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Top Cuts – the best bits from Brisbane’s food news and beyond +$199 Italian wine and food giveaway

Be a steak judge, find a new bar, discover new cupcakes, find out about delectable seafood, more steamed buns + give yourself a chance to have $199 of Italian wine and food from Ballandean Estate Wines arrive on your doorstep. Grazie!

Quick bits

* Don’t blink or you’ll miss the very new, very small Foundation Espresso & Bar at 42 Warren Street, Fortitude Valley. This micro bar, 20 people all up, is big on attitude with the plenty of personal of service from owner Neil Isserow and entertainment from local artists, comedians and musicians. It’s open Thurs/Fri/Sat from 5pm onwards. Check the website for news on events.

* Double enjoyment as one of Brisbane’s oldest Chinese restaurants, the Cheung family’s Enjoy Inn, has announced it will open in Hamilton Harbour, opening late in 2013 Don’t fret, they are not closing the Fortitude Valley store which has been there for 30 years.  

*Jocelyn and Gerard's one day stand (think Jocelyn's Provisions and Gerrard's Bistro) for the James Street Food and Wine Trail  will  result in slow roasted goat on a bed of Iranian rice followed by desserts such as meringue temples decorated with gold leaf and cinnamon cakes.  There's much more of course but you'll have to go there on Saturday August 3 to find out.

* Fancy yourself as a steak connoisseur? Get thy self a seat at the Regatta Hotel’s Boatshed beef showdown where top beef producers, including Stanbroke, Nolan, John Dee, AAco and JBS, will put their finest products for the crown of ‘Best Beef’ for 2013 in a five stage blind taste-test lunch.  Tickets are $90 per person and proceeds support the winner’s choice of charity.  Book at

* Top marks to Pullman Brisbane King George Square for jumping on the royal baby bandwagon and renaming their Presidential Suite the Prince George Suite.  Top spot for a royal christening party me thinks.

* Loving the lavender in full bloom at Kooroomba out at Boonah.  This is a great spot for a Sunday drive and a slap up lunch in the country. The tempura soft shell crab, citrus confit, Asian herbs and vermicelli followed by Kooroomba lavender ice cream with a polenta snap and wild berries, are my picks.

* Keep an eye on Enoggera Terrace at Red Hill for the opening of Couverture & Co and their small batches of truffles made on site.

And read right to the end for a giveaway from Ballandean Estate Wines of an Italian Cousins pack valued at $199.

Another bun in the oven


It's a family affair - Christine, Natasha, Daniel and Harry

Things are looking up for lovers of the Harry and Christine Fleming’s Bun Mobile steamed buns with a second Bun Mobile, Bun 8 2, to soon hit the road. Run by Christine’s son Daniel and his wife Natasha, the second bun mobile will stick to the northern side of the city.

Daniel is a chef with serious cred (ex Executive Chef of St. Martins Lane Hotel London and The Queensland Rugby Club plus he’s also been a guest chef on BBC “Master Chef) and Natascha is giving up a serious career in nursing so it will be interesting to see what this dynamic duo come up with in their bun mobile.

Menus and specials between both vehicles will match so nobody misses out on steamed bun excellence.  Find out more at or get the Bun Mobile app - Text BUNS to 0481 296947, click link in message received and add app to your mobile device by following prompts.

New cupcake heaven


Mini cupcakes - big ones in the top photo.

My search for the best cupcakes continues with this exciting discovery on the counter at Larder2 on Commercial Road at Teneriffe.  Carla Strahan of Bow & Daisy Bakery makes cupcakes using eggs from her own chooks (22 of them) topped up with some from a Toowoomba farmer, whole fresh vanilla beans, raw sugar and seasonal fruits.

I was amazed to learn that Carla had sourced fresh strawberries which she made into jam to use in her strawberry cupcakes. Her icing is made from Italian meringue ( Egg whites whipped to soft peak and then boiled sugar at 120 degrees poured in - then once this is cooled butter is added) This making the icing lighter and less sweeter than other icings as the volume is made up from the meringue rather than just the norm of butter and icing sugar.

Best of all – the cupcakes are delish! There’s also a pop-up stall every second Friday in the foyer of One One One, Eagle Street.

