Monday, December 22, 2014

Vanilla Pod for Lunch and Sweet Treats

No comments:
Vanilla Pod Cake and Deli Cafe

I have a strong (and possibly irrational) fear of going to the Northside. I'm sure I've mentioned this on the blog before but it's what keeps me from venturing to certain food places that I would otherwise be all over. Vanilla Pod is a perfect example. When I first saw mention of this, I knew it was exactly my type of cafe. A focus on cute cakes and simple and fresh lunches sounded like the best combination. Even their website looks cute and appealing.

All the same, I stalled, unable to garner the courage to drive North just in case like all the other times I've tried, I got lost and have a panic attack. Luckily for me, one of the major perks of wedding planning is cake planning. To me, cake planning is the perfect opportunity to trial a large number of bakeries, taste different flavours, and be annoyingly indecisive until I've eaten my fair share. My first destination within project Death-From-Cake was Vanilla Pod Cafe. And I dragged dad along as driver.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

3 Bamboo for Lobster Feast

No comments:
3 Bamboo
Shop 10, 17 Barrett Street, Robertson

It seems that my Korean food addiction has passed and been (temporarily, at least) replace by cravings for Chinese food. I'm Chinese-born but once I moved out of home, I lost touch with Chinese cuisine. Mum's no longer available to cook it for me and as much as I love cooking, I just find Chinese cooking too hard to grasp. Too many types of ingredients are involved, most of the delicious dishes require deep frying, and everything has to be done quickly and 'to taste'.

On the weekends when I visit my parents, I still get them to take me out for lunch at Sunnybank but in recent weeks, I've been a slack daughter and haven't had as many opportunities to catch up. I took matters into my own hands and asked Jenny to suggest a Chinese restaurant we could go to with a group of friends.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Raw Pawpaw for Lunch

No comments:
Raw Pawpaw

With 8 months to go until my wedding, I am (to nobody I know's surprise) transforming into quite the Bridezilla. I'm naturally a very OCD and detailed planner and with wedding planning, it's no exception. I went into the whole thing with an attempted relaxed attitude but as the big day gets closer, I find I'm starting to obsess over every tiny detail.

One thing that became a minor headache was hair and makeup. Not to bore everyone with details but basically I had one place booked but I've since lost confidence in them and had to find another. I went for a consult in New Farm last week and dragged Jenny along with me for moral support (non-brides have a much clearer head when it comes to decision-making). Because everything is made better with food, we continued on for lunch afterwards.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

$3 Taco Tuesdays at Beach Burrito Company

No comments:
Beach Burrito Company - West End

I'm eating out less and less these days because I'm so broke it hurts. The wedding next year is seriously making us bleed. My friend Hien suggested meeting up for dinner last Tuesday and I declined to save my wallet. Ever the ideas-man, he informed me about Beach Burrito Company's $3 taco Tuesdays. Even a broke-ass Cora can afford $3 tacos!

We met up at the West End location. It was a dark and gloomy night and when the sky turned purple I felt sure that I was going to get hailed on. In the end, it barely even rained.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Vapiano number 5, plus YOUR CHANCE TO WIN

Vapiano, Westfield Garden City

Vapiano Australia has just opened its 5th restaurant in Australia, and it's the first one located outside a city centre. This Vapiano store is opposite the cinema at the newly renovated Westfield Garden City Town Square. Last night, Marc and I were lucky enough to be invited to try their menu, along with a group of other Brisbane food bloggers.

We given some background information about the Vapiano group. I knew it had an international footprint because Marc and I actually spotted a Vapiano store while we were traveling through Europe. It turns out that Vapiano started in Germany and due to the global love of Italian food, has blossomed across the world since then.

