I know this post is titled Brisbane, but as the only places I have actually eaten at are in South Bank, this post inevitably has a slightly narrower focus. One day though, I will extend my taste buds to the other side of the river, so watch this space! My time in South Bank was spent staying at the Novotel, which had such outstanding breakfasts our opportunities for brunch were actually rather limited. We did eat dinners out though, and here are some of the best:
Junk: my first meal in Brisbane really set the bar high. The name was not foreign to me: I had read an article rating the quality of the bao buns so, being me, I was pretty excited. Junk is located one street back from the river front and there is so much seating I wouldn’t have thought booking was ever necessary.
We were a party of six, ideal for ordering a range of dishes. Service was quick, too quick – Andy and I were slightly late but the first round of food had already been delivered to the table. The teriyaki salmon and eggplant were standout dishes, and although the bao was decent it was not as good as I expected. There was a wide variety of dishes on the menu, so definitely something for everyone. Good spot for groups!
Harajuku Gyoza: the branding of the restaurant reminded me a little of the cartoon dumpling from the SushiGo card game, but the interior was a step up in class. It had a very underground feel to it, yet modern and sophisticated. The waitresses all spoke Japanese where possible, transporting us back to Tokyo.
We really enjoyed the karaage chicken, but it’s hard to argue that the gyoza isn’t the selling point (it’s in the name after all). There were a number of different flavours, sauces and combinations. Prices were moderately expensive, but we weren’t disappointed. There were other Japanese classics on the menu (edamame, tonkatsu and donburi) but we chose to keep it simple.
Gala Thai: we were still keeping it local, but this time we headed out in the opposite direction to usual. Gala Thai was at the end of the main drag we found ourselves on, and the only table left was one outside. It was a tad crisp but we had both heating and blankets.
We ordered duck curry, pad Thai, pork belly, satay chicken and green curry – basically all the house specialties! The food was incredibly cheap and the portions were huge. We didn’t even come close to finishing the meals off (and there was five of us, so it’s a little surprising!) even though we all kept going back for more. Cheap, cheerful and a spot well worth checking out if you’re in the area.
Doughnut Time: saving the sweet until last! Doughnut Time is near to Harajuku Gyoza (making for the perfect dessert) and is hard to miss with its large cabinet crammed full of decadent looking doughnuts, oozing with chocolate, custard and all things nice. The doughnuts cost about $6, they only do takeaway and I assure you that unless you’re really hungry, sharing is the way to go!
We couldn’t agree on a flavour so we had one each… I regretted it! The filling is pretty extra, so even if it seems like it might be stingy at first, we found in both of ours that there ended up being more than enough filling to go around. I’d ordered a Nutella based one and it felt like there was a whole jar of it in mine alone.