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Showing posts from July, 2009

Music at Tokonoma

From 3pm this Sunday (August 2) you can enjoy the sounds of Yu Sammy, a locally-based Japanese singer and songwriter at Tokonoma Gallery & Green Tea House.

The Japanese Australian food at Tokonoma is quite unusual and deserves to be tried. On my last visit I particularly liked the artistic presentation of food.

Margaret Price who owns Tokonoma says Yu Sammy plays acoustic guitar beautifully and sings with a rich and soulful voice. He will be performing some classic Japanese songs plus his own. Magaret will also be introducing Yumi, a Japanese R&B singer and Isa, an 8-year-old songbird, performing for the first time.

It's a free entry (no cover-charge) event so just head along and enjoy! The café will be open as usual from 10am till sunset. Please check out our website for the menu. Most items will be available on this day as takeaways if you wish to eat while enjoying the music. And, yes, Tokonoma is licensed.

Margaret also says Tokonoma is looking for musicians in…

Melbourne my way - Bar Lourinha

Bar Lourinha is a great restaurant in Little Collins Street. It's a small walk from the city centre but easily achievable. We walked past it the first time as the sign is quite small. I even noticed it and thought that it looked like a good spot for dinner but continued because we were on a mission. Luckily we found our way back.

It was quite crowded when we rolled up early on a Saturday night. We had a cocktail in a corridor while we waited for a better seat and a spot for dinner. Next stop was a cosy seating area at the front of the restaurant and then it was on to a stool at the bar. The restaurant was very busy and we felt lucky to be there at all.

The decor is quite eclectic with and obvious Spanish influence. Lots on the wall to inspect while you wait for your meal.

The tapas style menu was interesting and well described. For my companion and me the standout dish was Yellowtail kingfish pancetta with lemon oil (see photo). We are both still thinking about this nearly…

Search for the perfect cupcake - More Judy C

A visit to JudyC's Ashgrove shop is not recommended for those on a diet - there are just too many good things to resist.

I tried three cupcakes. The red cherry topped cake is a moist, dense but not too heavy sponge with a light creamy icing which is a good foil.

The peppermint cupcake is green all the way through with a lingering, refreshing peppermint flavour. It's also dotted throughout with choc chips and there are choc flakes on the peppermint icing on top.

The marshmallow topped cupcake was marbled pink inside the dense, moist cake which had a subtle marshmallow flavour.

Judy says the secret behind her cupcakes is good butter and vanilla. And that oh so smooth icing? Judy whips it steadily for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the mix so that the butter lightens in colour and the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

Born into a family of cake makers, JudyC has been decorating cakes for 18 years and it is her passion. Judy's cakes not only look amazing but they ar…

Denim, Southbank

Walking along Southbank on Saturday morning I stumbled on Denim and stopped for a heart starting coffee. It was Lavazza and good.

The cabinet filled with goodies caught my eye. Love the look of the Italian Peach sweets - almost too nice to eat!

There were some other serious sweets but unfortunately it was too early to put them to the taste test. I'll try to head back here to sample the wares properly.

Breakfast looked good and there were plenty lining up for a meal. There's quite a bit of seating, but much of it is backless benches so it's probably not a place to linger all day long.

Little Stanley Street, Southbank
p 3844 0302

Coffee excellence

A long time coffee drinker, I have recently become determined to find out more about the bean.

Di Bella’s Cup of Excellence and Coffee Appreciation course recently held at their Bowen Hills Roastery was an excellent opportunity to learn more.

It was hosted by Di Bella’s head roaster Anne Cooper, who took a small group through a two hour presentation covering a variety of coffee related topics with tastings. The session was held for the Brisbane Slow Food convivium (chapter) but ring-ins were allowed. The tastings were of coffee roasted the day before.

Naked sushi at Siana

The folk at Siana in Eagle Street are truly inventive. They've come up with more than a few ways to tempt diners over recent months - including a $20 curry buffet.

