A Taste of Italy: New Vapiano Restaurant Opens | Garden City

Uber popular Italian restaurant chain, Vapiano's, has just opened a new restaurant at Garden City and the pasta is life changing!

Garden City is THE dining hub that every foodie in town is talking about. In case you hadn't heard the outdated, boring outdoor dining area recently underwent a major renovation. It emerged from the dust as a shiny, vibrant new Brisbane dining precinct!

So fellas... now when you take your lady out to see a movie at Event Cinemas you have a hell of a lot more dinner options to choose from. No more Hogs Breath, or Mad Mex for your girl. I'm sure your wallet won't be too happy about that...

The Garden City restaurant is the fifth Vapiano to call Australia home. Vapiano's is also located in Sydney, Melbourne, Surfers Paradise, and the Brisbane CBD

Vapiano began in Europe in 2002 and now there are more than 150 restaurants in 26 countries, on 4 continents. So when we say it's 'uber popular' that's not an overstatement. 

One thing that sets Vapiano apart from the rest is their revolutionary dining concept. When you arrive you are given a chip card to charge your meals to. These chip cards allow customers to dine at their own pace. If you want to relax with a few of your mates and have a few drinks before ordering you can! No problem! There's no rush. Order as much as you want, when you want and simply present the card to the cashier upon exit to pay. 

Vapiano's is all about creating classic Italian recipes using fresh, local Australian produce. Wherever they can Vapiano source their fresh fruit and veggies within a 150km radius of each restaurant. You know their herbs are fresh because you can see them growing all around the restaurant. There are even olive trees growing in the middle of some of the shared dining tables!

All of their pasta, pizza dough, pizza sauces, and salad dressing are made on site each day. You can even watch as the pasta is being made from your dining table. Be careful though, it can be a bit hypnotic...

The pasta has a 24 hour shelf life - doesn't get much fresher than that does it?! 

All of the house wines at Vapiano are locally sourced from regional wine makers like Clovely Estate in Queensland, and Innocent Bystander in Victoria. 

The Vapiano team have a special bond. They are like one big family. The Australian restaurants all have that friendly, relaxed vibe. It's evident from the look on the staff's faces that they legitimately love working there! You will even find some of the staff members delicious creations on the menu at Vapiano like the White Chocolate Cheesecake, and Nutella Cheesecake.

In conclusion, the hype is true, the food is superb. Vapiano's is open daily from 11am to 11pm - get down there!

Hot Tip: 
All desserts at Vapiano's are only $5.90

Gamberi e Spinaci
White Chocolate Cheesecake 

Vapiano on Urbanspoon

*AmeriAus was the guest of Vapiano Garden City.

The Big Apple meets Brisbane: NY Brew Company | Fortitude Valley

Brisbanites- Welcome to New York!

NY Brew Company opened it's doors a few weeks ago in the TCB building (one of Brisbane's oldest buildings) at Brunswick Street Mall. The venue promises to bring a taste of The Big Apple to Brisbane! It seems very fitting that it's located in the 'suburb that never sleeps' ... (aka Fortitude Valley)

Owner Todd McGregor says the venue is inspired by New York's spirit of aspiration and optimism.

“We’ve created a sophisticated venue of class and distinction that takes the best elements of what New York offers and puts a Brisbane twist on it,” he said.

You'll find a thirst inspiring selection of hand picked local craft beers, imported beers, and high quality cocktails on the drinks menu at NY Brew Co. They also have wine on tap which is becoming very common in Brisbane. We tried it for ourselves and it's actually amazing. So crisp and refreshing!

On the food menu you'll find restaurant quality, New York inspired street food. Burgers, hot dogs, and pizzas with a modern spin. Perfect companions to a cold brew!

“We wanted to bring New York style eating and drinking to Brisbane and do that in an authentic, grown up way,” Todd said.

We think Head Chef Adam Clements nailed that! The menu is sensational. 

