Hello Please unveils its new Fish Lane digs and menu of Southeast Asian eats
Since the earliest days of the Fish Lane boom, Hello Please has been humbly hawking some of Brisbane’s finest Vietnamese-inspired street food. The little shipping container kitchen that could, Hello Please has stood the test of time despite being conceived as a temporary fixture from its conception. As Fish Lane starts to fill in its remaining nooks and crannies, Hello Please has evolved – securing a permanent spot further down the laneway. Officially open to the public as of Tuesday December 10, Hello Please 2.0 has given its team more elbow room to experiment and deliver a complete expression of their stand-out booze and food selection.
When the Hello Please team first opened their humble laneway street-eats joint in August 2016, they knew – boom or bust – that were was an end point on the location’s tenure. The three-year lease they signed would wrap up just before the start of a projected development of their corner of Fish Lane, meaning that for all intents and purposes, Hello Please would operate as a lengthy pop-up. The concept’s Vietnamese street-food-centric offering was resoundingly popular among Fish Lane wanderers, with the venue’s poky shipping-container kitchen and bar and spacious open-air seating area creating a comfortably informal spot to dine. Despite its popularity, Hello Please’s growth was hampered by its tiny footprint – prep space in the kitchen was limited, and the availability of its outdoor dining area was strongly dictated by the capricious nature of the weather. In the lead-up to the lease’s end, the team started weighing their options. If Hello Please was to stay, it would have to remain in the local area. Fortuitously, Aria Property Group was also keen to keep Hello Please as a Fish Lane fixture, offering the crew (who had since opened Maeve Wine around the corner) a cosy space on the junction of Fish Lane and Hope Street, just near longstanding boozer The Fox Hotel.
The move was a no-brainer for a couple of simple reasons – this corner space is fully enclosed (meaning capacity isn’t at the whims of the elements), and it offered room for a separate bar and kitchen (meaning there was more room for equipment and stock). Over the past month, a crack team of fit-out specialists including architectural practice Bones Studio and construction wunderkind Oliver Burscough of Woodsters got to work shaping the space. The original shipping container kitchen was moved and installed inside next to a brand-new cold room and enclosed casual dining space, with some extra bells and whistles installed to help improve the menu. Further inside sits the bar, where up to 60 guests can linger over drinks and snacks while waiting for a table at one of Fish Lane’s nearby restaurants or a show at QPAC. Hello Please’s black facade has been coated in a tentacle-heavy mural by Sunshine Coast artist Claire Matthews, while the signature striped umbrellas have been replaced by an aesthetically similar yellow-and-white awning. In the coming weeks, the footpath will be activated to accomodate outdoor seating, bolstering the buzzy vibe surrounding their slice of South Brisbane.
The food and drink
With more prep room and equipment at his disposal, chef Jessie Stevens is able to expand and tinker with a larger array of Southeast Asian flavours. Hello Please’s menu now strays away from a Vietnamese-centric offering, weaving in elements of Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Thai cuisines for a well-rounded menu. Mouth-watering morsels include the likes of Korean beef tartare, Chinese bolognese, soy-roasted duck leg, Hainanese chicken salad, Xinjiang cumin lamb ribs and a selection of stuffed bao. This is just level one – expect the menu to sprout new additions as the kitchen team adjusts to the new space. Likewise, the bar offering is expected to evolve, though guests can already sip signature cocktails such as the yuzu spritzer, kaffir lime margarita and plum negroni. Hello Please’s bar team is looking to experiment further down the line, possibly adding top-notch plum wines and liqueurs, sake and Asian soft drinks, as well as playful spins of yuzu-infused slurpees and boozy bubble teas. Maeve’s wine expert Eleanor Cappa is also helping shape the wine list, so expect some excellent vino to make its way into the Hello Please rotation. Moving forward, Hello Please will also start hosting private functions – no matter the weather!
Hello Please is now open to the public. For operating hours and extra details, head to the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.