It’s always a good time to indulge in fancy seafood. We scoured the city for the best fish and shellfish dishes around, spanning pastas, rolls, tacos, sashimi, mousse, croquettes and much more. Then, when it comes to getting the bill, you can pay in confidence knowing these venues welcome American Express.
The daily catch is hauled in to George’s every morning to fulfil a whopping seafood menu. Given the freshness of the fish, dishes are best kept simple with a side of veggies and squeeze of lemon, but there’s always scope for a dollop of housemade tartare sauce too. Try the barbecued baby octopus, or if you’re feeling ravenous, opt for the salty, buttery whole sole (ask the waiter to flip it if you don’t fancy wearing those itty bitty bones).
If dining with a buddy, there’s nothing like ploughing into a giant share dish of fragrant paella. And if you want the best in Brisbane, you'd best front up to Fogata. The restaurant’s Latin American team serve seafood paella plated with finesse and loaded with super fresh ingredients. Market fish is sourced from Australian waters and usually includes wild barramundi from the north, and the mussels arrive to the restaurant still kicking. Chuck in some prawns and a sprinkle of magic and voilà!
Let this riverfront restaurant’s sea-inspired name hint at its speciality. At Jellyfish, a rotating selection of between 8-14 types of fish rolls in every morning, ensuring only the big blue’s finest hits the plate each day. The back of the menu is updated with the what and where so you can see the barra was plucked from Queensland’s Coral Coast while the dory was pulled in NZ. Order a curated dish from the main menu or select one of ten batter and crumb styles to encase your fish of choice.
Sono is a longstanding Japanese institution in Brisbane. While the menu ticks off the usual sushi, yakitori and tempura, it also has a few refined options geared for the seafood lovers among us. The house speciality is grilled New Zealand black cod, which is smothered in a traditional saikyo miso sauce for 48 hours before hitting the plate. Then at the premium end you can call in a live lobster – served sashimi style, grilled with avo, or pan-fried with garlic.
When it comes to seafood, Fresh N Wild is what it says. This open-plan restaurant at Hamilton specialises in the fruits of the sea, which can be eaten in or purchased for the road from the fish market down the back. Produce is sourced from Australian waters and includes Pacific oysters and Tassie salmon. Ask for your fish simply grilled, or amp it up by ordering a meal from the specials list, like silky soft barramundi dressed in a spicy chilli sauce.
If you want your seafood bite sized for some mix 'n’ match fun, get amongst the buzzing atmosphere of Olé. Given the Spanish are a social bunch, the menu is designed to share and features a lengthy choice of tapas (small bites) and raciones (large plates). Seafoody goodness comes in the form of pez espada – salty smoked swordfish balanced with crème fraîche, and boquerones – a little bowl of plump twisted anchovies sided with rock salt, fresh chilli slices and white shallots.
Satay Ria isn’t the fanciest nor cheapest place in town, but if you’re partial to feasting on sea creatures, pull up a plastic chair and run your eyes over a menu of 30+ seafood dishes inspired by Malaysia’s coastline. Go traditional with king prawns in a spicy Malaysian curry, or appease your western tastebuds with Chinese-style sweet and sour sauce. If feeling indulgent, splash out on the chilli crab, which can be offset by ridiculously cheap wine.
Saké is all about refined modern Japanese food and expectedly comes with a decent selection of fresh seafood. The bandana-wearing chefs put a spin on old-school classics, with kingfisher sashimi served with jalapeños and coriander-infused ponzo; tempura snapper dolloped with wasabi yoghurt; and house-favourite popcorn shrimp dunked in cream sauce. True to its title, there’s a range of sake on offer, including infusions of strawberry flowers, perfumed anise and balsa wood.
Another kitchen creative who hopped through Asia to land in Australia is Oshin’s Malaysian-born chef, who mastered the art of Japanese cooking in his home country before immigrating to Australia in the 1990s. His prowess includes the delicate slicing of fresh sashimi, which sits under a glass counter for patrons’ perusal. Choose from teeth-sinking-soft kingfish, prawns, salmon and tuna sourced from local suppliers and eat it au naturel or bundled into sushi. Scope options on the daily lunch special.
When devising their simple bar menu, the GB crew decided Queensland’s seafood would be a perfect match for their housemade brews. Hence you can kick your munchies with a bread roll stuffed with a creamy mix of Moreton Bay bug or Mooloolaba prawns, or go all out with a seafood platter laden with oysters, prawns and juicy bug. The warehouse turned bar gets pretty steamy on a summer’s day, making a cold beer and crustaceans pretty damn appealing.