Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Engagement Lunch at Il Centro

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Il Centro Revisited

With our recent engagement, Marc and I pulled our families together for a celebratory meet and greet. One event happened over lunch at Il Centro. I had been to Il Centro before albeit a long, long time ago. It's famed for its sandcrab lasagne and I can ascertain that it is, indeed delicious. This must be why it's survived on the menu for so many years.

Il Centro is located on the Eagle Street dining precinct, next to Cha Cha Char. I don't know what's going on with the parking under Eagle Street but we had the oddest experience being directed along the maze of carpark levels, finally finding a park (we weren't sure if most of them belonged to residents) and then not being able to work out how to get back to ground level. Being stuck in an underground carpark with no clear exit can get very claustrophobic very fast.

Gold Coast Fling 5 - Breakfast at Base

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Base Espresso
75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

I've decided that I hate 10am check outs. Marc and I left our hotel on Broadbeach at 10 and found that the only food options available were of the bacon and egg variety. That's all good on most days but on this particular day I was really in the mood for proper lunch food. Noodles. Burgers. Nachos. None of those places were open and we were too hungry to wait until lunch trading so we gave up and found a cafe instead.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gold Coast Fling 4 - Dinner at Goha

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Goha Korean Restaurant
160 Nerang Street, Southport

Anyone who's followed this blog at all this year would know that whilst the main cuisine of Brisbane 2014 is Southern American, the main food of Cora 2014 is most definitely Korean. My interest in Korean cuisine has exploded this year and I will never say no to the offer of a Korean meal. While we were staying at the Gold Coast recently, we met up with Blossom and a couple of her friends. She is Korean and knew just the place to take me for Korean BBQ. Best of all, it was all-you-can-eat at a very reasonable price.

After some thinking, I realised that this premise sounded very familiar. It turns out that my highschool friend Bee mentioned her parents owned an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ at the coast and when I inquired, it turned out to be the same place.

Gold Coast Fling 3 - Lunch at Cheng's China Bistro

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Cheng's China Bistro

Being OCD about food blogging means that I don't always write about the trendiest or most gourmet places to eat. I can't help but write about everything new that I try. This was a quick lunch stop during our stay in Broadbeach. We actually walked all the way to Surfers Paradise and I started regretting it because I felt like there were better food options back at Broadbeach. I started craving cheap Asian food and we stumbled upon Cheng's Chinese Bistro and basically said "this will do".

It was Saturday lunch and the restaurant had maybe 2 other tables of diners. We were given a one page menu of lunch specials and a large book of a la carte dish options. Marc and I weren't looking for a full on sit down feast so we both ordered lunch specials.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Gold Coast Fling 2 - Dinner at Hurricane's Grill

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Hurricane's Grill and Bar, Surfers Paradise

I'd been to Hurricanes at Darling Harbour in Sydney once before in my life but that was a hazy affair because high volumes of alcohol had been consumed earlier that night. All I could remember was that the ribs were really, really, really good. Imagine my excitement over Hurricane's bring their delicious creations to Queensland with a store at Surfers Paradise.

Marc and I had been wanting to go for a while but areas like Surfers where parking is always a challenge can be a heavy deterrent. A couple of weekends ago, I got to experience the convenience of the new light rail service. We were staying opposite Jupiter's in Broadbeach and from there it was a quick 5 minute walk and short tram ride from Cavill Mall. After that, however, we managed to misread Google Maps and walk in the complete opposite direction to where we were supposed to be going.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Gold Coast Fling 1 - Lunch at No Name Lane

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No Name Lane
Elizabeth Avenue, Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved staying at hotels. There's something about the thrill of checking into an unfamiliar location, unlocking your temporary home for the first time and then heading out to explore the new neighbourhood. I just love it!

Last weekend, there was a dental conference at the Gold Coast so I arranged a mini holiday at Broadbeach. Hungry Kittens isn't meant to be an accommodation blog so I won't carry on too much about where we stayed, but suffice to say I highly recommend Meriton on Broadbeach. Our apartment was clean, spacious and modern with gorgeous views from both sides. I found the location perfect for heading out for groceries, restaurants, cafes, even getting a mani/pedi. Everything was so close by. With Jupiters Casino just across the road and the beach a ten minute walk away, you have all interests covered.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dinner at Flaming Olive

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Flaming Olive Restaurant and Bar

Lately, Hungry Kittens has featured cafes and burger shops aplenty but it's obviously been a long time since I've eaten at a fine dining establishment. With a constant bombardment of bills, mortgage repayments, wedding planning deposits and more, it's become harder and harder to justify an expensive meal. I normally save that stuff for special occasions but all our special occasions seem to be in the first half of the year, which leaves July to November very dreary.

Thank goodness for restaurant promotions! I've recently discovered the power of Urbanspoon's weekly dining specials. If you book a special online through them, you get access to some darn good discounts. Only thing is, you have no control over what restaurant gets featured. It was a stroke of luck when I saw Flaming Olive because that has been on my list of restaurants to try since it first opened in the M and A building. Marc, the world's most passionate olive hater, quipped "why would anyone want to flame an olive? To get rid of them?" Ha ha, Marc. Very funny.

Friday, September 12, 2014

La Rotisserie for Lunch

La Rotisserie

Marc left his car in the Northside over the weekend so we went to pick it up on Monday. What better way to bribe me out for a tiresome task than to throw a lunch outing in the mix. We tried to find something on the way so that it made logistical sense and The Gasworks complex in Newstead came to mind. I'd never been there before but I heard of La Rotiserrie which promises meat and chips and really, what else do you need in life?

