We’ve all been there. Maybe it was your little sister’s Christmas play, maybe it was during the high notes of Phantom of the Opera. You’ve just found a comfortable sitting position when your tummy starts rumbling loud enough to be heard over the orchestra. And suddenly you wonder… what was the last thing you ate? You were so busy getting ready for your night of class, culture and sophistication that you forgot to eat dinner!
Don’t risk all eyes turning on you the next time you get tickets to a show, take a look at our list of Brisbane’s best spots for pre-show dining, wherever you’re going, and make sure you can enjoy your night on a full stomach.
Before you head for the ballet, dance your way into Peel Street Grill and Cellar for a juicy steak from their grill that will keep you sated right until the curtain call. Especially if you have time to grab a double chocolate ice cream sandwich for dessert. You can even head back after the show and discuss choreography over cheese, charcuterie and boutique wines at the bar.
Before getting stuck into the drama of the opera, enjoy the delicious simplicity of Julius Pizzeria’s wood-fired pizzas and pastas. Although there are new specials every week, we can never go past the pappardelle with duck and tomato ragu. Finished off with a panna cotta, of course.
Though the cast of Cats might be disappointed, Fish Lane Bistro’s menu does not exclusively feature fish. In fact, it’s dishes like blue cheese soufflé and crisp skinned twice-cooked duck that will have you in a food coma before the curtain goes up. We also recommend giving yourself a pre-show sugar hit with their salted caramel and shortbread espresso martini.
Get into a giggly mood with an aperitif on the river before you’re seated for a night of comedy and the evening will be al the merrier. Paired with their zucchini fritters and a big pot of chilli, garlic, white wine and tomato mussels, it will have you ready for laughs in no time.
With an uninterrupted view of the Brisbane River, you could be forgiven for thinking WATT is the show you’ve come to see. And with tender braised short rib pappardelle, seafood chowder with clams and mussels and sweets like lemon doughnuts with milk chocolate and fairy floss to dine on, you might be a little late for the curtain call.
Off to hear some sweet tunes at the Powerhouse? Make sure you won’t be interrupting any poignant pauses with your tum and sit down to charcuterie (complete with bacon jam), Peking duck pancakes and a warm lamb salad first. Then Lock ‘n’ Roll a rum, rockmelon and ginger ale cocktail before you go and find your seats.
Celebrating Australian cuisine with a French twist, Anise’s menu is almost diverse as the performances at the Judith Wright Centre. Think duck croquettes, Wagyu tartare with fig and chamomile panna cotta all paired with Australian wines and French champagne. Just the kind of unique fare you need before a bit of interpretive dance.
If there’s anything that will get your cultural juices flowing, it’s an Italian feast like those served up at Giardinetto. You might not find the cabaret quite so seductive after a big bowl of chicken, spinach and gorgonzola risotto, but you sure won’t be hungry.
So who’s up for some Shakespeare?
Words by Rebecca Grady