Stone Restaurant and Bar, Mantra South Bank

How does a night at the ballet with dinner before and valet parking thrown in sound to you?

That’s what I was lucky enough to walk away with from a lucky draw at a recent Australian Society of Travel Writers lunch.

So while everyone else was frocking up in white for Dinner en Blanc, I was getting my glad rags on for a night of culture at QPAC to see The Hamburg Ballet’s version of Shakespeare’s classic tale of magic, mistaken identity and lovers’ quarrels- A Midsummer Night’s Dream -with an excited V Diddy in tow.

We started the evening early with dinner at Stone Restaurant and Bar at Mantra South Bank, just a skip down from QPAC in Grey Street.

There’s something very liberating about handing over your car keys to the concierge at the door and enjoying the pleasure of valet parking.  I wish I could do this more often in real life – it certainly enhances the pleasure of a night out.

The tapas menu at Stone offered perfect flexible eating options for our early dinner and short time span.  We planned to be in and out in just over an hour and it worked perfectly - plenty of time for five tapas, a glass of wine and coffee to finish.

Here’s what we ate:
Peking duck salad on crispy wontons

Grilled scallops with salsa criolla

Pork belly and peanut sang choi bau

Salt and pepper calamari

I enjoyed all the dishes except the pommery mustard cured salmon where the mustard just overpowered the salmon.

We also indulged in some beer battered fries which were just what the doctor ordered for the slightly hung over one (not me!)

Stone also has an extensive steak menu with plenty to keep meat eaters happy from Nolan’s private selection rib on bone to Black Angus from Diamantina.

It’s just a five minute walk down Grey Street to QPAC. The Playhouse is a great venue with a real feeling of intimacy and it was easy to become immersed in the action.  V Diddy was awestruck by the ballerina’s beautiful dress in the opening scene but I was more taken by men in tights leaping across the stage.

Stone Bar and Restaurant should definitely be on your list as a pre-show venue. Throw in valet parking and you’ve got a night to remember.

I’ll also be at Mantra South Bank this Sunday for  High Tea acclaimed English author, Joanne Harris, author of 'Chocolat', for the Brisbane Writers Festival.

Joanne will speak about 'Peaches for Monsieur le Cure', her new novel, while the rest of us indulge in a Kahlua banoffee pie, coffee and chocolate opera cake or coconut friand with passionfruit jam, a smoked salmon sandwich with crème fraiche and dill and more.

The High Tea event is priced at $50 per person and will run from 1.30-4pm. Book by calling 07 3305 2513 or by emailing

161 Grey Street, South Bank, Phone: 07 3305 2510

Disclaimer: E,d+bK won the ballet tickets, dinner and valet parking in a door raffle.