Stanley is a stunning waterfront 2-level Cantonese restaurant in the landmark heritage-listed Howard Smith Wharves building that was built in 1931 as the Howard Smith offices and has also been home to the water police.
Featuring a covered dining terrace out front with sweeping river, Story Bridge and city skyline vistas, inside The Stanley are 3 bars and opulent dining rooms with colonial-oriental-inspired decor.
With the interior designed by Samantha Leigh Interiors in collaboration with Katie Cameron Interiors, Stanley is one of Brisbane's most gorgeous restaurants, featuring deep jade-toned walls, an original grand staircase with a mural of Hong Kong's Stanley Bay leading to the upper dining level, with pendant lights and wall lamps, old world paintings, plantation shutters and a curved bar decorated with Chinese art in the centre.
On the lower level is a dining room in lighter colour tones with a view on the kitchen where the chefs work their magic, creating divine Cantonese-flavoured dishes from fresh local Aussie produce, with an emphasis on seafood.
From the extensive menu, Appetisers include oysters with white rice vinaigrette, Abrolhos islands scallop, white soy, yuzu and radish; sashimi platter of local seafood or vegetarian spicy cold noodles, cucumber, fungi and leek, while a choice of Dim Sum includes the recommended Stanley Signature Dim Sum platter, steamed or baked and fried.
A range of BBQ dishes includes free-range pork belly with English mustard; Cantonese roast duck and plum sauce or soy poached corn-fed chicken with shandong sauce. From the small selection of meat dishes, there's 'kung pao' hot & numbing chicken; stir-fried wagyu beef with oyster mushrooms, potato and black pepper sauce; sweet'n'sour free-range pork; Mongolian lamb ribs or 'kangaroo & broccoli' (kangaroo fillet, young gai lan and special soy).
Much of the main menu is devoted to seafood, ranging from salt and pepper squid or banana prawn with fresh chilli and coriander; steamed Hervey Bay scallops, vermicelli & XO sauce to the the must-try, wok-fried Moreton Bay bug with a choice of Singaporean-style black pepper or chill and garlic.
There's also Steamed reef fillet fish or whole Rocky Point grouper with black bean and chilli or ginger, shallot and white soy as well as live seafood from the tank - Moreton Bay bug or mud crab steamed or wok fried with a choice of sauces and the option to add egg noodles and fried bread.
There's also a selection of rice dishes - try the 'Stanley Special Fried Rice' (with prawn, BBG pork & baby corn) or 'Fujian Fried Rice' (Fraser Island spanner crab, white asparagus & trout roe), as well as noodle dishes such as stir-fried duck noodles with shiitake & black pepper or Lobster 'lo mein', garlic butter, trout & garlic chive. Meanwhile, vegetable dishes include steamed organic eggplant, sesame & fish fragrant sauce; stir-fried morning glory, yellow bean & bird's eye chilli or "buddhist mafo Tofu" of zucchini, silken tofu and fermented chilli.
Dessert at Stanley is worth saving room for, with delights such as passionfruit white chocolate mousse, lychee, longan & calamnsi crisp; Swiss roll, bergamot, strawberry, macadamia and Neopolitan ice-cream or local baby pineapple, heilala vanilla gelato, lime sago & tropical ice.
Nice to know - For those dining in groups of 4 or more, there's the option of the 10-dish Pak Tai Temple Banquet or the 11-dish Shiu Sin Temple Banquet.
The menu may have changed since our visit.
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Howard Smith Wharves
5 Boundary St