Riverbar & Kitchen, Riparian Plaza, Brisbane CBD

Come 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 is a joint operation from Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan, in partnership with Solotel Hospitality Management.

“Since opening ARIA in 2009, we’ve been wowed by this city and know how much it has to offer,” Moran said.

“When the boardwalk position became available, it was an ideal opportunity to increase our involvement with Brisbane and its people through our concept for Riverbar & Kitchen.”

Open seven days, Riverbar & Kitchen has a contemporary and open plan layout to maximise the spectacular river and Story Bridge views and can accommodate up to 480 people.

A 20-metre-long bar extends from indoors out to the boardwalk beer garden, which features several big screen televisions and a tropical garden setting with 'plants' hanging from the ceiling in baskets and a huge rope curled around the boat shed inspired rafters. 

The venue’s interior is inspired by quintessential Queensland elements, such as VJ weatherboards, bleached wood and don't forget the colourful beach umbrellas and deck chairs.

What could have been the cave like rear of the restaurant is well worth checking out for the eclectic mix of nautical vintage pieces. I've been told there's a singing fish but we couldn't find it on the night. However there are plenty of curiosities like the rolled antique surfing flags and huge glass buoys.

Here's some highlights from the food menu - yam chips with sweet chilli sauce ($8), snow crab slider, pickled cornichons, butter milk bun ($9), margarita pizza, tomato, mozzarella, and basil pizza ($17) or a  bucket of prawns, lemon, and cocktail sauce ($20).  (I'll go the bucket of prawns any day of the week, though I think a touch more tomato sauce in the cocktail sauce please - just saying.)

What can you expect in the way of drinks? Try a Calle 23 Blanco Tequila and elderflower sour cocktail ($15), Pimms jug for four ($25) or a white peach or a white sangria jug for four ($25).

It didn't take much cajoling from Caitlin O'Loan to garner Brisbane's A list for the opening. Every chef and restaurateur in town from Philip Johnson and Ryan Squires to PabloTordesillas, John Kilroy and Andrew Barturo was in the hood checking out the fit out and enjoying the atmosphere.

Did you win one of the brekkie vouchers I gave away on the blog last week? Here's your chance to try it out.

Kerry Heaney

Bottom line: Brisbane, you are going to love this place.
Best tip: What is better than a bucket of fresh prawns - seriously!

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest at the opening of Riverbar and ran a competition to give away breakfast vouchers.

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