Friday, August 21, 2015

4-5 week break

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Today is the big day... this food blogger is getting wed! It's going to be a whirlwind weekend followed by a flight out to China next week for our honeymoon. We're there for 4 weeks during which time we'll be touring all over the place and celebrating our marriage with my family in Shanghai.

Upon my return, expect a bunch of Chinese food posts and then I'll get back into Brissie restaurants.

Cheers and thanks for following me!

Green Bees for Healthy Takeaway

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Green Bees Organic

I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise that wedding prep involves lots of running around like a headless chicken. I was getting my hair done and suddenly it was time to do something else and I needed lunch and lo and behold Green Bees appeared before me.

I literally drive past this cafe every day as noticed it as it was being set up so the curiosity was always there. It looked quite busy so I was willing to give it a try.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Racecourse 63 for Lunch

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Racecourse 63
63 Racecourse Rd, Hamilton

Another day another lot of wedding errands to be had... I'm pumping out these posts in haste because for obvious reasons I'll be busy in the coming days. Last weekend we had to make an emergency visit to the airport DFO to find Marc appropriate footwear. I hate outlet shopping because the crowds really stress me out so to make a painful event more bearable, I figured we'd have lunch at Racecourse Road on the way.

The original plan was to eat at Hosokawa but it was closed on the Sunday so we headed into nearby Racecourse 63 instead. It looked to be a happening cafe so I was confident we'd get some good food.

CHE Asado for Meaty Feast

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CHE Asado and Bar

Alright I'll readily admit I'm crap at dieting. I would say my overall pre-wedding effort can be "rounded up" as good but there have definitely been occasions where I've used twisty excuses to allow myself some treats. My excuse for dinner at CHE was that it would be mostly meat and therefore categorically low carb. Of course I didn't take into account the jugs of sweet sangria we'd be ingesting...

That aside, last Saturday we completed an anxiety and comedy laden rehearsal for our ceremony. I'm awkward in all walks of life and unfortunately this seems to extend to tasks like repeating vows and even hand holding. By the end of it all I was sweating and exhausted and ready for a feed. We were at Kangaroo Point and figured Southbank would just be a quick walk away

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dinner at Asana

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Asana by Pete Evans

Continuing on with the theme of healthy eating, this dinner experience at Asana was definitely one worth blogging about. I didn't even know this place existed or I'm sure I would have tried it out sooner. Asana is masterminded by celebrity chef Pete Evans of the My Kitchen Rules series. He has also built himself a reputation as a passionate paleo diet advocate.

I'm not one to get strongly sucked into any dietary fads because I like all food way too much to remain faithful to one school of thought. I dipped my toes into paleo for a while because in my day to day, I try to limit refined carbs and paleo eating is aligned with that. It does go much beyond that if you're a hardcore paleo enthusiast and I'm not sure of the scientific rationale behind their theories but then again, when have fad diets ever leaned on actual scientific research?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Miss Bliss for Lunch

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Miss Bliss Wholefoods Kitchen

Although I'm technically in pre-wedding diet mode, I love eating out as much as I always have. How great is it then that there are diet-friendly cafes and restaurants out and about? The first of these I visited is a new local gem, Miss Bliss Wholefoods Kitchen in West End.

Miss Bliss is known for 'bliss balls' sold at various Brisbane markets. They've now expanded to providing all types of wholesome treats at a beautifully fitted cafe location on Vulture Street. I was worried I couldn't find the place but it's quite large and stands out at the popular intersection. Despite being new, it was also fairly busy when I visited which I take to be a good sign.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The London Club for a Hen's Group Lunch

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The London Club

I've already mentioned this on the blog but I'm getting married soon... next week in fact! With it comes all the chaos and celebration and last minute stress that you can only expect from a wedding. I had a hen's holiday getaway in Bali but with the active volcano situation, it was touch and go as to whether we could even make it or not. On the night before our departing flight, I thought it might be wise to make a backup plan in case Bali didn't pan out.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mu'ooz Restaurant for Dinner

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I'm quite adventurous with food and like to think I'm accepting of most cuisines and ingredients. I can't think of a single country's cuisine I don't enjoy at least on occasion and it takes a wide brain stretch to find flavours I don't like (I'm not a fan of liquorish but I'd still eat it).

