Monday, April 29, 2013

Noggi Frozen Yogurt

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Noggi Frozen Yogurt, Myer Centre Brisbane City
Shop 9B, Myer Centre, 91 Queen Street, Brisbane CBD

I don’t make it a secret that I have an unhealthy desire for frozen yoghurt. I’m not just talking about loving the taste of the stuff; I mean I want to marry it and have its froyo babies. Froyo for life.

I’ve been grooming my parents and Marc in preparation for an elective jaw surgery that I have planned later on in the year. Every time we walk past a frozen yoghurt store, I remind them how much I love that stuff and how I would be happy if it was my one source of sustenance during the period of 6 weeks that my jaw is wired shut and I can’t eat solids.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Brunch at Shucked

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Shucked Coffee House

Nina and I were long overdue for brunch and she suggested a place her boss recommended: Shucked in Newstead. I didn't know much about Newstead as a suburb, besides its location as being just past New Farm, but I knew that lots of trendy restaurants and cafes were popping up around there.

When I got to Shucked, I was surprised to find it on an industrial street with warehouses and car dealerships on either side of the road. Shucked was relatively isolated as a spot of culinary action.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Steak Dinner at Moo Moo, Brisbane City

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Moo Moo The Wine Bar and Grill, Brisbane City
39 Edward Street, Brisbane CBD

I'd been to Moo Moo at the Gold Coast but was still very interested in its Brisbane City restaurant. It feels like it only just opened not long ago but I'm sure it's been a few years now. One of the things that appeals to me the most is the location. Moo Moo has taken over what used to be Siggi's at The Stamford Plaza. I have a great memory of one of my first 'fine dining' experiences with my family at Siggi's and later on, high tea there. It's sad it's gone now but hopefully there are bigger and better things. I would soon be finding out.

Although Marc had made a booking, and for the first time ever we didn't miss it by running late, our table wasn't ready and we were encouraged to have a drink while we waited. I swear this is the oldest restaurant trick in the books to sway people over to the bar and rack up booze expenditure. Because I'm a deaf old bat, the bar was too noisy for me and I was happy when we were lead past a hall of hanging carcasses to our table in the quieter restaurant.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Guroome Sushi Train Lunch

Guroome Sushi 
Sunnybank Plaza, Sunnybank

Sometimes I get reminded just how much I resemble my mum and dad. I was under the impression that my sookiness was just a ‘me’ thing and that my parents would be forever wise, mature and in control.

Last weekend, mum nearly had a micro tantrum because she had been craving Hakataya for so many months and fate kept interfering. We drove to Sunnybank Plaza with the intention of eating there but both dad and I weren’t in the mood and kept threatening to foil her plans. Then, there was the drama of trying to get a parking spot. Finally we found one and the line at Hakataya was huge. Mum threw her hands up in the air and declared “FINE! We’ll eat elsewhere”. It was so like me that I thought I was looking in a mirror.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Breakfast at Vintage Kitchen

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Vintage Kitchen Cafe

After a fairly dramatic week, both Kat and I were glad to have a girly catch up over breakfast last Sunday. I picked Vintage Kitchen because it was located almost exactly half way between our houses. The café concept is a fusion of food with the sale of vintage clothing and wares.

I’ve been to so many popular cafe hotspots recently that it was refreshing to go somewhere that wasn’t teaming with people queueing for tables. Vintage was nice and quiet so Kat and I took up a choice spot near the windows.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Grappino for Dinner

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Grappino Trattoria Italian Restaurant

It's not uncommon these days for Italian food cravings to strike me suddenly. Whilst the appeal of restaurant pizza and pasta was lost to me in my younger days, this past year has seen me develop a hefty thirst for the stuff. I've started tackling through every likely Italian restaurant near us and Grappino was next on the hit list.

Last Saturday night was cold and rainy and Marc and I had originally planned to drive somewhere for dinner. Alas, the lure of wine was too difficult to resist so we ended up walking to Paddington. The restaurant was just a bit further than I'd expected so we got there approximately 10 minutes late. I'm not sure if our table was given away or there was a hiccup in the booking system but we ended up having to wait another 10-15 minutes for a table. It had stopped raining so we didn't mind.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lunch at German Sausage Hut, Brisbane City

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German Sausage Hut
Burnett Lane, Brisbane CBD

I'd only seen the German Sausage Hut closed from the outside when I walked past it either early in the morning or late at night. I was curious though... Was it a pub? A fast food joint? A german bistro? It turned out to be a mix of all three.

