Byblos chef highlight
15 July 2022
Byblos was established over 10 years ago by the Ghanem Group and named ‘Best Specialty Restaurant 2021’ by the Queensland and Northern Territory Restaurant and Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence.
As soon as you enter the perfectly designed restaurant, you are immediately transported to the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon, with luxurious indoor décor, low-lit lamps and chandeliers creating a cozy atmosphere.
Byblos also offers outdoor seating options, where views of the city in the distance make it one of the best spots in Brisbane to catch the sunset.
We recently chatted with chef Arun Shrestha to find out more about his love of food and how it has inspired some of the menu at Byblos.
- How long have you been working at Byblos?
I have been working at Byblos Bar & Restaurant for nine years!
- How did your love of cooking develop?
I have always been very fond of cooking and being in the kitchen. Since my childhood I always watched my mum and other members of my family cook, and I loved helping them in any way I could. As I grew up I travelled throughout my country (Nepal) and tried all the authentic Nepalese food. I also enjoyed watching cooking shows and videos and trying to replicate those dishes at home.
- What is your background and how has it influenced the food and menu on offer at Byblos?
My main background is Nepalese. Our food has lots of masalas and spices which we call the main magic ingredient in our food. Nepalese food is the combination of locally sourced ingredients, exotic flavours, and varied cooking styles.
- Is there someone who inspires you or your cooking? Why?
My first inspiration was my mother who would spend lots of my childhood cooking homemade meals. As I grew up I also used to watch international cooking shows from where I became familiar with different cuisines including Lebanese. During my time at Byblos, I have also had the chance to work closely with the Ghanem Group Executive Chef Jake Nicolson who has been a wonderful mentor.
- What are some of the things that make Lebanese food unique?
Lebanese food is all about fresh ingredients and spices and uses nuts in the dish to elevate the flavours. It combines Turkish and French cooking styles. Here at Byblos the menu is inspired by the rich history, culture and traditions of Lebanon, and draws from authentic flavours and traditional recipes that intend you to feel warmth and comfort.
- Are there particular spices or other ingredients that you like to use which are uniquely Lebanese and elevate the dish?
There are varieties of spices in Lebanese cuisine, but I mostly like to use sumac, cumin and pimento. These spices have a distinct flavour which refines the flavours of the dish.
- What is your favorite thing on the menu and why?
All the items on the menu have their own unique flavour and taste. One of my favourite menu items is the traditional kebbi as it uses most of the spices and nuts. It has a warm filling which is lamb mince with onions, nuts and Lebanese spices. The dough is made of minced meat with burgural. This is also a national dish of Lebanon which is mouthwatering!
- How is the food at Byblos unique to other restaurants around Brisbane?
The only way to find this out is making the trip to Byblos yourself. Byblos Bar and Restaurant combines imaginative Mediterranean cuisine with lavish Lebanese hospitality, luxurious surroundings, and a world-class drink selection.
If you’re searching for somewhere to satiate your taste buds this weekend, Arun and the team at Byblos have got your dinner and lunch plans covered, with regular updates to the menu based on what’s fresh, and lunch specials on offer for anyone craving a mid-week pick me up.
The team at are also infamous for their epic Riverside Sunday sessions, with live music and cocktails flowing, it’s one of the best places in Brisbane to wrap up your weekend.
For more information and to book your table, visit: https://byblosbar.com.au/brisbane/byblos-sundays/