From riverside fine dining to elevated fish and chips, first-class seafood is having a moment in Brisbane right now. You can choose to eat rarefied Italian with breathtaking views of the river and the Story Bridge, or head for the suburbs and go large on crisp-battered fish and hand-cut chips. Either way, you won’t go hungry. Here are 4 of the best places for seafood in Brisbane, plus the top takeaways and fresh seafood markets.
Arc Dining & Wine Bar – Boundary Street Brisbane
Arc Dining and Wine Bar opened in February 2019 and immediately became a hit with Brisbane’s bright young things, a relatively sedate oasis at the far end of a heaving Howard Smith Wharves precinct. Executive chef Alana Sapwell is a veteran of Sydney’s Saint Peters – arguably Australia’s best seafood restaurant – so it’s perhaps no surprise her menu is dominated by fish and crustaceans.
There’s Mooloolaba spanner crab served with gala apple and cranberry hibiscus; Cairns tropical painted crayfish with cultured butter; and crab pasta with periwinkle and garden gremolata. The food is backed by a fabulous 400-bottle-strong wine list compiled by award-winning sommelier Ian Trinkle. The venue itself feels more like a magnificent greenhouse than a restaurant – all the better to show-off its spectacular riverside views.
Perch’d is about as quintessentially Brisbane as you can get, Jen Byrnes and Patrick Laws opening their elevated fish and chippery in an old ‘Queenslander’ shop in the bucolic south-side suburb of Coorparoo. Here, everything is prepared in-house, from the sauces and pickles to the perfectly fried hand-cut chips.
The kitchen dishes up a rotating menu of three types of fish – it might be local mahi mahi, snapper or blue-eye trevally, the selection depending on market availability – along with calamari, prawn cutlets and potato scallops.
One Fish Two Fish – Kangaroo Point
One Fish Two Fish is part of the wave of rarefied fish restaurants that has swept across Australia in recent years. Daniel and Amelia Miletic’s handsome little eatery occupies an old Queenslander in Kangaroo Point, just a stone’s throw away from the Gabba sports stadium. It’s a beautiful spot to pull up in the front bar for claw sliders and cajun fish tacos, washed down with a couple of Balter beers. But the restaurant menu is where it’s at, chef Daniel flipping seafood pots-au-feu, fragrant seafood risottos and a whole salt-baked fish that the Miletics source locally whenever they can (Queensland goldband snapper and red spot emperor are regular examples). Where to sit? On the beautiful back deck with views across Raymond Park is best.
Jellyfish – Eagle Street Brisbane
Many choose to dine at Jellyfish simply for the stunning location. Outside on the terrace, looking across the river towards the Story Bridge, it’s about as Instagrammable as Brisbane gets. The food, though, from exec chef Angelo Velante and head chef Tom Swapp, is just as good. You can choose from an a la carte menu that includes Hervey Bay scallop ceviche and grilled Moreton Bay bugs served with shaved radish, olives, capers and a beurre noisette.
It’s the restaurant’s fish menu, though, that truly sets it apart. There’s grilled swordfish and mahi mahi from Mooloolaba, and crispy skin goldband snapper from Cairns. Match your fish to a side, order a bottle from the lengthy wine list and settle in to enjoy the sunset.
There are many more places to eat great seafood in Sydney and Google will lead you to them. Eat well and have one for us (prawn that is) – Dave and Nicki Lee.
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