Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2010

Tetsuya masterclass

It's a special bit of serendipity when a food blogger wins a masterclass with one of Australia's best chefs!

For all of you who never enter competitions because you never win, listen up - I won a return trip to Sydney, overnight accommodation and the masterclass simply by entering an online Electrolux competition. I saw the competition on a fellow blogger's site - Winos and Foodies. Next time give it a go.

Walking into Tetsuya Wakuda's self named restaurant was a real experience.  It's street presence is very subtle, much like the restaurant, much like the man.  You walk down this short driveway to an iron gate and once inside the restaurant unfolds. The Japanese influences are obvious in the streamlined simplicity and classic elegance.  It's a refined space.

Coco Bella Espresso, New Farm

Sometimes I really wished I lived in New Farm and could be a brekkie regular at some of the great neighbourhood cafes.

Coco Bella is another find for locals in the area.  It's Lamington Street,  the road leading to the Powerhouse which on market days is very busy, but on a weekday morning it was quiet and suburban.

Have you seen this woman?

Love Brisbane's quirky nature.

Here's a Marilyn lookalike maybe set to rival Milton Road's famous nun!

I saw her on my morning walk down a busy local street. Have you seen her?  Here's a hint - she's on a Terrace well known for shopping.

Win great new Wiltshire barbecue tools

If you like to throw a steak on the barbie, you should try Ben O’Donoghue's new Wiltshire barbecue tools.

Tasty bits, bmag August 24

Kangaroo Island - Go Camping

Here's my story in the August/September edition of Go Camping Australia -find it on newsagent's shelves now. Just a fabulous experience!

Serindipity Coffee Bar, Wilston

You've gotta love a place that does all day brekky and has huge cupcakes!

Serendipity Coffee Bar at Wilston which is on the corner of Kedron Brook Road and Heather Street (next door to Cold Rock) is not much bigger than a hole in the wall operation.  There's only enough room to order your food inside where the kitchen is on full display.  Outside there are several tables and chairs on the footpath and some stools at a high bench.

Cupcakes for canine pals

Do you feel guilty biting into your favourite cupcake treat with your dog giving you 'puppy' eyes?

I swear my dog has been to acting school and graduated with a distinction!

Prawns fresh from Moreton Bay

Sunday saw me on the back of K2's motor bike heading down to Brisbane's Bayside for a late brekky at one of our fave easy spots, Seafood Lovers Cafe on Margate Parade, Margate.

On the way home we followed the shoreline searching for new dining options and enjoying the scenery. It was a top day to be outside with cool temperatures and clear blue skies.

Spicers Tamarind

Lunch on Friday saw me eating, drinking and laughing with other members of the Australian Travel Writers Association (ASTW) at our monthly lunch.

Held at the Sofitel, this lunch was an opportunity for The Spicers Group to introduce the latest resort in their group - Spicers Tamarind.  If you are lucky enough to have visited or stayed at any Spicers Properies (I've been to Spices Hidden Vale, Spicers Peak Lodge and Spicers Clovelly) you'll know these are places of elegance and restraint, where the food is exceptionally good and the atmosphere restorative.

Next Door, Paddington

Yet another coffee shop on Latrobe Terrace at Paddington opposite Woolworths has opened so we are now spoilt for choice.

Recently opened Merlo has certainly found a ready market with a willing crowd lining up most times I visit.

In a clever move, Sassafras found space underneath an old Queenslander converted into offices and created Next Door, a hole in the wall style coffee shop that serves simple food and coffee with a small amount of outdoor seating.

Growing your own veggies

Every time I hear about another pesticide scare or the value of eating organically I get a little closer to growing my own veggies.

I'm not there quite yet but the idea is just getting more and more appealing.

If you are thinking along the same lines, "Organic - Don Burke's Guide to Growing Organic Food", New Holland ($29.95) is a great place to start.

It's got some good step-by-step advice on how to build your own veggie beds,  fertilise the soil the organic way, and how to sow and grow healthy crops.  There's also an A-Z guide to veggies and fruits to grow and an annual sowing calendar.

I've got one copy to give away so if you'd like it, leave a comment below.

Sushi Lovers, Rosalie

I'm a big fan of sushi and was very pleased when V Diddy brought home these massive hand rolled pieces from Sushi Lovers in Rosalie.

The rice was just how it should be and my avocado nicely ripe, although V Diddy's was hard enough to bounce.

The marinated chicken also was a hit, especially since it was still warm.

They cost $4.50 each and one would be enough if you were not exceptionally hungry like V Diddy wheh she ordered.

