Thai with a twist – Spice Den heads up the coast for its new Brisbane City restaurant
The inner-city dining scene has been preparing for a spicy arrival ever since it was announced that Gold Coast dining institution Spice Den would be bringing its signature brand of Thai cuisine north. Now, the doors to Spire Residences’ ground-floor eatery are open, and an alluring aroma is spreading down Queen Street. If you’ve been hankering for some flavoursome banquet-style cuisine and creative cocktails, then a pinch of spice might be what you’re after.
We’re not entirely sure who coined the phrase ‘spice up your life’ (a famous quintet, perhaps), but we know for a fact that Casuarina locals have been living by this motto for years. Gold Coast dining institution Spice Den has been plating up its iconic interpretation of Thai cuisine since 2012, earning a rep that has extended as far as Brisbane. After years of pining on our part, the team behind the concept has finally brought Spice Den north, securing a chic space at the base of Spire Residences on Queen Street. Spice Den Brisbane boasts a strong aesthetic direction that creates a moody and striking vibe, from the cushy maroon leather seating and intimate booths sheltered by cascading thread to the dark colour palette of the interior at large, copper fixtures, timber finishes and strip lighting. The restaurant also spills out into the building’s main lobby of an evening, where those seeking to unwind can linger over a cocktail or two (or three) from the stylishly appointed bar.
Spice Den couldn’t keep its name without an A-game in the spice stakes, and the culinary team has more than earned its stripes over the years. Spice Den Brisbane has carried the popular Casuarina menu over in its entirety, plating up tantalising Thai favourites that are perfect for sharing or savouring solo. All-star dishes include the acclaimed chicken pad thai, wagyu pat see yuew, sticky beef ribs, vegan san choy bow and twice-cooked crispy pork belly. Should you be eager to test your mettle with something spicy, you’ve got options. The royal red curry with boneless duck leg, vegetarian panaeng curry, hot green prawn curry or pat prik king with wagyu beef will pack a serious punch. If you do need to take the edge off the heat, look to Spice Den’s sizeable drinks list. Cocktails such as the frozen mango daiquiri, pear and ginger martini and the raspberry and rosemary sour will satisfy, but there’s also plenty of beer, wine and cider to quench thirsts, and even mango lassi and strawberry and passionfruit frappes if you need to neutralise your sizzling mouth.
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