An Explorer’s Guide to Sunnybank Plaza
Sunnybank is home to some of the best Asian eats the city has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a hearty spice-laden stew, a fiery Sichuan hotpot, fresh Japanese sushi or a bamboo basket filled with some of the best dumplings in town – Sunnybank has it all! We take a deep dive into this vibrant and diverse precinct to set you off on an eating adventure. You certainly won’t go hungry here! While you can bumble around Sunnybank with your head down and still find something outrageously tasty to eat or drink, we thought we’d help you out with our well-curated list. So if you’re ready to taste and experience the unique flavours of Sunnybank, here’s our guide to where to drink and eat.
Craving yum cha? This Sunnybank institution is your go-to for the quintessential Hong Kong yum cha experience. Between the handmade dumplings, steaming pork buns, crispy skin duck and flowing jasmine tea, it’s easy to see why the restaurant is known across Brisbane for serving some of the city’s best dim sum. There are over 100 different types of dim sum and we guarantee that your curiosity will peak everytime the bamboo lids are lifted. From prawn dumplings, steamed prawn and pork siu mai, deep-fried squid tentacles to chicken feet in black bean sauce (they’re delicious – trust us), bbq pork and congee, this Hong Kong style restaurant has it all. Landmark’s chefs are also renowned for creating melt-in-your-mouth roast duck with the crispiest skin.
Discover simmering ingredients, secret sauces and exotic flavours at this contemporary hot pot restaurant. Decked out with industrial chic interiors with splashes of red, black and Chinese-inspired adornments, Simmer Huang is a sleek and modern restaurant that specialises in simmer pots. You order one of two ways: Either build a DIY hot pot and pick your own ingredients from a selection of meats, offal and seafood or choose one of their preselected combos. Once you’ve chosen your hot pot, the wait staff will come to your table and start assembling layers of seasoned fresh meat and vegetables into a modern induction cooker in front of you. The pot simmers away for about 15 minutes until you’re ready to dig in. Just before your chopsticks hit the pot, the staff will ladle Simmer Huang’s “secret sauce” over the top of the ingredients to complete the dish.
Indulge in authentic flavours at Golden Lane, one of the mainstays of Brisbane’s Chinese dining scene. Walk into Golden Lane and the first thing you’ll see is a team of chefs stir frying, steaming and sizzling in the kitchen behind the restaurant’s huge glass windows. Golden Lane is well-known for serving dishes that blend Eastern and Western cooking techniques to present a fresh taste of traditional Chinese food. Their extensive menu allows the diner to explore dishes from various destinations throughout China. Golden Lane’s chefs create a lineup of well-known Cantonese and spicy Sichuan dishes like kung pao chicken, peking duck, chilli crab and crispy skin pigeon, or go all out and order the restaurant’s infamous lobster sashimi.
Spice fiends, rejoice! You can get the mother of all spicy hot stock pots at 3 Kingdoms. Tucked away in Sunnybank Plaza’s food court, 3 Kingdoms creates maocai – a punchy Sichuan soup that is stewed with dozens of rare spices and a hearty stock. A concentration of beef, chicken and pork bones, the maocai broth features 30 different spices and is simmered daily for 8 to 10 hours. Order the beef, lamb, chicken or fish maocai, or go for 3 Kingdoms’s signature maocai, which is made with a combination of fresh beef, fish, coriander, meat balls, sausage, seafood stick as well as different types of veggies. The maocai broth is traditionally spicy, but 3 Kingdoms lets you choose your heat level from minus mild, mild, medium, hot, or for the brave there’s extra hot.
David’s Noodle & Hot Pot
If you’re keen to introduce your tastebuds to a new style of Chinese cooking, then make sure you put David’s Noodle & Hot Pot on your must-visit list. The eatery serves the exquisite flavours of the Xinjiang region, found in the north western region of China. Options include beef brisket noodle soup, stir-fried noodles with lamb and chongqing street noodles. Along with serving a menu filled with delicious Xinjiang eats, David’s Noodle & Hot Pot also serves mala tang – a kind of choose-your-own-adventure hot pot that is hugely popular in north-east China.
