Skip to main content

10 top new Brisbane restaurants 2012

Looking for Brisbane's new eats?  There's plenty to choose from with a host of great new comers opening at the end of 2012. 

It's all good news for those who love dining with an increase in choices right across the board but plenty of lower cost, casual eateries that make dining out less expensive without cutting the flavour.

Stay tuned for a blog post on this soon. And, just between us, there's actually 11 on the list.  I just couldn't stop.

One to watch

Gallery One has turned shopping centre dining expectations on their head with a slick fit out and an Italian themed menu at Westfield Carindale. It’s the latest baby of Tony Di Vincenzo, a first generation Aussie with a passion for great food and shared dining and gun chef Trent Robson, ex Pier Nine, 1899 Enoteca, Belle Epoque and Pescatore. Innovations include a ‘work table’ where you can plug in your lap top and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi plus cheeky replica Him & Her chairs modelled on male and female derrieres by Fabio Novembre.
Gallery One

Street of change

It’s all happening on James Street. Cru Bar has opened a new offshoot called At Sixes and Sevens at 67 James Street while James Street Bistro took just two weeks to remodel and emerge as Chow House. Owners, the Andronis family, said they were responding to the street’s development with an all-day long robust, flavour driven dining experience and a competitive price point.  With chef Timmy Kemp at the helm the menu buzzes with original interpretations of Asian street food and a few old faves including nasi goreng.
Chow House

Moonshine madness

Step back to the times of moonshine, bootleggers and homemade hooch with Harun Gencerler’s Next Door Kitchen and Bar modelled on speakeasy establishments of the 1920s. A cocktail bar with an emphasis on shared dining, Nextdoor’s extensive drinks list includes old-style cocktails, craft beer and boutique wine served in kitsch jars and milk-bottles. Head Chef Dean Brewer has created a menu filled with shared plates such as whisky beef cheeks with creamed blue cheese polenta and smaller dishes including fresh oysters with gin and cracked pepper vinaigrette. The glamorous fit-out includes smooth timber, vintage décor and mirror detailing. Find it at Little Stanley Street, South Bank.
Next Door Kitchen & Bar

Made with love

Colle Rosso, which is Italian for Red Hill, ticks all my boxes.  Well priced, flavoursome, authentic Italian food, made and served with love.This traditional family trattoria which opened late last year, is owned and operated by two couples - David and Laura (both from Rome) and Marco (from Sardinia) and Lisa (a Brisbane local of Italian heritage), who together have more than 30 years of experience in hospitality. Busy even mid week, the restaurant was filled with plenty of locals dining as couples but also larger groups sporting distinct Italian accents.
Colle Rosso

I am the walrus

Behind the bars at The Walrus Club there is no attitude, rather attendants who pine for an era where a Manhattan, old fashioned and straight up was made with love, and the patron enjoyed the wait. They pour neats and can tell the flight from the aroma, blindfolded. When it comes to their drinks, and only their drinks, they prefer the pure and the rare, to the transient and corrupt. They don’t ask questions, they don’t tell secrets and in this dimly lit space that could be helpful.Don’t bother checking for signs to find the Walrus Club, you’ll have to be guided by the aroma of molasses, leather and cigars, and the faint glow of dim orange-filamented bulbs.Best tip - start looking at 543 Coronation Drive.
Walrus Club

Down by the river

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 & Kitchen

Use your noodle

Brisbane you don't need to go hungry or resort to fast food when your tummy rumbles at 2am in the CBD on the weekend.The Treasury Casino and Hotel's new Fat Noodle, a noodle bar from one of Australia’s leading celebrity chefs Luke Nguyen, is open until 3am on Saturday and Sunday mornings, closing during the week at late-for-Brisbane midnight.Luke says he loves Brisbane and the Treasury building with its colonnaded balconies reminds him of the romance colonial Vietnam. Brisbane’s Fat Noodle is the second contemporary noodle bar that sees Nguyen join forces as consulting chef with casino entertainment group, Echo Entertainment Group, which launched the first Fat Noodle restaurant at The Star in Sydney two years ago.
Fat Noodle