The shopfront is so cute, with rich red awnings and hanging ferns. It really makes you feel like you've stumbled across this place along a Paris side street.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lunch and Sweets at The Baker's Arms

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The Baker's Arms

I am so caught up in a web of food-related social media that I honestly can't pinpoint how I first heard about The Bakers Arms. It must have been mentioned by some other Brisbane foodie and when I discovered it was nearby in Woolloongabba, it was hardly an effort to pop by.

The Baker's Arms is located in the same complex as Crosstown Eating House, 1889 Enoteca and Pearl Cafe. I know exactly where all those places are so I wish I'd made that realisation sooner. Instead, I followed my GPS around in circles only to finally be lead to this familiar hub of restaurants. Parking can be a nightmare here but I've been to The Bakers Arms twice now in the past week to gather enough information for this post and both times, I've been super lucky with finding a park.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Drinks and Nibblies at The Flying Cock

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The Flying Cock

New eating establishments in Brisbane always pique my interest but this year, there seems to be endless new brunch cafes and Southern American style diners. Sure, I'm still curious but they have all blended into one vague heap on my radar of places to try. What's much more exciting to me is a new establishment that also supplies top notch booze. Enter the gastrobar, a haven for those who can't pick between spending their weekends eating or drinking. After all, in the age of indulgence, why should we have to choose?

The Flying Cock (TFC for easy typing) first flew under my radar when Jenny mentioned driving past the 'coming soon' sign on Brunswick Street. I later learnt that workmate PDizzle is friends with David Flynn, one of the owners. Not long after the opening night at TFC, we arranged to head there for dinner and drinks.

TFC is located in the old Tempo Hotel building an as such, takes up a lot of space. There are distinct areas within the building that you might find more suitable for different occasions. We took up one of the larger tables in the downstairs 'restaurant' area and later moved upstairs to the proper bar to check out the live music.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dad's Birthday Celebration at Ramen Champion

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Ramen Champion
Shop 50, Sunnypark Shopping Centre, Sunnybank

Lucky for me, my mum's birthday always falls close to Mother's Day and my dad's falls near Father's Day. This year, Dad's birthday was exactly on Father's Day Sunday. I get so stressed out shopping for presents that any chance to mush celebrations together makes my life easier. Because we're Chinese, birthdays = noodles due to its representation of longevity. This was the prefect opportunity for us to try newly opened Ramen Champion in Sunnybank. Mum and dad had already been there and quite liked it so this time, they took me and my grandparents.

We got there before noon on a Saturday, fairly early in the lunch period. It wasn't too busy when we got there but before long, the tables were all taken up and there were even people queuing up outside. Mum mentioned that the last time they were there, tables were set up outside too but that wasn't the case when we went. It might have been because it was a pretty windy day.

The menu at Ramen Champion is simple with a couple of sides/starters, a selection of different soup based ramen and rice dishes for those not in the mood for noodles. Our group ordered some gyoza to share and a bowl of ramen each. My grandparents and myself all went for the spicy champion, whilst my mum had the original champion ramen and my dad selected the curry men ramen.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lunch at Ben's Burgers

Ben's Burgers

I first heard about Ben's Burgers from a friend, who's the friend of some friends who may be the owners. They may or may not be called Ben. I didn't ask. Why is Ben such a good food-producing name? Ben and Jerry's works. Ben's Burgers sounded just as promising.

Jenny tried Ben's Burgers a while ago close to when it first opened and she gave me generally positive feedback with some criticism about the saltiness of the burgers. After going through a couple weeks of healthy eating, my body/taste buds suffered a massive backlash and all I've been craving recently is burgers, chips and cake. Who am I to reject these natural urges?

Noosa Break 2 - Lunch at Canteen

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2/4 Sunshine Beach Road

On the Sunday of our stay at Castaway Beach, we decided to head further north to Noosa Heads for lunch. This time, it was Canteen that caught our eye because the menu seemed fresh and varied but also very affordable. As it had been all weekend, the weather was on point so we happily took up a table outside.

The menu at Canteen reminds me of all those brunch spots I love back home in Brisbane. There's a lot of the typical cafe offerings like sandwiches, wraps, burgers and so on but with a quirky gourmet flare.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Noosa Break 1 - Lunch at iS Tapas Bar

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iS Tapas Bar at Peregian Beachhttp://www.istapas.com.au/peregian-beach-menu/

As mentioned on my DePascale post, I made the most of a lucky 4 day long weekend by hiring a beach house in Noosa recently. We stayed at Castaway Beach and spent relaxed mornings strolling along the dog-friendly surf and soaking up much needed sun. We were with a group of friends and at night, we drank and ate at the house but during the day, we ventured out to nearby coastal hubs for food.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DePascale for Pizza Lunch

DePascale Takeaway Pizza

Having lived in the Southern suburbs of Brisbane my whole life, I have an innate fear and misunderstanding of the Northside. Every time I drive up that way, I get lost, stuck in traffic and frustrated. Because of this, I’m sure my blog reviews favour vendors in the Southside or CBD and surrounds. I know I must be missing out on a lot from the other half of Brisbane.

This weekend, Marc and I planned a family trip to Noosa with friends. I had to pick him up from work in Chermside so we decided it was the perfect opportunity to try a pizza place that many people have recommended to us. DePascale is located about a 5min walk from Westfield Chermside, in a building along Playfield Street. There are some street parks available but a lot of it is taken up by construction vehicles. I was lucky enough to nab a spot but it doesn’t matter if you can’t find a long term park because this place only does takeaway pizza. Ring up beforehand to place your order and send someone in to pick it up while you wait by the side of the road.