One thing I can't say I've tried much of, or at all before this experience, is African cuisine. Africa is a huge continent with a great diversity of cultures so I won't blanket all the food in one. I found Mu'ooz in West End, next to Kafe Meze and it showcases Eritrean cuisine. Going into it, neither Marc or myself knew what this meant but we were very excited to find out.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Miel Container for Lunch

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Miel Container
96 Albert Street, Brisbane CBD

There's been a few cases of food venues that I've had back luck with, in terms of attendance. All of them have been in Brisbane CBD which probably has more to do with the fact that when I'm in the city, I'm in a rush, rather than anything specifically wrong with the restaurants.

Miel Container was one such location that I tried to get to on a number of occasions but kept failing. One time the line was too long and we had a limited lunch break. Another couple of times we planned to go but didn't end up going to the city. After coming back from Bali I needed to focus on the next thing, which apart from the wedding was our honeymoon to China. China travel means China visa and that was the perfect excuse to try Miel Container while we were in the city.

Siam Pung for Lunch

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Siam Pung
69-79 Boundary Street, West End

I've finished my Bali posts and can get cracking on my backlog of unpublished Brisbane reviews. If you've been bored about all this "irrelevant overseas stuff" stay tuned because I have tonnes of local restaurants to talk about.

The first of these is Siam Pung, which is Thai dessert cafe local to me. It's the sister cafe to Siam Samrarn, a very popular Thai restaurant in West End. I visited Siam Pung a long time ago, probably earlier this year.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bali in Review

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Bali in Review

It seems that our Hen’s holiday to Bali was sandwiched between days of volcano ash cloud activity. We were really lucky to have made a successful trip! I’m so grateful for this fact because with the support and companionship of my close girlfriends I had one of the most memorable and enjoyable weeks of my life.

It’s been a slow crawl remembering all the foods and restaurants we tried in Bali but I’ve finally come through the other side. For easy perusal, here is a list of contents in order of occurrence.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bali Day 5 - Dinner at Ultimo

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Ultimo Italian Restaurant

Our last day in Bali was fun but tiring. The flight back home wasn't until late in the evening so we had a whole day's worth of activities but because check out happened in the morning, no place to recuperate throughout the day. This was softened by 2.5hrs of pampering booked for our afternoon. Hot stone massage, reflexology, scalp massage and hair treatment... life was good.

After our last session at Cool Spa, we were feeling dazed and relaxed but still had hours to kill before check in at the airport. No one was particularly hungry after our big lunch at Anika Cooking Class but sometimes dinner is more about something to do than something out of necessity.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bali Day 5 - Anika Balinese Cooking Class

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Anika Cooking Class

Going into Bali, I was beyond unplanned and unprepared. We had no activities worked out, nothing booked and no real idea as to how we were going to spend the next 4 days (beyond booze and massages). Something I was actually keen on doing was a cooking class.

It's obvious from this blog that I'm a fan of food. Although back in my younger days I featured cooking posts and restaurant reviews equally, these days I mostly review restaurants. It's not that I don't cook much (well, it is that too) but in our day to day we try not to eat too extravagantly so we can save calorie splurges on dining out. Nevertheless, I still ENJOY cooking and I love doing cooking classes so I asked my girls to sort something out.

Bali Day 4 - Lunch at Indus

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Indus Restaurant

The best thing about Bali is that once you're there, everything is so affordable. Our resort accommodation came in a package that included not only airport transfers, breakfast and a family dinner but also a full day's private car hire. We used that to take on a tour around East Bali, which lead us into Ubud to visit the monkey forest, rice terraces and volcano gazing.