Fresh herbs available for use as garnish

The key approach to dining at Vapiano is its relaxed and flexible attitude. Unique to this restaurant is a post-pay system where you receive a card upon entry, bill all your purchases onto this card and pay the total when you leave. This solves all the awkward problems of splitting bills and trying to grab a waiters attention for payment. You don't have to feel inconvenienced about getting up to buy a second drink or extra side dish because it just gets added to your card tab.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dinner at Julius Pizzeria

No comments:
Julius Pizzeria

Sometimes the best nights come unplanned and unexpected. With a full on work week, Marc and I weren't planning on any social events on our school nights. I suggested heading out for a cheap and plain dinner at Jackpot but in the last moment, heard about this new pizza shop in West End and redirected ourselves there instead.

Julius Pizzeria is by the same guys behind Beccofino in Tennerife, which has the reputation of being one of Brisbane's best pizza joints. I had dinner at Beccofino once back in 2009 and loved it but haven't been back because it's just a bit too out of the way. We tried once and it was too busy so we went next door instead. The best point of difference with Julius Pizzeria for me is that it's in my neighbourhood.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Midam Revisited for Korean BBQ

No comments:
Midam for Korean BBQ
Pinelands Plaza, 3/21 Farne St, Sunnybank Hills

A month or so ago my daily diet seemed to consist of Korean BBQ. I even got my family involved and convinced my grandpa to give it a try. We originally wanted to go to Hong Depot but it was closed for lunch on Sunday so we went to Midam instead. I actually previously visited Midam with those same grandparents not that long ago but that was for regular dishes so I thought I'd write a separate post for our BBQ experience.

Complimentary sides and salad

Midam has a few BBQ set options and we chose the combination beef and pork for more variety. I also selected a bunch of starters and sides to mix things up a bit.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mondo Organics for Lunch

Mondo Organics 

I'm not one of those people who are obsessed over organic this and superfood that. I do try to eat healthy but I love all kinds of food way too much to be a health nut. Of course, if something is marketed to me as 'organic' I get a positive boost from thinking it's doing good for my body. Mondo Organics is almost walking distance from my home but I'd never been there before because it's not the type of place I can drag Marc to. Luckily I have a team of girlfriends who aren't as narrow-minded in their feeding habits.

Last weekend, Tracy and I tried Mondo Organics for lunch. It can be stressful trying to find a park in West End but Mondo has an area of exclusive parking spaces behind their building. We didn't make a booking but managed to get a table without much drama. There was seating outside but with the heat being so intolerable, I happily took up a table inside where there was airconditioning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Palms for Lunch

No comments:
The Palms Mediterranean Bar and Grill

I already had one epic adventure at the newly renovated Garden City shopping centre a month or so ago when I had dinner with Kat at Hatch and Co when I couldn't get to my car because the shopping centre had closed. I wasn't prepared for even more drama at my second visit, when I went back for lunch with a group of girl friends. This time, the stress was in the form of parking difficulties. Apparently October is now when people start their Christmas shopping, or maybe lunch on a Sunday is just THAT popular. There were cars lining up to get through the entrances, even the ones far from Town Square. If I thought my previous parking spot was at the exact opposite end of the shopping centre to Garden City's Town Square, I was wrong. This time I surpassed my previous attempt and somehow managed to enter a realm that was EVEN FURTHER AWAY. It was a lengthy trek to get to The Palms and I was nearly 40min late.

My failure to park aside, I was very excited to try this restaurant. The Palms is run by the same guys behind Alchemy, which I dined at once back in 2011 and enjoyed. This new restaurant is more casual but still has a refined touch. The layout is open, with the back portion looking onto the Town Square's water features. Our girls took up a table right near the water and sitting there, I felt like I was at an overseas island resort. That's not an easy atmosphere to invoke by a shopping centre restaurant but The Palms managed very well. On the downside, half the table was in the sun so I'm not sure how that will go over this blistering Summer.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Boom Boom for Dinner

No comments:
Boom Boom
Cinema level, Myer Centre, 91 Queen Street, Brisbane CBD

I'm in danger of turning Hungry Kittens into a Korean-in-Brisbane food blog but I simply can't seem to stop myself when it comes to Korean food. My weakness of the month has been Korean fried chicken, which somehow manages to be even yummier and worst for our bodies than the already indulgent regular fried chicken.

