Queensland has become a destination for Asian food. We’ve picked the best Asian restaurants in the state. Here are the top 10.
Queensland has become a destination for Asian food. We’ve picked the best Asian restaurants in the state. Here are the top 10. LarisaBlinova

Queensland’s top 10 Asian restaurants

QUEENSLAND has become a destination for Asian food.

 

We've picked the best Asian restaurants in the state. Here are the top 10.

Rick Shores at Burleigh Heads.
Rick Shores at Burleigh Heads.

 

 

RICK SHORES

That spectacular view along the Burleigh beach to Surfers Paradise, the waves crashing just metres from the full-length bi-fold windows, will always be the talking point at Rick Shores. But this laid-back, approachable venue is so much more than its location. Affable and charming staff treat guests the same whether they're fresh off the sand or there for a special occasion, delivering effortless yet refined service that's a class above. While the menu is equally accommodating, transitioning from easy bar snacks and raw items like their signature fried bug roll or the refined kingfish sashimi, nutty with black sesame and fresh with lime; through to dishes cooked over coal, meat and curry plates and sides and salads. Thai flavours dominate the menu, but clever elements of Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese cooking sneak in to offer a pan-Asian twist. The expertly layered red duck curry with a building heat is a star, but surprisingly outplaying it is a simple side of roasted cauliflower with a pepita satay and cauliflower leaf kimchi. Asian influences even extend to desserts with clever creations such as a chocolate parfait with brown rice miso and potato skins.

Must-eat dish: Cauliflower with pepita satay

Price: $41 - $80 for two courses

Chef: James Brady

Cuisine: Thai-fusion

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch and Dinner Tue-Sun

Address: 3/43 Goodwin Tce, Burleigh Heads

Ph: 07 5630 6611

Website: rickshores.com.au

Instagram: @imrickshores

 

 

Brisbane News restaurant page. Longtime Restaurant, Fortitude Valley. Reviewed dish  - the slider platter - the whole fried fish.
Brisbane News restaurant page. Longtime Restaurant, Fortitude Valley. Reviewed dish - the slider platter - the whole fried fish.

 

 

LONGTIME

Buzzy, loud and full of personality, this modern Thai eatery has become such a favourite that diners can expect an hour-long wait for a table, even on weekdays. But the broad and enticing menu that expands from bar snacks like satay scallops and soft-shelled crab bao into salads, curries, stir-fries, and rice and noodle dishes is worth your patience. Call on the well-informed, if slightly impersonal, staff for advice on both meal selection and drink pairings, with a creative range of Asian-inspired cocktails available, alongside out of the ordinary wines. Communal tables run almost the length of the restaurant putting guests in the heart of the commotion; but score a perch at the bar to be treated to all the action of the kitchen. The Mexican-cum-Thai riff on a prawn cocktail - the prawn larb taco - is an effortless yet deeply satisfying snack you'll want more than just one of. But truly unmissable is the Angus beef cheek red curry with meltingly tender meat in a sauce that ticks off on the prized sweet, sour, salty, bitter balance of Thai cooking to deliver nuance and interest with each bite. Add the accompanying outstanding pork and sweet potato dumplings into the equation and it's a rib-sticking dish worthy of the venue's signature status. A dessert of dense chilli chocolate tart is balanced by nitrogen-frozen coconut "snow" and passionfruit curd, but it's the savoury dishes here that need diners' full attention. With portion sizes that represent terrific value for money, it's not hard to see why this restaurant draws the crowds.

Must-eat dish: Beef cheek red curry

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Ben Bertei

Cuisine: Thai-fusion

Bookings: Only for groups larger than 6

Open: Dinner Tue-Sun

Address: 610 Ann St, Fortitude Valley

Ph: 07 3160 3123

Website: longtime.com.au

Instagram: @longtimerestaurant

 

 

Qweekend restaurant review: Golden Pig, Newstead
Qweekend restaurant review: Golden Pig, Newstead

 

 

