Izakaya Publico: A Restaurant That Fits The Mood

Hotel Indigo Izikaya Publico Grill

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Watch the activity in the open kitchen while you wait for your food.

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Watch the activity in the open kitchen while you wait for your food.

Places are often described as a “best kept secret” but when it comes to Izakaya Publico, it really is a secret – there’s no direct entry from the street. Accessing this Japanese restaurant in Brisbane’s Hotel Indigo is quite an adventure. You head through a set of 6-metre-high red doors (like the entrance to another world!), take the lift up to hotel reception, walk through a lounge/bar, and then walk down a winding flight of stairs with dramatic murals as a backdrop.

It’s cool and funky, and by the time you settle into one of the leather banquettes, you’re ready for a Japanese Slipper (cocktail) or a refreshing Asahi – both of which are on the excellent drinks list. If you think that’s a roundabout way of going to dinner, think of the poor wait staff who have to head up and down the same stairs every time someone wants a drink.

Our waiter, Ryan, maintained a careful eye over the floor and a cheerful attitude while leaping up and down the stairs many times over. (Hailing from the alpine country of Switzerland probably helped.)

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