After Heya Bar closed last year, finding late-night Asian food in the heart of Fortitude Valley became more challenging. Just ask Justin Kong (Melt Brothers, Disco Entertainment).
“In Sydney and Melbourne there are lots of places to go for late-night dining, [but] Brisbane doesn’t have as many,” he says. “A lot of places in the Valley close around 10pm, and there’s [especially] not many options for a late-night Asian feed.”
It’s true. Something like Snack Man is open very late for pan-Asian snacks, but it’s at the northern end of the suburb, near James Street, while the enormously popular (and central) Little Valley tends to close its kitchen a little after 10pm. So Kong teamed up with Patrick Donohue from Fortitude Valley’s Famous nightclub to open Ling Ling in the old Heya Bar space – and bring late-night Asian dining back to the centre of Brisbane’s entertainment precinct.
Kong says Ling Ling’s fit-out – with lots of neon, lanterns and a wall of fortune cats – was inspired by the streets of Hong Kong. The underground space is dim and moody, with dark timber tables and a brick bar. There are also arcade games, pinball and a pool table. From Wednesday to Sunday, DJs start playing at 8.30pm – the idea is to turn the space into a party.
Ling Ling’s pan-Asian menu has smaller dishes, such as sweet-chilli-and-lime karaage chicken, dumplings and duck san choy bow. Larger dishes include pineapple fried rice; lamb ribs; and braised pork belly with sticky caramelised soy sauce. Heya Bar’s iconic cheeseburger spring rolls even make an appearance.
“Heya Bar was known for its cheeseburger spring rolls, and we wanted to keep the tradition going,” Kong says. “They’ve been popular. Everyone’s been coming back for them.”
For drinks, there’s a focus on classic cocktails and signatures such as the Lucky Cat (gin, elderflower, citrus and fresh herbs) and Mango Sticky Rice (vodka, mango puree and cream). There are also teapot cocktails (for two people) and soup bowls (large cocktails for three to five people). Plus, there are a number of beers on-tap and a short wine list – and all drops are available by the glass or bottle.
351 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
(07) 3345 6678
Tue to Sun 5.30pm–late