Popolo Italian Kitchen and Bar is an above-average find amongst the numerous average finds on Brisbane's highly popular South Bank restaurant and cultural strip! It's located away from the thick of things, towards the Goodwill Bridge end of South Bank, on South Bank Boardwalk, not far from the South Bank 3 Ferry Terminal. Its quiet, calm location, opposite River Quay Green, afforded a stunning view of the Brisbane River just a few metres away, and the cityscape on the opposite bank. Our party of 5, including two children, dined there on a balmy winter's evening, warm enough to sit outside to appreciate the beautiful river view; if you felt a little chilly, each chair came with a blanket to warm your legs.
The food is modern southern Italian. Whilst the menu comprised a good selection of starters and mains, the concept of service at the restaurant is akin to a Spanish tapas bar, with your dishes being served at intervals throughout the meal, and all designed to be shared. This was explained to us at the start, but having already known this beforehand it was one of the reasons why we chose Popolo. It makes for casual and informal dining, where you can experience a variety of dishes in a really relaxed yet beautiful setting!
The food was delicious, beautifully cooked and presented, full of southern Italian flavours! Our starters comprised the Antipasti platter (bursting with delicious charcuterie items), the Arancini (stuffed rice balls), and the Polpette (meatballs). So delicious, fresh, and thoroughly enjoyable! The mains we chose were the Pumpkin Ravioli, the Ricotta Gnocchi, and the Risotto of the day! Once again all were delicious! The timing of the service of the dishes was impeccable; whilst the menu selection is not massive, there are a variety of dishes to please both vegetarians and carnivores!
Service was courteous, friendly and unobtrusive. I was impressed with how well the young children were catered for, and a pizza for them was prepared exactly as the wanted, slightly 'off menu'!!!
It's a great place in which to dine, and I will return on my next visit to Brisbane!
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