Sushi Lovers, 165 Baroona Rd, Paddington
+61 3876 2755

Tomich Hill Wine Dinner, Story Bridge Hotel

A kind invitation from Andrew Ford of the Story Bridge Hotel saw K2 and I enjoy a dinner in their upstairs dining room featuring Tomich Wines recently.

Tomich Wines is family owned and operated winery north of the Adelaide Hills township of Woodside in South Australia.

The region promotes a long and slow ripening and the Tomich wines have the elegant, vibrant and fresh varietal flavours for which the Adelaide Hills are renowned.

Makanan Indonesia, West End

K2 wore his Bintang t-shirt to the gym which started a conversation about Balinese food in Brisbane.

Recently returned from a wonderful holiday in Bali, we are trying to keep the spirit going with some Balinese food but not having much luck. 

Bali Grill at Rosalie didn't really hit any buttons so when a gym buddy suggested Makanan to K2 we got excited.

Albert Lane, Brisbane City

If you haven't explored Albert Lane in the heart of Brisbane's CBD you really should. There are some great eating options.

Here's a story I wrote for Jetstar's August Inflight magazine.

Café Bouquiniste, New Farm

Walls lined with books, quirky old fashioned chairs and tables, a menu full of comfort food and good coffee are all the right ingredients for a great locals hangout. 

You'll find all this and more at Café Bouquiniste and you're lucky if you live in New Farm and can make it your local.

We popped in for breakfast and enjoyed a great selection of the morning offerings. I had a childhood flashback and ordered savoury mince ($10) but had to be disappointed as they had run out. That's until my substitute, a Bouqy breakfast (also $10) arrived. It was chock full of goodies and a very filling breakfast. Although, like the meals at a couple of places I've visited recently, it would have benefited from a heated plate on a cold Brissie morning.

My friend Jen had Avo on toast – another bargain at $5. The coffee is just $3.

In France a bouquiniste sells books. At Café Bouquiniste they have filled the shelves with interesting books and magazines which several customers were browsing…

Waterline Restaurant, Where Magazine

The Cliffs Cafe, Kangaroo Point

When the sun is shining and the sky is blue Brisbane just begs to be explored so we jumped into the car and headed straight for the best city view in Brisbane.

Where did we find it?  The Kangaroo Point cliffs and best of all there's a cafe there now so you can enjoy the view at leisure.

We turned up at 9am on a Sunday morning and it was peak hour at the coffee. Hoping for a stroke of luck, I joined the ordering queue while K2 scoured the landscape for people who might be leaving. The tactic paid off and we found a table before I had to order but it was in the shade.  Normally a shady table is a bonus in sunny Brisbane but this was a crispy winter morning and the sunshine was definitely the place to be.

The views of the city and Brisbane River are really spectacular from here. It would be a great spot for Riverfire but you would need to find your place very early I think.   It also would be the perfect place to take tourists and visitors as it showcases Brisbane's lifestyle.  …

Farm fresh strawberries

There's nothing like buying direct from the grower and you don't have to go far in Brisbane to find the best strawberries.

If you live on Brisbane's northside you probably already know about this little strawberry farm tucked in on Bunya Road, Bunya.

Look for the strawberry signs! And remember they are not open Mondays.

I purchased a dozen free range eggs ($6), delicious strawberry jam ($3.50) chock full of strawberries and a huge punnet of strawberries ($13). The strawberries have deep red centres and a strong strawberry flavour. Delicious.

Drift, Milton

I don't like comparing apples to oranges, especially when my favourite fruit is strawberries.

But that's exactly what I felt I was doing yesterday when I visited Drift Café Jetty & Events, Milton, winner of the Brisbane and Darling Downs Region 2010 Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Awards for best New Restaurant (over 100 seats) award to check out why it captured the judge's attention.

Oyster sauna - gota love that!

A sauna where you are covered in oysters or a sauna for oysters?

I'm intrigued by the first idea but fascinated by the second - and it's probably better eating anyhow. 

Drift, Milton wins Best New Restaurant

One of the more surprising awards at this week's 2010 Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence in Queensland was Best New Restaurant (over 100 seats) to Drift Café Jetty & Events in Milton, Brisbane.

The award finalists included Matt Moran's ARIA, The Apple Tree Restaurant Cafe Bar, Kenmore and Vapiano, Brisbane.

Many Brisbanites have been asking 'What the?" over the award but it seems the judges and a dedicated band of local Drift devotees know better - the rest of us are only now getting into the secret.

