Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Teppanyaki Dinner at Murasaki

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Murasaki Japanese Restaurant
11/91 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

There's no greater sense of disappointment than spending months looking forward to a weekend retreat at the coast, fantasizing about sunshine, sand and warm waves and arriving to find yourself stuck in a hotel from relentless rain and wind of cyclonic proportions. I had booked 3 nights at the Gold Coast over the Australia Day long weekend. Whilst my hometown of Toowoomba was being drenched, Brisbane was threatened with floods and the coast was being visiblly blown apart in the storm. The 'Big Wet' ruined any chance we had of enjoying the beach but we made the most of the weekend with good company, lots of booze and a couple of food excursions.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Coffee Boutique

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The Coffee Boutique
Shop 1102, Level LG, Westfield Carindale Shopping Centre, Carindale

This is a post that I should have written up a long, long time ago but with all the eating I've been doing, it got lost at the bottom of my unfinished blog post list. Westfield Carindale has undergone a phenomenal make-over. It's now HUGE. It's not quite Chermside huge but it's almost unrecognizable from what I remember as a child or teenager loitering around there after school. There are entire new wings and what isn't brand new has been renovated.

One such renovation was done on The Coffee Boutique, which is a cafe that mum and I sometimes go to when we're at the shops. I don't know how I feel about shopping centre cafes anymore. I used to be fine with them but now they make me anxious. What's changed between then and now is that I used to catch public transport and frequented shopping centres just for fun, whereas nowadays not only do I drive everywhere but I never have time to do physical shopping (my shoes, clothes and even groceries are purchased online and delivered to work/home). The driving part is relevant because I'm terrified of parking, especialy at unfamiliar shopping centres, ESPECIALLY at Carindale because it's so bloody competitive and ESPECIALLY now because they have this annoying new ticket system.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Breakfast at Brew Revisited

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Brew Cafe and Wine Bar

In the spirit of revisiting old favorites, I stopped by at Brew on the weekend. I first went there about a year ago, which on the scale of things isn't that long. It FEELS like a long time ago though. At the time, it was newish and hidden and there weren't many other laneway establisments.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snag Stand at Queens Plaza for Lunch

Snag Stand

Hot dogs and sausage sizzles are something that I love but rarely eat because my meals are too often occupied by 'proper' dining. During the week, I eat at home. On the weekends, I work through a list of cafes and restaurants that need trying. There's no allocated space for fast food.

When Kat and I were in Sydney, I spotted a gourmet hot dog vendor at the food court of Westfield Sydney. That day, we had lunch at Xanthi instead so I missed out but the idea of hot dogs chefed up in the same way that burgers have been really appealed to me. When I read that a 'haute dog' vendor had opened up in Queens Plaza, I was more than excited that there was a local option.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lunch at Linh Vietnamese and Chinese Restaurant

Linh Vietnamese and Chinese Restaurant
93 Hardgrave Road, West End

As creatures of urbanity, it was through a series of unpredicted, unplanned events that Marc and I ended up spending a night on a farm near the glasshouse mountains. We rarely drive to the suburbs in Brisbane, let alone anywhere quite that remote but I have mum and dad to thank for that adventure.

To prepare for our trip, we purchased a whole lot of food and snacks from the supermarket, plus alcohol a plenty. We figured that if there were no stores/restaurants nearby, we wouldn't starve to death or need to resort to milking a cow. It ended up being much more food than required but that's what 2 apprehensive, hunger-threatened city peeps will do when faced with the possibility of not having access to food. We treated going to the farm like stocking up for a bomb threat.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pearl Cafe Revisited for Breakfast

Pearl Cafe - revisited
28 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba

An old favorite with an old friend! Perfecto. Mochi graced Brisbane with her presence over the last weekend and I was lucky enough to be able to catch up with her over breakfast. We pondered over what the appropriate venue would be... should we try something new and exciting or revisit somewhere we've always loved? I thought it was a no-brainer. Pearl Cafe was one of Mochi's favorite coffee and food spots when she was living in Brisbane and I first heard about it through her. My previous post was from 2011, so it was time for an update anyway.

We met up at 8am on Sunday, which I learnt is considerably early since Pearl was only just opening. I was glad because parking in that little complex can be a nightmare and I've also had experiences where Pearl was packed and we had to wait for tables. At that time in the morning, neither was an issue. In fact, I took up a table inside, decided I didn't like the lighting (or lack thereof) and shifted outside again.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Yatala Pie Stop

Yatala Pies

Marc and I spent a weekend in Pottsville towards the end of last year and made a pie pitstop on the way back. Everyone's heard of Yatala Pies. They're famous. Despite that, in my 20ish years of living in Queensland, I had never once tried them before. Marc was keen to amend that fact.

