Restaurants

14 Of Brisbane’s Best Degustations To Eat Your Way Through

By Catherine Blake

You’ve landed a promotion, struck a deal, or reached a landmark and you want to celebrate in Brisbane/Meanjin with something truly special. But a regular dinner’s not going to cut it. If you need to go big (read: HUGE), you need to step it up with a degustation. Here at Urban List, we're convinced degustation dining is the absolute peak of eating out. Nothing conjures the same luxurious, almost Roman opulence like a meal that comes in seven stages, especially if you get the matching wines. 

Warning: lots of teeny tiny meals adds up to a heckin' feed. It might sound like lowkey tapas but it is so not tapas. If you don’t come prepared (ie. starving) you might die in the attempt to fit it all in. For a night of bacchanalian excess, treat yourself and your table to a culinary experience with one of the best degustations in Brisbane.

Exhibition Restaurant 

109 Edward Street, Brisbane CBD

Exhibition Restaurant comes to us from Tim Scott, a former chef and co-owner of Joy, so you know his new venture is going to be good. Like Joy, Exhibition is tiny, with a mere 24 seats, and serves up only a set menu at either $180pp or $240pp a pop—so save this one for that anniversary dinner. Menus change constantly, but focus on local seafood, meat and fresh produce dished up in jaw-dropping ways. According to our editor, it's one of the best dining experiences in Brisbane, and well worth dropping $500 on—just make sure you check in advance about any dietary requirements. 

Rogue Bistro

14 Austin Street, Newstead

Once only available on Wednesdays, Rogue’s six-course dego is now on offer every night of the week—in fact, due to its almost cult-level popularity, its now their sole focus. The best part is, the line-up of dishes still changes every single month, with menu drops on Instagram in the weeks before that drive their regulars into a frantic booking frenzy. Rogue's chefs get seriously creative, so you should definitely keep an eye out for a menu that tickles your fancy—though if you're anything like us, you'll end up wanting to dine every month. 

Restaurant Dan Arnold 

10/959 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley


Image credit: Restaurant Dan Arnold | Facebook 

The ultra modern, super sleek brainchild of Dan Arnold himself, Restaurant Dan Arnold only trades in tasting menus. Arnold spent seven years learning the fine art of French cuisine before returning to Australia, and now offers three strands of degustation dining united by a single objective to highlight local Australian produce (ingredients are sourced from small producers and local farms). Despite the scrupulous attention to detail, the restaurant itself has a relaxed and informal atmosphere, letting the incredible dishes be the real star of the show. And stars they are, with every bite an experience in itself. We still dream of their bread course—and the cheese trolley that rolls out just as you think it's over. 

Joy Restaurant

Bakery Lane, Fortitude Valley

Joy Restaurant has made serious waves in Brisbane’s dining scene. One of the few places on this list where you won't find a menu online at all, at Joy you just have to turn up and have faith in their ability to wow. Their nine-course degustation menu always uses the freshest seasonal ingredients and explores every forgotten quarter of the flavour realm. Be warned: seats at Joy are strictly limited to just 10 pax, and they book out unbelievably fast. Bookings are open months in advance but if you can’t think that far ahead, keep tabs on their socials for any cancellations. 

Montrachet 

1/30 King Street, Bowen Hills 

Any night at Montrachet is a delicious night, but if you’re keen to splurge, their Chef’s Tasting Menu is where it’s at. Featuring incredible artisan produce turned into incredible French fare, the six-course spread includes the likes of duck and cognac parfait with orange and house made brioche, citrus gravlax scallops with cauliflower and vanilla, and slow cooked duck with koa, braised quince, beets and spinach. Ooh la la la. 

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Deer Duck Bistro

396 Milton Road, Auchenflower


Image credit: Deer Duck Bistro | Facebook 

Located on Milton Road, Deer Duck Bistro is an asset to the west side dining scene. Their menu usually favours traditional European flavours, but they also like to throw in a few curveballs, and this season's line up is a cracker—think ricotta and parmesan-filled ravioli with pork ragu, beef short rib with caramelised coconut milk and churros with banana gelato and peanut butter salted caramel. Best of all, they offer degustations at three different levels: First is a lightning-quick five course whiparound (perfect if you’re new to degustations), then there’s a slightly longer seven-course feast for the seasoned diner, and finally their stonking nine courses for the serious gourmand. 

