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Showing posts from February, 2010

The Hutch Bistro, Grange, Brisbane

It was on a friend's recommendation that we headed to The Hutch for breakfast.  He had such a great meal that he wanted to spread the word.

It's on a corner of Days Road at The Grange at the rear of a small shopping centre.  There's plenty of parking nearby. 

I've noticed a few interesting places opening in this area, extending some already good food options.  There are a couple of coffee bars that look worth checking out.
We rocked up for breakfast at The Hutch and quickly settled into a comfortable table and chairs.  The place is nicely outfitted with the sort of chairs and lounges I'd love to have at home.  There are couches set up for casual dining or drinks that look very comfortable.
We chose two items from the breakfast menu.  I went for poached eggs with hollandaise sauce and tomatoes on corn bread. The eggs were a bit hit and miss with one a little harder than it should be and the other just perfect.  The hollandaise was particularly yummy and the corn bread s…

Citron - modern Asian at Wilston, Brisbane

A recent Saturday night saw us dining with friends at Citron at Wilson. I've dined there before so it was a delight to return.

The restaurant decor reminds me of eating on someone's verandah. It has a light open ambience and the service is friendly and professional.

Citron was awarded Brisbane's Best Asian restaurant in 2007 and 2009 by the Restaurant and Caterers Association. It's run by restauranteur Robert Foley from California, who previously ran Piccolo Restaurant in Ascot, with English born chef Mark Newman.

Top of my list were the betel leaves with sand crab, shaved fresh coconut, chilli and coriander. These come two to a plate and are ideal for sharing or as a small entrée.

Everyone was very happy with their mains which included a duck massaman curry, beef cheeks with asian rice and a pork dish.

Mine was smoked ocean trout with an Asian inspired dressing over a salad and I've got to say I'm still thinking about it. The rich flavour of the smoked fish wa…

Search for the perfect cupcake - The Welsh Lady

The Welsh Lady at Rosalie has been a Brisbane institution for more than 20 years. It's located on Fernberg Road at Rosalie, just up from the popular eat strip with Salt, Sings, Flute and Bali Grill to name a few.

The hunt for the perfect cupcake took me there this week and although the shelves were a little bare because it was late in the day, I did score a chocolate mouse cupcake with raspberry. Gwen told me she usually has much more in stock including some raspberry mouse cupcakes that sounded to die for.

The Welsh Lady cupcakes are more cupcakes by size and shape than style. The chocolate mousse cupcake was filled with exceptionally light milk chocolate mousse infused with a well rounded flavour that rolled around my tongue, complimented by a sharp sweet raspberry sauce on the bottom. It was encased in a chocolate cup and sported a rum ball on the top. A great chocolate treat and a delight to eat but there wasn't a cake crumb in sight.

I also sampled a caramel tart - can&…

This weeks Foodie TV

If you’re like me, you have too many things going on in your life to remember everything. I’m constantly discovering new food shows that I wished I’d watched from the beginning of the series or even the beginning of the show.

I know I could just get pay more money to a giant corporation and get the whole thing recorded but my inner grinch says Noooooooo!

So, inspired by the launch of several new food shows, today I’m launching a round up of my pick of the week’s food television. I’ve created a new, dedicated page and will update it each week.(Find it just under the header at the top.) It will be a handy reference for those who know they want to watch but can’t remember when it’s on.

I’d love to know what you think about these shows and if you have any other faves. You can leave your comments/suggestions/additions to the line up below!

Here’s this week’s – from Feb 21 - line up.

Brisbane is Australia's best city to eat in

I’ve been a bit stunned by the vitriolic blog comments  in response to Natascha Mirosch’s Tuesday Courier Mail story “ Brisbane is Australia’s best city to eat in”.

Seems there are a lot of unhappy Brisbane diners out there. What I’m wondering is where are they eating? Sure we all have bad dining experiences where the food doesn’t match the expectations, service is poor or the menu is overpriced. I’ve had them in Brisbane and Sydney and Melbourne. But I’ve learnt from that and now I always do my research before I head out.