Now they've turned their attention to sushi with a Naked Sushi Buffet. For $20 per person diners can eat Sushi till they can’t fit in another roll with a offer that is valid Monday to Wednesday from 5.00pm with any drink purchase. The menu of sushi favourites rotates on a weekly basis with fresh produce driving the menu choices.

You might want to save this one till you are really hungry because $20 can buy a lot of sushi and all that rice is very filling. However I'd be willing to pay a little extra for Siana's superb river views.

Siana,Upper Level Riparian Plaza, 71 Eagle Street, Brisbane.
3221 3887

Broadbeach Restaurant Week

It's a hit in New York, London and Melbourne and now you can experience restaurant week at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast. The inaugural Broadbeach Restaurant Week is on from 17 to 26 July and includes more than 30 local Broadbeach Restaurants.

You can visit any of the participating restaurants and enjoy a three course set dinner menu for either $35 or $55 per person depending on where you dine. Find a full list of participating restaurants and their menus at

The list includes many restaurants. The only one I've dined at is Room 81 at The Sofitel Gold Coast and certainly I enjoyed the meal.

Spicers Clovelly Estate

I've long been a fan of Cameron Matthews who has been Executive Chef de Cuisine at Siggi's at the Stamford Plaza for several years. A recent lunch there only served to remind me of the exquisite flavours he extracts from food.

Well Cameron is on the move and is now heading up the kitchen at the new Spicers Clovelly Estate high on the mountain at Montville. The word is think modern French cuisine with curing, smoking and fresh local produce like spanner crabs. His menus are promised to be online soon!

The web site says the newly opened Spicers Clovelly Estate truly is a feast for the senses and waxes lyrical about coffee and cake on the terrace, a three course dinner in the dining room, and an old-fashioned Pimms in front of the fire. Sounds like my kind of place!

It's hidden on a hill in the lush hinterland and is described as part retreat, part European estate and part home away from home. There are just 10 suites. I would expect much the same level as at Peppers Spicer…

Perfectly preserved

I've been making my own apricot jam for many years from a recipe handed down from my great grandmother. It's a family tradition now and my son is the chief rum taster (a more than good slurp of Bundy is our secret ingredient).

But several other attempts at preserving have been disasters – passionfruit jam that nobody liked, orange marmalade that wouldn't set... there are more that have been conveniently forgotten.

So I can see the advantage of Taste's new monthly workshops on preserving where they are planning to cover everything from mandarin marmalade to coriander pesto.

Taste preservation expert Suzanne Combes says its a good way to cut costs and get creative in the kitchen when times are tough. Instead of a paying for overpriced cooking ingredients you can easily make many in your own home for a fraction of the cost.

“People love cooking with dried foods, exotic jams, flavoured vinegars, oils, pickles and cheeses, but buying these from up-market delis or even farmers …

Slow coffee

The Brisbane Slow Food Convivium (chapter) is presenting a Cup of Excellence and Coffee Appreciation course at Di Bella Roastery this Saturday.

Di Bella’s head roaster Anne Cooper will present the two hour course which runs through a variety of coffee related topics and provides tastings.

The Cup of Excellence builds a bridge between farmer, the trade industry and the consumer. It is a competition and internet auction for small, high quality growers, which rewards them financially for their niche. Otherwise, these third world farmers are tempted to increase their holdings by clearing the forest to grow lower quality high yield beans. The small quantities of beans are supplied around the world to exclusive coffee houses for education purposes. They are used for quality control and to understand the difference between regions or ‘terroir’.

Di Bella Coffee says they are the only Queensland business to have Cup of Excellence samples of winning blends from Colombia, El Salvador,…

Search for the perfect cupcake - Bittersweet

It's a tough job searching for the perfect cupcake but someone has to do it. This week's search uncovered tiny cupcakes at Bittersweet, a great chocolate shop at The Barracks on Petrie Terrace.