The unique, beer wall-style bar at NY Brew features locally brewed American style beer from popular Brissy breweries like Green Beacon, and Fortitude Brewing as well as interstate and international beers. 

New York Brew Co. also has kick ass live music on the weekend. Making it a top place for a relaxing Sunday session. It's easily secured a spot as one of our favourite drinking places in Brisbane.

*AmeriAus was the guest of NY Brew Company.

Sharing is Caring! Communal Bar & Eat House | Brisbane Square

There's a new kid in town and it's time you've met! 

A few weeks ago a trendy, new gastro pub opened it's doors in Brisvegas. Communal Bar & Eat House now calls Brisbane Square (aka Redacliffe Place) home. Brisbane Square is shaping up to be quite the dining precinct! The square is already home to Cafe Brisbane, Chow Down, and Meat & Eat. This doesn't come as much of a shock to us...the square is prime relestate!

Mesmerizing views of the Brisbane River with the elegant, heritage listed Treasury Casino as a backdrop... what's not to love.

Communal Bar and Eat House features 24 beers on tap, and 4 wines on tap. After work drinks anyone? 

The star of the show would definitely be 'Big Bird'. No, we're not talking about the over sized yellow bird from Sesame Street. Big Bird is a massive, yellow tiled Italian wood fired pizza oven- way better right?!

As soon as we walked in it was love at first sight...like something straight out of a romance novel. If loving Big Bird is wrong we don't want to be right...

Magical wood fired pizza-deliciousness is not all Communal has to offer... You will also find fresh seafood, salads, steaks, and burgers on the menu. 

As the  name hints, Communal is all about a shared dining experience. So, gather around one of their long share tables with a group of your closest mates, order up a refreshing cocktail jug, and tuck into one of their mouthwatering share platters.

Next time you find yourself wandering around Brisbane Square with a rumbling tummy- Get Communal!


Beef Short Rib with Slaw and Mac -n- Cheese

Communal Bar & Eat House on Urbanspoon
*AmeriAus was the guest of Communal Bar & Eat House

New look, New menu: Wickham Hotel | Fortitude Valley

It seems odd that I've lived in Brisbane for about 2 years now and had never visited The Wickham...

For those not in the know...The Wickham is an iconic Brisbane pub and restaurant, established in 1885. Earlier this year The Wickham underwent an extensive renovation and emerged from the dust with a sparkly, new look.

The dance floor was transformed into a beautiful new corner bar, and a vibrant outdoor oasis now stands where the car park use to be. There is also an upstairs nightclub and newly refurb'd gaming room!

Even though the heritage listed building has undergone some major changes and the pride flag no longer flies on the outside façade, the Wickham are still staying true to their LGBTI heritage.

In 1996 The Wickham became a dedicated LGBTI- friendly Brisbane venue. Since then the Wickham has played a major role in the LGBTI community like hosting Queensland's largest LGBTI party - Big Gay Day.

Oriental Duck Sliders

“When the Wickham turned gay in 1996, it rode the crest of the wave of social progression by becoming a gay bar, and the hotel continues to be a trailblazer with the most recent changes,” Wickham spokesperson Patrick Macdonald said in an interview with Star Observer.

The Wickham are hoping the new renovation will make the hotel appealing to people of all backgrounds (straight, gay, foodies, etc). 

Chilli Prawn Pizza

“The LGBTI community might view Brisbane as sleepy because that’s what they are used to being given in the Brisbane LGBTI scene. The Wickham will be a game changer and will actually reflect the vibrant and diverse community that it is representing. In Brisbane, times have changed, people have changed, and our venue needs to reflect that. To fail to progress as a venue would be to fail to acknowledge how far we’ve come as a city.” said Macdonald to the Star Observer. 
They definitely have grabbed these two foodie's attention. We stopped in for lunch to sample some of the delightful dishes you can find at The Wickham. 

Wild Mushroom Arancini with Parmesan Truffle Aioli
The Wild Mushroom Arancini with Parmesan Truffle Aioli was definitely a stand out dish. Crunchy on the outside...creamy mushroom-goodness on the inside. Perfectly prepared. Don't even get me started on the parmesan truffle aioli...

