Eating out hasn’t been impossible during the crisis but perhaps your favourite closed its doors. Those dedicated to dining out found safe satisfaction somewhere else. But now, Brisbane dining options are changing, rapidly. You may be able to return to that place you’ve been missing, in slightly different ways, or find some new offerings. Here are a few that peaked My Brisbane’s interest.
Bacchus Restaurant’s High Tea at Home
Kicking this list off with a real banger, a must do, a Brisbane food experience so good that — although you’ll pay $30 for it — feels like a gift. Bacchus Restaurant’s High Tea at Home is delicious, ingenious, totally right for right now and every bit what you’d expect from the high caliber establishment.
If you’ve tried Bacchus’ Quintessential High Tea, you’ll know what to expect treat-wise. One of the most delicious in Brisbane. High Tea at Home doesn’t cut any corners, they’re the same as you’ll get in-restaurant but in perfectly packed boxes. This takeaway high tea is ready to be transported to your favourite patch of green, or your preferred vista with space for a picnic blanket.
The treats, both sweet and savoury, are super fresh. The selection ranges from freshly baked scones you’ll top with Bonne Maman French Raspberry Preserve and Chantilly Cream, to smoked salmon Tomato Bread sandwiches, to devilish treats. There is a fusion juice included (that would make for a great cocktail *wink*), and you’ll choose your favourite selection of Harney & Sons teas to go with.
How does it work? You’ll need to order in advance by Wednesday 5pm each week. You can choose a Saturday or Sunday (10am to 12noon) pickup from the Podium deck of Rydges South Bank. You park, free of charge, at the porte cochère below and take the Grey Street lift to the Podium Deck. You’ll be in and out in five minutes and on your way to your favourite spot to enjoy with your besties. The cost is $30 per person.
Protip: ordering for two is enough for three if it’s more about the conversation than filling your tummy.
For Bacchus Restaurant fans, there is no set date for re-opening yet. My Brisbane pressed for details but were simply told later in the year. However, Bacchus presents options. As well at High Tea at Home Bacchus are offering these select services in the very near future:
BACCHUS CELLARS – order from Bacchus’ award winning wine list, hand selected beers and signature cocktails.
BACCHUS GROCERS – get the inside track from Bacchus preferred suppliers. Freshly made and locally sourced ingredients from the Bacchus kitchen, house made breads, pastas, sauces and desserts to go.
BACCHUS PRIVATE KITCHEN – It’s Bacchus restaurant, ready to be enjoyed at home.
Bacchus High Tea at Home is available here.
E’CCO BISTRO’S NEW SET MENU
E’cco Bistro reopened last week with a fresh approach, perfect for the times we find ourselves dining in.
After 25 years perfecting the e’cco experience, celebrated Brisbane restaurateur Philip Johnson is responding to the new landscape with a revised dining experience at e’cco. But the more things change, the more they remain…true to the e’cco ethos.
Johnson, along with French-born head chef Antoine Potier are now dishing up fortnightly refreshed set menus spanning a range of flavour and techniques.
“[the forced closure] has provided us with the perfect opportunity to rethink how we do things at e’cco,” Mr Johnson said.
“Can we be doing this better? Can we be offering something that will stand out from the crowd? We want to ensure the food is about using only the freshest and best produce available, something that we have built our reputation on.”
Changing fortnightly, the first menu sees guests enjoying delicious seasonal produce in the form of a flowing set menu. The menu includes fresh New Zealand Ora King Salmon, new season West Australian truffles, NSW Rangers Valley Wagyu, Tasmanian triple cream brie washed in Calvados (apple brandy) and Budda Hands – an unusual hand-shaped citrus fruit.
Johnson and Potier’s superbly skilled traditional technique paired with a modern approach caters for all dietary preferences. e’cco is now hosting 20 guests a night (as per current COVID-19 restrictions) from Wednesday to Saturday. The bookings are staggered with no dining time restrictions.
“We want our guests to relax and enjoy the experience and not feel like they are being rushed out the door for the next guests,” Mr Johnson said.
The takeway menu, offering familiar e’cco fare, is still available Wednesday to Saturday, 5pm-7:30pm.
New Opening: The Lucky Squire, Broadbeach
For day-trippers further afield, a new opening must be put on the to-do. The Lucky Squire opened at Broadbeach last week inviting diners and drinkers a return to normal(ish).
The Lucky Squire is the Gold Coast’s first James Squire brewhouse. With exclusive craft beers made on-site comes a fusion of old-world charm and Gold Coast’s chill.
Smack-bang in the centre of premium dining precinct of Oracle Boulevard, the 450+ capacity venue spreads across two floors and adds a microbrewery to the popular strip.
The Lucky Squire is open 10am to 3am, seven days a week, serving up fresh drinks and quality meals, from scotch fillet to saltwater barramundi, to classic pizzas and burger favourites.
Howard Smith Wharves is back
Safety is the first priority at HSW. All venues are operating under set guidelines with limited numbers. Currently, up to 20 people can be seated per section with table service only. As per government requirements, guest details will be recorded upon entry.
Felons Brewing Co. and Mr Percival’s are currently only taking reservations up to one month in advance.
Keep up to date with Howard Smith Wharves unfolding news here.
Around the bend too, Riverbar & Kitchen
Now, Riverbar & Kitchen have reopened announcing a return to happier times with a throwback to a classic people-pleasing dish.
Co-owner Matt Moran is relieved to welcome diners again.
“It’s a great feeling to open the Riverbar doors again after a long absence due to COVID-19,” Mr Moran said.
“The team can’t wait to see some familiar faces enjoying the great quality of food and drinks they’ve come to expect from Riverbar!”
The relaxed dining favourite on the river at Eagle Street Pier have announced their notorious pizza cob loaves from WinterFest 2019 are back. The indulgent share-snack is just $18. But wait, there’s more. The Riverbar team has also decided to bring back the famous lychee mojito.
Best of all, walk-ins are welcome! However, if you’re rocking up in a larger group, book ahead to ensure the team can meet a COVID-safe procedures.
Riverbar & Kitchen are open for lunch and dinner Monday – Saturday (late on Fridays and Saturdays). Breakfast and lunch are offered on weekends, observing all mandated restrictions.
Incoming! Bar Alto
The darling of New Farm’s funky dine scene, Bar Alto, is coming in hot with a celebratory re-mix lunch on Saturday, July 11. Reopening from Thursday July 9, Bar Alto is saving Saturday lunch for an all-star blast from the past.
The 90pp set menu will feature favourites from the riverside icon’s seasonal menus over the last few years.
The multi-course set lunch is owner Simon Hill’s way to welcome back Bar Alto’s loyal guests, and mark their return following a stressful period for hospitality.
“We knew we had to celebrate re-opening the doors, so bringing back some past favourites, alongside staples like our mussels, seemed like the perfect way to welcome back regulars and see out a seriously tough few months,” he said.
The shared menu will see the return of eight Italian favourites including grilled quail, strozzapreti with prawn and calamari ragu and braised lamb shoulder with artichoke. There will be a trio of mini desserts (tiramisu, apple crostata, and budino) to finish.
Bookings for the shared lunch are available for groups of four or more, and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.