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.

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