Life changing. 

Word to the wise...The Chilli Prawn Pizza is NOT for the faint hearted. It packs a real punch! Soooo delicious but if you can't handle the heat...then well... stay away. 

The staff at The Wickham were so welcoming and friendly. The AmeriAus team had a pleasant experience. We will definitely be back. Check it out for yo'self! 

Top picks: 
Wild Mushroom Arancini - MUST TRY!

Wickham on Urbanspoon
*AmeriAus was the guest of The Wickham Hotel.

The Ultimate New Year's Eve Round Up | Brisbane 2014

*sings* "Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon..."

Can you believe 2015 is almost here? 

Yes, you made it through another year! The end is in sight. Get out a pen & paper, time to start making your resolutions... What do you hope to accomplish in the new year? Thinking about a career change? We'll be making our standard resolution this year no doubt: Get fit and eat healthier...

Who knows? This could be the year we make good on our resolution. The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to make big changes.

Our resolutions for 2015 may differ but our New Year's Eve plans should all be the same...

P - A - R - T - Y 

It's time to celebrate! Gather close with those you don't want to lose in the New Year and welcome 2015 at an epic bash! Without further ado...here are some of the BEST places to celebrate NYE 2014:

The Ultimate New Year's Eve Round Up

2. Bar Pacino 

Price: $300 per person

Celebrate 'Capodanno' in style at Brisbane's newest (and coolest) riverside bar - Bar Pacino! Tickets for this exclusive event are on sale NOW and it promises to be one of the hottest NYE celebrations in town. It includes Bar Pacino's famous canapes & platters all evening and an open bar. This VIP event is limited to 200 lucky guests and tickets are $300 per person.

To make a booking, please contact:

Bar Pacino - 175 Eagle Street, Brisbane City
Ph: (07) 3221 2397 or email at barpacino@outlook.com

2. Jamie's Italian 

Celebrate New Year’s Eve the Jamie’s Italian way with spectacular food and service.  Sit up at the antipasti bar and watch the chefs create items like the antipasti plank and salads or enjoy the a la carte menu, created by Jamie Oliver together with fellow Chef and lifelong mentor, Gennaro Contaldo.

Abundant with atmosphere and family friends appeal, Jamie’s Italian is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner with bookings and walk-ins welcomed.  

To make a booking, please contact:

Jamie’s Italian Brisbane - Rowes Arcade, 237 Edward Street, Brisbane City
Ph: (07) 3144 3000 or book online at www.jamiesitalian.com.au

3. Soleil Pool Bar

Welcome the New Year’s Eve in a luxe poolside setting at Brisbane’s hottest new venue - Soleil Pool Bar brings a little French Riviera glamour to New Year’s Eve with the St Tropez NYE 2014 cocktail party.

The six hour drink package includes free flowing Moet Champagne all night, Belvedere vodka, Patron tequila, Havana Club, a selection of cocktails, quality beers (including Heineken, 150 Lashes and Rogers), Pipsqueak cider and a selection of premium wines. All accompanied by a plentiful selection of delicious canapés from Chef Mark Penna's kitchen. DJ's will keep the party going into 2015. Tickets to this VIP event are just $249 per person, and are on sale via Brisbane Tickets. Buy ten tickets and get one free! 

To make a booking, please contact: 

Soleil Pool Bar - Podium Level, Rydges South Bank, Cnr Grey and Glenelg Street
Ph: Shenae Marks (07) 3364 0826 or email at shenae@soleilpoolbar.com.au.
4. Emporium Hotel

Price: $65 per person

Why not welcome 2015 at Queensland's Best Luxury Accommodation! Yes, that's right the stunning Emporium Hotel recently snapped up the award for third time, granting it admission into Queensland Tourism's Hall of Fame.

