Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Weekend at Byron Bay - Treehouse on Belongil for Dinner and Drinks

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Treehouse on Belongil
http://www.treehouseonbelongil.com/


I was unsure about writing this review because as you'll soon see, the photos are horrendous. Treehouse is a very atmospheric establishment and typical of what you would expect Byron Bay locals to enjoy in their down time. We went on a Saturday night as part of our Mana Yoga Retreats group farewell dinner. It was busy without being hectic and crowded, I struggle to think of a more appropriate word than 'chilled'. It was dark though. Being as blind as I am, I squinted my way through the menu. Normally I wouldn't think twice about having the flash on to get better quality pictures but I think it's too rude and distracting for a group dinner so I opted without. I decided to publish this review anyway for reasons of completeness (I hate having 'food experiences' that remain unblogged) and because the pizza was worth writing about.

Lychee lasso and mojito

We ordered food as a big group and drinks at the bar. Kat and I got there as part of the earlier group so we made a beeline for the bar. We had cocktails on our mind so cocktails we received. For my first, I ordered a mojito and Kat, a lychee lasso. They were both strong quite fairly well balanced although I found the lychee to be too sweet for me.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekend at Byron Bay - Belongil Bistro for Lunch

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Belongil Bistro
http://www.belongilbistro.com.au/


Last weekend, Kat and I spent a glorious 4 days down at Byron Bay for a yoga retreat. I do like to practice yoga casually and for someone who's brain buzzes as relentlessly as mine, yoga is great not only for the body but also the mind. There's about a million things going on in my life right now that I have varying levels of control over and it was starting to get quite overwhelming. Big thanks to Patty at Mana Yoga Retreats for a trip I can't recommend highly enough. I didn't realise until I came home that this weekend was exactly what I needed to get my mind and body back into balance.


Most of our meals at the retreat were catered for and eaten at the accommodation. However because the weather was a bit temperamental, Patty arranged for us to have two meals, a breakfast and a lunch, out at the local cafe.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Weekday Degustation at The Foraging Quail

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The Foraging Quail
http://theforagingquail.com.au/


Last week, Jenny made some commendable life achievements. What better way to celebrate than with food? Another mate of ours recommended the degustation from The Foraging Quail and the menu looked good online so we went with that. The Foraging quail offers a discount off their degustation options if you dine on Wednesday or Thursday night and are seated before 7:30pm.


I took this 'seated before' business a bit too seriously and booked us a table at 5:30pm. Due to some crummy navigational mistakes, I got there 15 minutes late, which left Jenny alone at the restaurant for an embarrassingly long period of time. I think her glass of wine was the only thing that kept her going. The restaurant stayed empty until after 7. It was fairly lively by the time we finished. I felt like a complete nanna eating as early as we did!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Animoto, Gold Coast for Dinner

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Animoto
24 Orchid Avenue, Surfer's Paradise


My favourite unexpected find during our trip to the Gold Coast last weekend was the little Japanese eatery, Animoto. Marc and I had lunch at Boom Boom Burgers earlier that day and when we were brainstorming what to eat for dinner, we decided that sushi/sashimi would be light and contrasting.


After a quick look on Zomato to figure out which Japanese eateries were close to us and had a decent reputation, we settled on Animoto which was only a short stroll away. Animoto is a tiny 'hole in the wall' eatery located in one of the off-street shopping alleys in Surfer's Paradise. We found it by luck because the sign at the front of the alley entrance only says 'Japanese Restaurant' and we went in on a hunch. Even the actual restaurant itself is plain and unlabelled. I didn't know we were at the correct place until I read 'Animoto' on the menu.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Boom Boom Burgers, Gold Coast for Lunch

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Boom Boom Burgers
http://boomboomburgers.com.au/


Marc and I spent the past weekend at the Gold Coast, our favourite spot for short trips away. Although the weather was less than desirable, we still had a merry time filling our bellies with food and drink. One of the activities we had scheduled was a visit to newly opened burger joint Boom Boom Burgers.


