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Showing posts from June, 2015

Good Food Guide Awards 2016 - winners and losers

The awards are out and 61 hats are on, so let's cut to the chase and see who's in and who's out.

It seems nothing changes in the top category with Esquire taking out the top Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year award for the fourth year in a row making it one of Australia's most awarded venues.


GOMA Restaurant joined the two hats brigade with chef Josue Lopez taking home the Citi Chef of the Year award.

GOMA Restaurant
There was plenty of movement in the city and suburbs one hat category with 1889 Enoteca and The Catbird Seat Bistro, both at Woolloongabba moving in along with Deer Duck  Bistro at Auchenflower, Montrachet at Paddington and Thomson's Reserve, Spring Hill.

Montrachet, Paddington Thomson's Reserve, Spring Hill

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that Montrachet is heading for two stars next year.
Losing a hat were 85 Miskin Street, Toowong; Jellyfish, Brisbane; Reserve, Milton; Restaurant Two, Brisbane; Tartufo,  Fortitude Val…

Cafe crimes! Five things that bug me about cafes

My breakfast arrives and it looks perfect. Lightly poached eggs with runny centres atop crisp corn fritters with a side of smokey bacon, but where's the plate?

Instead of a clean white plate, breakfast is on a wooden board, the latest trend in cafe culture.  It looks attractive but what about the hygiene?  How many runny eggs have seeped into the porous wooden surface?

These bits of wood can't go through a high temperature dishwasher so how do they keep them clean and germ free?  I'm pretty sure they are not bleaching the tens of planks used in a cafe each day.

Dining dramas - top tips to find a table in Melbourne's CBD 

No problem if the board is used as a platter to serve sandwiches or food that's not likely to run into the wood but definitely not eggs that you will have to mop up off the surface.

So here are five things that bug me about cafes.  Add in yours in the comments below.

1. Wooden boards as plates

See above.

2. Tables too close together
If I have to tur…

Five tips on how to eat local

Eating local means eating food that's grown close to where you live.  If that's Antartica you've got a problem, but if it's Brisbane you have definitely hit the jackpot.

Brisbane's subtropical climate and the micro climates in surrounding areas, mean that many of the items on your weekly shopping list can be grown locally.  Perhaps a great deal of them actually are and you don't even know it as produce from South East Queensland feeds the nation during winter.

Here's five tips on how to eat local -

Start reading labels to see where fruit and veg are grown.  If there's no label, ask the question. Even if the shop keeper does not know the answer, they'll learn that it's important to find out!Buy from butchers and green grocers who specialise in local produce.Go foraging on weekends and purchase from roadside stalls.Visit farmers markets making sure you buy from genuine farmers, not resellers pretending to be farmers.Eat Local Week from June 27 to J…

Dining dramas - Top tips to find a last minute restaurant table in Melbourne's CBD

As many hungry travellers know, although Melbourne's CBD has a huge selection of great restaurants, it can be hard to find a table on a busy night without a booking or a strategy.

If you are organised enough to plan ahead, you'll secure a seat at some of the favourites but there are many that don't take bookings and you have to queue for a spot. It's easy to see which restaurants these are because the queues can stretch around the block as they do at Chin Chin.

I asked two Melbourne food experts, Andrew Prior from Queenie's Food Tours and Fiona Sweetman from  Hidden Secret Tours for some insider tips on how to best find table on a busy dining night near the hotel where I was staying, Doubletree by Hilton in Flinders Street. They shared the restaurants where you are most likely to find a spot and some strategies for success.

The obvious tip is to dine early, but if you're looking for a seat on a busy weekend night think very early or late at restaurants where t…

How to dine in France without leaving Paddington

The red chairs are ready, the silverware sparkling and the kitchen raring to roll out a new modern French gastronomy menu at one of Brisbane's favourite restaurants, Montrachet in Paddington.

With more than 80 awards and medals, Montrachet's new owner Shannon Kellam is odds on Australia's most awarded chef.  Established by Thierry Gallichet in 2004, this is a restaurant with a pedigree and the unusual distinction of being the city's only suburban restaurant closed on weekends.

With 21 years of cooking history, Kellam took over from Gallichet just over two months ago and, with the kitchen now well bedded, has released his own menu. As the current Australian candidate for the international Bocuse d'Or world final in Lyon, he brings innovative precision of an exceptionally high standard to his food and modern French style to Brisbane.

Gone are the heavy sauces replaced with dishes that combine just a few very special flavours very well with vegetables in a staring …

Super simple Sunday lunch for eight

When old friends catch up, it's more about the conversation and laughter than the food but there's no denying that good flavours make an occasion fly.

They are an easy crowd to please but the first hosts in this birthday lunch series, Michelle and Vicki, are big food acts to follow.  I pulled out all stops and drew from my favourite food friends to create a Sunday lunch for eight.

We started with a selection of cheese with accompaniments and dips instead of an entree.  I find that while most are hungry for lunch, the gathering starts best when people can move about quickly to catch up on all the news.

My cheese came from The Cheese Pleaser stall at the Red Hill Markets which was my first up call for the morning to also buy fresh flowers and bread. I purchased one of their cheese boxes which came with everything in the box below - Javier Codina's apple and walnut chutney, biscuits, and the cheese - all for $40.  There was also some of Javier's Romesco sauce to spread …

Tim Tam VS Tim Tam Taste Off

There are some who say you should never mess with an icon and Tim Tams certainly fit that category for me.

They are my go to biscuit at times of pleasure and stress and have always been a real treat, but what about the new varieties?

Ed+bK Taste Tests Vegemite Chocolate
Arnott's Biscuits obviously know they are onto a good thing and have come up with an extensive range of new flavours. I picked two and put them to the office taste test.

So here's their verdicts on the Peanut Butter and Three Bean flavours.  We've done the hard work so you can make your choice in the supermarket aisles with confidence.

Peanut butter

Arnott's have been criticised for this biscuit because it doesn't actually contain peanut butter but instead uses peanut butter flavouring. Anrott's state this is because they didn't want to use nuts in the processing line. There are so many problems with nut allergies in children I am not going to argue this decision. I will say that it defi…