Test driving – Seafood from Noosa Seafood Market


We all know we need to include more fish in our diets but I’m guessing some of you are like me and find it hard to coordinate buying and eating fresh fish in a short time frame.  There’s only a few places I like to buy fresh fish and they are not on my daily route so then it becomes more of a specific occasion meal.

Enter Noosa Seafood Market’s range of top quality frozen seafood.  Don’t turn your nose up at the word ‘frozen’, because I can tell you that these products taste every bit as good as much of the fresh seafood I have bought recently.

Find Noosa Seafood Market on the corner of Cooyar Street and Lanyana Way, Noosa or in the freezer cabinets of a list of Brisbane and Sunshine Coast locations – I’m talking Zone Fresh, Simon’s Gourmet Gallery,  Rosalie Gourmet Market, The Meet-ting Place and Petersen’s at James Street Market, New Farm.

This mob have been serving up wild catch seafood to locals for 35 years in Noosa and they won’t serve it to you unless they know where it is from and how it was fished, caught or grown. They believe in sustainable fishing and source locally where possible.

Thai fish cakes

Down to the fish – I tested
  • Thai fish cakes  - moist, tender, good fish flavour, just enough chilli to make it interesting
  • Crumbed whiting – tasted like it was caught that day
  • Red emperor –  I panko crumbed this and it has great flavour and texture
  • Chilli mud crab soup – delicious crab seafood flavour with chilli hit
  • Tiger prawns – I threw these into a curry sauce and loved the dish.

I also liked the pack portion sizes which were perfect for my meal requirements. 

Bottom line:  I would and will purchase all these items again.

Noosa Seafood Market
Disclaimer:  Ed+bK was gifted this seafood.

Red emperor fillet

Win $199 of wine, pasta and biscuits - yum!


Everybody needs an Italian cousin according to Granite Belt winery Ballandean Estate Wines. They call their Italian Cousins pack -  an Italian food, wine, cultural and educational experience in a box that arrives at your door every four months - a package of food, wine, goodies and surprises! There’s also the opportunity to journey to Italy bi-annually and join the family there.

The July box includes  2011 Viognier 2011 Merlot, 2011 Opera Block Shiraz, Zuccato Pomodori Secchi (semi-dried Roma Tomatoes), Rustichella D’Abruzzo - Egg Lasagne Sheets, Taggiasca Olives, Lolin White Tuna in EVOO, Gwydir Grove Blood Orange Agrumato, Dead Mans Bones biscuits (Ossi di morti), Pizzelle biscuits, lemon leaves, pasta bowls and recipe cards plus a special key ring to keep the dreaded Malocchio away (Malocchio? It’s a Sicilian thing)

If you’d like to have one of these arrive at your door, you must enter the giveaway and leave a comment below on this blog. There are other steps as well that will improve your chances of being the lucky recipient.  Totally worth it people! I have one box to giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. patimickey4:25 pm

    This giveaway is very attractive because I love Italian wine and food! We need to enjoy good food and drink especially in winter:)

  2. tricia kallquist4:34 pm

    My favourite Italian food is Pesto followed by Tiramisu

  3. This competition looks great. Yet to try any of the Ballandean wines.

  4. Rissotto the food of the gods , only the Italians could create such a masterpiece. :)

  5. My favourite Italian food is pasta! Comfort food any time of year. :)

  6. Sherry8:02 pm

    Wow sounds great. Love ballandean wines.

  7. Anonymous8:23 pm

    My fave italian food is any of the rustic game dishes like rabbit or venison.

  8. Great competition. LOVE the guys from Ballandean. If you've not been to either their opera night or the amazing Gamekeepers dinner, you are missing out. Great wine, great food and a lovely family.

  9. I think this is good idea of competetion. My Best Italian dish is pizza.

    Mobile Massage

  10. Favourite Italian food? Affogato, or coffee gelato followed by a caffè macchiato.
    Is there a problem developing here?...

  11. Katherine10:35 am

    I love all Italian food but if pressed I really love a good risotto.

