Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vintaged Bar and Grill for Dinner

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Vintaged Bar and Grill

Byron recently bought a new car and to celebrate, we decided to go out for dinner somewhere nice in Brisbane. The plan made sense at the time because I was giving him a lift to Brisbane from Toowoomba to pick up the vehicle and we would be dining in town. He ended up going by himself during the week so it wrecked the purpose of the whole excursion but I'm hardly one to delete a food event simply because there's no reason behind it. Isn't eating nice food reason enough?

I chose Vintaged because it was conveniently located in the city (handy for me) and focuses on meats and proteins (good for him). I never even knew this restaurant existed despite walking past it maybe every time I'm in the city. This is because it's located on level 6 at the Hilton, accessible through the back of Wintergarden Shopping Mall on Elizabeth Street. I've walked past but never thought about what was above ground floor.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lunch at The Roll Shop

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The Roll Shop

Something that I greatly miss from my days of doing uni in the Brisbane CBD is the range of lunch options. There were so many awesome cafes and fast food joints that weren't just the usual Maccas, Hungry Jacks and Subways, which is all that exists around Toowoomba. Going back 2 years or so, I was already spoilt for choice. Since then, more and more exciting venues have cropped up all over the place to the point where it's almost intimidating for me to navigate around town.

Banh mi is something that I've been crazing over this year. I love Vietnamese food. I've even mentioned to Marc that if I could choose 2 world cuisines to eat for the rest of my life, it would have to be Japanese and Vietnamese. I like that they are fresh and light on the palate and therefore impossible to get sick of. It thus came as a shock to me when Mochi mentioned banh mi one time last year and I had no idea what she was talking about. Apparently, it's a type of Vietnamese pork roll, served on a French baguette that is considerably common and well-known. I didn't know about it but in this case, it seems I'm late to the trend.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Breakfast and Coffee at Loading Dock Espresso

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Loading Dock Espresso
2 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane

I was taking my routine stroll through South Brisbane/West End when I spotted something that made me change my course: a queue of people admist commercial-looking buildings. I ventured closer and spotted a cafe. Hang on. I've walked along this street countless times before. How could I not know there was a cafe here? My theory is that Loading Dock does predominantly weekday trade (possibly open on Saturdays too) and prior to this month, I didn't get into Brisbane until late night on Fridays. Now that I have Fridays off, I see much more of Brisbane that is hidden from the weekend-only visitor.

Loading Dock Espresso sounded familiar to me so I'm sure I've read about it on some website or cultural media. It's a small cafe that looks like a locked up garage when it's closed because that's what it is. I must have never noticed it in the past because all I saw was a garage roller door. The cafe layout reminds me of Two Trees Espresso, which is another Mambo Coffee outlet.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dinner at The Spaghetti House

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The Spaghetti House

I thought I had a comprehensive knowledge of the main West End restaurants so I was surprised when Marc and I were walking along Boundary Street one night and passed an extremely busy pasta joint that I didn't even know existed. Naturally, I had to try it. We made arrangements to have dinner there last Friday night.

I made a booking through Dimmi and I urge anyone who wants to successfully eat at this restaurant to make a booking. It's a smallish venue and easily packed. We saw people floating around outside when we got there waiting for a table. As one who had made a booking, we were ushered through to our table (the only one I could see that was vacant) without having to wait.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Breakfast at Sisco

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Sisco BCL
500 Boundary Street, Spring Hill

Sisco made it onto my radar via all my favorite online food sources. One moment, I didn't even know it existed and next, it was featured on plenty of Urban List articles and Urbanspoon blogger reviews. I always think of Spring Hill as being really easy to get to so one day, when I had a bunch of appointments in the city, I figured I would start the day with a nice breakfast at Sisco before strolling back to the CBD. It ended up being quite a long walk! I welcome long walks before and after meals though. In truth the calories burnt are probably only equal to half a cup of coffee but it still serves to reduce guilt and enhance enjoyment of meals.

The shop front is small but cute and inviting with bare walls and floor, and an assortment of mismatched furniture. I took up a corner table inside and started perusing the menu.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lunch at The Burrito Bar, South Bank

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The Burrito Bar at South Bank Parklands
5/167 Grey Street, Southbank

I would have never called myself a huge fan of Mexican food but in the past few months, the desire for a burrito or a bowl of chili con carne has emerged at unsuspecting moments. Let's blame Guzman Y Gomez. Even though I wasn't absolutely blown away by it when I first tried, the concept of clean and fresh Mexican (verses over-processed and cheesy) has really grown on me.

Marc and I tried to go to the Burrito Bar a while back but they weren't open... even though according to the trading hours, they should've been open. We ended up going to Ginga on that occasion but I was still curious to try the Burrito Bar. Yes, it was the funky graffiti art and colourful furniture that appealed to me. I'm easily swayed.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dinner at Chow House

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Chow House

In between buying a house, boot camp commitments, various medical appointments and music festivals, I've had next to no spare time, be it on weekdays or weekends. I was long overdue for a catchup with some of my Brissie friends so I was grateful for a vacant Saturday night to gossip together over dinner. I chose Chow House on James Street because its menu and venue suit small gatherings really well.

