Sunday, April 24, 2011

NZ trip - A local food affair

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NZ trip - A local food affair
Home Cooking

I labelled this post as 'home cooking' when in truth, I was far, far from home. As I mentioned previously, my decision to tag along on my parents trip came late. Because of this, there was a day I had to spend alone at my lakeview room in Te Anau (nothing to really complain about) while they went for a cruise in Doubtful Sound.

Morning lakeside stroll

I was to sort out lunch and dinner on my own.

To kill time, I wandered around the city centre (even smaller than Toowoomba City centre) and found myself drawn to a grocery store that gratefully accepted my Visa card (I hadn't any NZ$ on me besides what I changed to use the coin-operated computer I'm on now).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

NZ Adventures - fuel for the flight

NZ Adventures - fuel for the flight
Home Cooking

It's a sad fact of life but as I grew up and started working/living by myself/doing my own thing, there's been less and less time for family trips. We pulled together for our Shanghai trip September last year that dad kept hailing as 'our last family trip ever' but my parents and I are VERY close so when I found out they were going to New Zealand in the Easter break, I decided I'd join.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Salmon, Pesto and Mint Pasta

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Salmon, Pesta and Mint Pasta
Home Cooking

I think I can squeeze in one more home cooking post before the Easter break. This was also a creation for our most recent dinner party. It was the best I could come up with that satisfied the criteria of: healthy, filling and easy.

I got the recipe from 'Healthy Food Magazine' (June 2010 issue).

Dee's Vintage Thai in Toowoomba

Dee's Vintage Thai

I can't get away from Thai food in Toowoomba. And I'm not really complaining. When I lived in Brisbane, I never really 'got' Thai food. There seemed to be Thai restaurants everywhere but I had so many other options available that I steered clear of them. The one that gave me the best impression was Modern Thai at Mount Gravatt.

Since moving here, Thai comprises of maybe 80% of what I eat when dining out. When Mochi and I did our restaurant trip of the week last Thursday, it wasn't so much 'what type of food should we eat?' but more 'which Thai restaurant should we go to?'

Monday, April 18, 2011

Roast Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad

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Roast Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad
Home Cooking

It recently came to my attention that I am not eating enough vegetables. Aside from garden salad as a side to food I order from restaurants, I seem to eat no vegetables at all.

To rectify, I decided to put together a salad... a NUTRITIOUS salad as one of my contributions to a recent dinner party we hosted.

I kept thing simple and plain old Googled a pumpkin and chickpea recipe. The reason behind this is that I love pumpkin and I spotted a can of chickpeas in my cupboard.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Angel Cafe in Toowoomba

The Angel Cafe

My first visit to Angel Cafe was for Mochi's after-dinner birthday cake. I liked the look of the place and was curious about their food. We were meeting our friend Dewly for dinner and didn't want more Thai (too much of a good thing can be a bad thing) so we opted for this instead.

The Angel Cafe has an expansive dining area that manages to feel like a lounge rather than restaurant. It's got a dark decor but doesn't feel too awkwardly romantic for casual dinners.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Qi' Lin Oriental Cuisine in Toowoomba

Qi' Lin Oriental Cuisine

Okay... I'm officially embarrassed by the frequency of buffet outtings described in my blog posts. Am I a pig? A hobo? Just plain incapable of enjoying refined food in small quantities?

Whatever the case may be, when asked 'buffet or ala carte?' at Qi' Lin last weekend, Byron and I didn't even hesitate: Buffet.

We justified it financially... because, well, buffet means greater variety and we figured that for any variety at all with 2 people, plus rice and drinks, it'd end up close to buffet cost anyway. The inner truth is that my inner child just loves the idea of helping myself to potentially endless plates of food. It's not exactly cooking for myself but there is a certain interactive element.

