Pavement Whispers: Volume 439 December 19
Pavement Whispers: Volume 439 December 19

Pavement Whispers: Volume 439 December 19

From news of Ramona Trattoria’s lively osteria-style sibling to Byron Bay’s new sashimi-slicing haven, The Weekend Edition is always on the search for the latest food news in Brisbane, dedicated to ensuring its readers are in the know. When we put our ears to the pavement this week, this is what we found out …

Bar Rocco
Coorparoo eatery Ramona Trattoria was one of the best newcomers of 2022. The restaurant (owned and operated by chef Ashley-Maree Kent) easily won over Brisbane diners with its menu of traditional Italian eats, including the likes of Campanian fried-mozzarella sandwiches, piping-hot pizzas and pasta that is kneaded, cut, shaped and served by hand. In what will no doubt be exciting news for many, Ashley is expanding her Coorparoo footprint. Before Christmas she’ll softly open Bar Rocco, a lively 30-seat Italian-style osteria, in the space next door to Ramona (previously home to Paella Y Pa’mi). Firmly rooted in the same community-centric ethos as its restaurant sibling, Rocco will give locals a more casual space to connect over relaxed and traditional Italian flavours. Ashley will be using a wood and coal grill to cook the majority of Rocco’s share-style small and large plates, which will be imbued with some playful and charming twists. Expect a clutch of pizzetta, steak and fish mains, house-made salsiccia condita (seasoned sausage) with beans and smoked-tomato butter, plus a whole new dessert menu. Drinks will be a bigger focus at Bar Rocco, with a generous wine list of 40 options (including a number of higher-end wines available via Coravin) and an expanded cocktail offering curated by The Meniscus Co. (keep an eye out for the pannetone negroni) also expected to feature. Bar Rocco will be marking its official opening this Saturday December 23, with bookings for 90-minute sittings (offering a $69 set menu and free-flowing wines) available to book here.

Tokyo Doll
Byron Bay has scored a fun and delicious new sushi-slinging, sashimi-slicing haven that’s well worth travelling over the border for this summer. Back in September, Byron Bay locals Jack Tupper, Laurie Rose and William Ennis swung open the doors to Tokyo Doll in the Mercato on Byron precinct on bustling Jonson Street. From here, the crew – with head chef Dan Zenou – is serving traditional Japanese cuisine fused with flavours from all corners of Asia. In addition to the high-quality sushi and sashimi, Tokyo Doll’s menu also features crispy panko-crumbed chicken katsu with a daikon, orange and chilli salad, fresh poke bowls with proteins like spicy tuna and kingfish, and a fish curry loaded with fragrant Asian herbs. Tokyo Doll’s bar is lined with a solid collection of traditional Japanese sake, shochu and umeshu, alongside a varied wine list with plenty of fun drops. The cocktail menu journeys from unexpected sips like the Midori-spiked Tokyo Milk Punch to heavy hitters like the gin-based Tokyo Martini with sake and melon brine. Read more about Tokyo Doll over on The Weekend Edition Gold Coast.

Amora Brisbane
Keen to plan a little staycation in the coming months? Consider booking in for a few nights at Amora Brisbane – a newly transformed luxury hotel nestled in the heart of The City on Creek Street. The Amora Group acquired the building (formerly home to Novotel Brisbane) in 2020, quickly putting plans in place for an extensive $30-million makeover process. The rejuvenation was completed recently, with the team lifting the cloche on the 14-storey hotel’s new Cottee Parker-designed aesthetic. Described as a free-flowing biophilic oasis of natural textures (think decorative rattans, walnut tones and tan fabrics) and luch greenery, Amora Brisbane’s new subtropical-inspired look is spread across 296 rooms, 14 floors, an elevated outdoor pool and deck, fitness studio and sauna, and a host of conference and event spaces. Each of Amora Brisbane’s rooms are equipped with new luxurious beds, lavishly appointed bathrooms and open wardrobes, but those seeking a truly high-end experience should book to stay in the hotel’s Amora Premier King, Amora Premier Twin rooms and Amora Balcony suites. Occupying the top two floors, these rooms boast a complimentary seasonal mini bar, ELEMIS skincare products, freshly brewed pod coffee, and terry bathrobes and slippers. Soon the hotel will reveal details of its new dining concept, which will celebrate Australian native ingredients. Stay tuned for more!

Lost Souls Karaoke
In case you missed the news, last week the Netherworld team expanded its presence at the northern end of Brunswick Street, taking over another wedge of the old Shamrock Hotel to open Lost Souls – a karaoke spot with a hellishly fun edge. Lost Souls opened over the weekend, giving its first wave of guests a peek inside its five themed rooms (two of which can fit up to eight and another three with capacity for 20), each designed by artist Nelson Gibbins to resemble a different realm of purgatory. Each realm is overseen by a monstrous overlord – in one room it’s a giant mutant toad, while another is ruled by a giant skeleton. Lost Souls has partnered with Singa, installing a touchpad in each room with access to a library containing thousands of songs. The venue also boasts its own eight-tap bar, which dispenses a concise edit of Netherworld’s full tap list as well as an extensive cocktail set up. But, if you don’t want to interrupt your singing marathon, you can also order drinks to your room via QR codes. Get the full lowdown on Lost Souls here or head to the Lost Souls website to make a booking!

If you’ve heard something that’s worth mentioning in The Weekend Edition’s Pavement Whispers, email [email protected].

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.


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