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The recap: the best new Brisbane restaurants, bars and cafes this month

The recap: the best new Brisbane restaurants, bars and cafes this month

The cold weather hasn't deterred locals from venturing outside this month. In fact, Brisbane seemed to be heating up from what we can see – at least as far as its food and drink scene is concerned! July was a big one for new openings. We saw the opening of a slick wine bar from the Lune Croissanterie crew, a neon-lit eatery serving Chinese-Peruvian cuisine and a Greek restaurant in the heart of West Village. See what we mean? It was loaded! Here are the new arrivals we loved this month ...


Butler Wine Bar, South Brisbane
The Lune Croissanterie team took on nighttime trade at the beginning of July with the long-awaited opening of Butler Wine Bar, a slender-yet-splendid vino joint that took Lune’s razor-sharp focus on pastry perfection and applied it to after-dark service. The results, so far, have been incredibly successful. Siblings Kate and Cameron Reid, Melbourne restaurateur Nathan Toleman and Lune general manager Ryan Butler have honed in on an operational model based on guiding principles – comfort, conscience and community. This has translated into an intimate interior aesthetic (crafted by Hogg & Lamb) and an electric atmosphere, as well as a menu (curated by head chef Jane Kim) that champions proximity, seasonality and sustainability where possible. Predominantly open for walk-in custom, Butler is frequently abuzz with pairings and groups indulging in small share-style plates of chicken-liver parfait with sourdough, pork belly topped with gochujang and puffed buckwheat, and spiced madelines with brandy caramel sauce. The all-important wine list is overflowing with approachable varieties, with a by-the-glass list featuring a clutch of familiar new-wave makers such as Jilly Wines, Konpira Maru, Jauma, Mac Forbes and Ochota Barrels.

Casa Chow, Woolloongabba
FnB Collective’s gradual takeover of South City Square’s dining precinct continued this month with the opening of Casa Chow, a colourful and curvaceous bar and eatery that draws influence from the glittering party strips of Miami, the buzzing alleyways of Cuba and Peru’s Chinese-influenced fusion food, chifa. With Casa Chow, owners Jared Thibault and Vincent Lombino (who also own Sasso Italiano) are introducing Brisbane diners to chifa (a fusion of Peruvian and Chinese cuisines that originated in the mid-19th century), showcasing a mouth-watering blend of Latin and Cantonese flavours. Executive chef Gabriele Di Landri has created a share-style menu featuring chifa staples such as anticuchos de corazon (Peruvian-style skewers) with aji panca molido, chicharron de pescado (crunchy fish fritter) bao buns with aji amarillo mayo and lomo saltado (a beef-strip stir-fry served with chips and rice) – all of which is ably backed by a beverage program boasting five kinds of pisco sour, ten signature cocktails, South American wines from small producers and a chicha-inspired rice lager made by Aether Brewing using Peruvian purple corn. While most of your attention will likely be focused on the plate, it will be hard to tear your eyes away from Casa Chow’s neon-lit interior. CollectivusPeople of Design and Unita have all helped craft the venue’s sleek surrounds, from the tiled floors and custom furnishings to the opaque curtains and smooth curvature of the walls. At night,DJs spin up-tempo Latin tunes while a custom light system fires up, bathing Casa Chow in vibrant hues and transforming it into a party spot with the touch of a button.

Yamas Greek & Drink, West End
It’s been a testing year for the Tassis Group, which saw two of its restaurants flooded by late-February’s rain bomb and another three close their doors ahead of Eagle Street Pier’s scheduled redevelopment. Things are back on track for the hospitality crew, though. It’s two tide-impacted venues, Opa Bar + Mezze and Massimo Restaurant & Bar, are back open and over in West Village the team has just opened Yamas Greek & Drink. Described as the vivacious younger sibling of Opa, Yamas (Greek for cheers) channels the same kind of hellenic cheer, but swaps Opa’s Santorini-inspired look for one informed by the neoclassical architecture of Thessaloniki – think terracotta marble, terrazzo concrete and geometric tiling (envisioned by Clui Design). Menu wise, it’s Greek all the way through. An imported Cypriot-style rotisserie is tasked with slow cooking lamb and chicken for Yamas’ mouth-watering souvla, which is available alongside Paros-style ocean trout, paidakia (lamb cutlets with red onion and tzatziki), kolokithia me thalasina (stuffed zucchini with market fish, scallops, sand crab and prawn) and htapodi (grilled octopus). There’s even a breakfast menu featuring rizogalo (Greek rice pudding with poached pear) and a breakfast yiros with fried eggs, kefalograviera, haloumi chips and lamb. Yamas’ bar is fully stocked with a selection of ouzo, 20 gins, eight vodkas and plenty of liquor for its eye-catching house cocktails. The vino offering is similarly substantial, with a 120-strong wine list boasting upwards of 20 Greek drops.

Inter/Section, Brisbane City
When Adam Wang relocated his beloved caffeinery Coffee Anthology to Charlotte Street earlier this year, it was the first step in a huge, multi-stage project that Adam hoped could help revitalise The City’s coffee and brunch scene. Inter/Section – the brand-new laneway hub bridging Charlotte and Mary Street – is the result of months of careful planning and execution. In addition to being the new home of Coffee Anthology, Adam (alongside Clui Design and Unita) has built a new cafe called Fika and a pastry kitchen operated by the team from The Whisk Fine Patisserie. Both new elements became active a week ago, wowing laneway wanderers with a selection of elevated breakfast and lunch dishes crafted by head chef Eugene Lee and assorted pastries from master baked-goods maker Justin Yu. Must-try specialties include coronation scrambled eggs (a curry-tinged dish inspired by UK specialty, coronation chicken), jiajang baked beans with andouille sausage and fried egg, and mushroom fried rice with wood ear fungus and pickled shimeji – all available alongside The Whisk’s flaky croissants and dreamy danishes, plus Coffee Anthology’s sensational brews.

Gastown, Ashgrove
If you cruised down Waterworks Road in recent weeks, you might have spied a fetching little hideaway nestled near the corner of Ashgrove Avenue. Gastown is the new locale from the team behind Alderley cafe Soul Revolver, who have sought to bring a piece of Vancouver (and a sprinkling of Tasmania) to a buzzing pocket of Brisbane. This cosy space operates as a cafe by day, serving toasties, pastries from Farine & Co., cups of espresso from The Black Lab Coffee Co., and rotating batch-brew filter coffees from roasters like Seven Seeds and The Reformatory Caffeine Lab. In a few weeks, Gastown will start opening at night as a wine bar, with a tidy list showcasing a constantly shifting selection of Australian vino, with three reds, three whites, one rosé and one sparkling. The kitchen will also pivot to serving small plates of olives, burrata and anchovy toast – the perfect kind of snacking fare to match a glass of something nice.

Many more restaurants, cafes and bars opened this month. You can have a browse through the latest foodie happenings by clicking here.

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.



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