Dello Mano, Newstead

You  haven't lived until you've bitten into a Dello Mano chocolate brownie - they take the world sublime to a whole new level.

Owners Deb and Bien Peralta are passionate about brownies and are always coming up with new flavours to try.  Their brownies are so popular they are the gift of choice for visiting dignitaries and are shipped all over the world to people who just can't get enough of their chocolate fix.

It's a family business and you'll often find Bien or one of his children behind the counter while Deb is out the back devising more brownie magic. 

There's also Dello Mano cakes and I can't imagine anything more sinfully delicious than one of their luxury chocolate brownies turned into a cake!  But there's more - chocolate souffle cakes, carrot cakes, apple and cinnamon cakes, and even a black forest cake.

Relax with a cake or cookie and enjoy with a smooth Di Bella coffee in their library nook. There's indoor and outdoor seating as well.  Love the stools made out of old 'paint' cans.

Bottom line: A mixed, boxed assortment of 16 brownies will set you back $59.50.  I prefer to buy mine individually and enjoy just a couple at a time.

Best tip:  Bien has matched the coffee profile to the chocolate so you can enjoy both.

Best for: Chocolate lovers heaven

Dello Mano on Urbanspoon


Tasty bits from bmag Nov 29

Cook up a cool kids party at Milk, Ashgrove, discover the first Australian chocolate, find the tastes of Malta at Jan Power's Powerhouse Market, enjoy high tea for charity and pull in at another new South Bank dining option - Cove.

Cafeine, Coorparoo

I don't know the south side of Brisbane as well as I would like so I find it hard to discover those little coffee gems that you need to keep you going for the long haul.


Bretts Wharf Restaurant to stay!

The ever-exuberant Alastair McLeod was today literally jumping for joy with the news that the iconic Bretts Wharf Restaurant and River Room was now NOT closing, as had been previously thought.

Dinner in 30 - Potato, Bacon and Sage Agnolotti with burnt butter and sage sauce

I eat out a lot. Yes, I can feel your waves of sympathy, NOT.

So when I'm cooking at home I often want a fairly simple meal that's easy to make but still full flavoured and nutritionally sound - well,  fairly nutritionally sound.


I went to the Stones Corner Market and this is what I saw

The indomitable Jan Power has branched out yet again bringing a new market to the top end of Logan Road, where Old Cleveland Road joins, running down the street which is closed for the morning.


What is cold drip coffee?

Have you seen these things that look like something that's escaped from a chem lab lurking in trendy coffee shops?


Best barbecue steak

I make no apologies for being a meat eater.  My body functions best on protein and meat is a great source, besides I really like a thick, juicy steak - just thinking about it makes my mouth water.


Tanking about Off the Eaten Track

He might be short when it comes to the height stakes but he's very tall when it comes to spruking about local produce.

Yes, I'm talking about Brisbane's favourite television food chef Alastair McLeod, who is the executive chef at both Tank in the CBD and Bretts Wharf, Hamilton.


Kuku Yalanji Cultural Food Tour - catch your own crab and mussels

I'm walking through black slimy mud, each footstep sinking deeper than the next, carrying a spear, my heavy camera bag and a spirit of adventure on a Kuku Yalanji Cultural Food Tour, near Cairns in North Queensland.

We could be paying a lot of money at a spa for this mud foot treatment, I joke with my fellow walkers, as I climb over, under and around the mangrove roots.

With Kubirri Warra brothersLinc and Brandon Walker, as our guides we are walking the beach, mudflat and mangroves of Cooya Beach near Mossman, north of Cairns in Far North Queensland.

Cooya Beach (Kuyu Kuyu) is the traditional fishing ground of the Kuku Yalanji Bama. This unique coastal place has three diverse ecosystems -beach, mangroves and coastal reef - that are connected to each other by the ever changing mudflats and tidal lagoons. 

First we practice how to throw a spear, some with more success than others. The coconut target is very safe from destruction. The goal is to find some tucker for dinner, hopefully mud crabs but there are plenty of options on the menu. We are going to learn to hunt while stalking and observing wildlife and country, and discover how to track coastal resources, while Linc and Brandon share some of their extensive knowledge of this special area and how they care for their country.

Brandon talks to us as we stroll along the beach pointing out trees known as beach lettuce and another with flowers that release drops to sooth tired eyes when squeezed.

We walk bravely into the mangroves along a clean, sandy path and it all seems easy peasy. Then the mangroves get thicker and more tangled and moving through them becomes an art form.  My attempts seem even more clumsy compared to the nimble children who accompany us.  This is their play ground they tell us.

Sometimes the going is tough but I'm full of wonder at the experience of being in the middle of the mangroves.  I've seen mangroves many times, from boardwalks, beaches and even kayaks, but never been so close to the environment.  It's amazingly peaceful and full of bright contrasts against the drab mud.

