Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bar Italia at the Gold Coast

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Bar Italia
3240 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise

Last weekend involved bonding with mum and dad over a fling at the coast. I did my first Toowoomba to Surfers direct route drive and proudly arrived at the destination after following hastily printed out Google Maps directions.

Because I'd driven there straight after work, I was feeling more than slightly peckish after we checked into the hotel. Luckily we were located right near Cavil Mall so we went down in that general direction.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chutney Mary in Toowoomba

Chutney Mary

When deciding where to have my birthday meal in Toowoomba, we noticed that the choices were pretty much limited to pub food, Thai or Indian. Since we just had Thai for Mochi's birthday, I opted for Indian.

There was a night, a couple of weeks back, when we tried to eat at Chutney Mary but found that they were closed from flood damage. A couple of my work mates told me it was back up and running so I thought 'SWEET, lets give them a shot'.

Perk Up for Breakfast in Melbourne

Perk Up

Breakfast is not something I take lightly but on the Sunday we were in Melbourne, we had just one requirement: a place that was open at 7am.

We made our way to Southern Cross Station and Perk Up was literally the only place with its lights on. Bar Maccas. The window display looked promising so we were eager to stop off for some morning fuel.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cookie in Melbourne

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Cookie Bar and Restaurant

After our wonderful Japanese meal at Shoya, we did the food blogger thing of variety over loyalty and traversed to a different location for dessert. Kat didn't like the prospect of walking for miles in heels so I Urbanspooned somewhere close by.

As it happens, Cookie was on our list of destinations in our previous Melbourne trip so it made sense to give it a go.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shoya Restaurant in Melbourne

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Shoya Nouvelle Wafu Cuisine

Japanese is my flavor of the week. Out of all the restaurants I could have tried in Melbourne, I decided on Shoya. It was based purely on one recommendation I found in Vogue forums. I had gotten to the point where I didn't want to think about where to go anymore and figuratively just closed my eyes, spun around and selected the first thing I came across. Shoya won that lucky draw.

We were booked in at 7pm, which is my 'usual' time for dining out. What really got me confused was that it was 7pm in Melbourne (6pm Brisbane time), yet the sun was high in the sky. Kat and I were gussying up in the hotel room because the plan was to dress up for cocktails after dinner.

Honestly, I felt like a tool once we got onto the street, clomping around in a strapless silk dress and 6in Marc Jacob wedges whilst is was very much still daytime. Is it just that we're a couple of pensioners in how early we do things? I take it that the hot young things these days don't even think about leaving their homes till after 9pm.

Well, whatever. We wanted food!

The Cupcake Bakery in Melbourne

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The Cupcake Bakery, Collins Street

I did Sydney on a whim in February so it was fair to give Melbourne a whirl too. I saved it for March so I could use my birthday as an excuse and so here's another example of how I've dragged my birthday out.

It was an EVEN SHORTER trip than Sydney so we literally flew in, had dinner and left the hotel at 8am the next morning.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sake Restaurant in Brisbane

Sake Restaurant

I am the king at dragging out my birthday across an unreasonable length of time. This year, I started celebrating last Friday, which was actually 5 days premature. Anyway, I had somehow got it into my head that if I wanted to be healthy, any Japanese food would be perfectly acceptable. I can now see how that logic is flawed but at the time, it seemed to promise guilt-free eating.

Mochi told me about Sake a while back and another friend told me they were invited to the launch party. This is the equivalent of a major hype up in my mind so I knew I HAD to go. The moment I decided to have dinner in Brisbane on Friday, I made the booking.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thai Royal Restaurant

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Thai Royal Restaurant
Southtown Shopping Centre, 140a South Street, Toowoomba

Last night, we had a birthday celebration for Mochi. Though her actual 'special day' is on the weekend, I'll be in Melbourne so I selfishly suggested we do something during the week as well.

She chose a Thai restaurant she'd been to before on the premise that it was next to a cafe. That way, we could get cake afterwards... smart thinking!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Classic Chicken Parmigiana

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Classic Chicken Parmigiana
Home Cooking

Growing up in a Chinese family, a lot of typical Australian dinner-time creations seem new and interesting to me. Yeh sure, I know what a chicken schnitzel is. And yes I know that a saucier version is called a chicken parmigiana. But the fact is, up until last week, I'd never tasted it before.

