Gerard’s Bistro, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Australia.

It will come as no surprise that the first thing I do when booking flights somewhere, is to research my destinations dining scene, and as Gerard’s Bistro in Brisbane came highly recommend by several friends, it didn’t take much Insta-stalking to put them firmly at the top of my Brisbane Must-Eats.

Combining the flavours of the Maghreb and Middle East, Gerard’s Bistro’s menu offers a modern take on classic dishes using locally sourced ingredients with traditional technique

I was scared to miss last orders and so turned up for my 9:30pm reservation straight from the airport, suitcase in tow (good thing I travel light) and was one of just a few guests on the Wednesday evening I visited (Brisbane, it is safe to say is not a late night nightlife destination)

The lovely lady who served me could not have been helpful, and after ascertaining I was familiar with most of the terminology on the menu, from my time in Beirut, offered to show me which dishes could be served as a half portion, in order to allow me to try more of the menu (Levantine food is very much designed for sharing) which was much appreciated.

Whilst the menu list plenty of delicious looking seafood options, I chose mostly vegetarian as I was tired from the flight from Singapore and for one reason or another seem to prefer vegetarian food when I am run down or sleepy.

Excuse the TERRIBLE photos – it was dark!

Potato Kataifi, Sunflower

You may have seen Kataifi as a sweet dessert, alongside Baklava, noticeable for its thin strands of pastry (for Brits of a certain age, they look similar to Dougal from the Magic Roundabout!) but here it is serve as a little amuse bouche almost, as a little nest made from thin strands of potato atop a lemony sunflower hummus.


Wagyu Basterma, Muhammara, Walnut

Whilst I don’t usually eat beef, I guessed from the price that a 1/2 portion of Wagyu basterma (Armenian spice rubbed air dried cured beef, sliced thinly like Cecina) was not going to be very large and as I haven’t been able to eat Basterma since I lived in Beirut, I decided to go ahead and try it. The Basterma was delicious, nicely aged and spiced, but the real standout was the (definitely full portion) bowl of Muhammara (a spicy Syrian pepper & walnut dip) which was the best I have ever eaten and yes, I polished off the lot!

Summer Mezze, Broadbean Miso, Hummus, Mint

I loved the addition of miso to the broadbean “hummus” it added a great depth of flavour to it and was lovely and refreshing alongside the crunchy chunks of different types of cucumber. One of those dishes you could just keep snacking on, and on, and on…

Heirloom Tomato, Aged Tahini, Malawach, Bisque

Tomato and tahini is, in my mind, one of the worlds truly great flavour combinations, only improved on here with the addition of malawach (a Yemeni Jewish flatbread, not a million miles away from Singapores Roti Prata) which you use to scoop up the tahini with.

Falls Farm Cabbage Skewers, Ras el Hanout

One of Gerard’s signature dishes, don’t be put off by the simple description. The spiced charred cabbage skewers Arte probably eaten by people alongside one of their meatier dishes however they were still a great stand alone dish. The chickpea, miso and lime sauce with pomegranate molasses adds a lovely sweet/sour note to the earthy cabbage, and as I could literally drink tahini, found the accompanying sauce of aged tahini another sure fire hit.

Plum Sorbet, Halva, Fig Leaf Z’ataar

Whilst I had been tempted by the Carrot molasses and Saj bread ice-cream, I really wanted to finish the night on something a little lighter and more refreshing, and the plum sorbet with fig leaf z’ataar was exactly that. I love the astringency of fig leaf and it was a great counterpoint to the tart plum sorbet. A great end to a great night!


I absolutely loved Gerard’s bistro, and it was definitely the highlight of my meals in Australia. My bill, with a cocktail (a beautiful sumac old fashioned) a couple of glasses of local wine, and a coffee, came in at just under $100 USD which I thought was very reasonable for the experience.

Gerard’s Bistro

Gerard’s Lane, 14 / 15 James St, Fortitude Valley Brisbane, QLD 4006.

Tel: (07) 3852 3822.

Open Monday – Wednesday 6pm- Late / Thursday – Sunday 12-3/6-Late

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