Complimentary sides

Our recent venture in an attempt to try every Korean chicken outlet in Brisbane was at Boom Boom in Brisbane city. The restaurant is located near the cinemas at the top of the Myer Centre. There are two levels of dining space but the lower story looked kind of deserted so we headed to the mezzanine floor where all the action was.

Sorellina for Pizza

No comments:
Sorellina Pizzeria

Sorry about the recent lack of blog posts. It's such a ridiculously busy time of the year; add on the fact that I've had some short overseas trips dotted here and there and I just can't find the time/energy to blog. As of today, I've just gotten back from a week in Fiji and I'm tired and sunburnt and finding it hard to cope with Brissie heat. Before Fiji, I spent a week in Shanghai with my parents.

It was a short 6 day blitz through my hometown with first priority to visit my grandparents but second priority to eat. My mum and dad came with me and we covered all sorts of local Shanghainese and pan-chinese dishes. As a result, by the time I arrived back in Australia, I was craving western food very, very much. The thing I decided was most opposite to fried dumplings and stir-fries and the like was Italian food. Specifically, pizza.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Getta Burger for Dinner

No comments:
Getta Burger
1396 Creek Road, Cannon Hill

Over this past year, Marc and I have managed to transform our quiet 2 bed apartment into a animal-saturated family home. We've had our puppy Odin for just over a year now and this week, welcomed his new sister a balinese kitten by the name of Zaria.

The relevance of this is that pet-related situations lead me to first discover where Getta Burger was and to then try it out. Odin's obedience class was nearby and when we drove past Getta Burger one day, I realised it sounded familiar because I had heard it mentioned on The Urban List. We arranged to eat there last Saturday, on the way to pick Zaria up.

Getta Burger (combined with That Coffee Joint) is the brick and mortar establishment run by the masterminds behind That BBQ Joint food truck. This is where you can guarantee some satisfaction for your burger craving without having to chase a van around town. The shop front is small but there are a couple of cute searing options available. We noticed that most people got takeaway. The shopping plaza it's located in is small but very, very busy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Crosstown Revisited for Dinner

No comments:
The Crosstown for Dinner

In what feels like a lifetime ago, I had breakfast at Crosstown with Kat and experienced one of the best french toasts of my life. Fast forward 2 years (which doesn't sound that long chronologically but a lot can happen in that period) and I got to revisit and try their dinner menu.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bungle Bungle

1 comment:
Bungle Bungle
Shop 13, Runcorn Plaza, 258 Warrigal Road, Runcorn

I've been very lenient with my Korean food cravings these days, allowing myself whatever I want whenever I want it. The exception has been Korean fried chicken because of my personal belief that no matter how much unhealthy food I eat, there's nothing quite as unhealthy as fried chicken. This month marks the end of my resistance to fried chicken, but only the Korean variety. I've realised (since Seoul Bistro) that this is the only case of fried chicken where benefit outweighs cost because it is just that darn delicious.

I discussed with Jenny which places we should try for Korean fried chicken and we are determined to make our way through the list. The first of our targets was Bungle Bungle, which Jenny had been recommended as the best Korean fried chicken outlet by some other friends. I can't remember where I saw it but one online testimonial I read claimed that Bungle Bungle "is not just a restaurant, but a way of life". That sure hooked me right in.

We thought that this would be more of a takeaway shop than a restaurant but it actually is a full fledged restaurant (albeit a small one) with plenty of indoor sitting space. Of course you can still get takeaway as an option.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween Donuts from Donut King

No comments:
Halloween Donuts from Donut King

Halloween is near! Over the years, I've gone from feeling resistant towards this very American tradition to gradually embracing it as a new excuse to dress up, party and eat tonnes of candy. This year, I'll be in Shanghai, unfortunately missing out on some awesome-sounding Halloween parties that friends are throwing. Even so, nothing can stop me from enjoying some cheeky treats.

