Brisbane’s food and drink scene has been in a Covid-19-enforced shutdown since March 23. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still order some of the city’s most iconic menu items, as restaurants and cafes pivot towards takeaway.
Some of these dishes are fancy, many are not. Some come from restaurants that have never before let their meals travel beyond the front door, while others are by old hands that have only recently reopened.
Either way, these are some of Brisbane's best signature dishes that you can now enjoy at home.
Gnocchi With Pork and Fennel Sausage at 1889 Enoteca
There’s a clutch of 1889 Enoteca’s pasta dishes that you could slot into this list – the cacio e pepe, say, or the spaghetti carbonara – but it’s this Woolloongabba classic’s brilliant handmade gnocchi with pork and fennel sausage, parmesan cream, and black truffle tapenade that remains the standout. It’s so popular it’s been regularly selling out on Friday and Saturday nights. In short, don’t mess around this weekend.
Secret Bacon-and-Egg Roll at Morning After
This compact “ugly but delicious” bacon-and-egg roll has become an off-menu staple at Soula and Yianni Passaris’s celebrated Morning After cafe in West End. You can get it for takeaway or delivery. Delivery is handled by the cafe for West End, and Uber Eats in other locations.
Margherita Pizza at Tartufo
Tartufo has transformed itself into a classy takeaway restaurant with a tight selection of entrees, mains, pasta and desserts. Still, it’s the extensive menu of woodfired Neapolitan-style pizza that’s arguably the standout. Keep it simple with a margherita or a primavera, or push the boat out with the Pizza Tartufo – a tomato-based prosciutto and porcini mushroom superstar that has pork sausage and truffle paste encased in the crust.
The Classic at Ben’s Burgers
Ben’s Burgers has finally reopened, which means you can once again enjoy Ben and Nick Chiu’s celebrated burgs around your own dining table. The Classic – a straightforward beef patty number with onions, lettuce, tomato and cheese – is frequently touted as Brisbane’s best burger.
Duck Ragu Pappardelle at Beccofino
The Teneriffe urban legend is that there was once an uproar when Beccofino chef and co-owner Cordell Khoury tried to take the restaurant’s duck ragu pappardelle off the menu. But the real story is even better: “I went to buy an apartment and the guy who was selling it said, ‘I’ll give you a better deal if you agree to never take the ragu off the menu.’ And it’s never come off since.” Either way, it’s one of Brisbane’s best known pasta dishes, and is available either for pick-up or delivery via Deliveroo.
Tonkotsu Ramen at Taro’s Ramen
Ask any Brisbane ramen tragic to tell you who does the best tonkotsu noodle soup in town, and they’ll invariably say Taro’s. Taro Akimoto builds his broth using prized Bangalow sweet pork, white pepper and garlic, before he pressure cooks it down into a creamy, rich ramen finished with house-made noodles, nori, half a free-range egg and sliced Koji-marinated pork. This is perfect comfort food, particularly as we head into winter.
Vietnamese Chicken Ribs at Hello Please
Hello Please has reopened for takeaway, meaning you can now enjoy at home its brilliant crispy Vietnamese-style chicken ribs served with green chilli soy and sesame. Pair them with a beer or bottle of wine from the restaurant’s classy drinks list.
Lobster Katsu Sando at Honto
This brilliant crustless number is a lesson in contrasts: bland meets sharp; soft meets firm; highbrow meets low. The sandwich’s crunchy lobster meat is offset by the herbaceous zing of its salted dill and cabbage slaw, making for a surprisingly sophisticated but approachable snack. It’s now available on Honto’s abridged takeaway menu.
Double-Baked Crab Souffle at Montrachet
There are Montrachet regulars who order the restaurant’s signature double-baked crab souffle with gruyere cheese and light cream bisque as an entree, and then back it up with a second for mains – it’s that popular. The souffle is on the menu for Montrachet’s dine-at-home service, where the restaurant delivers semi-prepared meals for you to finish at home. You can find out more here.
Banh Mi at Scotts Road Takeaway
No, Darra’s Scotts Road Takeaway hasn’t closed – it’s simply moved around the corner to Railway Parade. There, you can still find some of the best banh mi in Brisbane, including this tiny takeaway joint’s iconic Vietnamese roast pork roll. There’s no great secret to its popularity – just a super fresh baguette, crisp and crunchy pork crackling, a generous scattering of salad and just the right amount of Vietnamese butter. For $5, you can’t lose.