Originating from Taiwan, Gong Cha is a famed bubble tea specialty store that delivers refreshing and delicious freshly brewed drinks. They have more than 50 different types of drinks including milk teas, fruit teas, fruity yogurt drinks and smoothies. Crowd faves include their green milk tea, matcha red bean, passionfruit green tea, milk tea with herbal jelly and lemon yoghurt. And what’s the best part? You are the master of your drink – you choose your cup size, sweetness level and how much ice you’ll want before selecting the toppings.
Hot Cake House
Put on your comfy pants, you have been warned: when seeing the deliciousness of Hot Cake House’s fare, you will consume more than your fill! The eatery specialises in the iconic Taiwanese and Japanese sweet speciality called imagawayaki. The centuries-old dessert is a popular street snack and is made traditionally by food vendors on the side of the road and at markets. Crispy and chewy on the outside with sweet warm gooey filings on the inside, these drool-worthy hot cakes and Japanese pancakes are too good to resist. Must tries? The oreo hot cake, the belgian chocolate hot cake and the green tea and red bean japanese pancake.
Korean Chicken &
If your heart flutters for all things crispy battered, fried and saucy, then make sure Korean Chicken & is on your must-visit list. Crowds flock to this Sunnybank hotspot on a regular basis to devour their fried chicken that you would typically find on the streets of Korea. Think crunchy and crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. So what makes Korean fried chicken different from other fried chicken? Korean chicken is fried twice. The restaurant has six different fried chicken options to choose from, including original crispy, honey garlic, soy, sweet chilli and shallots. Or try their popular cheese snowing, which is fried chicken topped with parmesan and a special herb powder.
Need a bubble tea stat? Sip on one of Chatime’s famed hand-shaken iced teas. Brewed fresh in-store and with countless flavour combinations to taste, bubble tea aficionados head to Chatime to order their favourite teas. And what makes Chatime’s drinks so great to slurp? They are all freshly made to order and are hand-shaken for about 15 seconds by staff to create bubbles that adds to the texture and flavour of the tea. While Chatime’s most popular drink is the classic milk tea with pearls, the store also creates a vast range of drinks including matcha red bean, taro milk tea, grapefruit green tea, as well as other drinks like frappes, hot or iced coffee and more. The drinks are also fully customisable, so customers can choose their drink’s sweetness and ice level to their taste preference.
Tucked away in Sunnybank Plaza’s food court is Lili’s Cuisine, a bustling eatery serving the traditional recipes of China. Lili’s Cuisine, a humble Sunnybank eatery with just a takeaway counter and several seats, opened 12 years ago. Since then, it has gathered a huge following of locals who visit for two things: the variety and quality of the food on offer, and how affordable it is. Chefs create classics you’d find on the streets across the North and South of China. All of the dishes are customisable and feature a combination of different meats and vegetables served with either rice or fried rice.
Chasing a tasty Japanese curry? Delivering traditional Japanese eats to hungry hordes on the daily, Mr Curry is a staple for those looking for a quick and satisfying takeaway. This bustling eatery doesn’t have an extensive menu of different dishes, but excels in its speciality – the Japanese curry. Think panko-crumbed katsu chicken topped with delectable curry on rice, crispy golden fried prawns topped with curry and tender beef and vegetable curry with rice. This is Japanese comfort food at it’s best. Freshly made in the kitchen every day, the curries are served at lightning speed, and the taste? It’s as good as what you can get in Japan.
Happy Bowl Vietnamese Kitchen
Whether you’re after a steaming hot phở or silky noodles topped with fragrant herbs, Happy Bowl Vietnamese Kitchen is your go-to for the lively flavours of Vietnam. Blending simplicity and affordability with authenticity, the Vietnamese eatery boasts an array of fresh and flavoursome dishes. Crowd favourites are the rice paper rolls, pork chops and their lemongrass chilli chicken. Order one of their vermicelli salads, where you can pick from ten different variations of the dish including sliced pork chops, BBQ beef satay and sugar cane prawns. Chefs also dish up steaming bowls of phở, which come in 14 different varieties. To customise your hot bowl of goodness, you can choose your favourite type of noodles including egg, rice, clear or Hokkien noodles.
