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Showing posts from December, 2008

The Chelsea

The Police Barracks is really starting to get a buzz. Several eateries were open after we ventured out from the movies the other night and people were getting into the swing of dining in the central mall. The Palace Cinema is in full operation and such a pleasant experience incomparison to the multiplex at Indooroopilly Shoppingtown which was strewn with rubbish on my last visit. And it's cheaper!

Just around the corner, a snip past Coles but before the Hogs Breath Cafe, is The Chelsea. It's Steve Ackerie's new thing and it's very smart inside, with lots of mirrors, plenty of wood and a heap of banquette seating. Outside there are tables both around the cafe and in the mall area.

The coffee is Merlo and very good and the menu offers some interesting choices ranging from sandwiches to light meals, mains and sides.

A couple of items in the light meals section captured my attention. Like the sound of Chilli fried squid with watermelon cubes and caramelised lemon or brusc…
A Bush Tucker Christmas was the theme for a festive celebration last night at Taste for the Love of Cooking, the fabulous cookware store in the Valley.

Taste queen Jodie Macaulay organised a wonderful setting with food by StephaneBremont from Tukka Restaurant matched by Australian wines chosen by Darren Davis of Purple Palete.

We started with a Native platter - a selection of emu and kangaroo meats with native berries, fruits and spices. This was a wonderfully surprising combination of new flavours. No qualms from me about eating Skippy!

The main was a seared medium rare fillet of kangaroo with braised veggies and a roasted peach. It tasted as good as it looked. For dessert Stephane rolled out lavender and finger line creme brulees with chocolates flavoured with native Round Leaf Mint - a winning combo.

The kangaroo we ate was MSA graded and came from North Queensland as the marbling in Queensland kangas is richer than that in NSWkangas. Go Queensland!

A highlight of the evening was Mic…

Tropical fruit update

.An updated Australian Tropical Foods website - - has just been launched to promote and market the amazing produce and products from the area and heighten the awareness of tropical food and wine. If you've got a question about tropical fruit, this is the site to find an answer.

Scenic Rim bonus

The good folks at Scenic Rim Tourism have taken up the challenge tough economic climes pose for the traditional Christmas holiday and come up with a $100 voucher towards your next holiday break.

The Scenic Rim is an often overlooked area of south east Queensland and it shouldn't be. So close to Brisbane, yet so rural in aspect, the area includes Boonah, Kalbar, Aratula, Moogerah, Harrisville, Peak Crossing, Rathdowney, Mt Barney, Maroon and Queen Mary Falls. This area has beautiful scenery and is rich in gourmet food, wine trails and scenic drives showcasing local history, artists, music and our feathered friends

Scenic Rim Tourism Inc is offering $100 off your next holiday break which can be claimed by visit their website The voucher is valid to 31 March 2009 and the website includes all the details.

Accommodation participating includes:Zengarra Country House and Pavilions at Lake Moogerah, Wiss House at KalbarTuckeroo Cottages at Rathdowney, Spring Creek…

Luscious cherries

Wow! I've just been eating the most delicious cherries courtesy of the Granite Belt growers. They arrived in a pack with a heap of other goodies which were also delish. I'm a little too old to wear cherry earrings, but was still thrilled to find not a double, but a triple in the bunch.

The cherry growers have given me some good tips on how to eat my cherries at their best - keep them cool, keep them dry and loosely packed in a closed container in the fridge and leave the stems on to maintain freshness.

Here's a cherry recipe that sounds delicious -
Goats cheese and rocket salad with cherry dressing
(4 servings)
Ingredients: 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, Salt, Pepper, Sugar, 8 fresh cherries, pitted and quartered, 300g rocket, 50g pine nuts, 300g fresh goats cheese in a log, 3 tablespoon cornflakes, 2 teaspoons oil, 3 green onions, finely sliced

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and mustard to make…

Shiraz on the Granite Belt

No, this isn't another new wine, it's a great new restaurant.

I first sampled John Rogers' cooking when he prepared a special meal for a group of guests at the Girraween Environmental Lodge. It was fabulous food and the question on everyone's lips was 'why aren't you running a restaurant'.

Well just over a year and a half later I was able to once again dine on a fabulous feast prepared by John at his restaurant Shiraz at Ballandean which has been open 10 months. It's on the main highway so you can't miss it.

John has a thing for seafood and great connections so his seafood menu is always very special. I started with a dozen freshly shucked Coffin Bay oysters with lemon and cracked pepper which I not so graciously shared with my partner. Few things come between me and a good oyster.

This was followed bywinter 2008 Seared scallops, truffle oil potato, coriander salsa, leek, salmon caviar, a dream combination of all my favs. My partner chose winte…

Don't get too excited!

The Police Barracks might be doing business but there still a long way to go before some of the best stuff opens. Expect to find Coles (with lots of bargains), Fierra (one of my favs), Honey Birdette and the Palace Cinema open. There's also plenty of bargains at WoolworthsPaddington as shoppers flock to try out the new Coles. Nothing like a bit of competition.

The cinema has stunning views over the city and there are some tables where you can enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine and gaze across the city. A new must I think, especially for visitors!

The cinemas are very nice but still waiting on some finishing touches, like wall paint! There are ladders handy for when they get around to that.

I heard that the green grocer and butcher who are located in the actual Police Barracks heritage listed building, won't open until Jan or Feb next year.

Salt opens at night!

At the risk of becoming a little Salt centric, I have to report that Salt at Rosalie is now opening at night. This will disappoint fans of Sings next door who will have to wait longer for a table, but Salt fans are rejoicing at the prospect of enjoying their favourite dishes at night. I recently sampled the crispy duck's breast with soba noodles and enjoyed it, while my very fussy partner was raving about the salmon with mashed tatties and his favourite asparagus - a nine he said!

Dessert, always too hard to resist at Salt, was equally fab. My choice of white chocolate pancakes was a real sweet tooth treat - pancakes with white chocolate inside and pouring chocolate to go over the top from new owner Mario Perna's personal list. My partner's chocolate pudding with choc pouring sauce went down equally as well.

Pop down and see for yourself - soon.

Find it at 5 Nash St, Paddington p 3367 0775

New Tweed Farmers Market

I've been fond of the food offerings found south of the border in the NSW Northern Rivers area for a while. Apart from fabulous bananas, there's some great local coffee. With the opening of the Tugan bypass, this area is even closer to Brisbane for day trippers and now there's a farmer's market.

The Domain Casuarina Farmers Markets will be held on the first and third Saturday of the month with the first official market kicking off on Saturday, December 6. It will feature produce personally selected by Domain Catering’s Executive Chef Greg Pieper (of Bamboo Restaurant + Bar). Under the shade of the Sandbar + Grill courtyard, market lovers can discover Farmer Dave’s famous free range lamb, taste artisan cheeses from Burringbar, and cook up a storm with the freshest seafood from Warren Markwell. There will also be freshly cut flowers, quality brewed coffee and top quality organic fruit and vegetables. The markets will run from 8am – 11am at the Sandbar + Grill…