Think Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, and Audrey Hepburn... because an evening of Old Hollywood Glamour and Elegance awaits you at Emporium Hotel. “They say the way you spend New Year’s Eve is an indication of how you’ll spend the next year. In that case, channel your inner Mad Men, and prepare to celebrate the way Old Hollywood did, in magnificent, intimate surrounds, with Cocktails, Champagne and fabulous others,” said Hotel General Manager, Mr Peter Savoff.

Tickets are $65 per person and three Hollywood inspired cocktails (or premium tap beers) - all served with canapes.  A glass of Mumm Champagne at midnight, live DJ, lucky door prizes and much more! 

To make a booking, please contact:

Emporium Hotel - 1000 Ann Street, Brisbane City
Ph: (07) 3253 6999 or email at events@emporiumhotel.com

5. Pony Dining

Price: $125 per person

Have a memorable NYE with your loved ones while enjoying a delicious three course dinner with a glass of sparkling at Pony Dining! Tickets are $125 per person. Pony is also offering a VIP Outside Dining Option. You can watch the dazzling firework display over the Brisbane river from the comfort of your dinner table.

To make a booking, please contact:

Pony Dining - Upper level 18/45 Eagle Street, Brisbane City
Ph: (07) 3181 3418 or email at events@ponydining.com

6. Laruche

Price: $130 per person

Fly first class to Mexico with Laruche this NYE! Quirky Fortitude Valley bar Laruche is throwing a Mexican fiesta. Each year Laruche invites guests to fly 'Air Laruche' to an exotic location, with sumptuous food, drinks and entertainment. This year flight NYE2015 is offering guests a 5 hour ALL INCLUSIVE package from 7pm 'til 12:30am valued at just $130 per person.

Enjoy unlimited premium spirits, wine, sparkling, and beers from the best local and imported labels. There will also be Mexican inspired cocktails! The Laruche team will be serving up a range of gourmet canapes inspired by Mexican street fare.

Purchase your boarding passes here -Tickets

Laruche - 680 Ann St, Fortitude Valley

7. Dutch Courage Officer's Mess

Price: $130 per person

DCOM is throwing a WILD SAFARI party for their first ever NYE event! Come dressed in your best Tarzan or Jane get up and show off your jungle boogie moves. DJ Popshelf will keep you dancing through to midnight with his funky tunes. Tickets $130 per person and include 4.5 hour premium beverage package, and delicious canapes & finger foods.

To make a booking, please contact:

Dutch Courage Officer's Mess - 51 Alfred St, Fortitude Valley
Ph: (07) 3852 4838 

8. The Fox Hotel

Price: $99 per person/ $149 per person

London's calling you to The Fox Hotel! Count down the final hours of 2014 and celebrate one of the world's most vibrant cities at The Fox. There are two very exciting packages to choose from:

'Pubs, Clubs, and Palaces'- this 4.5 hour package includes  access to the Tanqueray Centre Stage, Our House, The Pimms Palace and London Mega-Club with premium beverages, London Summer BBQ plate and delicious dessert canapés all for $99 + booking fee. To make a booking, click here: - Tickets

'Kate Moss Rooftop Bar' - this 4.5 hour package includes  to all areas, including the rooftop with views to the New Year’s Eve fireworks, accompanied with a premium beverage package inclusive of beer, wine, premium spirits and cocktails. The New Year’s Eve rooftop package also includes a London Summer BBQ plate and dessert canapés all for $149 + booking fee. To make a booking, click here: Tickets

The Fox Hotel - 71-73 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane

9. Sake Restaurant & Bar

New Year’s Eve Harajuku Pop-Up -

Indulge in a contemporary Japanese banquet this New Years Eve as Saké Restaurant & Bar kick off the celebrations with a Harajuku Pop-Up Night from 6pm til late. 

Saké Restaurant & Bar will be serving up a special Izakaya (bar menu), cocktails featuring Japanese New Year favourite Hakushu Highballs, and a DJ spinning tracks for Brisbane revelers to taste a snippet of Harajuku.  Come and have your photo taken on the Saké deck with the Saké Harajuku girls.  Plus it’s Free Entry!