Marc and I went there for lunch last Friday. German Sausage Hut is located in Burnett Lane, next to Super Whatnot. For a brief moment, I considered going there instead because I'd always been curious about Super Whatnot, but the continuous flow of people walking around us with juicy looking hot dogs swayed us.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dinner at The Vietnamese

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The Vietnamese Restaurant

I've only recently gotten into the BYO restaurant scene and all I can say to that is: what on earth took me so long?

Wine has become an integral part of my dining experience and when you're accustomed to a bottle per meal, a meal at a full licensed restaurant suddenly becomes quite expensive. It's not uncommon for the cheapest bottle on the wine list to be well over the price of a main. That's where BYO comes in. You get the benefit of a nice bottle of red with your meal without the exuberant mark up. Sure, there's usually corkage but that's almost negligable.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Breakfast at Bungalow 4171

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Bungalow 4171

Sometimes fate works in strange ways. I was pounding my way through the city from South Brisbane to E'cco one night when I ran into my old highschool buddy Tracy. We used to have art class together and this girl did some of the most amazing pieces. It was one of those "why have we not caught up yet" moments and after a few months of getting our act together, we finally made it out to a long overdue brunch.

I chose Bungalow 4171 because my sense of Brisbane geography is warped and I thought it would be easy for us to get to, not knowing that Tracy resided far away and had to drive through unfamiliar territory to find the place. Bungalow is a small cafe located on Hawthorne Road in Hawthorne.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Shanghai for Lunch

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New Shanghai
LG 23, Queens Plaza, 226 Queen Street, Brisbane CBD

I haven't tried and failed to eat at a restaurant as many times as I have at New Shanghai. Every week for the past couple of months, I made plans to have lunch there, only to have it foiled by (in no specific order): long queues + impatient boyfriend, emergency sprints back home to Toowoomba, public holidays and severe food poisoning. Dad even made the joke that for us, New Shanghai was cursed.

Mum and dad went by themselves when the restaurant first opened up and they had a fairly good impression of it. As the weeks went by, I saw more and more online reviews and blog posts pop up describing the food and experiences there. I started feeling a bit desperate and more than a tinge of regret at not going with my parents right at the start.

Monday, April 8, 2013

FaB Burgers Revisited for Lunch

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FaB Fish and Burger Grill - Revisit Post

The more I write Hungry Kittens, the less I feel justified in eating at places I've tried before. It's a shame because I DO really enjoy some restaurants and eateries that I go to and am having to forsake those to try new venues to blog about. Even though I quite enjoyed FaB when I first tried it at the end of 2010, I don't think I would have gone back if it wasn't for Marc's intervention.

Marc found some online coupons for burger + beverage deals so he bought some and I got hooked into one of those meal excursions. We walked over to The Barracks. This was during the prime of Summer 12/13 (exactly 2 years since my previous visit) so we were sweating bullets by the time we arrived.

Degustation dinner at Esquire

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When you think about it, one year is truly a long time. In the past year, I've reached the milestone of no longer being in my my early 20's (not so good), started to get into the groove with work (a bit better), expanded my scope of overseas destinations (better yet) and purchased 2 houses (HORRAH!).

Looking back, the whole journey can be surmized as one thing: growing up. Yup, a year is a long time and thus, when Marc and I reached our one year anniversary, we thought it was an important occasion to commemorate, even though we're far from being hardcore romantic types.

I had freedom of choice for the venue and I thought "what better time to tap into my reserve of unvisited fine dining restaurants that we otherwise have no occasion to visit?" Esquires got the luck of the draw.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Birthday Weekend in Sydney Day 3 - Lunch at The Bunker

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The Bunker
399 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst

On the last day of our recent trip in Sydney, Marc and I visited a dear friend of his in Darlinghurst. We popped into a local cafe there to catch up and feed/water ourselves. The name 'The Bunker' niggled at me for some time before I realized that there's a cafe in Brisbane called Bunker. I suppose with the limitations of imagination and likely words, there's bound to be some overlap for venue titles throughout the country.