Occasionally we stop and dig mussels up from the mud, adding to a growing pile in the bucket.
Breaking through the mangroves we reach the beach and wander out over the shallow sandbanks into the water.

There we catch our dinner, a handsome crab which later, bathed in a chilli sauce, provides a feast for the group.

Back on the verandah of his family home, Brandon shares his family history of the area, passing around objects collected over the years.  We all have a chance to try some turtle meat which tastes very meaty.

Our full group includes some international visitors who are not so keen on trying the chilli crab, mussels or turtle - no worries, all the more for us.

The two hour  KukuYalanji Coastal Beach Walks depart daily at 9.30am and 1.30pm.

Walking through the mangroves was an amazing experience, expertly enhanced by the brothers knowledge of their stamping ground.  Something to be treasured.


Kafe Krave, Windsor

Satisfy the urge is the mission statement for the newish Kafe Krave at Windsor.


Suited to a tea - High tea in Asia

Asia’s interest in tea waxes and wanes, but the latest revival has reinstated the humble cuppa’s fashion status.

High tea is on the up again in Asia.While this curious cultural phenomenon seldom goes out of style, venues are finding new and innovative ways to serve a cuppa, three tiers of food and in the process, capture a niche
market and increase patronage.

Read more from my story in the November edition of Tiger Tales


Fresh food bounce back post flood

In the wake of devastating fl oods, Brisbane bounced back with an annual food and wine show that was better than ever.

Here's an article I wrote for the November edition of Tiger Tales.


Sleeping around - Shangri-La, Sydney

I got very excited when I booked into the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney's Rocks district.

It wasn't the fabulous harbour views, the close proximity to everything I wanted to to do or even drinking a Lady Peculiar cocktail at sunset overlooking the harbour.

No it was free wireless Internet! To me this means no problems with blogging and tweeting to my heart's content.


Stokehouse, South Bank

Eagerly awaited, Stokehouse is now open at Brisbane's South Bank with a design that takes full advantage of it's stunning river position.

Nestled almost under the Goodwill Bridge and just a spit from the water, Stokehouse has been designed by local architects Arkhefield and it shows.


I went to South Bank's new riverfront dining area and this is what I saw

It's Brisbane's newest dining destination.

A stretch of the Brisbane River freed from it's previous restaurants and recrafted into a strip that's going to capture the imagination and stomachs of many.

Already opened are Cove and Stokehouse (full blog coming soon) and also on the list are The Jetty, Popolo and Left Bank. 


Queensland Food Guide announced

It's exciting to know that we will now have hats.

We've had hats for years, you say, they are the things that keep sun off our heads! No silly, I mean 'Chef Hats' like they have in Sydney and Melbourne.


Brisbane's Budget Bites

If you like to keep your dining out in budget then Brisbane's Budget Bites is your new bible.

Now in it's fourth year, this handy book includes 280 reviews on everything from cafes and breakfast spots to bakeries and providores.


Foodies Guide to the Sunshine Coast

I worked my way up the coastline for this story starting at Caloundra and ending at Noosaville.

There are some fabulous restaurants on the Sunshine Coast but these are my top picks for this story, which has just published in the November edition of Where Magazine, Brisbane.


Meet some of Australia's finest artisan cheeses

It's a cheese lovers  heaven!  Bruny Island Cheese Co makes cheese the traditional way from both cow's and goat's milk creating an artisan range inspired by cheesemaker Nick Haddow's travels through the world's great cheese producing regions.

An artisan and a traditionalist, Nick believes in the old was of making and maturing cheese.

After a trip around Bruny Island on a fast boat facing the rain and wind, Bruny Island Cheese was a warm haven filled with all the right smells. I was wowed by the island's spectacular scenery and awestruck by the wild ocean waves but my heart leapt even higher at the sight of the cheese cabinet inside the Cellar Door.


And the love, time and expertise certainly showed through in the cheeses we sampled.  Luckily you don't have to travel all the way to Tasmania to sample their cheese.  You can buy it online or even better, join their cheese club for regular deliveries.

If you happen to make it to Tasmania, located under the eucalypts and black wood trees about 15 minutes drive from the ferry, the Cellar Door on Bruny Island is open every day.  You can relax with a cheese platter and a glass of local wine or enjoy coffee and homemade cake. 

Bruny Island Cheese Co,
1807 Main road, Great Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania

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Sleeping around - when the only answer is YES


Tasty bits from bmag

In this edition - the Marriott's new Motion Bar and Grill restaurant, 2011 Good Food and Wine Show, new high tea at the Sofitel, Armand de Brignac champange.