Classic Brisbane restaurants to put on your bucket list | Gourmand and Gourmet

Classic Brisbane restaurants to put on your bucket list

Sure we all love stampeding to the latest new restaurant, café or bar to be the first to try their eats, but that doesn’t mean we should forget the iconic Brisbane restaurants who turned our city into the foodie hub it is today. In the restaurant world, 10 years is a long time. 20 years is almost unheard of – and yet there’s a few Brisbane stalwarts who’ve been dishing up their delicious fare for a decade, even two, without needing to resort to jumping on the latest food trend (food on boards people – just let it go) to draw in the crowds. These are the restaurants we go back to again and again, knowing we’ll get nothing short of perfection on our plates. If you haven’t been to them yet, well, you should have, so skip the new burger and wings joint next time you’re heading out for dinner and get yourself to one of Brisbane’s classic restaurants instead. Gambaro | Petrie Terrace From humble beginnings as a fish and chip in 1953 (60 years ago! Mind: blown), Gambaro’s has become one of Brisbane’s best seafood restaurants. Three generations of Gambaro’s now run the place, and on any given night you’ll find John Gambaro himself flaming up crepe Suzette for dessert on his roaming trolley. Montrachet | Paddington A little slice of Paris, right here in Paddington, Montrachet’s divine French cuisine has been called ‘nirvana’ in it’s 11 year history. It may have changed hands since Thierry Galichet worked his magic, but new owner Shannon Kellam won’t be straying too far from the winning formula – and their infamous cheesy crab soufflé and crème brûlée will both be staying on the menu. classic brisbane restaurants ahmets Ahmet’s | South Bank One of the few South Bank restaurants that have been there from the start, Ahmet’s has been taking diners on a magic carpet ride of exotic eats for years. Most of us probably remember at least one family dinner at their bright tables, feasting on baba ghanoush, lamb kofta and spicy Turkish pide – and elbowing each other out of the way for the last honey doughnut. Gertie’s | New Farm Gertie’s might just look like another bar, but they’ve seen some interesting things in their time – including 90s fashion. Yep, they’ve been around that long, and for good reason. An epic wine list, tasty late night feeds, and cocktails that will have you falling off chairs before you know it – not to mention hilarious chalkboard quotes. ‘If I didn’t drink, how would my friends know I loved them at 2am?’ classic brisbane restaurants ecco e’cco | CBD While we love a good Howzat burger on a Friday, it’s Phillip Johnson’s iconic bistro that we’ll always return to. e’cco has been captivating diners since 1995 and the signature mushrooms on olive toast has been on the menu for 16 out of the last 20 years. Beccofino | New Farm Pizza, pasta, tiramisu – if you haven’t shared an Italian feed at Beccofino yet, you can’t call yourself a Brisbane local. Well into middle age with over 10 years of pappardelle perfection behind them, their duck and tomato ragu is the stuff of legend. classic brisbane restaurants harveys Harveys | Fortitude Valley Locals went mad and made death threats went Harveys closed down for a renovation a few years back, that’s how popular the James Street bistro is. But it reopened looking better than ever, serving up unpretentious seasonal eats to the demanding masses, like their lamb loin with wood-roasted vegetables, perfect for a winter’s eve. 2 Small Rooms | Toowong Not to outdo Gertie’s, but Two Small Rooms, well they saw 80s fashion. And probably made lots of crab cakes back then. These days they’re serving up fine fare like crab tortellini and miso-infused pork belly, and we’d skip work for a long lunch in their cosy dining room any day. classic brisbane restaurants cha cha char Cha Cha Char | CBD Established in 1997, Cha Cha Char is the place to go if it’s an perfectly cooked steak you’re after. Served up with million dollar views of the Story Bridge, you won’t find mundane salad and chips on the side, but exquisite accompaniments like prawn gribiche, charred asparagus and beef cheek croquette alongside your grain fed sirloin. Enjoy Inn | Fortitude Valley and Hamilton Does your local Chinese takeaway place have a wall of awards? We’re guessing not, but Enjoy Inn does, so even if you couldn’t guess from the fact that they’ve been in residence in the Chinatown Mall for 20 years, they’re doing things right. Specials like the san choy bow and sizzling Szechuan chicken haven’t changed over the years, but that just means they’ve been perfected. Shout out also has to go to Brisbane’s oldest burger bar, Ohio Café in Brisbane, which has been flipping patties since 1945. Now that’s a retro burger joint! Words by Ranyhyn Akui