REVIEW: Ovello Bar and Kitchen | South Bank

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Next time you’re in South Bank looking for a family friendly meal, check out Ovello Bar and Kitchen, which is perfect if you’re a fan of Italian food in a contemporary, open environment. It is located on Grey St, which is one street behind Little Stanley St, (where all the other restaurants are). Having just opened its doors in South Bank, Ovello is certainly not a restaurant to miss. With all your Italian favourites, from pasta to pizza and delicious starters and desserts, you’ll be licking your lips as soon as you walk in the door.

Recently we were invited to have dinner at the welcoming Ovello Bar and Kitchen in South Bank so we could report back to you and let you know what we thought. As always, our feedback is honest and accurately reflects our experience.

Located at 161 Grey St, South Brisbane, QLD underneath the Mantra Hotel, Ovello is a great choice of restaurant for families, particularly those with tweens and teens.

Below you will find an honest review to help inform your restaurant choice next time you’re heading to South Bank, Brisbane. With a $14 kids meal, that includes a kids main, kids spritz, AND just $2 extra for gelato, we think this restaurant will become a family favourite.

Atmosphere at Ovello

Ovello Bar and Kitchen

The first thing you notice when you step into Ovello is how open and spacious it is. The décor is contemporary and comfortable, with both inside and outside seating. The only downside is that the outside seating is on what can be a busy road and footpath, at a set of traffic lights.

We chose an inside table that had a bench seat and chairs (photo above), which was perfect for us as a family of 3 adults and 3 teenagers.

Food at Ovello Bar and Kitchen

Value for money: 4/5
Variety of kids menu: 3/5
Portion sizes: 5/5

Food quality: 5/5
Special dietary options 5/5:
How likely are you to recommend the venue: 4.5/5

Running the Get Out With Kids website, we have been lucky to be able to sample a variety of restaurants, so we know what is good and what isn’t. When we were invited to test out Ovello, we leapt at the chance (we love Italian food!) The menu at Ovello is modern Australian cuisine leaning into an Italian palate, so expect to find pizza, pasta, starters (like arancini balls), and desserts (like Cannelloni), as well as a range of other delicacies.

The Menu

We found the menu a little difficult to understand, but don’t worry, we’ve gone ahead and translated it for you!

  • Summer Time Arancini – Mountain Pepper Aioli: Arancini balls
  • Bruschetta – Agro Dolce Peppers – Whipped Fetta: Bruschetta
  • Byron Bay Mozzarella – Prosciutto – Peach – Seasonal Leaves – Aged Balsamic: Prosciutto salad on a bed of ripe peach slices (this was delicious).
  • Housemade Focaccia – Caramelised Garlic – Thyme – Herb Salt: Focaccia bread
  • Burrata – Tomato Carpaccio – Pickled Onion – Sourdough Crumb: Burrata cheese, tomato and sourdough
  • Calamari Fritti – Squid Ink Mayonnaise – Lemon: Calamari (we were encouraged to order the calamari, and it did not disappoint).
  • Polpette – Housemade Meatballs – San Marzano Sugo: Meatballs
  • Market Fish – Tomato & Eggplant Ragout – Butter Beans: When we were there the market fish was barramundi, and it was placed on a bed of ragu.
  • Spaghetti Vongole – Hand Collected SA Clams – Fresh Spaghetti – Chili: Spaghetti pasta with clams,
  • Black Angus Striploin MB3+ – Shoestring Fries – Bearnaise: Angus Steak

The menu also offers a variety of different pizzas:

  • MARGHERITA: San Marzano Tomato, Fior Di Latte, Fresh Basil
  • PATATE: Potato, Roast Garlic, Fior Di Latte, Rosemary, Murray River Salt
  • PROSCIUTTO: Prosciutto Crudo, Heirloom Tomato, Rocket, Parmasen
  • SALSICCIA: Pork & Fennel Sausage, Radicchio, Tomato, Fior Di Latte
  • FRUTTI DI MARE: Southern Calamari, SA Clams, Sea Vegetables, Lemon
  • MORTADELLA: LP’s Mortadella, QLD Green Olives, Roasted Garlic

We have provided feedback to the restaurant that whilst the food was delicious, the descriptions were confusing (and some required the use of Google!)

