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Matt Moran led the charge of Sydney restaurateurs expanding to Brisbane

in 2009 and Aria occupies prime riverfront at 1 Eagle Street in the city

with panoramic views to the Story Bridge. The restaurant was awarded two

chefs hats in the

Brisbane Times Good Food Guide

Awards earlier this year.

Matt guides the menu with head chef Ben Russell and on Brisbane Festival’s

spectacular Riverfire night on 24 September there will be a choice of three

courses (served from 5pm to 7.30pm accompanied by the fireworks) and five

courses (from 8.15pm post fireworks). Signature dishes on the early menu

favour a selection of roasts including duck breast with smoked sausage while

the five-course selection is a pared back set menu. Prices from $150 per person

(three courses) and $210 per person (5 courses) with a glass of champagne.

Aria, 1 Eagle Street, city. Open for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner 7

nights. See



Otto Sydney has been a favourite diner for that city’s celebrities and

powerbrokers since 2000 and its owners have chosen Brisbane to be its first

interstate location – and what a location it is, on the parkland level of the 480

Queen Street tower in the city, new home to corporate giants such as BHP

Billiton, Mitsui, PwC and umpteen legal eagles. Diners are in for an authentic

experience under Otto’s former Sydney-based sous chef, Will Cowper, serving

up dishes such as beef carpaccio with truffle dressing, black and white tagliolini

with Moreton Bay bugs, spaghettini with smoked ham hock and more. It’s a

taste of southern Italian inspiration meets fresh local produce. There’s a view to

the Story Bridge for the Riverfire fireworks and Cowper will serve a four-course

menu on the night, starting with a glass of champagne from 7pm. Cost, $220

per person.

Otto, Parkland Level, 480 Queen Street, city. Open for lunch Monday

to Friday and dinner Monday to Saturday. For more information see



River Quay on Brisbane’s South Bank offers a more informal view of the river

from the lawn on the water’s edge to the al fresco restaurants just behind it. In

this strip Alex Barton has given his former Cove Bar and Dining a complete

redo, opening up the dining space to shared tables, a new colour palette and

a completely new seafood-centric menu. Reinvented as River Quay Fish, the

menu boasts a range of share plates such as Singaporean-style blue swimmer

crab coconut rice, small plates including whiting tacos (


), all sorts of

fish pan-fried, beer-battered and poached, and a family-friendly fish pack for

four priced at $50.

River Quay Fish, Sidon Street, South Brisbane. Open lunch and dinner

7 days. See



Nothing fancy about the food here but the view, up


down the river, is

to die for, making it a hot spot to chill out after work in the city. The menu

caters for groups with share platters, from house dips to the pizza taster or

the signature Pacino platter for five – a sampler of calamari, pizza, arancini,

chorizo, crumbed olives, cured meats, meatballs and artisan bread – and the

Taste of Italy dessert plate, also for five. Hot tip: book ahead for a front table.

Bar Pacino, 175 Eagle Street, city. Open 7 days. For more information




Described as the ‘glamazon’ of Brisbane dining, Black Bird opened its doors

two years ago to a Gatsbyesque bar serving Prohibition-style cocktails and a

steak menu to challenge the most discerning carnivore – the 1.5kg Wagyu

T-bone, large enough to be shared by up to four people, takes share plates to

a whole new dimension. Chef Jake Nicolson’s specials from the wood grill are

also hot here. With a direct view to the Story Bridge and the fireworks it is

already booked for a private event on Riverfire night but, like Bar Pacino, will

be open to the public again post fireworks from 9pm.

Black Bird, 123 Eagle Street, city. Open lunch and dinner 7 days. See




Riverside dining







| BNE September/October 2016