Explore the Front Laneway
This Japanese restaurant puts out a wide range of high-quality and fresh sushi in both traditional and innovative iterations. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted with cries of “irasshaimase” meaning “welcome, please come in” and “arigatou gozaimasu” (thank you!) upon departing. Grab a spot at the marble counter and watch the skilled kitchen staff roll up your sushi with the care and precision of true professionals. Whether you’re into classic tuna nigiri or a modern rolled up spicy chicken maki-style, this is the place to taste a chef’s years of devoted practice. And the best part? All plates are only $3.80. Don’t leave without trying their lobster salad gunkan or their soft shell crab handroll.
Step into the small buzzing venue and you’ll be transported to the laneways of Tokyo with its busy chefs stirring noodles, pots bubbling with pork broth and dozens with their heads down slurping their way through bowls of ramen. This is the place to come for authentic steaming bowls of tonkotsu ramen, a thick cream-coloured soup made from pork bones. Chefs perfect each element of the ramen to create a mouth-watering dish: a deeply developed broth, thoughtful toppings perfectly paired noodles and the elusive, all important umami flavour. We love devouring the nagahama ramen, which has a mixture of egg and wheat noodles swimming in a deep bowl of delicious pork broth and topped with slices of melt-in-your mouth char siu pork belly.
This burger joint delivers American-style burgers with a Japanese twist. Hailing all the way from Japan, the crew at MOS Burger serves its much-loved chow to those seeking an exciting food experience. Think wagyu and wasabi blended with cheese and sautéed onions – delish! Feast your greedy chops on their chicken teriyaki burger made with chicken thigh that has been grilled directly over a flame and basted in a soy sauce marinade. The result? A very juicy and tender burger worth getting your hands around. MOS Burger is well known for its juicy wagyu patties, which are made using Australian wagyu beef. Our favourite? Their Gourmet Wagyu Cheeseburger has garnered cult status with its juicy wagyu patty, sautéed onions, fresh tomato, cheddar cheese and baby cos lettuce, which is topped with mayo, ketchup, teriyaki sauce and wasabi.
Explore the depth and variety of Chinese flavours at Sichuan Gourmet, a restaurant that turns the humble skewer into a gastronomic affair. Step inside the restaurant to discover a wall of fridges filled with delectable food offerings – grab a tub and start filling it with skewers of your choice. The range includes tender beef, duck, crab sticks, pork ribs, coriander beef, fish fillets, quail eggs, tripe and lamb brains. For vegetarian options, there are seaweed skewers, tofu skewers and various kinds of mushroom. There are also sweet potato noodles, rice noodles and more. After picking your skewers, they are weighed and then passed on to the chef who artfully dunks them into the restaurant’s famous scalding thick pork broth that has been simmering with herbs and spices for 12 hours. They’ll then arrive in a copper bowl filled with the traditional fragrant broth. Once the steaming hotpot with your skewers swimming in it hits the table, grab your chopsticks and start dipping the little morsels of deliciousness into the eatery’s special sauce made with sesame oil, garlic, shallots and black bean paste.
Based on the Japanese udon haunts you’d find on the streets of Tokyo, Udonya Tokoton serves steaming noodle soup, a myriad of traditional toppings and rows of delicious deep-fried goods. Between you and your fresh bowl of deliciousness there are a few stages – but don’t stress, you’ll enjoy the process. Grab a tray and order your menu selection with the person behind the counter. Your udon, soba or rice dish will be then made fresh in front of you. If you feel like slurping down a udon topped with crunchy karaage or prawn tempura then grab your bowl from the chefs and move your tray down to the deep-fried section. Some must-try dishes include the curry udon, beef soba, spicy pork miso udon and the pork cutlet curry bowl.
Nestled in the heart of Sunnybank Plaza, Zen Corner is a Hong Kong style restaurant that is famous for serving traditional noodles. The bright and airy space is regularly packed with Chinese, Hong Kongers and adventurous eaters who are keen to delve into steaming bowls of noodle soup with flavoursome sides. The menu is short and simple, there are 20 dishes to choose from – which is a good thing, as not only has your dish been perfected by chefs, but it will be served within minutes. And like all typical Hong Kong restaurants, the food is a fusion of different cuisines. Order the slow cooked beef brisket noodles – you won’t be disappointed! The most ordered item on the menu is their signature wonton noodle soup – a flavoursome dish that features a fragrant and delicate chicken, pork and dried fish broth with a sea of perfectly cooked egg noodles and juicy wontons filled with succulent minced prawn, pork and fish roe.