I recently received an invite to try the menu at Boom Boom Burgers and because burgers are one of our most loved food types, we were eager to jump on board. Boom Boom Burgers is located on Chevron Island just off the main thoroughfare street. It was easy to find and there was plenty of public parking available around.

New Rustico Base from Pizza Capers

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New Rustico Base from Pizza Capers
https://www.pizzacapers.com.au/


A couple of weeks ago, I heard some exciting news. Pizza Capers was releasing a new thin base option in their rage, called the Rustico. I much prefer thin based pizza to thick and it always bugged me that my favourite fast food pizza chain, Pizza Capers, didn't offer that on their menu. Much to my delight, I was given a voucher to trial of a Rustico pizza of my choice.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lunch at 218 Chinese Style Restaurant

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218 Chinese Style Restaurant
218 Padstow Road, Eight Mile Plains


Although I enjoy cuisine from all walks of the world, homestyle mainland Chinese cuisine is my soul food. It's the kind of simple but tasty dishes that fueled my childhood and makes my heart sing to this day. Most of the Chinese style restaurants in Brisbane are Taiwanese or Cantonese so when I hear of restaurants with more of a mainland influence, my interest goes right up.


I first read about 218 Chinese Style Restaurant from another Brisbane foodie on Instagram and convinced my parents to come with me for lunch last weekend. None of us had been there before but it turns out that the restaurant is in a shopping plaza we drive past all the time to get to Sunnybank. There's a load of parking there and the address was (no coincidence) 218 Padstow Road. The Chinese name for the restaurant is more descriptive and it calls itself a noodle shop so I figure the signature dishes are the noodles.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Izakaya Goku for Dinner

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Izakaya Goku
http://izakayagoku.com.au/


I can't think of an occasion that doesn't suit Japanese bar food and beer. Birthday celebration? Yup. Romantic dinner? Yup. Catchup with friends? Perfect. Weekday lunch? Why not. It's the style of food that anyone anywhere can be in the mood for, any time of the week. Japanese food can be as light or filling as you want it to be and you can match with beer or iced tea if you want to keep the night quiet, or elevate things with some sake or whiskey. It's all so versatile.


Some of my favourite and funnest places to eat in Brisbane include Wagaya and Moga, both of which have 'izakaya' in their title. Coincidence? I think not. In Japanese, izakaya refers to an informal drinking establishment that also serves food, primarily to accompany the drinks. That's basically all I want in a food venue, ever so it makes sense that places I enjoy eating/drinking at are all called izakayas. I was over the moon when I heard one had opened in West End.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Caramel and Walnut Brioche Scrolls

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Caramel and Walnut Brioche Scrolls
Home Cooking


I can't even remember the last time I published a home cooking post. It's not that I don't cook at home anymore (although I admit that is a factor) but when I do cook, I'm very much a home cook and tend to chuck whatever I have in the fridge/pantry into a pot or pan at unspecified quantities. The end result tends to be quite tasty but nothing worth blogging about.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Thorn-Clarke Fine Wine Dinner at Queensland Cricketers' Club

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Thorn-Clarke Fine Wine Dinner
http://qldcricketersclub.com.au/fine-wine-dinner/


The amazing thing about living in Brisbane is that as relaxed and easy-going as the city appears to be, I can't even begin to exhaust the list of things to do and places to try. One might expect that for a big city like New York, Shanghai or even Sydney and Melbourne but Brisbane has a reputation of having less going on, which I think is unfair and has been gradually been adjusted in recent years.

Last Friday night, Marc and I were invited to a wine and food event at the Queensland Cricketers' Club. For others who don't know, this is located at The Gabba stadium in East Brisbane. It is on the 3rd floor, approachable from Vulture Street, opposite The German Club. When I went to highschool, mum drove me past The Gabba literally every weekday. Now that I live in West End, I still drive past it often. Never did I realize there would be so much more to it than a sporting ground.


We arrived after the event officially kicked off (parking difficulties) and entered the venue a bit confused and dazed. I hailed down a staff member and she indicated to us that the large dining space with hoards of people gathered was where we were supposed to be. Most guests had already arrived and were merrily sipping on beverages and munching on canapes.