Sunday, April 26, 2015

West End Coffee House for Breakfast and Lunch

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West End Coffee House

I've been finding myself with an abundance of non-working week days lately, which is perfectly fine but forces me to create routine on my own. One day of doing absolutely nothing besides slothing in bed is fine, but 2-3 in a row and I start to feel my mind and body melting away. Besides undertaking hobbies like drawing, exercise and food blogging, I've started a side project of trying to get to know my neighbourhood better.

West End Coffee House has been around for as long as I remember West End, which is most of my teen to adult life. It's surprising then that it's taken me this long to finally get to try it. I think the main reason for this is my fear of parking. Parking around that central section of West End seems to either be non-existent or challengingly parallel on busy stretches of road. I can parallel park just fine when it's near my building and there's no one watching but queue up 3+ impatient cars behind me and it's a panel scratch waiting to happen.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Nikuya for BBQ Dinner

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Nikuya Japanese BBQ and Tonkatsu Restaurant

I can't remember if I've mentioned this on the blog yet but I'm getting married in August! Woohoo. It has progressed in my mind as something that is 'sooooo far away' to 'omg there's only 4 months to go!' Along with this realisation, I've churned through waves of emotions as varied as pure panic, excitement, OCD level planning and forgetting that it's even on. At the moment, I think I've got most things organized so I'm sitting on content with the unshakeable sensation that there must be something I've missed.

Last weekend Marc and I had a trial photoshoot that we loosely termed our Engagement Shoot even though we got engaged about a year ago. To make the most of it, I tied in my bridal hair and makeup trial on the same day so that I could see the results on camera. I then decided that being so nicely made up and dressed only to go back home to sleep afterwards would be a huge waste so I booked dinner out at Nikuya. This, I called our anniversary dinner because it was roughly 3 years since we met. I'm excellent at finding excuses to eat out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dinner and Drinks at Heya Bar

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Heya Bar

Another sign that I'm getting older (not that I need anything to remind me) is that there aren't so many 'drinking' events anymore. Maybe it's just me and the fact that I'm lazy and boring but weekends that used to be spent out on the town are now spent curled up on the sofa bed watching movies. I don't have the energy or motivation to get dolled up for a big night unless there's a good reason for it. Food, however... food is a good enough reason to get me out of the house.

I got wind of a new bar opening in the Valley. That on its own is cool but irrelevant to me but once I read and saw photos of its food menu, it became much more interesting. The premise of Heya Bar is Asian street-stall inspired with themed cocktail menus and lots of pan-Asian bar nibblies. Heya Bar is located downstairs below Zuri, where The Brunswick Social used to be.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lunch at Merriweather Cafe

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Merriweather Cafe

People assume that living in West End must be such a great thing for me because I'm immersed in a huge selection of Brisbane's best food and drink venues. Actually, it is pretty great. But if I was to go all #firstworldproblem about it, one negative is that it's easy to exhaust all the local vendors and suddenly, there's nothing new to try. I was over the moon when I discovered that Merriweather Cafe was just a hop, skip and jump away in South Brisbane. It was a cafe I hadn't tried! It's also just far enough from the main stretch of restaurants in West End to not be a gigantic pain to find parking at. Since I made this discovery, I've been twice for brunch and tasted enough food to put up a review.

Merriweather Cafe is located on the corner of Russel and Cordelia Streets. It's a smallish venue with some tables on the inside and more scattered around the corner. Both times I've been were mid-morning and I had no trouble getting a table. Something that confuses me ever so slightly is the sign that says "Please wait to be seated" and yet both times I've waited there, a waiter has passed and gestured "just sit anywhere". Aside from that, it's full table service.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Jamie's Italian for Dinner

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Jamie's Italian

Aside from Quay in Sydney (which I never ended up making it to), Jamie's Italian in Brisbane was the most challenging restaurant I have ever experienced getting into. I believe that in bigger cities like Sydney and Melbourne, this is a 'normal' thing. It's normal to have to book months in advance for a table. It's normal to wait in line for 30+ minutes outside for a seat at a breakfast hot spot. But, it's NOT normal for me in my expectation of Brisbane dining.

I'm an enormous Jamie Oliver fan. I own most of his cook books (I can spot 5 on my bookshelf just from where I'm sitting). Back in the day when I used to publish a lot more cooking posts, I even put up some Jamie Oliver recipes on this very blog. I tried to get into Jamie's Italian in London but we didn't plan well enough and hadn't made a booking. I thought about going to the Sydney one but I read about long waits and that deterred me. I was thus incredibly excited to see that it would be coming to Brisbane, not realising that it would be more failed attempts before I would get to try it.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Domino's New Pulled Beef Chef's Best Pizzas

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Domino's Pulled Beef Pizza Range

Following the success of Domino's pulled pork range, they've now released a range of Chef's Best pizzas featuring pulled beef. I was invited to try all three new varieties last night, as well as a serving of churros for dessert. More on that later though...

Upon first sight, the pulled beef range has the usual Chef's Best packaging. I'm quite a fan of the matte black boxes and as for the rectangular pizza shape, it just seems less messy to eat. It might be my OCD but I like the neat edges.