Woolloongabba Central is home to my old local Coles supermarket whilst I was living in East Brisbane. There has been a bit of renovation to the complex around the pub over the last year, which has finally been completed.
Surprisingly, this place has a few decent food joints and it’s getting better. There’s a decent sushi train restaurant (Tenkai Sushi) and recently Evo (the new Colombian restaurant from ashes of pop-up restaurant, La Fonda Colombiana) has opened it’s doors too.
It’s also home to the Woolloongabba Hotel pub which is always really quiet and thrives off game days at the Gabba grounds.
At the end of last year, after I had moved away (of course!), this little burger joint popped up next to Gloria Jeans. It’s one of those places that is convenient yet I’ve never been to. Last weekend, Nic and I finally ventured over to try their burgers.
Nic goes for the spicy pork burger while I chose the bulgolgi beef. At $7, they’re pretty good value. We order large beer battered chips ($5) to go with it. Think of these burgers like warmed sushi rice with your chosen meat, lettuce and onion. The rice itself seems to have furikake in it (rice seasoning – a mix of seaweed, seasoning and sesame seeds), which adds extra flavour to the plain, sweetened rice. You may want to avoid the burgers if you have a sesame allergy!
The rice burger buns are pretty soft, perhaps too soft. I didn’t even bother eating my burger with my hands. I used the provided fork to eat my burger. It was like eating a normal rice + meat bowl except that this would be portable and you could open it up and eat it in your lap. The rice burger is a lot more filling than any other bread-based burger. It feels a lot healthier and wholesome than other fast food options too.
The meat was flavourful and pretty decent but a bit dull with the rice. I think it could do with a bit more ingredients or chilli sauce to make it taste better. The additions are 70c each and aren’t ridiculously priced so I’d recommend going for the extras.
Overall, tasty. I would definitely add kimchi next time!
The beer battered chips are some of the better chips I’ve had too. Much better than I expected. I’m not sure if this is because it doesn’t get overly busy and the oil hasn’t been used a million times though. Delicious and crispy. The seasoning on these were addictive!
I’m definitely coming back to try the Korean chicken – they have fried chicken as well as grilled chicken which would be more suited for sharing. I noticed in the glass counter that they sell Korean sushi too. They looked quite different from the usual Japanese options which could be worth a try for something different.
Did I mention that they’re open fabulously late too?? Like midnight on weekdays and 1am on Friday to Sunday. How awesome is that! I’d love to continue the party listening to some K-Pop whilst chowing down on a alcohol-absorbing rice burger!
I’m quite enjoying these different options at Woolloongabba Central and it’d be great to see it become more popular. It’s very close to the city and public transport. They even have heaps of parking space.
HINT: there’s free underground parking for a minimum of 2 hours.
DIRECTIONS: This place confused people a lot, both as a combination of the entrance being at the back of the Gabba Central complex and Stanley Street being one way. Enter from around the back through Gibbon Street, off Hawthorne Street.
Dining details: Saturday lunch for two, after the lunch rush about 1.30pm
The verdict: great for a alternative cheap and fast meal that isn’t from a fast food joint from the fast food strip along Main St, Kangaroo Point. Pick up dinner after work for something cheap to takeaway. Try the rice burger for something different. Pick a few extras otherwise it can be a bit bland.
This place wins the award for: best late night feed on the southside.
Monday – Thursday: 11am – midnight
Friday – Sunday: 12pm – 1am
803 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba