So, your passport has been collecting dust and your suitcase is starting to miss being manhandled by baggage staff. While escapades overseas may be currently off the cards, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience what the world has to offer. Let the globe be served to you on a silver platter with all the authentic cuisines that call Brisbane home. From L.A. to Spain, Italy and so much more, the opportunity to eat, play and stay your way around the world has never been closer!
Middle East | Mecca Bah
With each bite of grilled halloumi, garlic chicken kebab, and Za'atar bread dipped in hummus, you’ll be sent further and further into the aromatic bazaars and exotic tapestry of the Middle East. However, there’s no need to place all your spices in one basket by committing yourself to one dish – the Middle Eastern experience is one of community.
The round table-style dining at Mecca Bah is designed for plates to be passed, laughs to be shared and to make you feel a part of the family. From mezze plates to vegetable tagines, stone-fire pizza, dukkah finished salads, and Mediterranean seafood, there’s something for everyone to feast on. Even their cocktails can be poured to every glass on the table.
Plus, the grill isn’t firing for only lunch and dinner. Mecca Bah serves breakfast every day from 8am with Moroccan beans, homemade falafel, and toasted Turkish bread all featuring on the menu. They also offer a unique take on high tea for $49 per person, which includes sparkling on arrival, savouries and sweets, as well as unlimited tea and coffee for two hours. And, if you want to bring the Mecca Bah experience home, they offer cocktail and cooking masterclasses perfect for corporate team-building or celebratory shenanigans.
New York | DannyBoys
Take a bite out of the Big Apple with New York-style subs that take the humble sandwich to rockstar levels. Making the perfect sandwich is the bread and butter of these local foodies, who have mastered all the right combos you need to get your hands on.
The DannyBoys story actually begins in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, where Director Daniel McKennariey worked as a private chef on super yachts and private estates. Fuelled by a passion to make the simple sandwich the best it could be, he took his vision home and launched the Kelvin Grove location. Nowadays, every piece of bread is baked in-store with no sugar and no preservatives. They roast and slice their own meats, hand slice all their cheese, and make their own sauces. From the original ‘Hero’ with free-range chicken breast, mozzarella, red onion, DannyBoys’ ranch dressing and homemade buffalo sauce, to the best-selling ‘Halfbrick’, which was invented with the help of the guys who created ‘Fruit Ninja’, their menu is a hit!
Just like bacon and eggs, DannyBoys know a sandwich and bowl of soup go hand-in-hand, and they've been pouring the same four soups since day one, including the ever-popular broccoli cheddar. Plus, all the same favourites will be coming to Brendale in their new store, opening mid-August!
Los Angeles | S.K. Steak & Oyster
Classics from the City of Angels are expanded and finessed between soaring ceilings and beige leather booths in this swanky restaurant. Over a long lunch and a cheeky martini or two (or three), you’ll be sure to feel like Hollywood elite.
True to its name, steak and seafood are the stars of the menu in prawn, bug and lobster cocktails, and a sumptuous selection of cuts cooked to perfection just the way you like it. The straightforward dishes are further backed by strong and simple sides, including SK’s twist on the traditional wedge salad with blue cheese dressing and a potato menu that takes even the humble mashed potato to the next level. As the pianist on SK’s baby grand soothes the evening way in classic tunes of the last century, you’ll be truly transported to La La Land.
Italy | Bar Pacino
Italian cuisine always tastes best when it’s enjoyed under the stars, and stunning views overlooking the iconic Story Bridge certainly doesn’t do any harm either. Whether your fork finds its way into Napoli sauced meatballs, beef ragu arancini, basil pesto gnocchi or the Godfather of parmigiana – the Don Corleone with rosemary salted fries, Bar Pacino will make you an offer you can’t resist.
Work to play is a seamless transition when Friday knock-off drinks are spent sipping on Aperol spritz, colourfully curated cocktails or throwing back one of Bar Pacino’s famous Nutella shots. Or, if you can’t wait til 5pm, take your Thursday or Friday lunch breaks with Bar Pacino’s delicious menu of Italian eats, including prosciutto pizza, antipasti, and calamari salad. Once you’re seated in the restaurant, you won’t ever need to stand up because their new addition, Uorda, allows you to order at the table so everything comes straight to you.
If you’re looking to celebrate more than just the weekend, Bar Pacino also offers a large private area or shared spaces throughout the venue to say cin cin. However, an ordinary Saturday night at this Eagle Street spot already includes plenty to rejoice – it’s an Italian sensation every single week!
Hong Kong | Stanley
Named after Hong Kong’s Stanley Bay, authentic Cantonese is brought to Howard Smith Wharves in the world-class dining experience at Stanley. Vast yet intricate is the best way to describe the 200-seat restaurant in both menu and design, with intoxicating touches and contemporary takes on tradition paving the way to refinery.
Two banquet menus are currently on offer that incorporate the greatest of Stanley. From Kung Pao chicken to roast duck spring rolls, steamed coral trout with ginger, and fresh chilli-laden salt and pepper squid, the cuisine is a showcase of local produce and flavours found across the seas. Under the moody lights and walnut timber, you’ll also find a wine list that features 400 bottles carefully curated to amaze.
Middle East and Mediterranean | Ovolo The Valley
Forget a staycation – a visit to Ovolo The Valley will truly whisk you away into an urban wonderland. The designer hotel stands out from the crowd with curated quirks, eccentric furniture, eclectic art, and surprising hints of whimsy pocketed in every corner.
Bold and evocative, each room serves as both an aesthetic paradise and an ode to effortless living. The playful furniture radiates personality without hinging on comfort and includes complimentary breakfast, 24-hour room service, a free in-room mini bar, and Amazon Alexa. Experience a world full of wonder, in our very own Fortitude Valley.
Ovolo also understands that the best holidays are when your whole heart gets to come with you, which is why their V.I.Pooch package means your furry friend receives the luxury treatment too. For an additional $80, they don’t just allow your dog to come with you – they’ll be sending all the puppy love with amenities (and treats) to pamper you both, including a snuggly doggy bed, a doggy bag packed with specially-designed toys and pet-friendly staff always on hand.
Tel Aviv | ZA ZA TA Bar & Kitchen
The wonders never cease at Ovolo The Valley, with their exotic signature restaurant offering another opportunity for you to be in the middle of two worlds colliding. On a sprawling, colonial backdrop, ZA ZA TA Bar & Kitchen blends centuries-old flavours with a distinct, modern twist in dishes designed to be shared. Break bread over conscious cuisine, including their new 100% vegetarian menu inspired by the plant-based capital of the world, Tel Aviv. Whatever your everyday looks like, Ovolo provides the fanciful oasis in the setting of an urban retreat for all.
Spain | Rico Bar and Dining
Don’t be surprised if you feel the need to break out into flamenco once you’ve taken a bite of Rico’s zesty paella. Serving up a delicious blend of Spanish and Latin fare made with local Australian produce, to call these dishes tantalising is a huge understatement.
Fresh and flavoursome are the rules of the game at Rico Bar and Dining. The tapas offer sharp bursts of splendour in patatas bravas, chargrilled octopus or braised pork empanadas, while larger appetites are expertly handled with Argentinian-style lamb shoulders, seared ocean trout and, of course, seafood paella. Plus, it wouldn’t be a fiesta without freshly shucked oysters on the table, which is why Rico offers six different flavours that never fail to delight.