Top cuts - just the best food news

Eat up!  Here's a round up of food news to whet your appetite.  No drooling now!

BTW - Have you tried the new Oriental Yum Cha that's opened in the former Siana site on the corner of Wickham and Brookes Street in Fortitude Valley yet?

Quick lunch bargains

Smart restaurateurs looking for new ways to tempt you to dine out have brought back both the business lunch deal and quick dining options.

  • At Moo Moo you can enjoy two courses for just $45, lunch only, seven days a week 
  • Sono at Portside has a sushi platter for $20 per person or a three course teppanyaki for $30 per person.
  • Bucci's express lunch gives you two courses for $29.50 or three courses for $34.50, paired with a glass of wine.
  • Aria has a fast fresh two-course lunch in February and March for $39 including a glass of wine.



Turkish delights


Don't know about you, but a food tour of Turkey is so on my bucket list. World Expeditions has launched a gourmet adventure to Turkey lead bu acclaimed, Turkish-born Sydney chef, Somer Sivrioglu (he's the happy chap above) and departing Istanbul on 1 September, 2013. The itinerary combines some classic highlights with forays into some of the country’s more unusual places, with participants staying in carefully selected, boutique accommodation and dining at some of Istanbul’s finest restaurants.

Other World Expeditions’ culinary tours for 2013 include:

Chocola -tea time


Who would have thought to combine tea and chocolate except tea guru, the lovely May King Tsang? Head down to Scrumptious Reads book store in James Street, Fortitude Valley,  for a tea appreciation class with a difference and discover how to pair five different teas to five different chocolates. It's on Sunday, March 24 from 2pm - 3.30pm.  Cost is $40 per person. Bookings

Best fish tacos in town


Adam Barton, owner of Cove Bar + Dining at South Bank's River Quay has proclaimed he has the best fish tacos in town.  Feel free to leave comments below supporting or disputing this!

Their new menu draws inspiration from South American and American BBQ styles - both hot new cuisines around town. Check out their new burger range – four interesting and different types including
pulled pork, grilled haloumi, rib fillet and marinated chicken.  Check out the scallops in the top photo too.

As an added incentive, if you can prove you live or work in the area, you will receive 15 percent off the total bill on all lunch orders Monday to Friday.



Easy Easter cooking masterclass

Graze on bruschetta as you learn how to perfect the art of making gnocchi, a tasty but simple norma sauce
and veal scaloppina ai funghi. Sit down and sample the meal with matching wines, followed by coffee and traditional Easter panettone for dessert.

Owner/Chef Mario is opening up the Restaurant Marca kitchen and sharing his passion for good food, good
wine and some basic principles that he believes are the essence of stress free cooking.

Find Restaurant Marca at 299 Sandgate Road, Albion. Class starts at 6.30pm March 13. Cost is $65. Bookings


Taste test - Endeavour 2011 Reserve Pale Ale

The beer lovers in my house were most pleased with the opportunity to try one of Australia's award winning vintage brews from Endeavour Beer.

Their description of the brew sounds like it's been lifted from a wine bottle - grapefruit and citrus with passionfruit and tropical melon notes. Working from a background in wine, the folk at Endeavour are making beers that are slightly different year to year due to the growing seasons. Instead they use the best harvest dated malt and hops from the stated year and see what brews.

Although I'm not a big beer drinker, I enjoyed this brew and the other, more experienced testers were like minded.

Bottom line: Worth hunting for (find a stockist here)
Best tip: Hide it in the back of the fridge or it will disappear...

Taste test -Original Hot Chocolate


As a chocolate fan I enjoy a full flavoured hot chocolate so I was really putting The Original Hot Chocolate to the test by adding it to oat milk.  It's not hard to make a great cows milk hot chocolate but other milks make it much more challenging.  Original Hot Chocolate delivered a true chocolate flavour in spades. It was delicious. I also enjoyed licking the spoon as I stirred it through the milk

Bottom line: A full flavoured chocolate milk with a spoon to slurp on the side.
Best tip: Try it with any sort of 'milk' you like.


Cookie animals

This is one for kids of all ages - make your own free-standing cookie animals.

Using Wiltshire Art of Baking 3D Farm Animals Cookie Cutter Set you just make up and roll out a favourite smooth cookie dough or shortbread and then punch the pieces out. Bake, cool then ice the animal parts and slot them together to produce farmyard friends.  Included in the pack are five disposable icing bags to encourage neater icing decoration and a handy bag to keep all the pieces together when not in use.
My tip would be to buy premix icing tubes at the supermarket for a super easy fix. It's  (RRP $9.98) and available from Big W.

Here's a recipe you could use.

Shortbread cookies

· 300g plain flour

· 100g icing sugar

· 200g cold butter, diced

· 1 egg yolk

· 1 pinch of salt

· Food colour of your choice


Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Add butter, egg yolk and salt. Knead gently into a smooth dough. Divide dough into three equal quantities. Roll into three balls, wrap each in plastic film and refrigerate for at least half an hour. Pre-heat oven to 180oC. Lightly flour a clean surface, roll dough to a 3mm thickness and cut with Wiltshire 3D Farm Animals Cookie Cutters. Place cookies on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for 12-15 minutes. Place onto a cooling rack and cool completely before icing. Make icing per instructions. Decorate your farm animals before assembling. Place a small amount of icing between the legs and body. Gently slot the legs into the body being careful of your decorative icing. Allow to dry and set.


· 2 egg whites

· 2 tsp lemon juice

· 300g icing sugar, sifted

· Food colour of your choice


Place egg white and lemon juice into a bowl and whisk together. Add the sifted icing sugar gradually, stirring with each addition to keep the mix lump-free. Add 1 or 2 drops of your favourite colour and mix. Please note that the icing will harden when exposed to air and should be used straight away or can be kept in a zip lock bag.

Kerry Heaney