Thursday, December 27, 2012

Breakfast at Foxy Bean

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Foxy Bean Cafe

Kat and I reunited after a painstakingly long 2 month period apart. This time of the year is always fanatically busy and we hadn't found the time to catch up until last weekend. Kat is going to New Zealand over new years so we figured we better squeeze something in before then. As per usual, I chose the location.

I read great things about Foxy Bean on Dolce Bunnie's blog so I thought it would be well worth a visit. I roughly worked out my route of travel the night before yet somehow got to the wrong side of Stanley Street and had to do a mad sprint across 4 lanes of fast-moving traffic to get to the cafe.

Gingerbread Men

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Gingerbread Men
Home Cooking

It's been a long time since I've done any kind of cooking. Between working in Toowoomba, rushing to Brisbane on weekends and trying to keep a relatively healthy diet, I've omitted dessert production from my range of weekly activities. Christmas is one of those times in a year (along with birthdays) that reliably knock down any premises of self-control. It's a time for indulgence.

As well as (literally) opening up to an array of glorious food and decadent snacks provided by others over the 3 days (Christmas Eve to Boxing Day), I dusted off my own kitchen hands and decided to do a spot of baking. Christmas-themed desserts are plentiful but I kept it simple because I had to transport ingredients and equipment the 2hrs from Toowoomba to bake at mum and dad's house. Marc's keen on gingerbread and they're suggestive of the holiday season so I decided to make a batch of gingerbread men.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lunch at Hanaichi Sushi Bar and Dining

Hanaichi Sushi Bar and Dining

Hanaichi Sushi train was one of my favorite treats from my uni days. Back then, it was considered an expensive rarity for special occasions. I'd only been a couple of time and never since it had renovated.

Marc and I walked past it with intentions of trying the new Brisbane Riverbar but we decided we were too hungry to deal with the potential queue at the Riverbar (this is when it had just opened) so we doubled back to Hanaichi instead.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bacchus for Dinner

Bacchus Restaurant

Brisbane seems to be the new 'It' location for starting a restaurant. New eating and drinking establishments are opening left right and centre every week. My long list of 'neet-to-try' locations is getting longer by the moment. I'm starting to feel like I'll never catch up! There's not enough meal slots in the weekend and space in my stomach to conquer them all before something newer pops up yet again.

One that I can finally tick off my list is Bacchus. Living in the South Brisbane area (my weekend home-away-from-home), I've been aware of Bacchus for a while. There was quite a buzz in the blogosphere as it opened in a frenzy of publicity-high launch parties. I figured it would be best to wait for the hype to cool a bit before trying the place out for myself.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lunch at Pho 99

Pho 99
Corner of Corsair Avenue and Wirraway Parade, Inala

Pho is addictive. It manages to strike the right balance between being a hearty meal yet somehow still seeming light and healthy. There's enough going on to keep me full and satisfied every time yet it's never so overwhelming that after a meal of pho, I vow not to eat it again for a year or so (I tend to do that after a big Indian feast or too much dessert).

I usually get my pho fix at one of the array of Vietnamese eateries around the city/West End or even in Sunnybank. To mix things up a bit and to touch base with the real deal, I decided to stop by Inala on the way to Brisbane from Toowoomba one weekend. For those not in the know, Inala has a strong Vietnamese community and by extention of that, the most genuine grocery stores, butchers, bakeries and eateries for Vietnamese produce.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dinner at Il Posto

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Il Posto

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that I love Italian food but rarely go to Italian restaurants. As my recent expeditions show, I can hardly claim that anymore. Nowadays, I find myself booking into more and more Italian restaurants because that's what I'm in the mood for.

After Google Maps  revealed that Il Posto was just within walking distance to us in South Brisbane (Marc and I avoid driving to restaurants if we can), I made a booking for last Saturday night. It was originally for 9pm but I got so hungry that afternoon we moved it up a notch. As evening came, we set off Northward bound, into the unknown.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dinner at Hellenic House

Hellenic House
32 Russell Street, South Brisbane

Marc and I made it into Hellenic House on our second trip there. The first time, we had made a booking yet somehow, administrative oversight led to the entire restaurant being occupied by a private function that night. I thought I was walking into some weird gypsy dance hall but it was just someone's theme party. We were turned away by bouncers at the front door, which put a real damper on our mood.