THE GOLDEN PIG

In a hip, converted brick warehouse in the industrial backblocks of inner-Brisbane's Newstead is The Golden Pig, a plant-adorned, atmospheric bar and restaurant serving very good pan-Asian food. Executive chef and owner is Katrina Ryan, a one-time head chef at Neil Perry's now-defunct Sydney fine diner Rockpool. Six years ago, Ryan opened the Golden Pig cooking school and daytime cafe in Newstead before a makeover this year saw it re-emerge as a dinner-only restaurant, with the cooking school limited to weekends and Mondays. The Thai-accented, pan-Asian menu includes openers such as scallops swimming in a luscious, rich ponzu miso butter and bao filled with slices of succulent pork, a slick of yuzu mayo, chilli caramel and apple slaw. Lamb and chestnut potsticker dumplings with ginger and shallot sauce are also terrific. The menu's "large" dishes live up to their name: a crisp-skinned thick fillet of barramundi in a deeply flavoured yellow broth and pork belly braised in a turmeric curry of tomato, coconut cream, fresh lime and coriander. Dessert far from an afterthought and lemongrass tapioca enlivened by dark palm sugar syrup, passionfruit pulp, coconut sorbet and a sesame biscuit is terrific. The Golden Pig works well for groups with its array of large, well-spaced tables and the banquet menus.

Must-eat dish: Crisp-skinned barramundi in a yellow fragrant broth

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Sarah Hocking

Cuisine: Thai

Bookings: Yes

Open: Dinner Tue-Sat

Address: 38 Ross St, Newstead

Ph: 07 3666 0884

Website: goldenpig.com.au

Instagram: @thegoldenpig

 

 

Interior at Spice Bar at Mooloolaba. Photo Lachie
Interior at Spice Bar at Mooloolaba. Photo Lachie

 

 

SPICE BAR

Fried until dark golden, its almost paper-thin edges shattering like glass, while its chewy centre harbours sticky glazed pork and peppy kimchi. This is Chinese flat bread Spice Bar-style and it's terrific. The Mooloolaba pan-Asian eatery sits above The Esplanade, enjoying views to the ocean without the chaos of the main street. Diners can settle into the boldly decorated, Oriental-themed dining room or take a seat on the covered balcony with sea breezes, and choose from a list of small and large plates. Expert wait staff carefully explain dishes and offer recommendations such as the pickled fish - delicate prisms of Tasmanian salmon and watermelon cubes daubed with a green chilli sauce that builds in heat only to be extinguished with coconut yoghurt. Or perhaps, go a larger plate of line-caught North Queensland snapper in a fiery, viscous sweet potato and pumpkin curry. It's a winner with one of the price-conscious, food-friendly wines from the well-stocked drinks list, which also includes flights of sake and umeshu, hyper local and overseas beers, and creative Asian-inspired cocktails. Food purposefully leaves the kitchen slowly, allowing guests to unwind and relax. So finish a long lunch or peaceful dinner with a dessert of possibly honey whisky parfait teamed with white sesame ice cream, puff pastry cubes, frozen and fresh raspberries, sesame meringue and raspberry sauce that delivers refreshment and textural interplay. Whether you're with family, friends or dining as a couple, Spice Bar delivers refined food and service in a relaxed environment.

Must-eat dish: Chinese flat bread

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Aaron Ruttan

Cuisine: Pan-Asian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch and Dinner Wed-Sun

Address: 123 Mooloolaba Esp, Mooloolaba

Ph: 07 5444 2022

Website: spicebar.com.au

Instagram: @spicebar

 

 

QUEENSLAND TASTE and BRISBANE NEWS RESTAURANT REVI
QUEENSLAND TASTE and BRISBANE NEWS RESTAURANT REVI

 

 

SPICE DEN

Spice Den is a sleek and sexy sibling to the acclaimed pan-Asian eatery of the same name at Casuarina, just over the NSW border. The owners have created an intimate, industrial-edged space - with moody lighting, beaded curtains and dazzling tile work - that effortlessly blends soft and hard, curved and straight. It's the type of venue that caters to everyone from the solitary diner to the raucous group, but is best enjoyed with friends or family - purely to sample more of the seductive menu. The offering highlights street-style favourites such as pad Thai, chicken satay and duck fried rice, as well as a feast of different Thai curries and more. Malaysian murtabak is an easy starting point, the weighty roti bread filled with a coriander and curry-spiked minced lamb served alongside sensational lightly pickled vegetables that bring equilibrium to the dish. Wagyu pat see yeuw is an ideal follow-up - the hand-cut, thick rice noodles permeating with salty, sweet oyster sauce, while hunks of beef surrender to the touch of a fork, all garnished with a flutter of coriander, spring onions, and crispy garlic and shallots for vibrancy. Sticky beef ribs arrive uncut, the generous serve braised into submission, with the meat collapsing off the bone into mouthfuls of stringy, saccharine pleasure. A prawn green curry ($29) features the sweetest of seafood and brings a mouth-numbing heat that builds with each bite. Putting the fire out are complimentary scoops of coconut gelato and an effortless, but well-made dessert of raspberry-infused mascarpone layered over frozen cubes of mango and sprinkled with a shortbread-style biscuit crumble.