It’s easy to check in any number of ways from Urban Spoon to any of the great blogs on Brisbane food (mine included).

Surely, people, you can work out what you like and vote with your feet!

I’m also tired of people complaining that Brisbane doesn’t have cultural diversity in its food. We haven’t had great waves of immigration here until recently – that’s our history. I expect you’ll see more ethnic restaurants opening in coming years as our population changes. I…

Thai beef salad

A few weeks ago my mate Natascha Mirosch sourced some wonderful New Zealand grass fed Angus beef and shared it amongst her friends. The last slice of the piece was too big for a steak but too small to slice into two. My solution was to barbeque it in one piece and slice it after it was cooked.

A Thai beef salad was the perfect way to use it, so I sourced a recipe from

I like the recipe but I made a few changes. First I got rid of the red onion! I also used chillies that were not a hot as some but still added the red colour needed to lift the dish.

The palm sugar I found at Zone Fresh, Windsor and the kaffir lime leaves came from the tree in my backyard.

Next time I make it I may throw in some bean sprouts or some lettuce just to break up the intensity of the leaf flavours.

Although the recipe says it serves four, there wasn't much left after we finished.  We didn't have anything else with the salad but followed it with barbecued mango cheeks and half peaches toppe…

Search for the perfect cupcake - Vanilla Pod

Vanilla Pod first came to my attention courtesy of Brett's Wharf mega star chefAlastair McLeod, who confessed he had a weakness for their caramel slice.  I was interviewing him for a story in Jetstar's inflight magazine where well known chefs shared their best budget bites around Brisbane.  You'd be surprised!

Alastair described this caramel slice as the size of a 'brick' and hoped his personal trainer didn't find out about his secret passion.

He's right of course - it's definitely a good caramel slice. Like Alastair, I have something of a passion for this sweet treat.  The base is textured with a well proportioned biscuit crunch, the caramel has a fresh, strong flavour and the chocolate is nicely thick, but not too thick. Try it halved with a dollop of thick cream but let it come to room temperature to fully enjoy the flavours.

But I was really at Vanilla Pod to check out their cupcakes. Owner Carla Burns has a long family history in baking and her she…

Grape stomping at Flame Hill

Feeling ripe red grapes squish between your toes is a curious feeling. I did the grape stomp one weekend at Golden Grove Estate on the Granite Belt as part of a fabulous celebration for  the start of harvest.

If you'd like to get that smooshy feeling, Flame Hill Vineyard at Montville should be on your  list. The winery will play host to the annual Grape Stomp Festival on Saturday February 20. Along with grape stomping there will be live entertainment and local gourmet delicacies.

“The day promises to be a feast for the palate, celebrating the wonderful combination of wine, food and entertainment, highlighting a tradition that has existed since the origins of wine making,” said Flame Hill Vineyard Manager, Sharon Hogan.

There will be plenty of local food at the event with the promise of cabernet ice cream created by chef Patrick Bender. Much of the food will be sourced from the Flame Hill Estate farm following their 'paddock to plate' concept and using herbs, vegetables, f…

Vietnamese rice paper rolls at Kim Khanh, Darra

I am very partial to Vietnamese rice paper rolls.  They combine good fresh produce and strong flavours with a piquant dipping sauce. 
One of the best places to eat this type of food is some of the many Vietnamese restaurants in Darra.  Kim Khanh is one I have visited several times.  The food is good, the service good and the bill is always surprisingly small.  I'm not visiting this restaurant for the decor or ambience - there is none! You'll find it at the bottom of a small drive-in group of shops.
According to some of Brisbane's best chefs, you can find good many Vietnamese restaurants in the streets close to the Darra railway station. Fellow Brisbane food blogger Mei Yen Chu has written Brisbane Budget Bites which will give you an introduction to the area.  Another Brisbane food blogger, Sally Lynch of Taste Trekkers, takes tours of the Asian shopping areas in Inala.
Back to the rice paper rolls - At Kim Khanah you can order a platter with your choice of meat and then roll …

Top Sushi, Albert Street

I'm a long time sushi lover.  It's often my lunch of choice when I'm out on the town and need a quick fix so I've tried it at many different places.  I've even made it myself with some success.  It's not too hard and lots of fun if you do it with a partner. 