Nonetheless, we persevered and made a second booking, this time assured that the restaurant was indeed operating as normal. As we made our way up to Hellenic House again, we crossed our fingers that there wouldn't be a repeat of the first incident.

As its name suggests, the restaurant does ressemble a house, and it's perched on the top of a mini hill. At night time, it looks almost foreboding with the front columns casting long shadows down below. Hellenic House did not become any less bizare the closer we got.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Breakfast at Pablo

893 Brunswick St, New Farm

The score of rad cafes in New Farm have been elusive to me because I'm too lazy to travel beyond my comfort zone of West End and South Brisbane. A couple of weekends ago, Byron was staying in New Farm with friends so it was as good a reason as any to visit and grab some breakfast.

We wandered without direction for a moment before I spotted Pablo in the distance. I had heard about it from other bloggers and knew it was a place I wanted to try. We crossed a couple of streets and headed over.

Fat Noodle for Dinner

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Fat Noodle at The Treasury
130 William Street (Treasury Casino), Brisbane CBD

I was really excited when I heard about Luke Nguyen's new restaurant in the Treasury Casino. Asian hawker-style food? Win! A restaurant that opens till 3am on weekends? Even better! It just opened last week and my friend Howl happened to be visiting from Cairns so we arranged to have a late dinner there on Friday night.

The restaurant is designed to have a high turnover and thus, no bookings necessary but we figured that on their opening week they were bound to be busy. To avoid a long wait, we got there just after 9pm. Despite being relatively late for dinner, there was still a significant queue outside Fat Noodle. We ended up leaving our name and getting a buzzer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dinner at Hosokawa

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Shop 3, 53 Racecourse Road, Hamilton

In my old age, I've developed a taste for sashimi that I could have never predicted as a child. I used to balk at the thought of any type of fish, even the battered variety. Now, I can guzzle the raw stuff by the bucketful.

After I wrote about the ace sashimi sesh we had at Sakura in Runcorn, my pal Mochi recommended that I try Hosokawa. When she mentioned that it was on Racecourse Road, I recalled a small Japanese eatery there that I'd walked past many moons ago. I filed that away for future consideration.

A couple of weeks ago, we did make it to Hosokawa. The restaurant is easy to miss if you're not looking out for it because it is very small and understated. Regardless of that, it was nearly packed and we weren't able to get a table (the few empty ones left were reserved) but we were happy to sit perched up at the bar.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lunch at The Music Kafe

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The Music Kafe

Marc and I spent a weekend trawling through his surrounding suburbs, checking out open houses. That can be a tiring activity. And also, very time-precise. We had one Saturday lined with inspections back to back every 1/2 hour. To squeeze a much-needed fuel stop in there was challenging, yet necessary.

We ended up along Boundary Street at an awkward hour where it was slightly too early for lunch and many places weren't open yet. The Music Kafe was open and had a menu that went beyond just breakfast so we stopped there. It was a boiling hot day and we took up one of the street-side tables.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Perfect Cuppa at UGees Espresso

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UGees Espresso
80 Boundary Street, West End

I've been referred to by some as a coffee fanatic. I don't agree with that one bit. I doubt I'm any more addicted to the stuff than others from my generation. We're a coffee-drinking society. We socialize over coffee, start our day with coffee and calm our retched souls with coffee. I recently bought my first coffee machine: a simple entry-level Nespresso Pixie. Prior to that, I was drinking instant coffee every morning (further proof that I could hardly be called a coffee fanatic). My coffee machine's been fantastic. It's easy to use, barely requires cleaning and the coffee itself tastes a treat. But enough about that...

This post is about a recent experience I had that reminded me that there is no substitute for a professional barista brewed coffee.

I've walked past UGees on a few occasions and peered in, but never actually stopped to order a coffee. It's got a tiny shopfront that's always busy in a way that, as someone uninitiated, I found slightly intimidating. What if it was exclusive to a certain grade of coffee connoisseurs?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Family Dinner at E'cco Bistro

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E'cco Bistro

I recently took my parents out to dinner to commemorate my 2 years of working full time. I know that's hardly a common celebratory occasion but I've always subscribed to the belief that any excuse to dine out is a good one.

I chose E'cco over a host of new restaurants that have popped up in Brisbane recently (and haven't there been many?!) because I felt like reconnecting with a classic. Philip Johnson's E'cco Bistro has a solid reputation as one of Brisbane's best restaurants and it has stood the test of time. I had dinner there once, many years ago and loved it then. A revisit was long overdue.