Explore the Northern Carpark
Your Personal Chef
Enter this dimly lit joint and you’ll find Sunnybank’s Your Personal Chef, an eatery serving contemporary, inventive and quietly traditional Cantonese dishes. Oozing with quirky yet delicious food choices, the menu ranges from an assortment of Chinese dishes like their beef spare ribs with garlic sauce and their braised duck in five spices. You can expect adventurous options like the Sichuan spicy chicken that’s served with ice-cream! Whatever you end up ordering, we absolutely insist that you get the eel fried rice that is moulded into the shape of a shark and looks like it’s swimming on your plate – it’s divine.
A steadfast destination for locals, Vietnam Corner has an extensive menu that offers Cantonese dishes alongside Vietnamese favourites, with the restaurant’s chefs blending the two cuisines to produce dishes like their roast duck laksa or the steamed duck with egg pho. While you can find all of your classic Vietnamese dishes (think fresh vermicelli salads and beef noodle soup topped with bean sprouts and mint), the restaurant is well-known for serving some of the city’s truest tastes of Hong Kong barbecue. Each piece of meat is hand selected, marinated, air-dried and roasted in a traditional hung-oven. Their signature dish is roast duck, which is tender, juicy and fatty in all the right places.
The Little Cube
Blending Cantonese and Sichuan-style food, The Little Cube focuses on creating modern dishes that combine classic Chinese ingredients. For more than a decade, The Little Cube has been serving its authentic and delicious food made with quality ingredients and local produce. Once seated, grab the menu, where you’ll find an overwhelming number of mouth-watering possibilities – we’re talking more than 100 different dishes on offer. While classic Cantonese food is littered throughout the menu, the restaurant focuses heavily on serving authentic hot and spicy Sichuan eats. These dishes pack a big punch with bold flavours including garlic, chilli peppers and the unique taste and aroma of the Sichuan peppercorn, while the Cantonese dishes are more subtle in flavour. Crowd favourites include their popular baked lobster with salted egg yolk, the braised chicken pieces with mushroom and their signature slices of double-cooked pork belly.
The Cube Hot Pot
Of all of China’s many dining trends, perhaps the most loved is the humble hot pot. You can treat your tastebuds to the delectable soup at The Cube Hot Pot – but make sure you bring a big appetite. For under $30, you can indulge in the restaurant’s all-you-can-eat hot pot buffet. You start by choosing your soup broth, there’s a spicy Sichuan-style soup or a simple pork and chicken broth (or you can order both). Staff bring the soup and put it in the middle of each table. It’s just liquid – there’s no meat, vegetables, or seafood in it. Next is the most bewildering part – the soup ingredients. You can order as many hot pot additions as you like for two hours of culinary bliss. You’ll find more than 100 ingredients, including wagyu beef, scallops, chunks of Chinese cabbage, quail eggs, fish dumplings, whole prawns, Sichuan pickles, corn, assorted mushrooms, tofu, seaweed and more. To fully customise your soup to your individual taste, you can add up to 20 different sauces, including seafood, shabu shabu, spicy and soy garlic sauce.
A mecca for glorious bowls of malatang, Love Malatang is a must for those wanting to delve into the extremely popular hotpot from north-east China. Step inside this bustling restaurant and you’ll find a myriad of various fresh and preserved Chinese foods ready for choosing. Love Malatang is quickly becoming a steadfast destination for locals wanting malatang – a kind of choose-your-own-adventure hot pot that’s extremely popular in north-east China. Think a huge, piping-hot bowl of broth filled with a hearty mix of various cuts of meat, offal, quail eggs and seafood, plus thin slices of crispy sausage, fried tofu, potato and taro root, cabbage, bean sprouts, and noodles, all bobbing in a broth flecked with chilli and Sichuan peppercorn. Once the soup hits your table, grab your chopsticks and start devouring. If you’re not a fan of soup, Love Malatang also offers a dry malatang. This means your chosen food is still cooked in the broth, but put in your bowl without the soup and topped with sauce.