A UQ student whose favourite method of procrastination is getting out of the house and enjoying what Brisbane has to offer.
Published August 13th 2013
Five star dinners without the five star price tag
Fellow Brisbanites, trust me when I tell you that being on a budget doesn't mean resigning yourself to only ever dining out on $2 Taco Tuesdays. The next time someone says, 'Hey! Let's catch up over dinner,' instead of thinking up an awkward and incredibly fake excuse to get out of having to go without electricity for a week to afford a meal, jump in and suggest one of these mouth-wateringly good Brisbane restaurants:
Tostada El Grande @ La Quinta
La Quinta Oxford Street's best Mexican restaurant is always packed on a weekend and for good reason. Not only are their traditional Mexican meals delicious but they are also enormous. Anything off their comidas menu (all under $20) is food enough while the more costly especialidades meals can easily feed two people for $25. Check out their huge Tostada El Grande (pictured).
Share plates and tapas are the 'in' way to dine these days and jumping on the bandwagon is Popolo, a relatively new Italian restaurant in Southbank. 'Well, duh,' you might say, 'pizzas are Italian and made for sharing,' but it isn't just pizza and pasta on the menu here. Their delectable mains to share include suckling pig, white rabbit ragu and free range chicken, all of which will feed two people for under $30.
Dumplings are taking Brisbane by storm and one of the best places to try them in a truly hipster atmosphere is at Fortitude Valley's Brunswick Social. For $8 a plate, you can afford to try several of their tasty dumplings and deep fried goodies with the added bonus of being able to head straight to the bar afterwards.
Freestyle Tout I'm putting a Valley restaurant famed for its desserts on the list because hey, what's the fun in being a grown up if you can't have dessert for dinner every once in a while? For $15, one of Freestyle's gourmet desserts will send you to a very happy place and leave you glad you didn't get dinner first.
Takeaways at Southbank If $15 a meal is still too much for your wallet to bear, Southbank, arguably Brisbane's best food precinct, has half a dozen far better than average take away joints. Try sushi from Ginga, a gourmet burger at Beastie Burgers, nachos at Guzman y Gomez or classic fish and chips from Deck's Takeaway. Take them down to the river or spread out under the fairy lights in the Cultural Forecourt for a dinner with a view.
So now you really have no excuse to stay home eating cereal for dinner; get out there and enjoy some good food.
$15 for a dessert is fine but it hardly counts as a budget dinner. The thing about Freestyle is, you pay $15 whether it's a gourmet selection of petit desserts or three scoops of ice cream with a bit of cream, marshmallows and fudge. And don't dare ask for different flavours of ice cream or they'll charge you a dollar extra per scoop. Learned that one the hard way. Bit rich.