Saddle up

It's hard to believe that one of Brisbane's best views once was home to a Maccas. Now instead of sucking up a McFlurry, Brisbane's fooderati are sipping on cocktails or sinking back a coldie after a meal at the newest hotspot in town, Pony Bar & Dining. Breathlessly awaited, Pony adds another touch of glamour to the burgeoning food scene at Eagle Street Pier.  You are certainly spoilt for choice in this neck of the woods with a list of top restaurants and bars to choose from - Aria, Cha Cha Char, Il Centro, Mr & Mrs G's, Sake and Jelly Fish are just a few of them.
Pony Bar & Dining

Bottoms up

Find Brisbane's new and only dedicated whisky bar, Nant, backing onto Wickham Street in Emporium in the far corner of the complex. The bar stocks more than 150 varieties of whiskies from around the world including Scotland, India, Wales Ireland and Japan.  It seats just 46 people and showcases food from Tasmania including Cape Grim beef and Rannock Farm quail. There's also interesting art on display.

Hello Alfred & Constance

Take a dash of Hawaiian smaltz, a truck load of garage sale finds, quirky Queensland humour, lots of piggie goodness and combine with desserts to die for and you've got one of the latest additions to Brisbane's dining and bar scene. It's been a long time coming but Damien Griffiths has really done himself proud. From the outside you might wonder what all the fuss is about. The place still looks like the Queensland-style cottages that have always been tucked next door to Limes Hotel in Fortitude Valley. But walk inside and a world of wonderment awaits.  It's hard to know when to stop looking at the eclectic decor and start focussing on the food, but you will find your way. Designed by Alexander Lotersztain, who also had a hand in Limes Hotel, the fit out will surprise you with something new to discover on every visit.
Alfred & Constance

Godly good

Brisbane's newest fine diner, Bacchus is named after the god of wine. The slick restaurant fit out at Bacchus by  LA-based Tracy Beckmann, resplendent with rich chocolate, cream and wood tones, chandeliers and plenty of shiny surfaces certainly has tongues wagging. Find Bacchus on the Podium Level of Rydges, South Bank.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest at some of these restaurants.  Full disclosure details are included on individual blog posts.

Browse my other top 10 lists

Kerry Heaney


  1. Danni Trewin12:05 pm

    Great list Kerry! Yet to try Fat Noodle and Gallery One. Have added them to the to-do.

  2. oh YUM! so many amazing places for me to try... the gym membership is going to get a work out this year!

  3. Tell me about it Donna. Balancing those calories is a tough act.

  4. good grief, how do you stay so pretty eating all this food. The piggie goodness would do me in but I'm eager to go! :)

  5. Great looking list Kerry! I am going to buy some (more) elastic waistbanded eatin' pants :)

  6. Don't give up the gym memberships either Damien. That's my secret weapon Maureen. :)

  7. I'm not in the city so cannot partake of noodles in the night. Can you do a post on north Brisbane restaurants?

  8. Good thinking Jennifer, I'll work on that. Thanks for the suggestion.

  9. There looks to be some really interesting spots to eat out here. Some great architecture at Fat Noodle I'm sure.


Post a Comment

I love getting your comments - really makes my day! If you like this blog please follow by email or subscribe.

Popular posts from this blog

Brisbane's top 10 'chew with a view' restaurants and cafes

It's a beautiful day! Where can you go and dine in the warm sun with a view that you'll never want to leave?

Here are ten top places in and around Brisbane to while away a lunch hour or a whole afternoon when the weather is warm and the skies are blue .

River Quay, South Bank

South Bank’s River Quay precinct has plenty of opportunities to relax in the sunshine and just about any restaurant at River Quay will offer a great spot for a winter lunch with a large, grassed lawn rolling down to the river bank.  You can even lie in the sun if you so desire.

Stop for champagne, oysters and more at Cove Bar and Dining, enjoy French provincial food at Aquitaine Brasserie, take in the river view from a Balinese daybed while you tuck into the contemporary menu at The Jetty, feast on Italian cuisine at Popolo or sip a long drink on the riverside deck of Stokehouse Q where the menu draws on local produce combined with bold flavours from the Mediterranean.

