When Nic Pestalozzi, Nathan Dalah and Casper Ettelson launched Fishbowl in 2016, the trio were still at university. With “no long-term game plan”, as Pestalozzi puts it, the trio launched their first store, in Sydney’s Bondi, as “a good way to get out of uni and do something we were passionate about.”
Six years later, with 30 stores under their belt across Sydney and Melbourne, Fishbowl’s signature mix of fresh produce and bold Japanese flavours has been a runaway success. Their first Brisbane outpost, which opened last week at Newstead’s Gasworks Plaza, marks the brand’s entry into Queensland.
“It’s probably the best reflection of where we are right now, as a brand,” Pestalozzi tells Broadsheet. “This store is really six years in the making.”
Taking over the space previously occupied by Meet and Greens, Fishbowl’s soothing, minimal interiors with funky pops of neon set the tone for the food: it’s good for you, but it’s still a whole lot of fun.
The menu includes a variety of pre-set bowls, including long-time favourite The OG: a mix of kale, beets, spring onions, edamame, seaweed salad, and crispy shallots, topped with salmon sashimi and roasted sesame dressing. Other options include the Ghost II, a chicken-topped bowl of greens accentuated by kaffir lime dressing, wasabi mayo and tamari almonds. Pestalozzi’s personal favourite, the Spicy Salmon, is served warm: a glazed salmon fillet atop a bed of greens, with wasabi peas and spicy shoyu dressing.
You can also build a custom bowl, with endless combinations to choose from. After selecting a base – a choice between varieties of rice, noodles and greens – you add your protein, salad and dressing. Proteins include salmon sashimi, chicken, beef brisket, and whole salmon fillet, plus miso eggplant, miso pumpkin, shiitake mushroom and tofu.
To drink, customers can choose from a (plastic-free) selection, including kombucha, coconut water, cold-pressed juice, and Karma organic cola.
Sustainability is a key component of Fishbowl’s ethos: vegetables are sourced from regenerative farms, in-store compost bins are sent back to fertilise the farms’ soil, and Fishbowl’s custom-made bowls are compostable. “I buried a bowl outside our office about a month ago, and when I went back, I literally couldn’t find it,” says Pestalozzi. In September, they’ll switch their current salmon offering to the more sustainable New Zealand King Salmon.
A focus on community has also seen the trio launch a variety of social initiatives since 2016, including Fishbowl Run Club, Fishbowl Surf Team, and Fishbowl Radio. Similar events are planned for the Newstead store, says Pestalozzi, “once we’ve got our feet off the ground.”
The team plans to open an additional four Queensland stores over the next year, including a Burleigh Heads site slated to open next month.
76 Skyring Terrace, Newstead