Some of the gorgeous Halloween designs; this is the photo I saw on FB

Donut King recently contacted me to sample some of their new Halloween donuts. I had a look online and it just so happens that a friend of mine posted pics from her local Donut King onto her Facebook feed. I instantly fell in love with the adorable, mildly horror-themed designs. In particular, the man with a stab wound made me simultaneously say 'nawww' and 'ewww'. I couldn't wait to try them!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hatch and Co (Garden City) for Dinner

1 comment:
Hatch and Co, Garden City

Last weekend, I had a wild adventure at the newly renovated Westfield Garden City. Even before it started its renos, I hadn't been for years. When I got there last Sunday, I was lost and bewildered. I was meeting Kat for dinner at Hatch and Co but stupidly parked right at the opposite side of the building. It was fine when I got there because I simply strolled through the shops to the Town Square, where the restaurant was. After our meal, however, all the shopping centre doors were closed, and I was met with obstacle after obstacle. I ended up trawling the entire car park perimeter (which was deserted) for 30 plus minutes until I finally found my car. That sure isn't an experience I'm willing to repeat in a hurry!

Back to the fun stuff now... Hatch and Co's original location is in Newstead. For some reason I thought I'd been there before but I couldn't find an entry on my own blog (which serves as a back up memory for food) so I assume I haven't. It's got a good reputation though and several of my coworkers were excited about this second location so I too was keen to give it a try.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Little Red Dumpling for Lunch

No comments:
Little Red Dumpling

Next week I'm off to China for 5 days so there might not be much point in me using up the meal outings I have left in Australia on Chinese food. After all, I'll be gorging on the real authentic dosh while I'm there. My argument is that there's no such thing as too much dumplings and it's something I'm never going to get sick of.

I found out about Little Red Dumpling through Instagram and then told Jenny about it. She went with her dad and had a good experience so I arranged to go with my parents last Sunday for lunch. Little Red Dumpling is located in the Centro Pinelands complex. Jenny had described the shop fittings to me as "very communist" and I thought she was kidding but it is exactly that. I guess the Red in the name of the store is a clue to its stylistic theme. There's even a mural on the back wall that proclaims "dumplings for the people".

Monday, October 20, 2014

Brat Haus for Dinner

No comments:
Brat Haus Authentic German Sausages
3/354 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

I don't much like takeaway pizza but I love Italian-style thin based pizza. Similarly, whilst I'm not crazy about snags in general, German sausages are a whole different ball game. Our friend Britt brought our attention to an authentic German-style sausage purveyor in Fortitude Valley. Brat Haus started off in December 2013 as a market stall and can still be found at various market sites throughout Brisbane (including: New Farm, Mitchelton, The Gap, Cannon Hill, Bardon, Brookfield and Manly; check out their website for full list of locations). This venture was so successful that they were able to plant a permanent store in the valley and another one in Caxton Street.

A few weeks ago, we arranged to have dinner with Britt and Cajun at the Fortitude Valley location of Brat Haus on a Friday night. The restaurant has a cosy dining space and extended back courtyard that actually belongs to the neighbouring Mexican restaurant. Apparently you can eat Brat Haus dishes in this area but you can't bring your beers over.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Product Review - Ilias the Greek for Greek Sweets

No comments:
Ilias the Greek

One need only glance through my food log of Greece to see just how much I love baklava. It's one of my absolute most favourite desserts of all time, and I have tasted a LOT of desserts. There is definitely a difference between great and poorly made baklava and I'm always happy to taste test. Recently, the lovely folks at Ilias the Greek posted me a sample of some of their top products to try.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kiss the Berry for Acai Bowls

1 comment:
Kiss The Berry

I'm sure I'm late coming into the whole acai bowl craze but as soon as I tried it, I got hooked. My first taste was at Kiss The Berry in the city and after that, I tried it at a few other places (in consecutive days) and even attempted my own smoothie bowl at home (made with banana, strawberry and blueberries rather than acai berries). My conclusion is that Kiss The Berry does the best job so I'm happy to be sharing my experiences on here.