Yatala Pies is located just off the Pacific Motorway. It's hard to miss because there are signs pointing it out along the way and there's a huge pie mounted on their roof indicating what they have in store. We were heading back towards Brisbane and it was easy as anything to exit at Yatala Pies, order and eat before progressing back onto the Pacific.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sushi and Skewer Buffet at 2012 Cyber City

2012 Cyber City
245 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

Byron recommended this place to me in passing, a couple of weeks ago. He was a regular at 2002 Cyber City and was mighty excited to discover that the owner had opened up another restaurant behind it. It took me a while to figure out exactly what he meant... whether 2012 had replaced 2002, whether it was another of the same restaurant in a different location etc.

It turns out that 2012 Cyber City is right near 2002, only you enter from Brunswick instead of Wickham. The style of restaurant and cuisine offered is totally different. Whilst 2002 is very casual and has Chinese cheap eats, 2012 looks flasher and offers Korean BBQ and sushi. There's also a swanky-looking bar near the entrance that made Marc stop and think "are we underdressed?" before he spotted a guy inside wearing a singlet and realizing they had no dress code.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pony Dining

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Pony Dining Eagle St Pier

My weekday diet is almost vegetarian because I'm usually too lazy to cook meat. Last week, I was drowning in persistent fatigue, despite getting more than enough sleep and with the absence of anything better to blame, I thought it might be iron deficiency. I picked up a roast chook to get me through till the end of the week and told Marc we would be eating lots of meat on the weekend. As expected for a regular male, he was more than happy to accomodate my wishes.

I was keen on Pony when it first opened up but it's got mostly negative reviews online. My willingness to try new restaurants and the fact that it markets itself as a grill restaurant (i.e. 'lots of meat') lead me to push away those apprehensions and give it a go. We made a booking for Saturday evening.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nikumaki Honpo

Nikumaki Honpo
Shop 17, 261 Warrigal Road, Eight Mile Plains

When I first heard about Nikumaki Honpo, I was immediately intrigued. It's only been mentioned in a few Brisbane food blogs but it has rave reviews on Urbanspoon. It's in no way a restaurant or even an eatery, merely a small shop in Warrigal Square that sells rice balls.

The more I read about the rice balls, the better they sounded. Wrapped in marinated pork and topped with molten cheese... it's something that is so simple that with this much positive feedback, could only be amazing.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Breakfast at Tempo

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Tempo Cafe
181 Boundary Street, West End

Just when I thought I was running out of West End breakfast venues, I randomly walked past Tempo and decided to try it. I don't recall Tempo Cafe being there before so I'm assuming it's either relatively new or just easy to miss.

The cafe has a dim, narrow interior with indoor seating and quite a few tables set up outside too. I parked myself at one of those to make the most of the sunshine. I had a bizarre moment where I thought my table was slanted but when water was brought out, the water stayed level in the cup. I then realized it was because the woodgrain on my tabletop was at a diagonal, creating the optical illusion of uneveness. Too trippy for an early morning!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Treat Frozen Yoghurt

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Treat Frozen Yoghurt

After our lunch at Noodle Haus, my parents and I wandered around Westfield Carindale to make the most of our dramatic parking spot (we were on our way home after circling the parking lot for half an hour with no luck when bam, a car reversed out right in front of us... and dad honed in, but not without competition from another car trying to get in through the front!) I spotted Treat Frozen Yoghurt and recalled a recommendation from C at Brisbane Devoured to try it.

Froyo is one of my favorite things to consume, like, ever! There's nothing more refreshing in summer and it's so delicious that I'm often in the mood even in the winter months. I have had many fond memories slurping up Yogenfruz in the city when I did uni there. That franchize has unfortunately closed down but I feel reassured that there are other froyo establishments around.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lunch at In a Pickle

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In a Pickle

My old highschool buddy Bee came to visit Brisbane over the Christmas break. We arranged to meet up for lunch on Christmas Eve. I figured that anywhere too close to the city or near a large shopping centre would be packed with people making last minute shopping trips so I found a cafe in the suburbs that sounded promising.

In a Pickle is located in Camp Hill amongst a stretch of other boutique cafes, gift shops and bakeries. I've been to Mia's Coffee Bar near there and enjoyed that. I didn't research much into what In a Pickle was, figuring it was just another cafe. It was quite different to what I expected, in that it's predominantly a catering business. If I had read the website properly I would have known that!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lunch at Noodle Haus

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Noodle Haus
Kiosk 207, Upstairs Food Court, Westfield Carindale, Carindale

Mum and I had a positive experience eating yum cha at the new Yum Cha Cuisine in Westfield Carindale. She discovered that the same group responsible for that restaurant had also opened a noodle kiosk in the food court. One day, when we were feeling lazy and didn't want to venture into Sunnybank for a feed, we decided to give it a go.

Noodle Haus is very much a fast food outlet, located amongst the other fast food restaurants in the upstairs food court. The menu is limited but cheap and there aren't any designated tables or seats. We went at a fairly busy time (lunch hour during the Christmas peak period) so mum and I ordered whilst dad went off to hunt for tables.