Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Red Ginger, South Brisbane

Skippy dim sims was the first thing that jumped off the menu (pun intended) when I visited the newly opened Red Ginger.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Share a pastry with your pooch

More than 60 per cent of Australian’s are pet owners, yet unlike our European counter parts we are prohibited from taking animals to cafés and restaurants.

On the back of a recent report, the Federal Government is planning to overturn the current local and state laws prohibiting man’s best friend having access to outdoor dining areas.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Cool dining when it's hot, hot, hot

Where can you find cool dining when it’s hot, hot, hot during Brisbane’s summer months?

Here's some suggestions from top Brisbane foodies - Alison Alexander, P.J McMillan, Martin Duncan, Alastair McLeod, Ryn and Cordie and Tony Percuoco - on where to find your cool.

Add your suggestions in the comments below.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Healthy dining out choices

Feeling as though you have over indulged in festive fare, can't resist ordering dessert, tired of leaving the table feeling over full?

Unfortunately, these are all things of which I'm often guilty.  I blame it on the job (I am a food writer) but after reading Troy Thompson offers a few tips for starting the year off on a healthy note in his Guide To The Younger You, it's easy to see that a few easy choices could make a world of difference.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Joynt, South Brisbane

You probably know The Joynt at South Brisbane as a great live music venue at night.

And it is, but during the day it moonlights as a cafe and does a very good job of it.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

I went to a butcher shop and this is what I saw - Bundy Chop Shop

Ever wondered what's behind the rows of sausages, the cabinets filled with chops and steaks and lovely lamb roasts at the butcher shop?  On a recent trip to Bundaberg I got to find out at the Bundy Chop Shop.

Amanda Hinds who runs the deliciously decadent Indulge Cafe in Bundaberg took me on a tour to meet some of her favourite suppliers. Amanda introduced me to Rick, who she described as 'a saucy number' and I went behind the counter at The Chop Shop,  Bundaberg.

The Chop Shop is no ordinary butcher. Cold cabinets at the front of the shop are filled with a great array of smoked meats all hot smoked out the back without the use of chemicals.  This is bliss for me as I am sensitive to the sodium nitrate commonly used in smoking.  I've just finished eating a smoked turkey hind quarter which I mixed into a green salad with some grapes. It had a wonderful smokey flavour.

When Amanda wants something unusual, like duck ham, she gives Rick a call and they work out how to do it. I tasted the duck ham with eggs for breakfast - superb! There's some of Rick's bacon in my fridge waiting for a decadent Sunday morning breakfast.

The Chop Shop is the sort of butcher I wish I had down the road - unfortunately Bundaberg is a little too far away. Sigh...

The Chop Shop
68 Mount Perry Road,  Bundaberg QLD 4670

(07) 4151 7944

Monday, 16 January 2012

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Friday, 13 January 2012

Willow and Spoon, Alderley

There's something very Queensland about sitting in cool, dim light on a patchy concrete floor surrounded by a forest of white painted concrete stumps and rabbit warren of multi-level, makeshift rooms.

Generations of Queenslander's have grown up appreciating this ambiance, not because of its stylish appearance but for the sheer practicality of creating an extra space without much cost which is so much cooler in hot, steamy weather.  Throw in an old comfy lounge, a laminex table and vinyl chairs and  a downstairs loo and it's home sweet home.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Straddie sojourn

Just on Brisbane’s doorstep, North Stradbroke Island is one of those golden hidden gems locals would prefer to keep to themselves.

 Here's a story I wrote for the January edition of Brisbane Where Magazine.

Marinara, Paddington

It's so new it doesn't even have a sign yet, but a Italian casual diner called Marinara has opened on the town end of Latrobe Terrace, Paddington.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Get in quick for Noosa Food Festival top tickets

The Noosa International Food and Wine Festival 2012 food and wine program from May 17 to May 20 will see some of the world's best chefs, Australia's celebrity chefs, and Australia's best wine makers descending on Noosa bringing their star power from the S. Pellegrino World's Best Restaurant Awards and Good Food Guide Hats to South East Queensland.