River Quay is the spot for Sunday …

Thar she blows - how to hunt whales the friendly way

A grunt and a spurt of seawater rising into the air show the position of a mother humpback whale and her three-week-old calf.

I'm on purpose-designed whale watching boat and we have motored for an hour over the calm seas of the great sandy straits up the coastline of Fraser Island

Captain Phil tells the 50 or so people aboard that the tip of the island is where we will see the whales and he is right.

Our first mother and calf are a little shy at first, keeping the boat at a good distance but I can clearly see the much smaller calf swimming strongly beside its mother.

I'm fascinated by the large circles of calm water that float past us and Phil tells us these are whale footprints

"They break the water tension when they flick their tails to swim down resulting in the clear circles on the water,” Phil says.

Sailors used whale footprints to track whales back in the bad old days when whales were valued more for their blubber than their beauty.

Our next mother and calf are a l…

Lunch amongst the lavender in the Scenic Rim

It was time to brush the cobwebs off the motor bike over Easter and head out of Brisbane into the beautiful Scenic Rim.

We started down the highway towards Beenleigh in beautiful autumn sunshine and stopped for a coffee at The Outpost Cafe at Canungra.  This is a well known bikies hangout but don't expect too much in the way of chains and dreadlocks - it's more favoured by the middle aged bikie enjoying the freedom of the road second time round.

The road less travelled is always our favoured route for this type of outing and we back tracked through Rathdowney before reaching our destination for the day, Kooroomba Lavender Farm about 65 minutes from Brisbane in the Scenic Rim at Mt Alford near Boonah.

Autumn is not the premium time for viewing either the vineyard or the lavender but the view across the valley to the mountains was still outstanding.  The building has a New Zealand lodge feel to it with plenty of stone walls both inside and outside, complimented by timber and ex…

Ten top things to do in Noosa Heads

It doesn't matter how many times I head down the hill on Noosa Drive towards the ocean, I still get a little shiver of excitement every time. This very special part of the world has achieved international recognition for its unique environment and I am privileged to be able to dip my toes into it on a regular basis.

Here are ten of my favourite Noosa pastimes.

1. Although it’s always tempting to sleep in, I don't like to waste a moment of the day when I wake up in Noosa. The best way to start is in the coffee queue at Sails on Hastings Street and then a stroll along the winding boardwalk to the National Park, koala spotting along the way.

Depending on my mood and energy level, I continue the walk through the park to enjoy the beachside views. Some like to run it. You can pick up a coffee at the information hut in the national park as well.

2. After a bit of exercise there's nothing like a big breakie at Aromas and a spot of people watching. With t…

Lots to explore at Brisbane's South Bank

Four markets in one day - what a way to spend a Sunday!

We started at the organic markets at Downy Park, Windsor which was not such a good idea. Why? Well we took the dog and the place was full of puddles - he's a corgi with very low legs - it all ended up being very messy.

Also, these markets definitely finish up on their advertised closing time of 10.30am.  Call me slow or just plain lazy but I find it hard to get out and about early on a Sunday morning. We arrived primed for breakfast at 10am just as everyone was shutting up - they had even run out of bread for French toast!

However, this market was just the first on our list. Next, we drove to South Bank Parklands to explore the Young Designers Market and the Granite Belt Flavours Market - both on the same day.

Several designer/clothes/jewellery purchases later, K2 subdued his inner male and agreed to look for the Granite Belt Flavours market which was not in its usual spot.  On the way, we walked through the regular South Ba…

A night of firsts at Urbane

It was a night of firsts - my first duck tongue and my first lamb sweetbreads.

I've always avoided offal, scarred by an unfortunate experience as a child when my mother tried to make me eat liver, but as Ubane owner Andrew Buchanan said, best to try it first cooked by a great chef - so I did.

Seated at a long table we were there to experience the new Urbane menu under Alejandro Cancino. He looks like he's just out of short pants, but this chef has a list of restaurants and awards on his resume that demand attention.