Indian Baked Meatballs with Buttery Rice Pilaf and Spinach Raita

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Indian Baked Meatballs with Buttery Rice Pilaf and Spinach Raita
Home Cooking

I'm about a month overdue for a cooking post. Work has made me too lazy to cook... but wait, that's not really a valid excuse since it was mostly Byron's cooking that got blogged anyway. I think we've just had a streak of excessive dining out mixed with boiling instant noodles at home.

Well in this instance, I actually did do the cooking. After a couple of days perusing through various cookbooks, I settled with baked meatballs from Bill Granger's 'Feed Me Now' because he included recipes for accompaniments.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thyme2 Restaurant for Breakfast Buffet

Thyme2 Restaurant
249 Turbot St, Brisbane CBD

I'm getting to be somewhat of a regular with hotel buffet breakfasts. On this occasion, we were staying at the Sofitel where Thyme2 Restaurant is located. The prospect of a nice, all-you-can-eat breakfast on Sunday nicely counter-balances with the dread of having to wake up and check out.

We were seated without hassle and didn't even bother getting comfortable at our table before making a bee-line for the food islands.

Pearl Cafe for Breakfast AND Lunch

Pearl Cafe
28 Logan Road, Woolloongabba

Mochi and I rarely disagree when it comes to food judgement. We recently found ourselves haggling over which was the best coffee EVER. My only experience of mind-blowing coffee was from Coffee Tea and Me in Toowoomba (yup, it beat all the other's I've had from around Australia). Hers was from Pearl Cafe at the Gabba. I couldn't really back up my call because I hadn't actually tried Pearl Cafe. Mochi took matters into her own hands by organizing breakfast there one morning when we were both in Brisbane. She promised the food would be good too.

It was Friday morning when we got there and the place was quite busy. One reason why Pearl Cafe always feels popular and exclusive is because it's tiny and there just aren't that many tables. We managed to squeeze into a table on the inside.

Lefkas Taverna

Lefkas Taverna
170 Hardgrave Road, West End

Living in Toowoomba has made me very deprived of Greek food. When my good mate Howl came back to Brisbane, I snagged him for a dinner appointment and decided against many other fancy, blogable places and chose Lefkas instead.

Lefkas Taverna is one of those restaurants I've always wanted to try while I was in Brisbane but never did. Though I used to dine at West End almost on a weekly basis, it's located in what I know as the 'Other Part' of West End. I rarely drive past it. I think it happened once, on the way to Caravenserai, and I remember thinking 'oh, so THAT'S Lefkas... it looks so packed!'

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fables Restaurant at the Gold Coast for Buffet Breakfast

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Fables Restaurant
Cnr Gold Coast Highway and Laycock Street, Mantra Legends Hotel, Surfer's Paradise

Sunday morning buffet breakfast... 4 words that make perfect sense to me.
Mum and dad got up early, went for a stroll and were ready for breakfast.
I got up much later, didn't do anything, and was ready for breakfast.

We were staying at the Mantra Legends so it was easy enough to head downstairs. What we didn't take into account was the huge queue of hungry coast-goers waiting to get a table.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ming Palace Chinese Restaurant at the Gold Coast

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Ming Palace Chinese Restaurant
Shop 21, Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach

When it comes to my parents and dining out, they still prefer traditional Chinese cuisine best. Though they are open-minded to other styles of food, I decided to go with that preference when deciding what to eat Saturday night at the coast.

My original intention was to dine at Zen in Jupiter's Casino. I went there once when I was much younger and had a great impression of the place so I was hoping to give it another go. Unfortunately, we went at 8pm (after playing roulette for an hour or so) to be told they were booked out till 9pm.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shakey's Milkshake Bar at the Gold Coast

Shakey's Milkshake Bar

Walking through paradise (i.e. Surfer's Paradise), I got thirsty and spotted a milkshake bar. I... 'like' milkshakes but I'm not crazy about them. They are too much of a meal in a beverage for me.

But this particular milkshake bar caught my eye because the front window was full of candy. Intrigued, I scanned the menu board and deduced that I could order a milkshake in any candy flavor of the rainbow.