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Brisbane’s Riverside Quarter flies high as the culinary collective grows

April 16, 2014 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

THE IMPERIAL TO OPEN this Wednesday April 16 – reflecting modern Chinese cuisine

Amid the tall corporate timber of Brisbane’s booming commercial riverside precinct is a collection of multi-award-winning and breakthrough dining venues; a culinary collective surrounding a square where people work, gather and meet, an assembly overlooking the mighty Brisbane River. The ancient Greeks called such a meeting place Agora; we call it the Riverside Quarter.

With the city’s flagship high-rise tower in The Riverside Centre as its anchor, the Riverside Quarter is where Eagle Street and the Brisbane River merge, and it’s home to some of the city’s most exciting restaurants, bars and eateries –Jellyfish, Friday’s, Little Singapore, Baba Ganouj, Pig ’N’ Whistle, Groove Train and Wrapped, and the just opened benchmark venue Black BirdThis is not all. Next week THE IMPERIAL will open and later in May Navala Churrascaria. 


The Imperial is set to showcase and celebrate the flavours and regency of modern China from Wednesday April 16. Boasting a signature position on the Brisbane River at the Riverside Quarter in the CBD, The Imperial pays homage to the famous spice-blends and cooking principles that make Chinese food so famous. Specializing in authentic cuisine inspired by modern Cantonese flavours, The Imperial’s menu and style is a reflection of the modern food movement in China, one that’s been influenced so intensely over the past few years by many international chefs.  Bringing the menu to life are three former Hong Kong chefs, all famed for their respective specialties – flavours will be delicate, aromatic and fresh, with seafood a very strong element. The menu can be enjoyed through Yum Cha or the a la carte option, with distinctive traditional dish garnishes a feature.

Executive Chef at The Imperial is Mr. Raymond Wu, who worked in Hong Kong’s famous seafood restaurants Tai Woo & Golden East Lake for some 31 years. His signature dishes are Peking Roasted Duck, Wok Fried Seafood (Hong Kong Shelter style) and Steamed Seafood in XO sauce. Sous Chef is Mr. Chiu, another Hong Kong chef and one who specialises in Sichuan and Shanghai cuisine, having worked in Hong Kong’s Royal Garden Hotel and Maxim Catering Group for 11 years. Dim Sim Chef is Mr. John Leung, famed in Hong Kong for his speciality over 30 years! His signatures are Prawn Dumpling, Xiao Mai and Shanghai Pork Dumpling.

“China’s palate has changed incredibly over the past 10 years, influenced by international flavour sets, and the world’s best chefs. Rather than the typical “fusion” menus seen so often in restaurants which showcase international menus, The Imperial will reflect the Chinese culinary landscape of 2014 and beyond,” said Mr Larry Wang, owner of The Imperial.

Fourteen chandeliers create a ceiling of stars in the restaurant, one which seemingly floats atop the Brisbane River with 180 degree ceiling-to-floor glass views to the Story Bridge and the Brisbane River. Seating up to 200 with VIP rooms available, and decorated in a stunning black and gold theme with a signature fishtank as the welcome wall, The Imperial is set to become Brisbane’s landmark modern Chinese Restaurant, testament to the internationality of the city’s palate.

The Imperial – Riverside Quarter, Riverside Centre (off Eagle Street on the Brisbane River), 123 Eagle Street, City. Ph: 07 3221 2121 – Opening Hours Sunday to Thursday from 11.30am to 3.30pm and 5.30pm to 9.30pm; Friday and Saturday from 11.30am to 3.30pm and 5.30pm to 10.30pm. 


Named Australia’s best seafood restaurant, Jellyfish is international acclaimed, renown for serving up to 14 varieties of fresh fish daily, including local fresh line-caught fish goldband snapper and coral bream. Their superior wine list offers boutique and eclectic vineyards as well as favorites from the New and Old World. Service in the restaurant, the Private Dining Room and in the bar is standout. Contact:  07 3220 2202

2013 Best Seafood Restaurant in Australia; 2013 Best Seafood Restaurant in Queensland; 2013 Shortlist for Australia’s Restaurant of the Year


When the Ghanem family opened the hugely anticipated Black Bird Bar and Grill in late February, it set a new benchmark in opulence and excellence.  From the virtual galaxy of Michelin stars floating around the heads of Executive Chef Jake Nicolson and Head Chef Anthony Donaldson, to the stunning 1920’s, 1920s inspired décor, the stunning views of the river and Story Bridge and the amazing wine list and cocktails – Black Bird is one of most exciting new restaurants and bars ever seen in Australia. Contact: 07 3229 1200 

Pig ’N’ Whistle

Pig ‘N’ Whistle opened in December 2002, as an authentic British pub for expats, locals and tourists to visit to enjoy great ales, much-loved and iconic dishes and the true welcoming atmosphere found throughout Britain. It is now one of the most popular pubs in South East Queensland, and a flag bearer for the paddock-to-plate mantra. The venue is also the premiere live sport venue in Queensland. Contact: 07 3832 9099

2013 winner of Agforce Queensland’s Best Red Meat Restaurant in Brisbane; Silver – 2013 Golden Bean awards (national) for their own coffee, Mantle & Moon. 

Friday’s Riverside

Friday’s Riverside is Brisbane bar royalty, a truly iconic venue, a touchstone for Brisbane’s city maturity.

Now boasting the Waterline Restaurant, a modern Australian and seafood restaurant with stunning views of the river, cliffs and bridge, Friday’s Riverside is a restaurant, bar and dining experience that sits atop the Brisbane River and beckons to all the city. Contact: 07 3832 2122 

Groove Train

The Groove Train Riverside is a buzzing social hub where customers leave their day at the door. Originating from Melbourne in 1998, this unique riverside venue opened in 2008 offering modern Australian and Mediterranean inspired dishes in a stylish setting.  Contemporary and edgy, and partnered with uninterrupted views of the Storey Bridge and Kangaroo Point, it offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Contact:  07 3220 0420

Baba Ganouj

Baba Ganouj opened in 2013 and combines fresh, modern Lebanese cuisine with a fantastic atmosphere in the Riverside Quarter. Traditional cooking methods date back thousands of years and the Lebanon flavours are true and strong.  Contact: 07 3221 0235

Little Singapore

Little Singapore Riverside is the latest edition to the Little Singapore restaurant group. Opening in 2013, it became Brisbane’s sixth Little Singapore franchise, offering its flavor-filled and aromatic modern Singapore and Malaysian style cuisine to those visiting and working at Riverside Quarter.  Contact: 07 3211 1118


Wrapped Cafe firmly believes healthy food needs to taste good too – and so their offer of delicious gourmet sandwiches, salads, wraps and rolls are full of flavour. For the early risers breakfast catering is available from 6.30am and includes freshly squeezed juices and barista made coffees. Family owned and run.  Contact: 07 3236 2767

Opening late May 2014: Navala Churrascaria

While still shrouded in secrecy, this incredible new dining experience will set Brisbane on fire, and bring a sense of theater and aroma to the Riverside Quarter like no other. A real first for Brisbane and respecting a style of food preparation which dates back hundreds of years, the entire style and service of this venue is completely new to the city, is taste driven and very exciting.

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