Pair it all with a cocktail or Asian, domestic or local craft beer from the decent drinks list, which is a little light on wines, and you're in for a good night.

Must-eat dish: Sticky beef ribs

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Pukrit Srithongzai and Chaiwat Junuphan

Cuisine: Modern Asian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch and Dinner Mon-Sat

Address: 457 Ann St, Brisbane

Ph: 0410 919 227

Website: spiceden.com.au

Instagram: @spice-den-brisbane

 

 

Matt Sinclair
Matt Sinclair

 

 

 

SUM YUNG GUYS

Kick off with a Budgie smuggler from the cocktail list or a Land & Sea Lager brewed in Noosaville and settle into the laid-back vibe at this mural-splashed pan-Asian Sunshine Beach hot spot with a pumping soundtrack. Opened by 2016 MasterChef runner-up Matt Sinclair last year, the Red duck curry, prawn toast and epic roti have customers heading there in droves. The share-plate menu wanders around Asia for inspiration and begins with small dishes such as shaved wagyu sirloin on banh hoi noodle cakes, Thai street food-style pork skewers and a very appealing version of the Chinese dim sum staple of prawn toast - toasted white bread slathered with a Mooloolaba prawn mousse and pressed into black and white sesame seeds. Sweet and sour pork with chunks of succulent pork belly and caramelised pineapple dressed with a light chilli sauce is a strong dish but the generously portioned aromatic red curry of confit duck with kaffir lime and shallot is the standout, well complemented by a side of spicy green papaya salad. Dessert isn't a focus (there's a choice of burnt honey panna cotta and dark palm sugar pudding) but probably not too many make it there after they've had their fill of big-flavoured, generously proportioned food. The relaxed atmosphere works for families and groups, who can tuck into a banquet menu.

Must-eat dish: Roti bread and red curry of confit duck

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Matt Sinclair

Cuisine: Asian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch and Dinner daily

Address: 8/46 Duke St, Sunshine Beach

Ph: 07 5324 1391

Website: sumyungguys.com.au

Instagram: @sumyungguys

 

 

TWAM 8 Sep 2018
TWAM 8 Sep 2018

 

 

 

LITTLE VALLEY

From the talented team behind Gold Coast favourite Rick Shores comes this modern, neo-Chinese newbie.

There's no Chinoiserie to speak of, just a slick, modern fit-out inspired by its multi-level, industrial, warehouse-style building. But with all that blonde timber, concrete and hard surfaces, it can become noisier than a footy game, so it's best for casual meals with friends rather than any intimate affair.

The menu also lends itself best to sharing among groups - divided into raw, dim sum, small and large plates. A small plate of smoked pork and truffle congee brings warmth and comfort, while roast pork neck with a char siu glaze from the large plates has bags of flavour and is meltingly tender. But where diners should spend the bulk of their time and budget is on the dim sum.

Chef Jake Pregnell has assembled a stellar team of dumpling masters who turn out sensational steaming dishes that beg to be enjoyed with a glass of wine or cocktail from the approachable but considered and smartly varied drinks list.

A must is the lobster and chive har gow, just ensure its dripping in the accompanying sauce, while the truffle and prawn har gow and chilli crab and pork xiao long bao demand equal attention.

With affable and attentive service who do their best with a packed dining room, this is a cool and fun place you'll want to take your mates to.