The Bunker is a little cafe with a few long tables inside and some smaller tables outside. Marc and I started off sitting outside with a couple of coffees, waiting for the others to arrive. The day was sunny and hot, which is lovely if you're out on the beach but not so great if you're sitting without shade as your neck gets progressively crispier. Luckily, after some time, a table inside freed up and we eagerly migrated into the shade.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Birthday Weekend in Sydney Day 2 - Dessert at N2 Gelato

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N2 Extreme Gelato
43/1 Dixon Street, Sydney CBD, NSW

I discovered something that I should've known all along. Like money, massages, jewellery and all those other things that you can't have TOO MUCH OF, gelato is something that I can eat indefinitely. Well, maybe until I explode.

After a supposed 'gelato fix' from Gelato Messina that sorted me out for barely one day, I was ready for MORE. Mochi had spoken of a gelato store that was very experimental and sciency. At first, I wasn't sold but we went there anyway and boy am I glad we did.

Birthday Weekend in Sydney Day 2 - Dinner at Home Thai

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Home Thai Restaurant

Saturday night was the crest of my birthday weekend in Sydney and I maintain even now that one of my favorite presents was getting to see my dearest Mochi! She and David had flown in from Melbourne so we were effectively 'meeting in the middle', geographically. Ya gotta love planes and how easy they make it to stay in touch with interstate buddies.

I love that even though Mochi's moved to Melb, her knowledge of the best eating spots transcends beyond her new home town. Heck, even when she comes back to Brisbane, she seems more clued in than me. Sydney was a no-brainer. Marc's lazy and I've fallen way behind the ball with knowing what's good so we left it all in Mochi's capable hands.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Birthday Weekend in Sydney Day 2 - Lunch at The Australian

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The Australian Hotel

Marc took me to Toronga Zoo for my birthday and we had a wild (intended pun) time strolling along, snapping photos of animals and observing their odd behaviors. It's great on a day that I'm reminded I'm getting older (birthdays are no longer as innocent to me as they used to be) to feel like a child again, excited and rediculously energetic.

By the time we finished, our scones from The Tea Cosy had digested and we were starving. Walking and animal-spotting seems to be a high kJ-consumption activity! We were very keen to get back on a ferry for lunch.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Birthday Weekend in Sydney Day 2 - Breakfast at The Tea Cosy

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The Tea Cosy Irish Tea Room

It's awesome when stars align and things work out. I got really silly by the end of Friday night and was jumping up and down proclaiming that I 'must' have scones for breakfast the next day. I have a special relationship with scones. When I used to bake frequently, variety scones would pop up every second day. I love scones. When going to high tea, scones are my favorite tier. Forget fancy shmancy miniature tarts and macarons, give me a well made scone and plenty of cream and jam any day.

I was thrilled... THRILLED... to see that there was a tea shop in Sydney that was renouned for scones. In fact, they had a scone clock out the front indicating when the last batch was made. In this fashion, you were almost garunteed to have a freshly baked scone no matter when you sat down to order. Furthermore, we had plans to go to Toronga Zoo that day and The Tea Cosy was conveniently located at the Northern end of Sydney CBD. As I say, stars aligned.

Birthday Weekend in Sydney Day 1 - Dessert at Gelato Messina

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Gelato Messina, Surry Hills
389 Crown Street, Surry Hills

I first saw mention of Gelato Messina on Sydney Urbanspoon. The Darlinghurst store was consistently in the Talk of The Town list. I then proceeded to forget all about it until I read a review on the Virgin Airlines inflight magazine. Apparently it claims the title of "Best Gelato in Australia" as voted by the Good Food Guide. I've mentioned in the past that if I could sustain myself on one type of food, ice-cream would be it (either that or bread). "Best Gelato" was not something I was likely to pass up.

The Surry Hills store of Gelato Messina was located near Il Baretto, where we had dinner on the Friday night. I think I may have subconsciously chosen Il Baretto because of its proximity to the gelato store. We can all see where my priorities lie.