They are made by Bittersweet owner Ann Aitkinson who uses a mud cake base rather than the traditional sponge. The topping, a rich callebaut dark chocolate ganache, is a lovely velvety chocolate pile which I enjoyed and was a good contrast to the cake which was quite dense.

The small ones (pictured) are $2.50 and large $5.

When you pop into Bittersweet, make sure you drag your eyes away from the chocolates on display to check out the Acticoa chocolate which has some great health benefits. There are some new Atticoa truffles which you can use as your one a day guilt-free chocolate treat as well.


Bittersweet, The Barracks, 61 Petrie Terrace. p 3367 3323.

There's plenty of parking underneath and it's free for 2 hours if you spend $10.

Le Bon Choix

Last time I walked into this building at the pointy end of Queen Street it was a bank. Now it looks decidedly French and way too tempting.

It was Jodie's recommendation that send me on the hunt which revealed not only delicious hot chocolate but also a great muffin.

Priced at $4, the hot chocolate was not only very good but very reasonable, rich and thick with a full chocolate flavour. It didn't come with marshmallows but they certainly weren't necessary. The hot chocolate expert gave it 8/10.

The chocolate muffin was studded with delicious choc bits but still lacked a little flavour - 7/10. The texture was good but a little dry.

But the real delight was the pain au chocolat which was light, crispy with a rich, moist chocolate filling - everything you could hope for!

I've been told the baguettes are particularly good here and there's also a good range of sweet treats. It's definitely a place to check out but not if you work close by, as it might be too hard t…

New at The Barracks - French Twist

Newly opened at The Barracks on Petrie Terrace is a welcome addition to the dining options, French Twist.

It only opened on Tuesday and the staff were very generously wandering around with samples of the pastries and cakes. The range was extensive and the ones I tasted were delicious.

As well as small sweet treats, there's also larger cakes and a range of breads, all French-themed.

The coffee I had was okay - I think it was a house brand but will investigate further.

The decor is decidedly French with rustic tables and chairs, old style art and shabby chic decor.

Inside there are some delightful sitting areas with comfy armchairs. It's much like being in someone's very flash lounge room. There's plenty of atmosphere here with a good adaptation of a heritage building.

Outside there are lots of tables and chairs so there should be no shortage of seating.

French Twist has stores in many locations around Brisbane including James Street and several shopping centres, so we …

Melbourne - Exhibitions

Wow, Melbourne – love the place. Yes it's cold (but it is winter), yes the weather has been schizophrenic (sun, rain, wind, sun – all in an hour, constantly) but wow the food is fabulous and there's much of interest to see and do.Here's my take-ExhibitionsDali – showing at the National Gallery Victoria.Really enjoyed this very extensive showing of Dali's works. What an inspired, intelligent and crazy man. There was more than enough to look and wonder at and some creative displays (loved the room padded with red velvet cushions. We visited on a Saturday afternoon which I later found out was a record attendance. It certainly felt crowded and it was hard to see some of the works because of the sheer crush of people. A little crowd control would have been a good idea. Also many people brought their small children and babies. What three-year-old wants to sit in their pram quietly for an hour or more with nothing to see but people's legs? Not many, it would seem, most…

Bastille Day at Belle Epoque

Wow! The ways to celebrate Bastille Day in Brisbane keep coming - Belle Epoque with Lemercier is offering a three-course menu with the chance to see a Can-Can!

It's over two nights (July 14 and 15) with two sittings (6.30 and 8.30) and there's also the sultry sounds of Paris Dreaming, a classical guitar and accordion duo.

The menu is French, of course, especially designed by chef de cuisine Sebastien Labbe.

Price: $85 per head
07 3852 1500 or

Search for the perfect cupcake - Little Cupcakes

Wednesday is cupcake day on Eat, Drink and be Kerry - so cupcake hunting was on the list for my recent trip to Melbourne.