Must-eat dish: Lobster and chive har gow

Price: up to $40 for two courses

Chef: Jake Pregnell

Cuisine: Chinese

Bookings: Yes

Open: Wed Dinner, Thu to Sun Lunch and Dinner

Address: 6 Warner St, Fortitude Valley

Ph: 0431 619 884

Website: little-valley.com.au

Instagram: @littlevalley_

 

STELLAR MAGAZINE RESTAURANT REVIEW of Happy Boy, F
STELLAR MAGAZINE RESTAURANT REVIEW of Happy Boy, F

 

HAPPY BOY

Big-flavoured, generously proportioned Chinese served quickly is the modus operandi of Happy Boy, beside a busy road in the inner-city's Valley. Dining is either on the street-level deck charmingly lit by fairylight-wrapped trees and separated by fold-back windows from the mainly concrete dining room, which is sunken below street level to minimise noise. The menu is the same for lunch and dinner and smaller dishes - such as salt and pepper quail eggs, Taiwanese fried chicken on a milk bun, roast duck pancakes or prawn and pork wontons in a delicious tongue-tingling sichuan chilli broth - are the prelude to a selection of vegetable, seafood, meat and rice/noodle dishes. Barbecued roast duck is crisp-skinned and cut into chunks and so generous in serving size that it would be enough for two with a side. Salt and pepper prawns are encased in a light crisp batter and the dry fried crisp beans with pork mince and chilli are a highlight. There's no dessert, an entirely Australian wine list, with the six by-the-glass options projected on to the back wall, and a craft beer on tap.

Bookings: Yes

Must-eat dish: Barbecued roast duck

Price: up to $40 for two courses

Cuisine: Chinese

Open: Lunch Tue-Sun from 11.30am; Dinner Tue-Sat from 5.30pm, weekend brunch from 9am

Address: East Street, Fortitude Valley

Ph: 0413 246 890

Website: happyboy.com.au

Instagram: @happyboybris

 

 

Qweekend restaurant review: Donna Chang
Qweekend restaurant review: Donna Chang

 

 

DONNA CHANG

Terrific pan-fried cumin lamb buns with a fiery chilli dipping sauce or sesame-studded scampi toast topped with drops of seaweed mayo and scampi caviar are among the potential starters at this CBD newcomer beautifully fashioned from a heritage-listed, 1920s-built bank. The room is double-height, with chandeliers, ornate plasterwork ceilings and opulent pastel-coloured seating at marble tables. Private dining rooms line the mezzanine level and the loos are in the former bank's vaults. The menu is extensive and makes its way through raw items, starters such as Sichuan salt and pepper school prawns, dim sum, live seafood including whole Queensland grouper wood-roasted in paperbark, wood-fired dishes and inventive mains like twice-cooked black silky chicken; cobia fillets blanketed in black bean and salted olive; or roast duck with Davidson plum sauce. Desserts are inventive and could include a Hong Kong-style milk tea and wattleseed crepe cake with milk ice cream or the sweet-sour winner that is strawberry and hibiscus "bubble tea" with young soy curd, Sichuan pepper and yoghurt sorbet. Alternatively, a steamed passionfruit custard bun is a small, sweet finale.

Must-eat dish: Cumin lamb buns

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Jake Nicolson

Cuisine: Chinese

Bookings: Yes

Open: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily

Address: 171 George St, Brisbane

Ph: 07 3243 4888

Website: donnachang.com.au

Instagram: @_donnachang

 

The new restaurant space in Miss Songs at The Vill
The new restaurant space in Miss Songs at The Vill

 

 

MISS SONGS

Bougainvillea spills over whitewashed walls framing a fiery sunset. A poolside panorama of striped umbrellas and designer deck chairs flows past palm trees to an azure ocean bristling with masts. Recent renovations at Townsville hub The Ville have created a restaurant worthy of this world-class view. Alive with the overflow atmosphere of neighbouring drinking hole Quarterdeck, Miss Songs is vibrant in every sense. In the hands of head chef Arie Prabowo (ex Orpheus Island), classic Chinese dishes sing. The favourites - Peking duck; hissing, spitting and sizzling scotch fillet with Cantonese sauce; and Beerenberg honey and lemon Chicken - may be predictable, but there is nothing standard about their execution. If you're taking the better-value banquet route, make sure your choice includes the addictive seafood san choy bau. While not the broadest refreshment list, you won't have any trouble choosing a sundowner from the tropical tipples. The themed Dragon Ball with Hendrick's Gin and Chinese Hua Diao wine is among the more interesting on offer.

Must-eat dish: Seafood san choy bau

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Arie Prabowo

Cuisine: Chinese

Bookings: Yes

Open: Daily from 5.30pm

Address: The Ville Resort-casino, Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Townsville

Ph: 07 4722 2222

Website: the-ville.com.au/dine/miss-songs/

Instagram: @thevilletsv



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