Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a writer and actor. I lived in Brissie for 10 years (after moving there for uni from the Sunshine Coast), in St Lucia, West End, South Brisbane, Spring Hill, Fortitude Valley and Annerley. I studied creative writing at QUT Kelvin Grove. I now live on Gadigal land (Sydney) with my boyfriend and my tabby cat, Bean.
What do you love about Brisbane?
It’s so relaxed, winter lasts about three seconds, everything is close by, the roads are so wide and well maintained (I noticed this after living in Sydney), and there’s so much green space around for chilling out and picnicking.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
So many new restaurants pop up in Brisbane all the time (seriously, each time I come home it feels like there’s a new restaurant or bar), but my go-tos are normally in South Brisbane. Trang Restaurant in West End for a weekday pho, and Bird’s Nest or Julius Pizzeria for special occasions. At Trang and Julius I’m sitting outside on the pavement so I can people watch, and at Bird’s Nest I’m either at a table (with a big group) or up close and personal, getting my face flamed where the chefs are cooking up yakitori. For my last birthday, my family and I booked a huge table at The Greek Club and ordered a feast.
Where do you brunch or breakfast?
Cafe o Mai in Annerley, for its mixed Vietnamese and Western menu, because sometimes you just need that extra choice. It has the most beautiful house-made pastries, too. My favourite things are the lychee-and-mint frappé and deluxe vegan pho, but I’d recommend trying everything because it’s seriously all good.
Tell us about your favourite shops
I like the James Street boutiques in New Farm. Vintage store trawling in Paddington. The Suitcase Rummage, when it’s on. And Avid Reader Bookshop in West End. (My brother [writer Benjamin Law], sister [photographer Tammy Law] and I worked there collectively for over a decade.)
When you want to impress someone, you take them where?
Mt Coot-tha for the beautiful view; a walk around South Bank and along the river at night (with an ice-cream) to charm them with the sparkly lights; and Goma for the world-class art.
What are the city’s most underrated places?
Yatala Drive-In cinema for a cute date night. Chambers Flat strawberry farm for strawberry picking with the kids in your life. The farmers markets in the city for the range of fresh produce. Yum cha at Enjoy Inn in Hamilton because it’s less crowded than other places, and Asian people eat there – which is always the best sign. The picnic spots at the base of the Kangaroo Point cliffs, because they’re less busy than other spots close to the water.
What’s your fave weekend getaway?
The Sunshine Coast, where I was born and grew up. My eldest sister and brother-in-law live there so I’ll normally visit them and hang out with their dogs on their property.
Give a shout to a small business that makes the city a better place
West End local legends and the owners of Avid Reader Bookshop, Fiona Stager and Kev Guy. Avid is a family-owned business with a strong community focus, and I love that their passion for literature has seen them expand into Where the Wild Things Are, which is a kids and young adult bookshop where young readers from Brisbane and beyond can get specialist advice. I would have killed for a store like that growing up.
Is there an essential Brisbane experience?
A City Cat ride along the river.
Michelle Law is an actor and writer working across theatre, film, print and TV. She’s written a number of plays, including Single Asian Female and Top Coat, which is being staged by the Sydney Theatre Company in June. She co-wrote the SBS show Homecoming Queens, and the book Shit Asian Mothers Say, with her brother Benjamin Law. Her latest book is Asian Girls Are Going Places: How To Navigate the World as an Asian Woman Today (Hardie Grant). Buy it here.
This is the first instalment of My Brisbane, a regular column discovering the places and spaces that captivate and entice Brisbane’s well-known residents, past and present.