I have a few rules when buying sushi because it may contain raw food so no cooking process has been used to kill any food poisoning bacteria or parasites present.
Always pick a busy shop where you know the turn over is high. Look for a cabinet that is well chilled so the sushi kept in good conditionCheck the hygiene handling when your sushi is served.Prices for a sushi roll usually range between $1.50 to $2.70.
I've heard about Top Sushi in Albert Street, Brisbane City for a while. It's a place that people queue around the block for at lunch time so I was eager to try it - now I'm just confused.  I don't understand why this is so popular.

My daughter made the sushi choices for the day. We h…

Search for the perfect cupcake - Valentines Day

Well there seems to be a strong connection between cupcakes and Valentines Day and several cupcake makers have come up with some irresistible selections for friends and lovers. They make a great way to show affection between lovers and also as a gift for friends to show you care.

Take the time with your lover or loved ones to stop for a cuppa and a cupcake on Sunday, or any day of the week, and enjoy the sweet yummyness of a cupcake. Life is good!

Here are some top suggestions -

Milkbar at Ashgrove has delightful vanilla cupcakes with pink love hearts on the top - noice! And they have mini cupcakes if you just want one bite.

Couture Cupcakes at Bardon has a selection of chocolate cupcakes with red and white icing. They are open this Sunday and each cupcake comes with a mini cupcake as well!

Vanilla Pod at Ascot has a Red Velvet Sponge that's larger than a cupcake but it's so delicious I couldn't resist mentioning it.  The top layer is red velvet cake, the middle is chocol…

Stanthorpe gearing up for Presidential visit

It all started when the Courier Mail came up with a list of suggestions to tempt the Obamas to Queensland during their forthcoming visit ("Bligh bid to lure Obamas", Wednesday 3rd February).

Never ones to let an opportunity pass, the enterprising Apple and Grape Harvest Festival committee have been busily preparing for the visit...

Here's their very tongue-in-cheek line up!

A space has been reserved for the Presidential security team in the Festival's Grand Parade...can't wait to see how the cars look decorated in the Apple & Grape theme!The Obamas will be pleasantly surprised as they are thrown in the deep end to get involved in the Celebrity Grape Crush and Apple Peeling competitions. After Barack is through with the Grape Crush it conjures the thought 'Wonder what the wine juice will taste like from the feet of the most famous man in the world?' The Festival committee intend to auction the President's wine juice, by the bottle, aptly named …

Grasshopper Asian Kitchen, Teneriffe

Brisbane's food blogging community met for the second time last night for a catch up at Grasshopper Asian Kitchen.

Grasshopper is a new eatery in the Teneriffe bar and restaurant precinct.  The decor is casual but there's nothing casual about the food. Head chef Minh Le is one to watch. His style is a combination from his time in the kitchens of Brad Jolly (Alchemy), Russell Armstrong (Seasalt at Armstrongs) and Helmut Proxrucker (Treasury).  Minh combines his passion for the flavours of Asia with exquisite presentation skills.

Wines were matched by Grasshopper joint owner Todd Rumble from Grasshopper's wine list. You can continue your evening trawling  the same wines next door in Claret House which is also owned by Rumble and Michael Rutherford.

We sampled some of the stars from the new Autumn menu.

Sashimi of yellowtail kingfish with ponzu vinaigrette and tomato salsa - An exquisite mix of intense flavours beautifully presented on the plate.
Wine -NV Devil's Corner Cuv…