchamel fumée, petits pois au beurre d’estragon (pan roasted Tasmanian lamb loin, smoked béchamel beignet, peas in tarragon butter and potato cooked in tendons). The Friday Supper Club is a recommended opportunity to witness the kitchen staff go off-piste and serve up a creative five-course dégustation in one sitting.
224 Given Terrace, Paddington QLD, Australia, +61 7 3367 0030
Kokoro Sushi Train and Japanese Cuisine
In Paddington’s Iceworks complex is Kokoro Sushi Train and Japanese Cuisine. This place is a casual, a la carte, thoroughly unfussy purveyor of delicious Japanese and Asian fusion dishes. Diners are situated in the sunken floor area. This area is adjacent to the giant contemporary Japanese mural and encompassed by a sushi conveyer belt. The a la carte offerings include donburi, hosomaki (thin strips of chicken/avo/salmon in a roll), special fusion sushi such as black cereal (black rice based) or the lin king (crab stick, avocado, cucumber, grilled salmon and cheese katsobushi). Mains include bento boxes (tempura, sashimi and wagyu) or house special wagyu bibambap, a hot stone pot of rice topped with veggies, wagyu beef and optional red paste. Keep the conversation flowing as well with the house Japanese plum wine.
157 Given Terrace, Brisbane QLD, Australia, +61 7 3367 1775
A stone’s throw away from the Suncorp Stadium and housed within the historic Paddington Barracks building is Libertine Restaurant, a French-Vietnamese spot. It is stunningly decorated in a colonial bordello style, complete with glittering chandeliers, gold-leaf finish wallpaper and locally designed recycled timber furniture. The menu is split into sharing plates and street-food offerings. Options include a ‘Bang Bang BBQ’ duck crêpe with spiced honey, cucumber, spring onions, herbs and fried shallots. Another good choice is the vegan-friendly Hanoi ‘Jungle Curry’ stir fry with snake beans, gai lan, baby corn, rice cake and Thai eggplant.
The Barracks, 5/61 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane QLD, Australia, +61 7 3367 3353
Brazilian BBQ is not the best represented cuisine in Brisbane, but Mundo Churrasco can hold its own with any burger bar or pizzeria in the city. The churrasco BBQ technique actually dates back more than 300 years, when gauchos would prepare the highest grade of livestock (brought back by southern Brazilian cowboys) on sword-like skewers over an open flame. It was entirely a family affair, with the gaucho families preparing a range of accompaniments to complement the dishes. The ensuing slicing of the meats would bring the groups together. The churrasco technique of slow rotational grilling has proven results: the skewered meats gain a smoky seal on the outside while trapping the natural juice inside. At Mundo, you can savor these seriously moist meats that arrive with hot seasonal vegetables, crumbed banana, spiced caramelized pineapple and several type of spicy and hot sauces. Simultaneously, you can enjoy the fishbowl view of the kitchen from the main dining area. Alternatively, the lush garden area is the perfect after-dinner drinks enclave.
63 Macgregor Terrace, Bardon QLD, Australia, +61 7 3369 1660
Rouj Modern Lebanese
Some of the best Middle Eastern cuisine in Brisbane is to be found in Rosalie’s casual yet chic Rouj Modern Lebanese. The design scheme’s heavy play on the colour red is only indicative of the passion invested by owner Sodith Aoude in Rouj’s food and hospitality. Fine dining and home-like hospitality play a central role in Lebanese culture, and the cuisine is invested entirely in the concept of large-scale sharing; several small dishes are spread out over a number of courses and all are full of robust and earthy flavours. Most dishes are inherited from various family members of Aoude adding an extra dimension to already strong dynamic dishes such as pumpkin kebbi, mansaf (pistachio, pine nuts, almonds, slow-cooked lamb, rice and wisps of exotic spice) and lahem bi ajeen (pastry filled with spiced lamb, tomato, onion and pine nuts).
3/21 Nash St, Paddington QLD, Australia, +61 7 3367 2210