There’s no better way to make a menu decision than choosing every single thing on it, and that’s exactly what you can do with a group of friends when you order a bunch of share plates. Here we round-up Brisbane’s best share meals so that food envy becomes a thing of the past.
The mix of Moroccan and Middle Eastern styling at Gerard’s Bistro only hints at the regionally-inspired wonders that are served-up at this funky James St restaurant. With dishes inspired by North African, Middle Eastern and Southern European cuisines, you know you’re in for a gastronomic treat here.
Food is made for sharing here, with dishes including an extremely tasty suckling pig with heritage carrot, Arabic coffee and cacao with pickled onions. Vegetarians are catered for as well with a whole smoked eggplant with turmeric, mint, kashk yoghurt and blackened onions. Gerard’s also serves up a range of tasty cocktails, including Gerard’s Drunk Punch made on Havana rum, Massenez Coco-Ananas liqueur, mixed with pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, passionfruit, and bitters.
Perfect for the summer months.
15 James St, Fortitude Valley. Tel: 3852 3822.
Providing small plates with a view, Popolo in South Bank is located right on the Brisbane river, making it a picturesque place to spend a Sunday afternoon with a group of mates.
There are both small and large share plates depending on your level of hunger, as well as a few pizzas as well which always go down well. We like the arancini balls stuffed with gorgonzola, taleggio cheese and mozzarella which comes on a roast pumpkin puree. For a larger dish, try the parma-wrapped free-range chicken thighs, with celeriac and shallot chips. There is also a very moreish slow roasted Gippsland pork belly with an anchovy dressing and panzanella on top.
Our only tip is to try to avoid a table near the bright orange lights.
3 Siddon St, River Quay, South Bank. Tel: 3846 7784.
The more casual sibling of Esquire, esq. serves meals out of the same kitchen as its fancy big sister. While esq. has more of a relaxed setting than Esquire, it’s still sleek, modern and makes you feel like you’re having a fancy night on the town.
The menu is small but very well thought-out with a range of meats available that have simply been roasted over coal. The Chinese BBQ pork rib is a winner, as is the highly marbled rib eye with fresh perilla (a Japanese minty herb) and horseradish. Vege plates include fried eggplant with seasoned roasted peanuts, or Korean BBQ greens.
To top off the meal, do yourself a favour and try the Campari curds and whey, which is fantastic even though you don’t get to eat it on a tuffet.
145 Eagle St, City. Tel: 3220 2124.
Kettle & Tin
Kettle & Tin epitomises Paddington with its beautifully revamped Queenslander building that pays homage to the area’s historic roots, but still looks to the future with a decidedly modern interior. Breakfast and lunch here are solo-plate affairs, but come dinner time, it’s worth gathering some sidekicks to tuck into a share plate bonanza.
The duck nachitos is the perfect share starter with confit duck, refried beans, salsa, avocado and sour cream. If you can handle the heat, the Sriracha hot wings are ridiculously tasty, with confit wings topped with sesame seeds and served with a decadent blue cheese dip.
For something more substantial to pass around the table, the Thai surf and turf mixes scallops and pork belly with cucumber and radish topped with a coconut, mint, coriander and chilli dressing.
215 Given Tce, Paddington. Tel: 3369 3778.
When you think of share meals, Spanish tapas is usually the first thing that comes to mind, and that is exactly what Gordita serves up.
The menu has a distinct Southern Spain take on tapas, full of hearty offerings that go supremely well with a carafe or five of Gordita’s rojo sangria which uses both spiced rum and a full-bodied tempranillo. Small plates include a wonderfully rich spiced morcilla which is a Spanish blood sausage, served with cauliflower and roast onions. For something a bit lighter, there is also a confit of ocean trout with beetroot, blood orange and goats curd. From the large share plates menu, go for a full spitchcock with freekah, pickled tomato, upland cress, served with harissa yoghurt.
100 McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley. Tel: 3666 0605.
Who’s serving up your favourite share plates in Brisbane? Let us know in the comments below!