Saké brings a little Tokyo edge to Brisbane!  Be sure to get on the guest list quick!

New Year’s Eve Dinner –

Saké Restaurant & Bar is celebrating New Year’s Eve in style this year with a relaxed a la carte dinner menu before the midnight fireworks on the Story Bridge.  Diners can enjoy the dynamic a la carte menu from Head Chef Daisuke Sakai or choose from two banquet menus, both available for $88pp.  Dine early from 5pm – 8.30pm or book a table for two or a group of friends from 9pm onwards, just in time for the clock to strike twelve.  (T&C’s apply).

To book, please contact:

Saké Restaurant & Bar - Level 1, 45 Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane
Ph:  (07) 3015 0557 or Email:  reservations@sakerestaurant.com.au

10. Bavarian Bier Cafe

Add some Bavarian flavour to your New Year’s Eve celebration this year where you can ‘Proust!’ (toast) your friends and family with Pure Bier and indulge in some tasty fare at Bavarian Bier Café.

Choose from pretzels to pork knuckles and schnitzels to strudel, all available across the a la carte menu, plus a festive New Year’s Eve 3 course set menu for $75pp.  Boasting panoramic river and surrounding views, the venue also offers Bavaria-loving patrons the best spot in the precinct to watch Eagle Street Pier’s fireworks spectacular at midnight.

To welcome 2014 in true Bavarian style, please contact:

Bavarian Bier Café – Level 1, Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane
Ph:  (07) 3015 0555 or Email:  reservations@bavarianbiercafe.com.au

11. Riverbar & Kitchen

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Tiki Nights at Riverbar and Kitchen.  Enjoy an exclusive fireworks display, roving entertainment and two incredible bands to bring in the New Year.

Receive a drink on arrival plus canapés and nibbles throughout the night for only $99pp.

Secure your spot by contacting:

Riverbar and Kitchen – Riparian Plaza, Promenade Level, 71 Eagle Street, Brisbane
Ph:  (07) 3211 9020 or Email:  functions@riverbarandkitchen.com.au

If there are any other NYE events you think should be included in our list send us an email: ameriausblog@gmail.com

*This list was compiled with assistance from CoCom Communications, Kath Rose & Associates, and Moubment Group. 

Recipe | Quick and Super Easy Hummus

The talented Geoff Barker from Geoff's Kitchen is back again to share another tasty recipe with us!

This recipe definitely has our tummy's rumbling. There's nothing like relaxing with a creamy hummus dip and warm pita bread... Check out the recipe below. Surprise your family and friends with delicious home made hummus this weekend!

Basic Hummus Recipe

1 Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed with outer skin removed
1 Tablespoon Tahini Paste
1 Clove Garlic
Juice of one lemon (equivalent of 3 tablespoons)
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
Rice Bran Oil*
Salt to taste


1) Drain and rinse the chickpeas then remove the outer skin by holding the chickpea between your forefinger and thumb and gently squeezing**
2) Add all ingredients excluding the oil to a blender or food processor & pulse
3) Using a spatula, scrape down the side of the blender, add a small amount of oil and pulse
4) Continue to repeat Step 3 until the hummus is at desired consistency, add salt to taste if required
5) Serve immediately dressed with paprika and oil***


* Rice Bran Oil is my preferred for this recipe as it has a mild flavour however you can substitute Olive Oil if desired

** It is not necessary to remove the outer skin of the chickpeas however, the final result is a smoother hummus

*** If not serving immediately, transfer to an airtight container with a layer of oil on the top of the hummus and refrigerate; the layer of oil will assist in preserving the hummus

Make sure you pop by Geoff's FB page and give him a like! - Click Here
You can also follow him on Instagram - Click Here

Breakfast On The Green: Arthur's Green Cafe | Red Hill

The passionate foodies that brought you Albion gem Artie & Mai [See Review] have just opened a new cafe in Red Hill! 

