Gambaro Seafood Restaurant
Gambaro Seafood Restaurant, the iconic Brisbane dining institution that for sixty years has presided over Caxton St, still wears the crown of Brisbane’s best seafood restaurant.
Part of the reason for its ongoing success is that since its beginnings as a humble fish’n’chip shop by Giovanbaptista Gambaro, who moved to Brisbane from his hometown in Italy, the restaurant is still in the hands of the same family, (although its retail arm has recently been sold).
As such, it can be said that nobody knows seafood like the Gambaros, who bring three generations of expertise to both the sourcing and preparation of the seafood. These guys have been perfecting their craft for 60 years and it shows.
Stepping into Gambaro’s flagship restaurant, which sits adjacent to its cutting edge boutique hotel on Caxton St, is like stepping into another world of muted elegance, hushed tones and old world refinement. And one that couldn’t be further removed from the funky hipster strip of craft beer and casual dining outside. Linen tablecloths, attentive waiters in black tie, carpet, silver service and soft piped music rule at Gambaro’s, as has been the case for the past 40 years, whilst the décor is pared-back 21st century contemporary – a glam glass fish-scale feature wall, down lighting, sheer silk partitions and a wine wall towards the rear.
The menu, unsurprisingly, revolves around seafood although there are other options like Angus steak (which Gambaro also excels at) and pasta. Many of Michael's (the son of Giovanbaptista) signature dishes that have been enjoyed by generations of diners (including many Oz and international celebrities) over the years remain, and for good reason.
Entrée choices are designed to share and include Oysters (SA or Tas), Ocean King Prawns, Mussels (with saffron, oil and chilli), Moreton Bay bugs Calamari and the must-try Hervey Bay Scallops with lemon butter and pangrattato.
For mains there’s long-time classics like the Michael Special Panko Crumbed Barramundi, not to mention the Crayfish (Thermidor or Mornay) or the grilled or poached Live Tasmanian Crayfish and Qld Brown Belly Mud Crab, delicacies for which Gambaro is renowned.
Also recommended is the sumptuous Seafood Platter – featuring oysters, sweet sandcrab, Mooloolaba Ocean King prawns and Moreton Bay bugs that are amongst the best you’ll find anywhere.
For dessert, you can’t go past the special flambe crepes – prepared with theatrical flair at the table, with the result a flaming melt-in-the-mouth blast from the past, otherwise there’s Yoghurt Panna Cotta, Chocolate Ice-Cream Sandwich, selection of Sorbets or a Cheese Platter to finish.
Nice to know - Outside is a glam little candle-lit terrace with 1960s-style patio furniture, overlooking Caxton St that makes a great spot for a pre-dinner aperitif and some people–watching.
Need to know - There is free undercover parking for patrons below the restaurant.
Gambaro Seafood Restaurant
33 Caxton St
Mon- Fri Lunch from 11.30
Mon-Sat Dinner from 5.30