Best Asian eats in Brisbane

Tickle your taste buds with the salty, spicy, sweet and tangy flavours of Asia at the plethora of Asian restaurants around Brisbane. But with so many to choose from how do you know where to go? Whether you’re wanting Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese or Thai, we’ve rounded up the best Asian eats in town to make your choice a little easier. 

Key:
= meals under $20: cheap and cheerful
$$ = mains under $30: excellent food with cash for drinks
$$$ = mains above $30: a gourmet dining affair

Asian Fusion  

Chu the Phat, South Brisbane: $$$

A welcome addition to the Fish Lane offering, Chu the Phat is a massive multi-tier restaurant with hip interior styling and an Asian fusion street food menu. Devour traditional menu items including steamed duck buns, chicken and mushroom dumplings and barramundi, all with a Chu The Phat twist. There’s also a gluten-free menu.  

Fat Noodle, CBD: $$

Udon know noodles till you’ve eaten Luke Nguyen’s legendary 20-hour Fat Pho Noodles. Signature Vietnamese dishes are found alongside Chinese, Thai and Malaysian hawker-style food, so tuck into late night duck-wraps or epic spring rolls. 

Junk Boat, South Bank: $$

Night Noodle Markets

Take a bao, Junk! Pan-Asian banquets don’t get any better than this. Taking a seat at Junk pretty much guarantees that you’ll be ordering 50 of everything, but we especially recommend sharing the pork belly bao and crispy peking duck spring rolls. You’d be mad not to.

Madame Wu, CBD: $$$

Madame Wu

Once you sink your teeth into the Moreton Bay Bug-stuffed dumplings, we guarantee this Asian-fusion restaurant will be one you never forget. Madame Wu is definitely one to write home about with its tantalising menu and incredibly stellar view on the outdoor terrace.

Quan Thanh, West End: $

Pan-asian eats served in simple surrounds and largely visited by local Asian diners means only one thing – authenticity. Trying to choose from the seemingly never-ending menu of Vietnamese, Chinese and Malaysian dishes can be scary so we suggest the vermicelli salads or Vietnamese pho, just to make it a little easier.  

Chinese

Fat Dumpling, Fortitude Valley & Bowen Hills: $

Fat Dumpling

As expected, Fat Dumpling specialises in dumplings, hot, broth-filled dumplings either poached, pan-fried or steamed for your preference. To accompany your many serves of dumplings, braised pork belly, salt and pepper squid and classic spring rolls are all winners. 

Happy Boy, Fortitude Valley: $

Image credit: @brakingforbreakfast

Pair cheap and cheery Chinese with great wine and you have the popular venue Happy Boy. Spice fanatics will love the sweat-inducing Mapo Tofu in Szechuan chilli sauce while mild dish lovers can enjoy Beijing duck pancakes and eggplant with roast pork belly. 

Little Red Dumpling, Sunnybank, Newmarket & West End: $$

A one-time visit is guaranteed to turn into a fortnightly routine as Little Red Dumpling serves some of the most authentic dumplings in town. Pan-fried pork is the specialty but don’t stop at just one, indulge yourself and order the chicken and prawn, pork chive or lamb and coriander with a side of minced chicken dry noodle to mix up the order. 

New Shanghai, CBD: $

New Shanghai Dumplings

Its location is unsuspecting – a restaurant tucked in a basement next to a food court and a Coles supermarket. But once inside, the interesting décor, chatter and smells will have you forget where you are. Warm your belly with sensational dumplings filled with your favourite filling and a hot, flavoursome broth. New Shanghai in Queensplaza usually boasts a long queue of people waiting to enjoy these parcels of joy, but the line moves quickly and the food comes fast.

Sichuan Bang Bang, Kenmore, Wilston & Paddington: $$

Brisbane’s signature spice central, Sichuan Bang Bang brings us revolutionary and heat-packed dishes from the Sichuan region of China. Enjoy pan-fried crispy beef with peanuts and dried chilli, Kung Pao chicken or prawns, or the fish hot pot that is certainly not for the faint-hearted.  