You can see from the photos above some of our choices and what they looked like. We ordered the arancini balls, Byron Bay mozzarella salad (with peaches), calamari, barramundi, along with the kids spaghetti carbonara, and two pizzas. After our meals we were so full that we split three deserts between the six of us.

We absolutely loved the food! The peach and prosciutto salad was absolutely divine, and the whole menu was delicious, with fresh ingredients.

Kids Meals

Ovello Bar and Kitchen

We couldn’t write this review without talking about the kids meals, which were amazing value for money, including the meal AND a children’s spritz drink for only $14. The kids menu offers a choice of:

  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Spaghetti carbonara
  • Pizzetta (mini pizza)
  • Chicken parmigiana

And don’t forget that kids gelato is only $2 extra!

The Drinks

There were so many drinks on the menu, we struggled to decide which to order. Mum enjoyed the Aperol Spritz, which she said was super strong. The staff offered to remake it for her, but she said that strong was just how she liked it. You can see from the photos above just how gorgeous it looked!

They also offer a range of kids spritzes, which were super fun to chose from, and we went with the Cloudy Apple Spritz.

Service at Ovello

Staff Friendliness: 5/5
Willingness to accommodate kids 4/5:
Prompt delivery of meals: 5/5
Additional services like child care: N/A

The staff were incredibly friendly and attentive, and went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect. The food came out not even 10 minutes after we ordered, (which is super helpful if you have hungry kids with you!) and the waitstaff came back over to make sure everything was to our liking.


High chairs and change tables: N/A
Room for prams and strollers: 3/5
Dedicated play area: N/A
Can parents see into play space: N/A
Caters to all age groups: 5/5
Is safely fenced and away from the bar: N/A
Adequate parking: Click here

The adults and kids all went to check out the washrooms (not at the same time… we’re not weird), which were all clean, and because the facilities are part of the hotel, they were quite luxurious.

We always recommend public transport when travelling into the CBD and South Bank as the bus and train both service this area well, but if you do want to drive, you can check out this article about where to park!


Ovello Bar and Kitchen

The absolute highlight of the restaurant was the food, specifically the kids meals! We loved that it was $14 for a kids main and a spritz. If you really wanted to splash out, the kids can add a gelato for $2 extra. If you’ve ever had Italian gelato, you know $2 for this yummy treat is a bargain, this is a great option when in South Bank.

Ovello Bar and Kitchen

We were there for dinner but the restaurant is also open for breakfast and lunch with these hours below:

Monday: 6:30am-10am
Tuesday: 6:30am-10am, 2pm-Late
Wednesday: 6:30am-10am, 2pm-Late
Thursday: 6:30am-10am, 2pm-Late
Friday: 6:30am-10am, 2pm-Late
Saturday: 7am-Late
Sunday: 7am-11am


Ovello Bar and Kitchen

Feedback from the kids:

  • Alex (15) loved the prosciutto and peach salad.
  • Ben (13) loved the gelato and the left over pizza for his school lunch the next day (yes, you can take your leftovers home).
  • Sophie (12) loved the kids cloudy apple juice spritz.

Feedback from the parents:

  • Loved the calamari, and the Aperol Spritz, and noted that the bar might be a cool place to hang out with their grown up friends sans kids.

The food was amazing and everyone enjoyed their meals! The staff were friendly and the facilities were modern and clean. Overall, Ovello Bar and Kitchen is somewhere we think you should add to your bucket list next time you’re in South Bank.

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Alex Mergler

Alex has been writing for his mum's website since he was 10 years old and now he runs his own website, Get Out with Kids. He attends high school and works part time at McDonald's. Born in the UK but growing up in Australia he has a passion for travel, and has visited more than 25 countries. He has a Cert III in Hospitality and holds the Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate. With this background he is well qualified to write the website's restaurant reviews and travel articles. When he grows up he aims to be a pilot and is currently studying for his Recreational Pilot License.

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