Babylon Brisbane

Sydney's Babylon has launched a 120-seat Brisbane restaurant by the river on Eagle Street.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 01, 2023


Heroing Eastern Mediterranean-meets-Middle East cuisine, Babylon started serving up dishes and drinks in Sydney back in 2019, pairing its bites and sips with a prime rooftop location. Making the leap north, the chain has opted for a similarly stellar destination for its Brisbane debut: a riverside spot on Eagle Street in the CBD, aka Babylon Brisbane.

At a 120-seat restaurant with a 14-person private dining room, Brisbanites can now tuck into lunch and dinner at Babylon's Sunshine State locale, which hails from Mantle Group Hospitality (aka the Queensland-based company behind the Pig 'N' Whistle pubs, The Charming Squire, Jimmy's On the Mall, The Sound Garden, The Summit, Tai Tai, Milano and more). The kitchen is overseen by Head Chef Ferdinand Sari, who has put together a share-heavy menu with his Babylon Sydney counterpart Robert Taylor. On the Levantine cuisine-inspired lineup: meze, gozleme and house-made breads, plus a heap of dishes cooked over wood and charcoal on a three-metre-long mangal (aka a Turkish grill) — or on two rotisseries — and a big focus on seafood.

Sari and Taylor have split Babylon Brisbane's menu into three sections: flora, fauna and ocean. The first includes wood-fired pumpkin kebabs with coriander, lime, Aleppo chilli and muhammara; spiced fried cauliflower with Ras el Hanout, lemon, black tahini, almond and parsley; and wood-roasted broccolini with harrisa tarator, walnuts and pomegranate molasses — as well as everything from pan-fried haloumi to baked rice pilaf.

Among the fauna selection, highlights range from wood-fired chicken skewers with kisir, tomato and yoghurt to slow-cooked lamb shoulder with garlic labneh — and also wood-fired angus beef hunkarbegendi-style with chilli butter and radish. And, that seafood lineup features locally sourced king prawns with harissa, raki, lemon and soft herbs; wood-grilled Fraser Coast squid with muhammara, yoghurt dill and lime; and half-shell scallops with salmon caviar.

Folks dining in groups can also choose from two set menus, sharing either nine or 12 dishes (for either $75 or $95 per person). For dessert, sweets options span chocolate tahini with caramel sponge, sesame and Turkish coffee ice cream; a range of house-made baklava with walnut pistachio and chocolate; and Turkish delight.

If you're keen on a drink, pick between 12 beers on tap and ten by the bottle, a hefty lineup of wines and a 12-strong cocktail list that's filled with standouts. The spritz choices feature elderflower, grapefruit, peach and apricot, and Babylon has even turned baklava into a boozy concoction. Or, try its twists on the sour (made with Yeni Raki), margarita (with mezcal, agave, chilli and green capsicum) and espresso martini (a Turkish take featuring Turkish coffee and cardamom-infused Metaxa 7 brandy, chocolate liqueur, orgeat and cold brew).

As overseen by Brisbane's Hogg and Lamb, the architects behind the Sydney venue, the design vibe riffs on the Babylon look and feel already established down south while still taking its influences from the titular metropolis of old. Think: terracotta brick screens, red marble tabletops, mahogany chairs and pink banquettes, plus a ten-metre green marble bar.

Also, if you're keen for a drink in the open air, head outside to Babylon Garden — the restaurant's two-tier outdoor sibling bar.

Images: Steven Woodburn.


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