The first time I visited this place was totally on a whim. I headed into town for breakfast and somehow the idea of an acai bowl entered my mind. They had never appealed to me before; something about a big bowl of blended fruit and muesli seemed like the kind of boring faux-dessert that only health fanatics find appealing. Well, let's just say that I definitely learnt the meaning of "don't knock it till you try it".

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Red Hook for Lunch

No comments:
Red Hook New York Street Food

There are so many new venues opening up in Brisbane all the time that it's hard to find something to get excited about. I was definitely excited about Red Hook. Something about the premise of Brooklyn-style diner tickled my fancies and everything on the menu sounded delicious. I find less reason to head into Brisbane city nowadays but I made a special effort to have lunch here last week.

Red Hook is located in Gresham Lane, which is fast becoming my favourite aspect of Brisbane city dining. The vendors all serve food quickly but it's not your typical, boring weekday work meal offerings of sushi, salad and sandwiches.

For instance, at Red Hook the menu contains such delicious-sounding items as lobster roll and duck taco, plus a range of burgers. Everything is served in takeaway containers but there is a space with seats and tables for those who don't have the patience to head back to the office to eat, or who like me, made a special trip there to try the food.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cabassi and Co for Lunch

No comments:
Cabassi and Co Artisan Butchers
Shop 1065, Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, Indooroopilly

I've been feeling extra productive this week in one aspect of my life, and that's eating. I have a casual rule for this blog that I more or less stick to. When I dine out alone and can thus only try one food item at a restaurant/cafe/whatever, I give it at least one more try before I publish an opinion. This means that my view doesn't get too skewed by one extremely good or bad experience and I can talk about at least 2 different products. Because I'm always trying new food venues, it's not as easy as you'd think to revisit a previous destination.

This week, I made a conscious effort to revisit 3 places that I had been to before but couldn't review because there wasn't enough to write about. Cabassi and Co was one of these locations.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sunny Seoul for Korean BBQ

No comments:
Sunny Seoul BBQ Restaurant
3a/95 Mains Road, Sunnybank

In continuation with my love for Korean, I passed my personal best by having Korean BBQ twice last weekend. Once was with family and the other was with friends. Jenny recommended that we visit Sunny Seoul because of its array of sides. I'm trying to increase my repertoire of Korean restaurants to beyond Brisbane CBD so I was happy to try this place in Sunnybank.

Sunny Seoul is located in a small complex of restaurants along Mains Road. We drove along until we spotted the sign and pulled in for a park. It's pretty hard to miss but parking is slightly competitive around dinner time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chur Burger for Dinner

No comments:
Chur Burger

Last weekend we celebrated a couple of friends joint 30th birthday at Up on Constance. I'd never heard of that venue before and Marc and I wandered up and down Constance street for a while before we figured out how to get onto the roof. Once we got there, it was beautiful. I was going to write a blog entry on Up on Constance but I can't think of enough ways to describe cocktails effectively and critically. Instead, let's focus on what I know best, and that's food. We got peckish partway through the party and went in search for a feed.

Being an avid social media junkie (especially when it comes to food), I am well aware of any interesting new venture to open in Brisbane. Chur Burger caught my attention right away because not long after it opened, everyone on my Instagram feed was eating there and all the photos looked delicious. It seemed like the The Cool New burger joint to eat at and being the sheep that I am, I wanted to try it for myself. Lo and behold, Chur Burger was right below Up on Constance and I took that as a sign from fate that we were meant to eat there that night.