All this running around works up a big appetite and we were keen for our driver's lunch recommendation. He took us to Indus Restaurant, which I trusted would be good as soon as we saw it because as big as the restaurant was, it was very busy and most tables were full. We were seated on a large pagoda/deck that allowed us to enjoy the jungle scenery in comfort from afar.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bali Day 3 - Dessert and Wine at Vin + Seminyak

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Vin + Seminyak
Jalan Kayu Jati # 1, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia

We were definitely well-fed after our lovely meal at Bambu Restaurant but because we were forced to vacate after a set time, we were sadly under-watered. With alcohol, that is.

Luckily for us Bali isn't the kind of place where it's hard to find somewhere to kick on into the night. We turned a corner and found Vin +. According to Jenny, I pointed out how interesting the venue looked every time we walked past so it was about time that we actually went in to check the place out.

Vin + is a wine-focused lounge bar. The layout is open and in the more outdoor section, there was a live band performing some mild pop song covers. Our group took up a corner couch and table where it was quite warm at first but improved after the waitstaff turned on the air-conditioning unit near us.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bali Day 3 - Dinner at Bambu

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Bambu Restaurant
Jl. Petitenget no. 198, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia

While Jenny and I were rafting, the two other ladies enjoyed the sun and pool at our resort. Kat did some online research and came up with a recommendation for a restaurant near us. We knew it was in the same vicinity but it wasn't until we set out that we realised just how close it was. We must have walked past Bambu a dozen times and not noticed. It's a huge restaurant but it's hidden away behind high and private walls. Only a gold plated name and gorgeously dressed ushers gave any indication that this was a restaurant.

We hadn't made a booking but because we were early, we were given a table provided we finished in an hour and half. That didn't end up being much of an issue but I do recommend people intent on dining at Bambu to book to avoid disappointment.

Bambu has atmosphere like no other restaurant that I've been to. Within the walls, every subtle detail contributes to an air of radiant tranquility. The lanterns, pools, colourful koi fish and temple-like architecture serve to add to the incredibly peaceful ambiance. The restaurant was fully booked but with tables so spaced out, it never felt noisy or crowded.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bali Day 3 - Nalu Bowls at Shelter Rooftop Garden Cafe

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Nalu Bowls at Shelter Cafe

After an exciting morning of white water rafter along the Ayung river, Jenny and I were dropped back to our villa with hours to spare before dinner. We decided to head out for a spot of shopping and caught a cab to Legian.

Bali shopping, at least in this district, was fairly underwhelming to me. There were lots of nice boutique shops but prices were akin to non-sale Australian prices. After some fruitless browsing, we were left with a ravaging thirst and sought out a cafe refuel.

Bali Day 2 - Dinner at The Junction

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The Junction Seminyak

After our day time bender at The Potato Head, I was just about ready to pass out and have an afternoon nap. We did something even better by submitting ourselves to hours of massage and hair treatments at Cool Spa and Salon (a business which we became very well acquainted with over our short stay). It's interesting how a day can go so quickly when comprised of nothing but drinking and pampering. Before we knew it, it was dinner time again.

This time we set off towards Seminyak square but before we made much headway, we got distracted by the eye-catching bleached wood exterior at The Junction. The Junction is a large restaurant at (surprise!) the junction of two busy streets. Its walls are adorned with bottles of strange things (everything from pasta to shells and bark) which, if nothing else, makes for an interesting conversation piece.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bali Days 1 and 2 - Drinks and Grazings at Potato Head Beach Club

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Potato Head Beach Club

I just got back from an amazing 5 day girly get away in Bali that was put together as a 'hens trip' pre-wedding. Leading up to the trip,  I was more excited about the Bali getaway than the actual wedding itself. Then the volcano situation happened and it was all sort of up in the air as to whether or not we'd even make it there. Thankfully the volcano gods were kind and we had a successful holiday.

I'm not a good flier at the best of times but I managed to top my PB with The Worst Plane ride of my entire life going into Bali. We arrived in the afternoon and used the remaining hours to get to our villa, settle in and melt our aches and stresses away with hours of pampering. After dinner and wine at a local restaurant, we retreated for a good night's sleep.