Japanese

Bird’s Nest Yakitori & Bar, West End & Fortitude Valley: $$ 

birdsnest

Get acquainted with authentic Japanese yakitori – emphasis on the authentic. Try everything from chicken hearts to arteries to cartilage cooked over a hot white coal grill and traditionally served on skewers. 

Hai Hai Ramen, Paddington: $

A flavour-packed but short menu is exactly what the people ordered. Choose from three ramens, three bao buns or three sides but prepare yourself for the drink menu, there’s more than three beers on offer.

Izakaya Kotobuki, CBD: $

Sushi Kotobuki

Ask who does the best sushi in the CBD and there is a good chance someone will say Kotobuki. Every roll is made fresh to order, and the Lion King is what dreams are made of – cucumber, avo and crab rolled up with fresh salmon on top, dressed with cheese and mayo, then blow torched to perfection. By night the kitchen adds white charcoal grilled yakitori skewers to the mix.

Tatsu Yakitori, Fortitude Valley: $

For the money-conscious but starving patron, Tatsu Yakitori is your go to for large servings at very affordable prices. With overflowing bao buns and ramen in face sized bowls, you certainly won’t leave feeling hungry – bite size is not a concept here. 

Sake, CBD: $$$

Sake

Located at Brisbane’s stylish Eagle Street Pier, this chic contemporary bar and restaurant overlooks the buzzing Brisbane River and serves the most breathtaking sashimi. If you’re looking to entertain, opt for the 10-course signature menu featuring favourites popcorn shrimp and kingfish jalapeno.

Taro’s Ramen, CBD & Ascot: $

Taro’s Ramen took out the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide 2017 Best Cheap Eat for good reason. Taro himself is dedicated to the art of ramen, from the broth to the handmade noodles to the free-range eggs. And the ramen contains no MSG or preservatives, and only the best natural ingredients are selected.

Thai

Longtime, Fortitude Valley: $$$

Slip down the leafy laneway and into popular restaurant-slash-bar LongTime. It's the sort of place that calls for a cocktail with dinner and the lobster curry is a must, although you can never go wrong with any of the dishes. 

Mons Ban Sabai Thai, Camp Hill: $$

Holding the title of ‘Brisbane’s best Thai restaurant’ for the past three years, means you won’t get a bad meal at Mons Ban Sabai Thai. If you’re a Thai perfectionist, order the slow cooked beef cheek massaman curry – you won’t regret it. 

Thai Naramit, Hendra: $$

When a restaurant is close to capacity on a Tuesday night, you know you’ve come to the right place. Chow down on all your Thai favourites at this local hotspot with authentic and flavourful dishes including Moreton Bay bug choo chee curry, Pad Naramit and soft shell crab pongaree. 

Vietnamese 

Café O Mai, Annerley: $

It may have western influence, but Café O Mai certainly serves up traditional and delicious Vietnamese street food. Tuck into un-PHO-gettable soups, spicy noodle and egg noodle soups, vermicelli noodle salad and classic mains including Vietnamese chicken curry, Banh Xeo Vietnamese crepe and Bo Kho veef. 

Mrs Luu’s, Milton, Bowen Hills, CBD & Southpoint: $

Mrs Luu’s Vietnamese Canteen

Serving the classic Vietnamese dishes, grab the specialty French-Viet bahn mi filled with your choice of meat, pickled carrots, cucumber, coriander and house mayo and pate. With four locations around Brisbane, Mrs Luu’s is fastly becoming a cult favourite. 

Roll’d, CBD: $

Roll'd serves grab-and-go Vietnamese street-style food favourites made fresh daily. Convenient and delicious, stop in for a rice paper roll or two, a roast pork noodle salad or classic pho before continuing on your shopping trip.