When I first walked into Little Cupcakes in Degraves Street, Melbourne, it was only for a look as it was before breakfast! The bench was filled with tiny cupcakes being beautifully decorated – so hard to walk out without one!

Little Cupcakes is a tiny but cute little shop with a French provincial style interior and just enough room for three, tightly packed tables outside in Degraves Street, one of Melbourne's very cute lane ways, filled with places to eat and shop.

We came back, of course, and bought a four-pack for $8. Individual tiny cupcakes cost $2.50 each. Mint, white chocolate, red velvet and mocha were our four choices. Each was carefully placed into a neat little box with spacers to stop them from marking. These small but incredibly satisfying bites were a delicious combination of moist cake and smooth, creamy icing. The red velvet was very similar to…

Bastille Day dinner

Want kick up your heels on Bastille Day? Baguette is hosting a Bastille Dinner and Party on 14 July where everyone has to dress French.

The menu includes Veloute of artichokes, sea scallops and fresh black truffles; Duck salad with foie gras; Roast venison, wild mushrooms, spinach a la creme and cassis and Crepes Suzette. There will also be live French music. Cost: $95 per person.
Bageutte, 150 Racecourse Rd, Ascot. p 3268 6168

Weekend Breakfast - Lure on Latrobe

Looking for somewhere to go for a leisurely weekend breakfast?

Every Saturday I'm going to profile a different destination where you can sit back and enjoy good food and good times.

First cab off the rank is Lure on Latrobe, on Latrobe Terrace, Paddington. I put this on my must try list when I saw a queue one Saturday morning with people waiting to get in. A good recommendation.

 It's a pleasant place converted from an old house with a large front treed courtyard and dining under umbrellas and the verandahs.

Lure has been operating on Latrobe Terrace for several years but I've only previously visited for coffee. This time we went for a late breakfast but midweek – a real indulgence.

My choice was the field mushrooms with haulomi, rocket and poached eggs on sour dough. It was very good and I'd love to have it again.

My friend went for the avocado/sourdough combo and also liked her breakfast. The only downside was the coffee which was bitter - definitely…

Search for the perfect cupcake - Nourish

Listen up all you cupcake addicts - Wednesday is now cupcake day on Eat Drink and be Kerry!

I'm going to scour Brisbane for the best cupcakes available and I'd like your suggestions on where to go.

My visit to Nourish was inspired by two cupcake twitter queens @CITYPUBLICITY @MarissaTree with further encouragement from @Princess_Zo. I am holding you all personally responsible should my cupcake intake exceed my gym calorie expenditure! There will be consequences!

But how could I resist the temptation of visiting Nourish when it was touted as better than Poppy Cakes! After sampling the wares, I'm not totally sure this is true as the Poppy Cake cupcakes are a different style, but I am sure that Nourish is a place for cupcake lovers to visit and enjoy.

It's been open five months today and is run by sisters Vanessa and Carlie Oram. They are using their grandmother's recipes and boy, she must have been one heck of a cook. These are cupcakes like no other. The exceptional …

When is Aria opening in Brisbane?

Here's the latest from Matt Moran - Aria Brisbane opening Monday 17 August.

The restaurant will seat 150 people and there's a private dining room for up to 40 guests.

The menu has been designed by Matt with his sous chef of many years, Ben Russell overseeing the kitchen. Peter Sullivan, co-owner and maître d’ of ARIA Sydney will guide the front of house and service of the Brisbane restaurant with assistance from Madeline Nieuwenhuizen.

Matt says “The menu will feature some of the ARIA signature dishes including Kurobuta pork belly and Peking duck consommé but will also have a large emphasis on seasonal local produce from some of the great Queensland suppliers, as well high quality aged meat sourced from premium producers such as Blackmores and Rangers Valley.

"We are very excited about being able to open a restaurant in Australia’s fastest growing and very dynamic city. Brisbane seems to me to have a perfect balance between work and lifestyle with a great climate to match”