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.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Gyradiko for Lunch

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Gyradiko started popping up on my Instagram feed and every photo that people uploaded of the food simply looked jaw droppingly irresistible. I love gyros wraps. I love chips. Gyros wraps with chips INSIDE the wrap?!?!? Genius!

I don't find myself at James Street much and when we went there last Saturday, I was reminded of why. Parking is such a pain. Marc and I bickered non-stop as we each thought we had a better idea about where to go.

Once we finally managed to score a parking spot, we located Gyradiko without much drama. It's decent-sized for what is essentially a takeaway shop. There was a line but it moved fast. Marc and I ate there at one of their many outside tables but I noticed most people grabbed their wraps and left.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Madame Wu

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Madame Wu

It's that time of the year again, what I like to call 'my birthday week'. My actual birthday was still looming in the semi-distance when I started using it as an excuse for every unnecessary shopping/eating experience for this past month. I'm sure I'm not the only person who does this.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend PDizzle recommended Madame Wu to me and he made it sound so good that I instantly put a plan into motion to get there. This involved sending the website URL to Marc, followed by a not so subtle hint of "it's my birthday soon!" Because we had activities lined up all weekend, we ended up bringing this dinner event forward to last Wednesday night.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

1889 Enoteca for Dinner

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1889 Enoteca

Now that I'm through with my short term French food fling, my appetite has a new focus on Italian. I've also noticed a trend with dining out at Italian restaurants. If I order something other than pasta at one, I find myself craving pasta the whole following week. This happened at Dell U'go when I ordered a steak main. I had to curb my subsequent pasta craving somehow and what better way to do that than by knocking one of Brisbane's most reputable Italian restaurants off my 'must try' list. Like Montrachet, which I finally got to visit a couple of weeks ago, 1889 Enoteca has been a restaurant I've wanted to try for years and years but never got a chance to. Well, the thing with opportunity is sometimes you just have to make things happen for yourself.

I made a spontaneous booking, by which I mean I filled out their online booking request form no more than 3hrs before we actually wanted the table. Neither Marc or I was surprised that they hadn't received the booking request when we showed up. Fortunately, Enoteca was able to accommodate by offering us a table street side. We were actually glad because it was the most perfect outdoor eating weather and we were dressed a bit more casually than the guests seated inside. I think this seating arrangement worked out well for everyone.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

RAW Juicery, Indooroopilly

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RAW Juicery, Indooroopilly

I'm pretty sure part of why I'm so broke this year (aside from having a wedding to plan/pay for) is my new found obsession with juice. One of my annoying catch phrases is that I "hate overly sweet drinks"; I don't like soft drink and I can't stomach thickshakes or overly sweet cocktails. It might seem strange then that I have a soft spot for juice. I can't drink regular supermarket variety apple juice, orange juice or the like (at least not without diluting it heaps) but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE veggie juices and green juices. The problem is, they're bloody expensive so I often have a juice as a meal replacement or eat a peasant meal with it to keep the wallet balanced.

I stumbled across RAW on my recent excursions to Indooroopilly Shopping Centre and have been back a couple of times. Each visit, I'ven purchased a juice and a little trinket on the side (just so that I'd have more to blog about). This typically sets me back $15 bucks or so. The juice itself is about the same as a burger meal at Maccas, so go figure. I like to pretend that the placebo effect of healthiness and good conscious makes it well worth it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dell' Ugo, New Farm for Dinner

Dell' Ugo

Another week, another dinner date. I highly recommend planting restaurant bookings through your weekdays to break up the working week and make life more tolerable. Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed and despondent, the thought of "at least I'm going out for dinner tomorrow night" helps perk up the mood ever so slightly.

We headed to Dell' Ugo in New Farm last week for a lateish dinner, approaching 8:30pm. As expected, the restaurant was rather quiet when we got there but that's exactly what I was in the mood for that night.