This New Japanese Izakaya Hides A Secret Speakeasy Bar With Yuzu Margaritas

Sandos ahead

By Dinushka Gunasekara | 22nd November 2022

Did you know the Japanese word ‘izakaya’ is made up of three kanji, which translate to “stay-drink-place”? As quite possibly our favourite combination of three words, it’s safe to say we’ll be pulling up a seat in Brisbane’s new creative Japanese-inspired dining experience, Izakaya Publico

Mirroring the izakayas hidden away in Tokyo districts’ side streets, the modern take on the traditional includes a secret speakeasy bar as well as the only warayaki grill in the country. Tucked behind giant red doors at the recently opened Hotel Indigo Brisbane City Centre, the space is truly worth seeking out, with hand-painted artworks and murals created by local Queensland artists adorning its walls.

The 90-seater eatery is led by Executive Group Chef Sumit Batra (who also oversees Zuma restaurant at Voco Brisbane City Centre) and Executive Sous Chef Chris Jang (previously Nobu, Stanley, and Hellenika). The menu features raw, skewers, coal grilled, noodles, fried, tempura, sando, and sweet items, championed by wagyu, sashimi, miso, and freshly caught seafood. 

Izakaya Publico’s signature cocktails are also one for the books, particularly the Yuzu Margarita with tequila, yuzu, lime, and Cointreau, or the Japanese Slipper made with Midori, Cointreau, and lemon. Of course, it wouldn’t be a legitimate Japanese experience without sake or shochu, so Izakaya Publico has a bottled selection to impress. 

Looking for a nightcap? The speakeasy Bar 1603 is perfectly situated with Japanese whisky on hand.

Izakaya Publico is now open at 27-35 Turbot Street, Brisbane City. Book here.

By Dinushka Gunasekara A self-proclaimed Spotify connoisseur who plans her weekends on Monday, Dinushka’s least favourite time of the day is in between meals.




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