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FOOD & DRINK

Where to Celebrate Your Birthday in Brisbane (and Not Send Your Friends Broke)

Our top picks to celebrate another lap around the sun.
By Eliza Crisp
September 20, 2017
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Where to Celebrate Your Birthday in Brisbane (and Not Send Your Friends Broke)

Our top picks to celebrate another lap around the sun.
By Eliza Crisp
September 20, 2017
  shares

WHERE TO CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY IN BRISBANE (AND NOT SEND YOUR FRIENDS BROKE)

in partnership with

Our top picks to celebrate another lap around the sun.

Choosing a venue to celebrate your birthday can present a conundrum. For social butterflies with extensive friendship circles, the thought of cramming everyone into a 'cosy' restaurant is nothing short of terrifying. On the other hand, if an intimate birthday celebration is more your vibe, then a packed pub with a heaving beer garden is probably out of the question. And then there's the cost factor — no one wants to ask their pals to spend all their cash on one night out.

That's where we come in. In partnership with American Express, we've carefully vetted some of the best venues that Brisbane has to offer for a b-day, where you can also tap that Amex card. The result? We've come up with affordable and appropriate spots for groups of all sizes and budgets. Nobody wants to spend their big day in the wrong place, or panic about the bill afterwards, so these bars, restaurants and hangouts are the cream of the wallet-friendly birthday crop.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.

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    Nativo Kitchen and Wine Bar - CLOSED

    After a place that not only serves up old-school hospitality but is certain to eradicate your hunger morning, noon and night? All-day Italian diner Nativo Kitchen & Wine Bar has you covered. And, if the tried-and-tested lunch or dinner format doesn’t appeal, they’re also open for celebratory breakfasts and brunches. Alternatively, catch a movie at the nearby Palace Barracks Cinemas, then drop by after to treat yourself to a late-night pasta or pizza, or some birthday tiramisu.

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  • 7

    Drooling over the degustation menu at Brisbane darling, Esquire? Book a spot at sister-restaurant esq. Infused with the same food philosophy as its formal counterpart, esq. serves a generous sampling of nibbles, salads (from $10), coal-roasted mains like the Moreton Bay cuttlefish with parsley and garlic ($22) and kitchen favourites like the Chinese-fried quail with fermented chilli ($22) or the creamed polenta with burnt butter sage ($16). Split the hefty rib-eye ($75 for two) with your bestie, or, the best option, order multiple courses to share family-style. With a double-hat rating, this venue doesn’t mess around when it comes to sharply executed, classic dishes with a modern Australian flair.

    Image: Anwyn Howarth.

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  • 6

    With a Middle Eastern-inspired menu that just screams out to be shared, Gerard’s Bistro has the kind of friendly vibe that your raucous friends will love. These guys have hosted some seriously impressive parties over the years — so you can rest assured that they will be pros at whipping up a birthday dinner for you and your closest mates. The plush couches and relaxed environment mean that you will easily be able to scoot around to chat with all of your guests, without the restriction of a traditional table setup.

    Image: Emily Davies.

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  • 5

    If there’s one thing Brisbanites are fond of, it’s Asian fusion dishes. We’re rather spoiled for choice in this river city of ours, but Umami is a strong contender for the top spot. Recently renovated, this Insta-worthy venue is a great pick for a birthday celebration. The food menu is designed to be shared family-style, and some of the cocktails even require multiple participants. Feeling a bit too zonked to make ordering decisions? Utter the fabled words “feed me Umami”, and the staff will deliver six delicious courses ($45) to your table, no questions asked.

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  • 4

    Keep this card up your sleeve for your next birthday bash; The Charming Squire almost has the market cornered when it comes to casual group dining. Nab yourself a table upstairs to enjoy easy access to The Squire’s impressive beer selection, and choose from a sizeable menu of share plates, wood-fired pizzas and bar snacks to go with it. For larger groups, there are five different function spaces on offer, catering for more than 100 of your closest pals. The location is similarly impressive, with the golden trifecta of bus, train and ferry stops just minutes from the front door.

    Image: Anwyn Howarth.

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  • 3

    If your regular drinking buddies are city workers, then convincing them to traipse more than 10 minutes out of the CBD is akin to torture. That’s where Pony Dining comes in. Sitting pretty at the top of Eagle Street Pier, this rustic dining space boasts sweeping views that pack a serious punch. Looking to serve a large group of hungry friends? If there’s 10 or more of you, cut the fuss by choosing from one of the wallet-friendly set menus on offer (and avoid the bill awkwardness when it comes time to pay).

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  • 2
    Sake Restaurant and Bar

    This elegant, modern-Japanese venue will wow groups big or small. With both traditional zashiki-style floor seating and more modern communal tables, there’s an option to suit every party. Order several platters of the generous sashimi combo (from $20) or the chef’s selection sushi set (from $25), and let your friends pick their favourite rolls to share. Throw in a few cheeky bottles of shochu, and you have the recipe for a no-stress birthday celebration that you’ll probably want to roll out again next year.

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    The Apo - CLOSED

    If a former 19th-century apothecary isn’t enough to intrigue your rag-tag group of mates, then we don’t know what is. Boasting two levels plus a 160-person capacity beer garden, The Apo is a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Keep an eye out for their hand-cranked antique cocktail shaker, aka the ultimate conversation starter, then supplement those drinks with a sit-down meal in the laneway overlooking Baker Street. If you’re after something more relaxed than their regularly rotating menu, pre-order a few canapé platters and let your pals loose on bites such as scallop tartare or red wine and garlic lamb skewers.

     

    As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.

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