Monday, June 27, 2011

Chicken, Leek and Tarragon Pie

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Chicken, Leek and Tarragon Pie
Home Cooking

One day, I was feeling very domestic and decided I wanted to bake a pie. Byron and I argued and argued about what should/shouldn't be in the pie. I thought I should have authority on the matter since he doubted the chicken, olive and lemon pie I made but it turned out awesome.

I ended up going with my instincts and started brewing the filling after work. It was hard to restrict the title because the pie doesn't JUST have chicken, leek and tarragon. It's also got bacon, mushrooms and lemon zest.

Vista Restaurant in Toowoomba

Vista Restaurant
39 Margaret Street, Toowoomba

This post is long overdue because I didn't write it up straight away and Melbourne interfered. I went to Vista a couple of weeks back with my work mates. To avoid the confusion of saying 'one work mate ordered blah and another ordered bleh', I'm taking the initiative to get creative with some aliases.

One I've named Pizza because she makes good pizza. One is Pony because she likes horsies and her boyfriend came up with a rad name for himself, which we've all forgotten so I'm calling him Starfish... for no good reason.

Melbourne June 2011 - Dinner at Melbourne Vietnam Noodle House

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Melbourne Vietnam Noodle House
251 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Our last meal in Melbourne was one we tried to make the most of. We circled throughout the CBD, passing many restaurants over and over again. During this time, our appetites were ruined by intermittent snack breaks (we had pork jerky and bubble tea) and so, enthusiasm for food decreased.

A dash through Hardware Lane left Byron and I feeling frazzled and harassed. I know that it's normal for restaurants in Asia to have people out the front trying to lure/drag people in with hot specials but it doesn't happen in Brisbane and I was surprised to see it in Melbourne. Restaurant after restaurant launched their offers at us to try to get our business.

It was a shame because until those acts of desperation, I found the restaurants appealing.

Melbourne June 2011 - Yum Cha at Dragon Boat

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Dragon Boat Chinese Restaurant
203 Little Bourke St, Melbourne

Lunchtime on Sunday was a bit annoying for me because I didn't actually 'plan' it (i.e book anything) but I had sorta... planned it, with an idea of where I wanted to go.

My intentions were for either Cumulus Inc or Hardware Societe but after dinner at Grossi Florentino the night before, and crepes in the morning, we were put off the idea of an overly 'involved' lunch. Something light and casual seemed much more appealing than sitting down to a menu.

Melbourne June 2011 - Breakfast at Harajuku Crepes

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Harajuku Crepes
L1 Shop 148 Knox Place, Melbourne

Because I stuffed up the hotel booking, we weren't staying as tucked into Melbourne CBD as I would have liked. The result is, we did a lot of walking. Every time we walked past the train station, this amazing aroma of cream and pancakes drifted out.

It put Byron to mind of churros so we ended up getting some from San Churro (already blogged this so didn't bother to do it again). They were good but they weren't IT.

Melbourne June 2011 - Dinner at Grossi Florentino Grill

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Grossi Florentino Grill
Ground floor, 80 Bourke St, Melbourne

We did make it to one restaurant that required a booking. I can't remember why I chose Grossi Florentino. Something along the lines of not wanting a really swish, fine dining venue but also not wanting upmarket Asian. The Grill seemed fitting and it was located conveniently in the city.

It was a bit confusing once we entered the door. I knew they had an upstairs restaurant and the Grill was supposed to be downstairs, but even so, as soon as you step in it's very crowded. I just headed towards the nearest door and stood there looking puzzled until a waiter kindly informed me I was in the right place and found us our table.

Melbourne June 2011 - Lunch at Spicy Fish Chinese Restaurant

Spicy Fish Chinese Restaurant
209 Little Bourke St, Melbourne

It's random-interstate-holiday-for-no-reason time again. Last weekend I blasted off to Melbourne with Byron. It was perhaps, the most ill-advised trip of all the ones I've taken this year. He had to be back on Monday for an exam and we were to depart from Melbourne on Monday morning. I had promised to be responsible for getting him to his exam on time. As a result, I spent the first day sweating with anxiety and this escalated to a torturous migraine Sunday night.

My poor planning transcended to our restaurant schedule too. I made one successful booking but everything else became spontaneous walk-ins. Because we kept finding ourselves marching up and down Chinatown, we ended up eating a whole lot of Melbournian Asian food.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Belle Epoque Patisserie

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Belle Epoque Patisserie
1000 Ann St, The Emporium, Fortitude Valley

We were hanging out in the valley looking through furniture shops last Sunday. Come noon, I started getting peckish and the old brain starts pondering the age old question: what to eat?

I hadn't been to The Emporium for a months. A long, long time ago, my family ate at the Belle Epoque restaurant there, which has since closed. It's a shame because I actually really liked it! A remnant remains: the Belle Epoque Patisserie. It's a little bakery slash cafe located next to The Emporium Hotel.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Alchemy Restaurant and Bar

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Alchemy Restaurant and Bar

I've had a many-month-long dry spell from fine dining restaurants. One of my reliable eating buddies, Hien, has been on another planet for a while (aka holed up at uni finishing his Honor's Thesis) and because of this, I've been much slower with my posts.

Finally, he finished last week so we made the long overdue eating appointment for the weekend. I was left with the task of choosing a restaurant. I went with Alchemy and my criteria for deciding this was "where would Byron definitely not want to go with me". He has a 'thing' against anywhere that serves over-flourished food in little dollops. Well, I don't!

Bill Granger's Ricotta Hotcakes

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Ricotta Hotcakes
Home Cooking

A strange feeling came over me last Friday and it lead to me making hotcakes. I remembered about ricotta in my fridge and I remembered Bill Granger's ricotta hotcakes. I actually ate them at his cafe in Sydney. They were delish but I never made them myself before.

A quick Googling unveiled the recipe, which seemed very straight forward. I didn't want to make the whole lot and use 4 eggs and in any case, I didn't have enough ricotta for that.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shanghai Cuisine Restaurant

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Shanghai Cuisine Restaurant
Shop 14, 17 Barrett St, Robertson

Mum and dad discovered that a new Shanghainese restaurant had opened up near the QEII hospital. There actually was one there many years ago, which we visited a number of times before it closed down. I hear from mum that the same owners are behind this new one but who knows.

As with most of 'these types' of restaurants, there's not much in the way of ambiance. It's got very basic fittings, nothing flash.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vue Lounge for Brunch

Vue Lounge
85 Merthyr Road, New Farm

My fear/annoyance/laziness re: driving has become debilitating. I'm thinking up more and more excuses to stay couped in Toowoomba rather than endure 2hrs to and from. However, last weekend there was one inavoidable reason to go home. One of my uni besties, Howl, was coming back to Brisbane from Cairns. There's not a lot that would make me journey home but catching up with an old mate is something I don't even have to think about.

Even then, I enticed my parents to come to pick me up from Toowoomba and I caught the coach back. Hehe. If you haven't met anyone who hates driving as much as me, neither have I.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Euro

The Euro

It's mum's birthday next week and we've been up to our necks in advice re: Chinese superstition 'you must celebrate your 50th birthday when you're 49' and so on. We all got very confused and then figured... what the heck, let's just celebrate this year, and next year, and every other year.

I'm terrible with knowing what people like to get for birthday's. I've probably mentioned before that I have no sensitivity in this area at all. So when it came down to me, I chose for us to all eat out. Because eating out is what I do best.