Passionate about fine dining, Argentinian-born Alejandro has spent the last 10 years working with some of the best chefs in the world, naming the great chef and innovator Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz in Spain, Luca Fantin at Bulgari Tokyo and Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in England as his mentors. In Australia, he calls Dan Hunter at the Royal Mail in Victoria his local guide, having worked together at Mugaritz.

Last April Alejandro was Stagie…

North Stradbroke Island - 10 top things to do

One of the largest sand islands in the world, the relaxed bliss of North Stradbroke Island is only an hour's drive from Brisbane.

The trip from the mainland to the island takes 45 minutes by barge, which also takes your car or 25 minutes by fast water taxi but it's more of a journey into a different realm where it's hard to work up the energy to get stressed about anything.

When there's plenty of beach to roam, friendly folk to chat with, incredible vistas around every corner and comfortable accommodation and food, life seems pretty sweet.

Apart from swimming at any of the beaches, here are my top 10 things to do on Straddie. What are yours? Please leave your Straddie tips in the comments section at the end.

1. Start your Straddie sojourn at the Island Fruit Barn on the main drag in Dunwich where you can pick up all your holiday supplies.  There's a surprisingly good range of deli items from the essential to the unusual, high-quality fruit and good cake and coffee…

10 top tips for Bunya Mountains weekend

With a long weekend looming we clocked off early on Friday to head to the Bunya Mountains, home to the world's largest stand of bunya trees and more nature and wildlife than your eyes can absorb.

It's about 150km from Brisbane, and as we prefer to travel in daylight hours on the motorbike, a 2 pm departure was planned.  Unfortunately, with a few stops along the way to meet up with group members, road works and a speeding fine (you know who you are) from a friendly copper, it was dark and raining when we hit the last 30 minutes of the ride and a dirt/gravel stretch. The boys were not happy, and it was a slow procession to our accommodation.

Our group of four couples was staying in two side-by-side cottages in the small village in the middle of the national park.  There is also a camping ground in the same spot and a couple of others close by. Despite popular opinion, I like to camp and have camped here before, but on a motorbike, it's easier to stay in accommodation.


Have you been to Queensland’s favourite café?

Once you’ve eaten at Indulge in Bundaberg, it comes as no surprise that this small cafe has been voted as Queensland’s favourite.

Now taking the title for two years in a row as People’s Choice in the Brisbane Times Good Food Awards, Indulge is a showcase for the Bundaberg region’s fabulous produce.

Established by passionate food lovers Amanda and Larry Hinds, this café has been the catalyst that has propelled local farmers into the spotlight as premium primary producers.

Amanda is adamant that it’s the rich red tomatoes, the full-flavoured potatoes, the crisp capsicums, luscious eggplants and the vibrant ginger, that make all the different to the meals she dishes up to eager crowds.

As Amanda says, there’s something very special about knowing where your food comes from and who grew it.

I clearly remember my first meal at Indulge. It was scrambled eggs dusted with thinly sliced truffle and anointed with duck ham. My first taste of duck ham, I was fascinated with the flavour and eager …

Next Door Kitchen and Bar, South Bank, Brisbane.

The line up of restaurants at South Bank just keeps getting better with Next Door Kitchen and Bar as the latest addition in Little Stanley Street.

Styled on speakeasy establishments of the 1920s, Next Door has positioned itself as a cocktail bar with an emphasis on shared dining. The fit out is glamorous fit-out with smooth timber, vintage décor and mirror detailing.

Harun Gencerler, a member of the family which runs Ahmet's Turkish Restaurant right next door, has opened Next Door Kitchen as his first solo venture.

Head Chef Dean Brewer has selected a range of shared plates which tie in with the 1920s theme.

“Our menu consists of larger shared plates such as whisky beef cheeks, with creamed blue cheese polenta and smaller dishes including fresh oysters, with gin and cracked pepper vinaigrette,” Deans says.

We started the night with a fresh baguette and a combo of Pepe Saya Butter and house made sardine butter.  I loved both but I needed more bread to enjoy all the butter.

Our sha…