It's possible to have a craving for things you haven't eaten. When I think about crispy, crumbed chicken, molten cheese and tomatoey sauce, I know enough to know I want it. It can hardly be an unpleasant surprise.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fire and Ice Restaurant

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Fire and Ice
839 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba

When I first saw Fire and Ice, I thought it was a trendy club. Later, I found out it was a family restaurant. That made me want to go even more, which is a sign I'm getting old.

We wrote it off a few times in favor of other dining opportunities until one day, a few of our friends in Toowoomba hosted a dinner there.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Platform 9 for Brunch

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Platform 9

I've been on an eating hiatus over the past week or so, which is good for financial purposes but makes for poor blogging. I dug out a few photos from Platform 9 that I visited nearly a month ago now.

We went for brunch. I call it that but well.. I got lunch and Byron got breakfast so maybe in a way that does make it brunch.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

City Golf Club in Toowoomba

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City Golf Club

It seems to be a constant dilemma of mine - at once having a huge list of restaurants that I need to visit and also not ever knowing what I want to eat on one particular night. It's exactly like the age old female puzzle of having a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear.

One such evening, we drove around to a few places (there was a confusion about what a certain tavern's name + location was, which was settled on Google via iPhone. God bless technology) and finally, Byron put his foot down and directed us to City Golf.

Getting into the joint was an adventure. Not only did we nearly drive up a pedestrian ramp (courtesy of Mochi and poor signage), we had to sign up. I was allocated the job of becoming a member and signing the others in. No problemo - I love filling out forms.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011



Now that I've finished my Sydney posts, it's time to revisit Brisbane. I actually went to Mariosarti the night before we flew to Sydney, so the sequence is inaccurate. But... who cares :).

I remember a long, long time ago, mum told me that her colleague recommended Mariosarti in Toowong as a great Italian restaurant. At the time, I thought I was an amazing foodie even though I only knew a handful of restaurants. I hadn't heard of this one so I dismissed it as poor taste.

Shinara Grill and Lounge in Sydney

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Shinara Grill and Lounge
Shop 1, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney City

You know you're in trouble when you attempt 2 or more buffet meals in one day. We had a (wonderful) buffet breakfast at The Corn Exchange and were yet again tempted by the all you can eat buffet lunch when we walked past Shinara.

I have a few feeble points of defense. I should remind you that we were trying to kill time at this point and I thought a buffet would be a good means of achieving that. Secondly, the lunch time buffet price, per head, was less that what we would have expected pay ala carte at another establishment. Finally, I liked the decor. I thought it was cute.

Jet Bar Cafe in Sydney

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Jet Bar Cafe
Queen Victoria Building, 445 George Street, Sydney City

Poor time management skills often implies you don't have ENOUGH time and you're constantly rushing, trying to make your appointments. On day 2 of my weekend in Sydney, I found I had to cope with the opposite problem.

By greatly overestimating how much time I'd like to spend shopping, we ended up with hours to kill before we could justify heading back to the airport.

Adriano Zumbo @ Balmain, Sydney

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Adriano Zumbo Patisserie
296 Darling St, Balmain, Sydney

I had completely forgotten that Adriano Zumbo was in Sydney until a friend reminded me on Facebook. Of course, being a MasterChef addict, I thought of Adriano as a dessert God. When I realized I had a chance to try some of his creations, I knew I had to work it into my schedule.

We checked out of our hotel in Sydney very early on Sunday in order to cab it to Balmain. It was a rainy day and it seemed like an extremist thing to do. I figured that the patisserie would be relatively quiet.

Buffet Breakfast @ The Corn Exchange Restaurant in Sydney

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The Corn Exchange Restaurant
Four Points by Sheraton, 161 Sussex Street, Sydney City

Being the planning-extremist that I am, I find it very worrying when I don't know EXACTLY WHERE I'M GOING FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER for holidays that are supposed to be food holidays. I tell myself 'I'll research it closer to date' and even think 'maybe we'll just wing it and find something amazing on the street' but my biggest fear is that I'll settle for a cafe/restaurant only to learn later on via the internet that there was something AMAZING just around the corner. If only I had done my research!

This was my fear for Sunday breakfast in Sydney. I was too lazy/busy to find somewhere to go but I knew that breakfast is very important to me and I would be extremely disappointed not to make the most of that eating slot.