Louis Tikaram came up clocking hours on the pans at several of Sydney’s most significant restaurants – Bentley, Tetsuya’s and Longrain – before making a name for himself in the States as the founding chef at Los Angeles’ EP & LP restaurant. In 2019 he returned to Brisbane to open his revered Cantonese restaurant Stanley at Howard Smith Wharves.

But where does one of Brisbane’s most beloved chefs dine when he’s off the clock? Broadsheet caught up with Tikaram to chat everything from takeaways and teppanyaki to coffee and cake.

What’s your go-to for a quick takeaway?
Doodeeboran! The super spicy and fresh chicken larb, beef salad and sticky rice are my ultimate takeaway dishes.

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And for a drink and snacks?
Bar Francine in West End is the absolute best spot for an afternoon snack and bottle of wine while watching the sun go down.

If it’s a special occasion, where are you headed?
Martin Boetz’s new spot in the Valley called Short Grain! Really great service and a beautiful space – it’s perfect for a nice date night with my wife.

Where’s your favourite for great pastries?
Christian Jacques bakery in Kangaroo Point. When I first moved to Brisbane in 2019, we lived right down the street – it has been my favourite ever since. (It also sells one of Brisbane’s best kouign-amanns.)

And where do you think does the best coffee in town?
Salt Coffee Roasters is easily the best spot for coffee. They also serve my favourite toasties in Brisbane – perfect for that post-workout bite on the way to work.

How about a meal with a big group of family or friends?
Billy’s Pine & Bamboo is the perfect place to eat with a huge group! The menu and massive tables with the lazy Susans are such a good time. The staff are also so friendly and accommodate the large groups with ease.

Where’s the best place to eat with kids?
Yakiniku Hachi Japanese barbeque restaurant is a really fun restaurant take the kids to. They love to cook at the table and I also really enjoy the interaction and teaching them. It’s super comfortable and there’s plenty for kids to eat on the normal (adult) menu.

Who do you reckon does the best desserts?
I recently dined at Moo Moo Wine Bar & Grill and really loved all the desserts and cheese selection. I feel it’s a part of the dining experience that is often overlooked by chefs, so it was really great to see them pushing really hard to keep their customers happy.

What’s your favourite dish on the menu at your restaurant? Tough one I’m sure…
I have recently found a consistent supply of pippies from Lennox Head, which is really close to where I grew up. They are fresh, plump and so tasty and it really reminds me of home and my childhood. We are cooking them up with XO sauce and crispy noodles! It’s a delicious dish with some of the best local produce.

And is there a hidden gem that you think is underrated but great?
Fiddle Leaf cafe in Bulimba! Often, I feel like something completely different for breakfast on a Sunday with the family and the menu at Fiddle Leaf is exactly that; the food has a strong Mediterranean/Middle Eastern influence with so many items that are completely new to me, like sujuk.