Berry Smoothie

The new cafe is located next to the bowling green at the Red Hill Community Sports Club. The beautiful green fields serve as the perfect backdrop for a relaxing brekky. 

Zucchini and Mint Fritters

We checked it out over the weekend and were very impressed! The menu may not be massive but that's not what it's all about. I'd rather have a few options done extremely well, than a ton of options done poorly. The dishes they do serve at Arthur's Green will put a smile on your face. 

Avocado on sourdough with feta, and pistachio 

The all day menu at Arthur's Green offers delicious sweet & savoury breakfast options, smoothies, salads, tea, coffee and other baked goods. Arthur's Green caters for gluten free and vegetarian diets as well.

Banana smoothie

The dishes are presented nicely. We weren't expecting the meals to be as filling as they were. They were very sizeable. There was really no need to add the extra bacon...but who doesn't like a bit of bacon on the side!?

Chocolate almond brownies

Owner, Jimmy Strong , has done it again!  The new Red Hill cafe is a perfect addition to the community sports club. It's easily snagged a spot as one of our favourite Brisbane cafes. 


Banana smoothie 
Zucchini and Mint Fritters with Haloumi, and Romesco

*AmeriAus was the guest of Arthur's Green. 

Comfort Food With A Gourmet Twist : Lennon's Restaurant

Compressed watermelon stuffed with whipped feta and topped with rosemary

Lennon's Restaurant has the potential to become one of Brisbane's premier dining destinations.

It's a big call but we feel comfortable making it having experienced Lennon's first hand. This new Queen St restaurant opened it's doors a few months ago and it already has the Brisbane foodie community swooning. Located in Brisbane's new futuristic, trend setting hotel - Next Hotel - this elegant yet edgy restaurant is offering mouthwatering meals using fresh, local produce. 

I don't know what interior designer they used but I'd like to! The restaurant is stunning.The vibrant space offers a variety of seating arrangements. So whether you are meeting with a group, having a business meeting, or an intimate date...Lennon's has a place for you. 

Waygu bresaola with celeriac, hot mustard, and rye crisp

The talented team at Lennon's utilize a number of different cooking styles to create their menu such as Brazilian BBQ & Grill, Wood Fired Oven, Flaming Asian Wok, and other more classic offerings. 

King fish, mandarin, radish, and ruby

The menu is very interesting Your traditional comfort food dishes are given a gourmet twist at Lennon's! For example spaghetti bolognase is updated with Wagyu beef. Executive Chef Todd Adams understands what the people want! He knows diners want authentic, nostalgic, healthy, inventive and great value dining. That's exactly what you get at Lennon's. 

Diamantina waygu with burnt onion, truffle mustard, and creamed nettles

Lennon's offers a number of craft beers and ciders frow brewers like Burleigh Brewing Co. and Stone & Wood. You'll also find new world artisan wines & classic cocktails with a contemporary twist on the drinks menu (lillet-basil blanc, moscato mule, pomegranate swizzle). 

Moya Valley organic chicken, heirloom carrots, soubise, and sorrel

As a part of "Lennon's ToGo" you can grab quick takeway or have your meal delivered under Lennon's delivery. 

Moreton Island flat head tails with spiced yoghurt, coriander, and ginger

Chef Adams who has helmed award winning restaurants like Stokehouse Brisbane, Urbane, and Epicure will be updating the menu seasonally. 

Valhorna dark chocolate toffee, passion fruit, and candied macadamia
Coconut sorbet, ginger mousse, and lime jelly

For an exceptional dining experience check out Lennon's Restaurant next time you're at the Queen St. Mall.

Top picks

-Waygu bresaola with celeriac, hot mustard mayo, and rye crisp
-Diamantina Waygu, burnt onions, truffled mustard, creamed nettles
-Valhrona dark chocolate toffee, passion fruit and candied macadamia

Lennon's Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

*AmeriAus was the guest of Lennon's Restaurant.