Thursday, September 6, 2018

A formal closure

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An overdue farewell...

It's been over 2 years since I last posted on this blog. The ending was sudden. One moment, I was still painstakingly editing, uploading and reviewing every restaurant that I visited. Then one day, I felt fatigued and I stopped, never to return. It did get a bit tedious towards the end because for one, I was tired of constantly feeling pressured to try new restaurants rather than being a return customer. I was running out of ways to describe things and the writing part started to feel like work. I've always thought that whilst in theory, being a food writer would be my dream job, perhaps having deadlines and pressure to do it would take the shine away. Once there was an element of stress behind needing to get posts up before the experience was out of date, I questioned myself "why am I doing this? This isn't my job".

Now, years later and into a whole new chapter of my life, I return to this blog (briefly) with profound emotion and nostalgia. Through essentially 7 years of consistency and commitment, I'd unwittingly documented a chunk of my own history, and that of the Brisbane dining scene. It's interesting to read back and see page after page of restaurants long gone and be reminded of a significance they once held to me.

My posts can be vaguely sorted into 3 segments:
  1. Life as a uni student. I had more or less just moved out of home and discovering my interest in cooking. Masterchef had just debuted and iPhones were still relatively new. Instagram didn't exist and I still communicated with friends via MSN messenger. Although I didn't have a real job, I put all money money towards cooking and eating out.
  2. Early working days. I moved to Toowoomba for my first job as a dentist. Work took up most of my weekday life so I didn't have much energy for cooking.
  3. Back to Brissie. By now, I had settled into a regular adult life and was living in inner city Brisbane. I still cooked but my food blog was a lot more restaurant focused by this point. I think around now was the peak of my blog popularity too.
Now, since my last published blog post, I've relocated to West Brisbane (ironically, within walking distance of where I lived when I first started this blog; we've come full circle, geographically-speaking at least) and am mum to 2 fur babies and 1 human baby. Opportunities to eat out have diminished (and monetary priorities have changed) and though I still love to cook, it's not always easy with baby in tow. I still love food though and these days, I share my taste experiences via Instagram, so if you're reading this and at all interested, please follow @coralia.eats .

It's time to put this blog to rest. Happy eating, everyone!

Some stats

In this blog, I've written:
  • 1002 restaurant review posts (just cracked 1k; YES!)
  • 291 home cooking posts

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Bestaurant for Hot Pot

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The Bestaurant
409 Mains Road, Sunnybank

It's winter in Brisbane; that time of the year when for a couple of weeks we get hit with the kind of weather other countries would find mild and fine, but as a QLDer, sends me frozen to the core. The only cure for these painfully chilly nights is hot pot.

I love hot pot and I enjoy all versions, be it Chinese-style sliced lamb hot pot, Korean-style spicy seafood or Japanese shabu shabu. If it's bubbling and interactive, I'm a fan. We do Chinese hot pot at home a fair bit but one night, the mood struck me suddenly and I didn't have any of the necessary ingredients. Going out was the only solution.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dinner at Atalanta

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Atalanta Bar and Greek Restaurant

Greek food is one of my favourites and although I can name a number of reliably delicious options in Brisbane (mostly around the West End area), it always excites me to see new additions to our dining scene. Atalanta opened a while back in Portside Wharf and at first I was wary because I heard some mixed reviews but then my friend Jenny said it was good and I trust her opinion more than anyone else's. We arranged to have a group dinner there last Saturday night.

The restaurant is large and quite easy to find. It's located near the entrance of Portside Wharf, directly opposite IGA. It was busy on a Saturday night and very, very noisy. A large portion of our night was spent yelling "hey? Sorry, what?" and smiling and pretending to hear what others were saying when all we (or at least, all I) could hear was the persistent drone of a very chatty crowd. As the night progressed this became slightly less of a problem, I think because we naturally got louder the more we drank.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sydney Weekend in May 6 - Lunch at Catalina

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Catalina Restaurant

After our oyster pitstop (I wish that was something I could say every week), we boarded a ferry to Rose Bay. I had never been to that part of Sydney before but had heard many nice things. Mostly, I was just excited about the restaurant we were about to try. I booked Catalina months in advance and spent the weeks leading up to Sydney checking out their website and rethinking what I wanted to order.

The day of our booking was like something out of an ultimate lunch date fantasy. The weather was perfectly clear but not too hot. We entered the restaurant and were seated out on their expansive deck with full views of the water. The setting was dreamy and I couldn't wait to put down my (heavily rehearsed) order.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sydney Weekend in May 5 - Champagne and Oysters at The Sydney Cove Oyster Bar

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The Sydney Cove Oyster Bar

You know life is good when you decide you can stop off for a spontaneous oyster and cocktail brunch by the Sydney harbour. We had planned a ferry trip to Rose Bay for lunch but had underestimated the number of hours between check out at the hotel and lunch. It was nice weather so we took a leisurely stroll through the city to Circular Quay to enjoy the amazing views.

Chewbacca suggested we treat ourselves to some oysters. It was Jenny's birthday and there's no better way to celebrate a young ladies continued advancement through adulthood than with some bubblies and treasures from the ocean.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sydney Weekend in May 4 - Dinner at Master

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Master Dining

Our dinner at Master was something we had planned with Sydney friends many months before the actual trip. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone since I only mentioned recently how meticulous I am about planning things in advance. I'm sure some find this approach to life to be stressful but for me, the earlier I plan something, the longer I have to look forward to it. And this was a dinner I was most definitely looking forward to.

In the weeks leading up to our weekend in Sydney, I kept seeing 'Master Dining' mentioned in all the up and coming restaurant guides online. Excitement grew and it was with utter glee that Marc and I approached the restaurant when the night of the booking finally came around.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sydney Weekend in May 3 - Dessert at RivaReno Gelato

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RivaReno Gelato Barangaroo

After our delicious dinner at Rockpool Bar and Grill, an ordinary couple would've been full and content to give their stomachs a rest. Not us!

Marc knew of a gelato store that had recently expanded and it was getting glowing online reviews. We happened to pass through the area on our way back to the hotel (more accurately we Googled the address and spent an hour getting lost in construction sites but determined to get gelato) and finally came across the shop front.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sydney weekend in May 2 - Dinner at Rockpool Bar and Grill

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Rockpool Bar and Grill

Because of my anxious personality, I always need to plan things well in advance. If anyone asks me to think of a restaurant to visit on the fly, I freeze up and my mind goes blank. It's alright for when I'm in Brisbane because I live here and have a supply of general 'go to' places (mostly eateries around Sunnybank) for when I have no other ideas. On an interstate trip, it's less desirable to be unplanned because I don't know other cities well so unless I have a booking made at a restaurant pre-researched, I assume we'll sit down somewhere unremarkable.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sydney weekend in May 1 - Lunch at Izakaya Yebisu

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Izakaya Yebisu
10/501 George Street, Sydney

I managed to do that thing again last weekend, while we were in Sydney, where we ate at so many places that I simply got overwhelmed by the amount of blog posts I had to write. The end result is that I procrastinate and put it off and end up writing nothing. This weekend, I'm forcing myself to do some reviews before I forget everything and make it harder on myself.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Food and Drink at The Apo


The older I get the more I learn to appreciate any opportunity I have to catch up with good friends. A couple of weekends ago, a group of us met up for share plates and (lots of) drinks at The Apo in Fortitude Valley.