A relative newcomer to the Brisbane dining scene, Gerard’s Bistro has been winning awards all over the place. Head chef Ben Williamson takes his menu inspiration from southern Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa with delicious results. Tucked into a laneway, Gerard’s doesn’t have the river views of other top restaurants, but the interior of exposed concrete and warm timbers certainly makes up for it.
Insider Tip: Try the lamb tagine with a side of Shirin Palow (Iranian rice pilaf).
Located on Brisbane’s riverfront in the CBD, Esquire was founded on the philosophy “take only what you need” and features a daily degustation menu filled with innovative and exciting dishes created by Executive Chef Ryan Squires. Esquire was awarded three hats (out of four, the highest accolade) in the 2013 Restaurant Chef Hats Awards organised by the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide.
Insider Tip: If you can’t get a booking, try the more casual Esq in the same location. It features food prepared over a charcoal fire pit.
The fine dining arm of The Urbane Group (of The Euro and The Laneway fame) is an icon of the Brisbane dining scene. Argentinian-born chef Alejandro Cancino brings to Brisbane his incredible experience – from Mugaritz in Spain to Bulgari Hotels & Resorts in Tokyo. The five or seven course menus are fresh, seasonal and showcase the best of Queensland produce.
Insider Tip: Book Sub-Urbane, the cellar-style private dining area, for a truly memorable night out.
This is the Brissy outpost of executive chef Sean Presland’s contemporary Japanese restaurant group, Sake. Bringing together fresh and innovative ingredients and giving them a Japanese spin, his creations will excite any palate – think wallaby and abalone sashimi, miso barramundi and mushroom salad.
Insider Tip: Go with one of Presland’s daily specials for the best of the best ingredients.
A stalwart in the Brisbane dining scene, Phillip Johnson’s modern Australian bistro recently celebrated its 18th birthday. As renowned chef Philip Johnson’s first Brisbane restaurant, E’cco helped breathe new life into the neglected outskirts of the city and the dining scene of 1990s Brisbane.
Insider Tip: Don’t leave without having dessert. Try the salted caramel nut tart with olive oil ice cream or inside out lamington.