C'est Bon Restaurant 

609/611 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba 

It doesn't get fancier than French food—except when there's eight courses of it, each one more inspired than the last. Available every Friday and Saturday evening, C'est Bon's chef's tasting menu is one for the bucket list, featuring either five or eight courses that hero French cuisine and local ingredients. Of course you'll want to go for the eight course version, preferable with the matched wines, which will end in you rolling out the door in a very un-fancy like manner by the end. 

TakashiYa 

267 Grey Street, South Brisbane 

Discover the Japanese version of a degustation at TakashiYa, where head chef Takashi Nami will prepare and serve around 11 courses of sashimi, sushi and more as a part of their omakase experience. Meaning "I'll leave it up to you," this cultural experience is as much about the fun of watching the chefs create the dishes as it is eating them. Order some sake to really complete the experience. 

Bacchus 

9 Glenelg Street, South Brisbane


Image credit: Bacchus | Facebook 

Bacchus is named for the Greek god of wine-making, festivity, theatre and fruit—and they really live up to their namesake when it comes to their degustation. For $125 per person, or $185 with paired wine, you’ll feast your way through eight exquisite courses (or up to 11 if you opt for the add-ons), from sourdough with cultured butter to an apple mascarpone dessert that will have your jaw on the floor. There’s a vegetarian version too for the non-meat eaters. 

Perspective Dining 

6/315 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley 

If you want to be seriously impressed, Perspective Dining in the Valley’s TC Beirne & Co building will blow your mind. Even without knowing the background of owner and chef Andrew McCrea you’ll be wowed by the creative nine-course degustation, but when you realise McCrea only has six per cent vision, you’ll be floored. Taking simple, seasonal ingredients and transforming them into intricate dishes that incorporate a variety of textures, flavours and techniques, this is a dining experience like no other. There’s just 12 seats here in an intimate space that directly overlooks the open kitchen, and McCrea explains each dish in detail throughout. You can do the whole experience with or without matched wines, but we definitely recommend with.

Signature Restaurant 

Emporium Hotel, South Brisbane 

Tucked away inside Emporium Hotel is Signature Restaurant, an opulent dining spot perfect for a special occasion date night—or just a Wednesday if that’s how you operate. To really take things up a notch, opt for the Signature Experience, which features five courses for $125, and the option to add paired wines, a cheese selection and even mulled wine. 

E’cco Bistro 

63 Skyring Terrace, Newstead 


Image credit: E'cco Bistro | Facebook 

A Brisbane icon, E’cco Bistro has been dishing up their five-course tasting menu for longer than even we’ve been around (12 years and counting), and while it has of course changed many a time over the years, it is as impressive as ever. You’ll usually find e’cco’s signature potato gnocchi on the menu (always a good time), but otherwise, it’s a delicious adventure that changes with the seasons. Best of all, there’s vegetarian and vegan versions as well, so no one misses out. 

Da Biuso 

Roaming 

A degustation on a bus? Now that’s something you don’t do every day. This is no ordinary bus though—Da Biuso looks more like a luxe train car, and its current location by the river in Hamilton only adds to the experience. Climb aboard and you’ve got two degustation options—a nine-course Euro-inspired menu, or a seven-course pasta degustation that even features a dessert lasagne. You can also add on wine matching or just order by the glass or bottle if you prefer. 

Tartufo 

1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley 

A longstanding Valley icon, Tartufo is well known for their traditional Italian pizzas, pastas and of course, their tiramisu. What you may not know, however, is that they also dish up a six-course degustazione that will have you rolling out the door. At $95 per person (or $80 for the pescatarian version) you can expect an array of Tartufo classics, with wine matching available for $70 per person as well. 

Looking for more ways to indulge? Head here:

Image credit: Rogue Bistro | Grace Elizabeth Smith

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