  12. Pizza is always my favorite Italian food. It's perfect with a glass of wine.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Wine, olives and dead mans bones in a hamper...what more could you want? haha

  15. Pizza is definitely my favourite! I just got back from Italy so I am having withdrawals, this would be a great coping mechanism ;)


  16. Nothing better than Italian food. It's my absolute favourite, comforting, fresh and best enjoyed with a large group of people!

  17. My favourite italian food is tiramisu! YUM! No cutting corners or trying to reduce calories please!!

  18. My favourite Italian food is spaghetti con peperoncino e olio: spaghetti with chilli, oil and garlic. Quick, easy and delicious!

  19. Yum Italy in a box what a great prize! All sounds delicious!

  20. aimee lt10:30 am

    I love a good lasagna, Italian food no matter the race, brings a family together with there bellies

  21. Samantha Yep10:30 am

    Fingers crossed for this competition.
    My favourite Italian food is when my daughter joins in and makes home made pizza. She gets so excited kneeding the dough, waiting for it to rise before her Eve's. then out to the garden to pick veggies and herbs which she has help grow with joy, to place on our yummy home made pizzas

  22. I couldn't possibly pick just one! Italian is my favorite cuisine...can't I pick them all?

  23. My husband is Italian, so I have the best of both worlds. His nonnas cooking and his mums :) Love their foods and wines, I think I have turned Into an Italian :)

  24. Julia Mason10:53 am

    My favourite Italian food is creamy prawn risotto, I cannot resist, this dish is perfecto!

  25. Kristy H11:01 am

    Yum yum Italian hamper! Would love the recipe cards so I can make delish Italian food!

  26. Another inspirational post and another fantastic giveaway. My hubby and I just recently visited the lavender farm - what a wonderful place. It would be nice to reminisce with some lovely wine... :)

  27. My favourite Italian dish is Arrancini! So good. I make them at Christmas time.

  28. Cynthia11:29 am


  29. Gnocchi. My family has them on special occasions.
    - Ben Travia

  30. My favourite Italian food is spaghetti bolognaise! ....I'm making it for dinner tonight! :)

  31. Anonymous12:26 pm

    My favourite Italian food thanks to a childhood love of...the Garfield comics, is of course Lasanga!

  32. I Love all Italian Food but my Absolute Favourite is Gnocchi Carbonara.

  33. It's a tie between pizza and gnocchi for me, yum!

  34. My favourite italian food is Titamisu, and I just made one today

  35. My favourite Italian food is Titamiso, yum and I just made one for tonight.

  36. Love home-made pasta with ricotta, cherry tomatoes and baby spinach, goes great with a nice Italian (my husband!) and some wine!

  37. Love home-made pasta with ricotta, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach and basil. Goes great Italian wine!!

  38. Wow, look at all the comments. Kerry, I think all these people are wine lovers. :)

    I'd like a wine to go with my favourite pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage sauce.

  39. Calamari tubes stuffed with rice, Italian style tomato sauce and mince

  40. mellie jane4:19 pm

    everything pasta i love how something quite plain can be transformed into a memorable eating experience with the addition of a sauce or accompniment .

  41. It's been years since I've been to the Granite Belt but will be going in Oct as we've bought some tickets to the Australian Small Winemaker's Show. Ballandean will sure to be on the tasting list. I can think of no nicer re-introduction than this tasting box!

  42. I love all Italian food! My fav would have to be Pizza! xx

  43. My favourite Italian food is tiramisu. (the alcoholic kind!)

  44. My favourite Italian dish is Spaghetti Bolognese with lashings of Parmesan Cheese, l can't get enough of it when l get started. I make a right mess of myself. But it's worth it. I also love pizza. I wish l had a Italian mumma or nonna.

  45. marilyn7:41 pm

    I enjoy pizza, in April I was in Italy with my daughter, we had a free day,we read that pizza was invented in Naples so...
    we spent 86 euro on a last minute train ticket to Naples and spent 5 euro on a pizza

  46. What a yummy parcel to arrive at your door! Tastes better than bills.

  47. Pizza, even bad pizza is still good!!!!!

  48. Favourite italian? A fresh handmade egg fettucine with a simple tomatoe, garlic, basil sauce! Lots of parmesan on top!

  49. OMG, a second bun mobile!! Wonderful news.


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