Izakaya Publico

Brisbane CBD

Izakaya Publico is Brisbane's best kept dining secret - a stunning contemporary Japanese restaurant located off the beaten track via a hidden entrance in the boutique Hotel Indigo.

Izakaya Publico Brisbane

Getting to Izakaya Publico is part of the adventure - enter the lobby of Hotel Indigo, which is tucked away near the Turbot St offramp and take the lift or stairs to the second floor where there's a speakeasy Japanese lounge bar - 1603-  overlooking the street. From here a set of winding stairs leads down to the jaw-dropping restaurant which is like stumbling into a real slice of Japan that has just landed in Brisbane.

Izakaya Publico Brisbane

The striking dining room with soaring ceilings is flanked by two-storey high curtains and jaw-dropping artworks, moodily lit by strings and clusters of lanterns and offers seating in booths or Modernist style dining tables and chairs.

Izakaya Publico Brisbane

At one end of the dining room is the open kitchen where diners can watch the chefs busy chopping, prepping and cooking on the robata grill.

Izakaya Publico Brisbane

The exquisite menu, beautifully presented on Japanese tableware, is designed to share, with teriyaki and robata grill dishes the main act, along with noodles, tempura, and small agemono (fried dishes) such as gyoza, tebaski (chicken wings) and panko camembert with sakura dip.

Izakaya Publico Brisbane

There's also a selection of raw dishes (octopus carpaccio, salmon tartare, oysters or sashimi omakase (chef's daily sashimi menu) as well as the must-try tacos (salmon, tuna or beef with sushi rice, cucumber and chives in a tempura nori shell). 

Izakaya Publico Brisbane

Also highly recommended are the Sandos, with a choice of chicken katsu, salted slaw & tonkatsu; white truffle egg salad or wagyu rump with cured egg mayo) and the tempura (little acre mushrooms or prawn & pink snapper).

Izakaya Publico Brisbane

Skewers are another staple of the menu, with 10 variations of chicken (which can be ordered as chicken tasting set), along with delicious offerings such as pork belly & yuzu miso; Mooloolaba prawn & konbu butter; king oyster mushroom & garlic teriyaki; wagyu rump, koji glaze & fried onion;  or SA octopus & red chilli sauce.

Izakaya Publico Brisbane

And from the Robata (white hot coal) Grill, dishes include scallops in shell with umeboshi butter; salmon fillet or free range chicken breast with black garlic teriyaki, fried tofu with butter & nogi or the house special - hay roasted bonito tataki, ginger, wasabi and ponzu.

Izakaya Publico Brisbane

And to follow, a small selection of sweets includes baked cheese tart; house made ice-cream (white chocolate sesame. banana miso and milk chocolate) or chocolate takoyaki.

Izakaya Publico Brisbane

With plenty of tables walk-ins are accepted but bookings are recommended for groups. Izakaya Publico can only be reached via the hotel foyer where there are signs indicating the lift or stairs up to 1603 bar and from there, the restaurant.

The menu may have changed since our visit.

Good to know -  At the adjacent Bar 1603 you can experience Brisbane’s most unique High Tea offering - a stunning Zen Garden High Tea shareboard featuring a chef’s selection of both sweet and savoury delights, from 11am-3pm Friday to Sunday. Read more here.

Zen Garden image courtesy of Izakaya Publico website.

Izakaya Publico

Hotel Indigo

27-35 Turbot St

Brisbane City

Opening hours


3237 2330



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