We arrived there as a group of 6 and were seated in the outside area. Even though it was lateish (between 8:30pm to 9pm), there were still plenty of active diners. The restaurant had an upbeat and casual vibe.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Botanica for Takeaway Lunch

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Being a food blogger must be associated with a stereotype of gluttony. I do admit I love food and get more excited reading about a slab of slow cooked ribs than any amount of designer clothing items on sale. However, I 'think' that during the week aka my time off from restauranting, I manage to stay relatively healthy. I've developed some kind of health quack reputation with my family where according to mum, every week I start preaching a new fad I've read, be it anti-fructose, Paleo, Atkins, blood type diet etc.

Whilst the notion of raw food, vegan and vegetarian might seem off-putting to most (especially the typical Aussie male), when I heard that was what was on offer at Botanica, it really sparked my interest. I read about the little eatery on The Urban List here. It seemed like a trendy joint and married my 2 interests of 'eating out' and 'clean food'. That's quite a rarity, considering the amount of butter/flour/sugar that goes into regular restaurant and cafe food.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dinner at Moda Restaurant

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Moda Restaurant

I'm not the kind of girl who only gets excited about fine dining. Most of my recent dinners with Marc have been spent at trendier, casual spots and during the day, I tend to bounce between cafes. Every now and again though, I do get in the mood for a proper sit down meal with several courses and a bottle of red. We scheduled such a dinner aside last weekend and I selected Moda out of my list of contenders.

A Spanish red, recommended by our waiter

I only knew of Moda by reputation, and the fact that it's located where Gianni's used to be. It's a smallish restaurant with a predominantly outdoor dining space that succeeds in achieving a contemporary garden party atmosphere in the middle of the city. Not bad. Marc commented that he liked the style of furniture, minus the chandeliers. I liked the chandeliers.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Breakfast at Sassafras

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I admit to going through phases with my blog. Whilst there are periods of up to months that I lose enthusiasm and reduce my writing, I've also had bouts of feverish, once-a-day post updates. These past few weeks, I've been very involved, filling my weekend food slots with new venues, and spending my weekdays writing new reviews. Overall, this blog has been my most consistent and enduring hobby throughout my entire life.

Last weekend, Kat and I caught up at a cafe of my choosing, Sassafras in Paddington. As is usual for me, I arrived early and due to a hiccup in her schedule, she got there a bit late. By the time Kat arrived, I was starving so I left her to peruse the menu and got up to order my food. When we swapped places for her to order, she ended up getting the same thing as me albeit with fried eggs on white toast rather than scrambled eggs on organic toast. I have a rule where I'd like to have at least 2 different food items to write a complete post. I made the executive decision that eggs done two ways wasn't different enough so I ended up returning to Sassafras for breakfast again the next day. A bit crazy, yes? But I like to think I'm dedicated:).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chinese New Year Feast at Little Nyonya

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Little Nyonya
24/262 Warrigal Road, Warrigal Square, Eight Mile Plains

My family is not the most traditional of Chinese but we try to follow along with the celebratory occasions like Chinese New Year to get the family together and enjoy some good food. My grandparents proposed going out to eat this year. We were apprehensive about how busy the Asian restaurants would be on the actual Chinse New Year weekend so we brought our gathering forward by a week. My parents had reported a good meal at Little Nyonya and I was curious about the restaurant because I'd never it tried before so that's what we decided on.

Marc and I arrived first, which is a huge rarity for us. We were taken to the round table that my dad booked and I noticed that the restaurant was already nearly packed. It is a medium-sized restaurant with stylized old-fashioned Chinese teak furnishings and paintings. I quite liked the decor.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Joey Dents Pi Bar

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Joey Dents Pi Bar
Hooper Centre, 187 Hume Street, Toowoomba

It's becoming a rare occasion where I find myself excited over a food venue in Toowoomba. One evening, Byron and I were at Paton's in the Hooper Centre to buy dog food. Well, he was buying dog food and I was pacing around outside, bored, and I spotted a pie store.

Pie's are my 'thing' of 2013, or at least, 2 months into this year, they are featuring heavily on my cravings list. I was never a big fan of pies and thought of them as very unhealthy but 'just ok' in terms of taste so not a worthy food intake. Something's changed and now, all of a sudden... I have pies on my mind.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lunch at Mario's at The Dining Room

Mario's at The Dining Room

Marc and I were recently invited to have lunch at Mario's at The Dining Room in Hendra by none other than Mario himself. We were encouraged to peruse the menu online beforehand to get an idea of what was on offer. I hopped onto their website straight away and found tantalising descriptions a-plenty. Honing down to one or two dishes would be a challenge.

We chose a Friday for our lunch excursion and made our way over. As a Southside girl, I had never been to Hendra before. The suburb is dated but afluent. We found Mario's situated unsuspectingly amongst residential buildings in a rennovated cottage. The inside of the restaurant was charmingly fitted, and the resultant space was both comfortable and stylish.

Lunch at Chill on Tedder

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Chill Dining and Wine Bar

A trip to the Gold Coast is always a great opportunity to catch up with Blossom and Matt. We went over the Australia day break and the weather was near cyclonic by the Sunday of our 3 night stay. Without the options of beach or pool, all we really had to look forward to that day was lunch at Chill. It was a restaurant that Blossom recommended and she has superb taste in everything so I was excited to try it.

Marc and I parked in a side-street off Tedder Avenue on Main Beach. We then literally sprinted to the shelter of the restaurant, getting drenched at a point where we ran in opposite directions, unsure of exactly which block Chill was located (Marc turned out to be correct, resulting in me getting more drenched than he).