You'll need to get in quick for tickets to the most popular events, which include some of the Food Trails, as they sell out very quickly.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Street food dos and don’ts

Years of dining under flyovers on busy roads has given Tom Vandenberghe and Eva Verplaetse, authors of ‘Bangkok street food, cooking and travelling in Thailand’ a rare insight into South-East Asian street food.

I interviewed Tom recently for a story in  Tiger Tales

Friday, 6 January 2012

Sleeping around - Mona Pavilions, Tasmania

I think this is the coolest place to stay.  Not only are you within spitting distance of one of the most fascinating art gallery/museums I've ever seen, but you get to have an original piece of outstanding Australian art in your room!

If you haven't visited MONA in Hobart, Tasmania, put it on your bucket list now. The privately owned and funded Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) consists of a vast antiquities collection currently on display alongside a collection of new art, most of which is very recent.

The whole collection is the property of maths wizard David Walsh who made his fortune in gambling.

Allow plenty of time to view the museum and do yourself a favour - stay in their high-tech, super flash luxury dens on the River Derwent named after Australian architects and artists.

Each pavilion has a kitchen, laundry, wine fridge, wireless touch panels (climate,lighting, info and entertainment), wireless internet access, safe, phone, TV(s), and personal security camera. And bathrobes of course. Charles, Arthur, Sidney and Brett each has a painting by its namesake, as well as antiquities and a collection of ancient coins.

Guests share a gym, sauna and heated infinity pool and have access to Mona's avant-garde art restaurant, micro-brewery and winery. The eight pavilions sit on a 3.5 hectare private peninsula that curves into the Derwent River with panoramic north-facing views.

Here's a mini tour of Charles (Blackman) pavilion

Great view of the Derwent River

Bath with a view
An original Blackman on the wall.
The Do Not Disturb sign :)
Mona's very cool casual dining area
Great antipasto
Outside the museum

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK stayed and travelled with the support of Tourism Tasmania.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Ole, Southbank

I think I've found my perfect breakfast and it's Spanish.

What do you think about poached eggs, freshly shaved jamon, spinach and a homemade hashbrown?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

North Stradbroke Island - 10 top things to do

One of the largest sand islands in the world, the relaxed bliss of North Stradbroke Island is only an hour's drive from Brisbane.

The trip from the mainland to the island takes 45 minutes by barge, which also takes your car, or 25 minutes by fast water taxi but it's more of a journey into a different realm where it's really hard to work up the energy to get stressed about anything.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

I went to Nimbin and this is what I saw

It's the sort of place you must visit said our hosts - its the unhappiest hippie town in Australia.

We were leaving our overnight accommodation at Silk Pavilions at Mount Burrell located almost in the shadow of Mount Warning in the Tweed Valley for the second day of our New Year's Eve motor bike ride. Yes, my alter ego is a bad-arsed biker pillion passenger on K2's BMW K120GT.

We headed off for a coffee at Nimbin with our American friends and fellow bikers, John and Nancy, through the wildly scenic valley, almost iridescent in its greenness, past fields packed with cows and their calves, mares and foals and the odd goat.

Surprisingly for New Years Day when most country towns are still asleep, Nimbin was buzzing with locals and visitors in the main street.  Some of the inhabitants were worse for wear including a spaced out woman who asked us "Are you smokin' today?", offering three different illegal substances in less than 10 minutes.

We settled for a coffee and sat down to watch the passing parade of hangovers. It was a sad collection of deeply lined and drawn faces. Living in Nimbin does not seem to be good for your health.

Despite the plethora of tacky tourist t-shirts and stickers, of which I bought several, there's little welcome in the town with most locals suspicious of strangers. I suspect they are worried about undercover cops.

Nimbin started as Australia's home-grown haven for alternative subculture, growing from communes that sprouted in the hills in the 1970s and 1980s.  They flouted flouted most of the rules of contemporary Australia and although the hippies are now well past their prime, the place still reeks of non-conformity.  It's interesting and well worth a look but don't go to judge.

I think the signs say it all in Nimbin.