Tasty bits, bmag August 10

Baharat Beef with olives

The house is filled with a delicious spicy aroma and dinner is simmering away.

I've just finished preparing a recipe from the Hilton Brisbane Masterclass supplied by Lyndey Milan and Ian Hemphill.

Lyndey and Ian , who are old friends, recently launched a new book 'Just Add Spice' which has '100 recipes that show the home cook how to spice up simple dishes using enticing herbs and spices.' 

Little Stanley Supper Club, South Bank

For the duration of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival (MBFF) Saturday 7 to Friday 13 August, Little Stanley will be abuzz with fashion, dining, shopping and live music every night till late, transforming the street into the Little Stanley Supper Club – a funky chill-out area for post-show fashionistas.

The Little Stanley Supper Club will see restaurants and cafes such as Flowers of the World, La Via, Beastie Burgers, The Point, Toscani’s, Obsession, Ahmet’s, Greystone Bar & Cellar, The Sardine Tin and Fifth Element extend their kitchen hours beyond 10pm serving up delectable supper menus and fashion inspired cocktails – perfect for a wholesome meal and night cap after taking in a MBFF show. For the first time in the market’s history, the Young Designers Market will be holding a night market 5pm to 10pm on Tuesday 10 August, fusing the best of Brisbane’s up and coming fashion talent with the designers of the MBFF runway.

Dining along this street of chance discoveries is unlike a…

Ekka memories

I'm Brisbane born and bred so the Ekka has always been part of my life.

I remember the long walk home overloaded with so many bags, their string handles cutting into my skin. Swapping the bits I didn't like with my brother and eating sweets until I felt sick.

And I always came home with a doll on a stick with a stick out fancy skirt and glitter hair.

Cupcake Wars

I would so love to do this in Australia!

Cupcake Wars on the American Food Netwooks channel is just my sorta battle.

It’s cupcake vs. cupcake! Each week on Cupcake Wars, four of the America's top cupcake bakers face off in three elimination challenges until only one decorator remains.

The sweet prize: $10,000 and the opportunity to showcase their cupcakes at the winning gig. Whether a special Ace of Cakes anniversary celebration, a star-studded magazine party or an A-list celebrity golf tournament, these Cupcakes Wars really heat up. Candace Nelson (owner of Sprinkles Cupcakes) and Florian Bellanger (chef and co-owner of online macaroon company MadMac) serve as permanent judges with a third rotating judge each week, and Justin Willman hosts.

Susur Lee's Lamb Thailandaise

One of my favourite sessions at the recent Hilton Brisbane Masterclass was Susur Lee's 'Flavours without Borders'.

As Restaurant II Chef/Owner David Pugh says, Susur's food is very approachable for the home cook.

Susur shared a little of his origins growing up in Hong Kong. His mother, who he said was a terrible cook, told him to go and get a job where they feed you, so he did.

Here's his Lamb Thailandaise recipe which comes with two sauces that are quite superb and very versatile. The recipe really reflects the produce and flavours of Queensland and I'm keen to give it a try - family, can I line you up for dinner soon?

Search for the perfect cupcake continues

I felt a little guilty as I chose the pink cupcake with the blue flower. The small girl standing beside me in the queue surely wouldn't care if her's had a yellow flower?

The range in the display case at Michel's Patisserie at Brookside Shopping Centre, Mitchelton was extensive but once again my eyes had been caught by the cupcakes.

Eating your way around the Brisbane Ekka

From dagwood dogs and meat pies to steak sandwiches to oysters and champagne to strawberrysundaes - there are sweet and savoury, healthy and hearty foods available at the Ekka - 5-14 August.

Not to bemissed is the new food court "Gourmet Harvest" and the Seafood and Wine Bar located inside the Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion.

My personal picks - Coffin Bay Oysters and the Country Women's scone and jam. Also hard to pass by will be CJs Pasta, Confit Bistro and Bretts Wharf.

Bali Grill, Rosalie

With the aroma of clove cigarettes lingering in my nostrils and the jangle of the gamelan still playing in my brain, we ventured down to Bali Grill at Rosalie.

The goal was to recapture some of the Bali spirit from our recent holiday and share the love with friends.

Food, wine and music at Ambiwerra

Sometimes life seems just perfick! Today, for example, was an example of Brisbane's best. Blue skies, a light breeze, balmy winter weather that feels like spring and music for dancing.

Looking around the crowd at Ambiwerra I noticed everyone was smiling. They were sitting back in the sun and just lovin' life.

Choosing what to eat and drink from amongst the many food stalls was tough but we tasted our way through a few winners.