This first half of 2016 has been stuffed full of new openings left, right and centre and frankly we’re just thankful that eating is a daily vitality otherwise we’d never get around to sampling everything. Twice.
Everything from scintillating fine dining to cheap and dirty thrills has been popping on our radars, muscling and wheedling their way ever higher on our rotation, and here are our picks from the fresh crop of 2016…so far:
In their burgeoning months, The APO has done everything possible to give Brisbane dining a radical shake-up. The menu is minimal, preferring to let the plates speak for themselves in intricate concoctions and arrangements from the cutting edge of modern dining (providing head chef Braden White with uncapped creative freedom has clearly paid off). Nothing less could be expected from the same collective whirlpool that spawned the Gerard’s pair, Laruche and Hatch & Co.
The Brass Barrel
Like any gastropub worth its salted peanuts, Paddington's The Brass Barrel knows that some things are gospel. Faithful parmies, wagyu burgers, and decent sirloins are all there to suck you in but the second glance brings you closer to the truth of the matter: that the Brass Barrel isn’t your ordinary gastropub. Head chef, Sam Roberts, puts his elegant spin on the classic pub fare blurring boundaries separating pub and bistro.
When it comes to swoon-inducing burgers Hello Harry is one smooth operator. This new burger joint is the bromantic brainchild of long time mates Tony Kelly and Scott Hoskins, who have taken their years of experience on the chow-end of a burger behind the grill to bring us the best burgers ever flipped. Kelly, of Stokehouse fame, has whittled away the frippery of the highest industry echelons to leave only finesse and local produce to manifest in a damn tasty burger.
Nickel Kitchen & Bar
Serving honest, unpretentious fare amid the whimsical ambience normally reserved for the foyers of famous hotels, Nickel Kitchen & Bar is a step back in time. Modelled on the drinking halls of the prohibition era, this latest location from the Nantucket and NKB Express champions incredibly classic, almost retro, dishes guaranteed to please. The only thing missing is the titillating thrill of illegal drinking.
This Aussie-grown shard of NYC has finally trundled into Brisbane and brought a heftload of swag with it. Every single metro-American fancy has been remembered and revered in Brooklyn Depot’s comprehensive menu starting with wings, ribs and fried pickles to open the gates, then a lavish array of burgerings and hot dawgs. Don’t forget lashings of craft brews and a spiked shake to wash the whole thing down. Pro tip: don’t wear tight pants.
Fromage the Cow
You know the world is going to be ok when a licensed fromagerie opens up and starts trading. Besides being the site in which all cheeses congregate, Fromage the Cow doesn’t just offer you the chance to try something different, they actually implore you to branch out showcasing their many and magnificent cheeses in a menu of exemplary applications. Like your avocado toast? You’ll like it even more with a goat cheese mousse. Bored of the same old mac ’n cheese? No chance of that with the truffled pecorino. This dawn til dusker is the first of its kind to arrive in Bris, and you’re just not getting the most out of life unless you’re there every other day.
There’s been more than the usual lot of hubbub and excitement milling around the riverside of late and we suspect Otto is to blame. This latest Italian fine dining to hit the scene is a proper delight and totally devoted to planting happiness in your spirit. Purists and aficionados indulge in the refined permutations of classic Italian dishes, while indecisive diners can get a taste of everything with the degustation. The ever-accomodating Otto even offers a vegan menu so you can wholeheartedly devote yourself to working your way down Otto’s gorgeous wine list and lay plans for kick-ons to the proximate Bar Otto.
There’s nothing so gratifying as a restaurant that’s embraced the full extent of its power and decided to use it for good. This new addition to the CBD just wants to take care of you, like a fragrant hearth of pleasurement. Phat Elephant’s menu is so full it definitely feels like the entire country of Thailand has been condensed into one building, and they aren’t big fans of negative space on the plate either so expect to be FED.
Image credit: Yaseera Moosa | Design: Gabby Stjernqvist