Lebanese restaurant Baba Ganouj has unveiled a reimagined dining oasis in South Bank.

Baba Ganouj embarks on a new chapter as it transitions into a larger and more spacious location at Little Stanley Street in South Bank – one of Brisbane’s premier tourist and dining precincts.

Launched today, Thursday 13 July, the venue has unveiled a new level of elevated Levantine dining with its latest iteration which sees the South Bank favourite relocate a few doors down to a new 200-seater restaurant; taking up space in the former Fifth Element site.

From its humble beginnings, Baba Ganouj’s journey began in May 2015 as a small café and take-away with a seating capacity of 20 people at the corner of Grey and Tribune Street in South Bank. Under the passionate ownership of Sayed Saleh and his wife Sally, the modest establishment flourished.

Through relentless dedication and hard work, Sayed and his team transformed the small business into a thriving success and in April 2016, driven by their commitment to sharing the vibrant flavours of their Lebanese heritage, the husband-and-wife duo seized an opportunity for growth and relocated to its current location.  The new tenancy at Little Stanley Street offered a spacious new setting with seating for up to 100 guests and for the past seven years, saw Baba Ganouj grow into a beloved Lebanese dining destination for locals and visitors alike.

Now in 2023, the new restaurant, crafted by Space Cube Design Studio, offers a fresh and inviting ambiance inspired by their ancestral roots, combining elements of stone, natural tiles, and timber battan ceilings showcasing hanging lanterns with the terrazzo floors and built-in stone shelving, adorned with decorative pottery, add a sense of cultural richness.

As you wander through the restaurant, you’ll notice the distinctive pointed arch doorways that pay homage to the region’s architectural design. The bar area showcases a curved front counter, a bronze arch back bar, and antique mirrors, adding an elegant touch to the space. Step outside to view timber-lined ceilings, hanging pendants and olive trees, set amongst long communal tables and round booth seating for larger groups.

With its relaxed atmosphere and carefully curated aesthetics, the new space at Baba Ganouj sets the stage for an enjoyable dining experience. From the warm textures to the enticing outdoor area, every detail has been designed to create a welcoming spot for guests to enjoy their journey ahead.

For those seeking a more intimate setting, the space also features a private dining room providing an ideal backdrop for celebrating special occasions with up to 12 guests. Additionally, the room can be expanded to accommodate larger groups of up to 70 guests, ensuring ample space for larger gatherings.

Sayed Saleh, the mastermind behind Baba Ganouj’s culinary creations, brings a wealth of experience and a deep passion for Lebanese cuisine. With a background that includes establishments such as Regency Palace Hotel, Les Soiree in Stockholm and Byblos (Ghanem Group) in Portside, Sayed has honed his skills and craftsmanship to perfection. Inspired by his Lebanese heritage and his mother’s treasured recipes, Sayed infuses every dish with authentic flavours and preserves traditional Lebanese cooking techniques.

“We have poured our hearts and souls into building Baba Ganouj into what it is today, and our continued vision is to create an unforgettable and fun experience that transports guests to the vibrant streets of Lebanon, where they can savour the true essence of our culture and cuisine,” says owner Sayed Saleh.

The name `Baba Ganouj’ holds a dual meaning that captures the essence of the restaurant. It pays homage to the renowned Lebanese eggplant dip that has gained global recognition for its delectable flavour; and in Lebanese slang it also represents the endearing term “my spoiled Dad.” This dual meaning captures the essence of Baba Ganouj, a place where guests can enjoy authentic Lebanese cuisine while basking in the warmth of genuine hospitality.

Lebanese cuisine is renowned for its rich history, unique flavours, and meticulous preparation. At Baba Ganouj, the culinary team embraces these traditions, using time-honoured techniques to create every dish from scratch. From handcrafted pastries and dishes like Sambousek, Kibbeh, and Fatayer to Slow-Cooked delicacies and freshly baked Saj Bread, every bite at Baba Ganouj is a testament to their dedication and love for Lebanese cuisine.

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