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“Best Risotto in Brisbane !!! Must try.”

Popolo Italian Kitchen and Bar
Ranked #52 of 4,818 Restaurants in Brisbane
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$6 - US$39
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 19 April 2015 via mobile

I got a chance to visit this awesome restaurant during one of my business visits to Brisbane. I am a vegetarian so I was unsure of what to order. The staff recommended the vegetarian Risotto. I didn't have much expectations, but when the food arrived, I realised I was wrong and the food was amazingly tasty !!! So, if you are a vegetarian you should definitely try the Risotto here. U would love it !! Also, worth mentioning that the location is perfect!! Good view and good food !!!

Thank PreTrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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358 - 362 of 526 reviews

Reviewed 16 April 2015

Why do some restaurants in terrific locations believe they can get away with being lazy with their food and service?

Their location usually gives them the leverage to charge premium prices which combines to create high expectations. Therefore plain common sense would dictate that location, price and expectation should be matched by quality food and service.

Popolo is in a terrific location overlooking the Brisbane River and the city with it's myriad lights and colours. Given a beautiful autumn evening sitting outside enjoying a catch-up with an old work colleague should have been a delight. The company and the conversation were excellent - the venue wasn't.

We could not get into our first restaurant of choice along the South Bank waterfront so we opted for Popolo as plan B - Italian is usually a good default option. It transpired that we both use gnocchi as our benchmark Italian dish. This way I have been privileged to sample some brilliant gnocchi dishes around the world and then returned to those restaurants to explore the rest of their menu.

Popolo's menu promised "Gnocchi di Ricotta" as their signature dish, so we thought - "Aha! This will be good!". No, it was not good!
What arrived at our table was a pile of gluggy, flavourless goop served up with an orange sludge masquerading as pumpkin puree. Neither the house-made Italian sausage or the red onion jam could rescue it. Contributing to the low quality was the unfortunate fact the meals were unevenly heated. Palatably hot in some parts, cold in others; reminiscent of "the curates' egg" (Google it...)
In contrast, and in fairness, the insalata di stagione was very enjoyable (along with the Sicilian Nero D'avola) - a highlight in an otherwise very dull culinary experience.

We should have had our "bad restaurant" antennae working when:
A) we easily got a table at a peak time
B) Tap water in a bottle was delivered warm to our table
C) We had to chase the waiter to give our order

Overall Popolo was a disappointing experience. I will avoid it in future as there are too many neighbouring restaurants offering far better quality.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Bruce U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2015

We were explained the menu and how to order, experienced professional, attentive service, we all tried everything we ordered with a 10 yr old and a 12 yr old. The kids cartwheeled on the grass overlooking the river and city lights. Thoroughly recommend!

1  Thank karen b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2015

It is in a lovely location, amazing view. The staff were very amicable and polite but they weren't en enough for the number of tables they cater for. More bar staff since the drinks came way after the food - bottled & tap beer. Had to remove the glass tables myself because the table was too small for 7. The food seems great as a concept but pretty average in flavour and size of portions even though it's supposed to be a tapas sort of place. Caprese salad was about $11 and came with literally 4 baby tomatoes.
I probably won't go back.

Thank AdrianaOteroL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2015

My wife & I first dined at Popolo one evening after the restaurant had first opened in late 2011 or early 2012. When our simple request to add one topping to a pizza was denied, we agreed that we wouldn't go back (despite living in an apartment at Riverview Gardens less than a ten minute walk to Popolo).

Unfortunately, due to a niece deciding to have her belated birthday lunch at Popolo this past Sunday, March 15, my wife & I had no choice but to go there again, and, with both of us having taken a brief look at the menu (and prices), we wanted to leave.

Popolo encourages the sharing of dishes, and for the prices they charge, diners should be prepared to do so...or PAY THROUGH THE NOSE.

For example, Popolo offers three pizzas:

Pancetta - $27;

Bresaola - $29;

Foresta (mushrooms, fontina, and black truffle) - $34.

Popolo quite obviously charges such prices simply because of the (admittedly) beautiful view over the Brisbane River and of the CBD, but there are MUCH BETTER "value for money" dining options at the "River Quay" (southern) end of Southbank.

The only thing worthwhile about our dining experience at Popolo was the exceptionally warm and friendly service provided to us by our waitress, a lovely lady from Ireland who went "out of her way" to serve our group of nine adults and one child.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Charles S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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