Restaurants

Tillerman Is The City’s Sophisticated New Seafood Restaurant From The Naga Thai Crew

By Ranyhyn Laine – who always has time to go to breakfast, no matter how busy she is.

interior of tillerman, with a bar at the rear
another view of tillerman's interior
outside deck overlooking the story bridge
the back bar at tillerman
a plate of crab
a crayfish and pasta dish
a bowl of dumplings and a cocktail
interior of tillerman, with a bar at the rear
another view of tillerman's interior
outside deck overlooking the story bridge
the back bar at tillerman
a plate of crab
a crayfish and pasta dish
a bowl of dumplings and a cocktail

When the CBD’s Naga Thai closed its doors due to the forced shuttering of the entire Eagle Street Pier precinct, owners Andrew and Jaimee Baturo and head chef Suwisa Phoonsang weren’t left twiddling their thumbs—they already had plans for a brand new venue well underway. Less than two months later, their latest project is now ready to be unveiled, with Tillerman opening with a bang in the CBD. 

A glamorous riverside restaurant where seafood takes pride of place, Tillerman has taken up residence in Riparian Plaza, just one building over from where Naga Thai once wowed diners. Location is the only thing the two venues have in common, however, as where Naga Thai was all about vibrant, neon interiors and punchy Thai flavours, Tillerman is a relaxed, yet sophisticated love letter to Queensland’s spectacular produce, climate and water views. 

interior of tillerman, with a mix of seating and wood panelled ceilings

Of course, with Andrew Baturo—who is also behind Brisbane’s Libertine, Popolo, Walter’s Steakhouse and The Grasham—at the helm, you know it has to be a stunner, and Tillerman definitely ticks the eye candy box. Designed by Hogg & Lamb, the venue features a mix of banquet, booth and round table seating, with rattan chairs, botanical cushions and mustard yellow leather benches. Ceilings are almost entirely lined by spotted gum timber, while the bar is lit by illuminated spherical glass lined with wine bottles. Best of all, you can catch a glimpse of river views from every seat in the house. 

a plate of octopus carpaccio

What’s on the plate is just as aesthetically pleasing, with a menu influenced by everywhere from the Spanish coast to modern Australia. Don’t expect your typical seafood restaurant offering here—instead you’ll feast on the likes of King Ora salmon jerky, cobia crudo with fish crackers and salt-baked Murray cod. 

It’s not just about the seafood though, plenty of other Australian produce is heroed too, from Aylesbury duck beignets and BBQ Brisbane Valley quail with sofrito and preserved lemon to Fremantle octopus carpaccio and Glencoe pork spareribs with dark rum and candied cherry tomatoes. 

a cocktail on a table

As for what to pair your meal with, the cocktail list definitely offers a few surprises, including a section dedicated entirely to daiquiris. These are not the cheap frozen daiquiris of your early 20s though, this selection is far more grown up, including concoctions like the watermelon, cucumber and sage daiquiri with white rum, watermelon, cucumber and sage puree, lime juice and sugar syrup. There’s a lengthy list of other creative sips to choose from if daiquiris bring back too many repressed memories, including several zero proof cocktails, as well as a 40 odd pages of wines, beers and spirits. Along with daiquiris, Tillerman is also determined to bring sherry into the spotlight, with a carefully curated selection that promises to give you ‘spine-tingling thrills.’

If we had you at ‘glamorous riverside restaurant,’ Tillerman is open and taking bookings for date nights, leisurely Friday lunches and group feeds now. Get all the details you need here

See what other upcoming new restaurants to get excited for here.

Image credit: Supplied 

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