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Brisbane Devoured: 2010

December 31, 2010

Buderim Tavern for Christmas Lunch

Buderim Tavern on Urbanspoon

This year for Christmas was spent with my family at Mooloolaba. Usually a home cooked dinner is in order for Christmas Day, however this year Dad decided to book us in for a lunch at Buderim Tavern. He emailed me the menu and so it was decided.
The last time I recall going to Buderim Tavern was when I was a kid, and that memory is as vague as remembering they had good vanilla icecream with chocolate topping..... hmmmm.
The Christmas lunch was a set course for $89 per person for a four course meal. Drinks cost extra at the bar. 

We arrived and were promptly seated along with what seemed like hundreds of other people. The great thing about Buderim Tavern is the ‘million dollar views’ of the Sunshine Coast out to the sea. It was certainly worth it just for the view alone.
The bad thing was that as soon as we were seated EVERYONE decided they wanted drinks, so there was a huge queue up at the bar. Fortunately there were 4-5 people serving and they managed to get the line moving quickly enough. 

Little Singapore Uptown

Little Singapore Up Town on Urbanspoon

We’ve already blogged about Little Singapore at Sunnybank, the main branch of the Little Singapore chain. The owners have two other restaurants in the city, one located on Charlotte St and one in the cute little Albert Lane wherein also lies Vapiano and The Tea Centre.

I always complain because there seems to be a lack of places open on a Sunday to eat in the city. All the places I want to go or try are usually shut. On this occasion it was also raining so we didn’t want to hike too far in the wet. I suggested that we walk down to Ajisen Ramen but this idea was quickly shot down by a major downpour. We ducked into Albert Lane and so our choice was made.

December 26, 2010


Ginga on Urbanspoon

Having Mondays off work, we are sometimes hard-pressed to find somewhere open on a Monday evening to go out for dinner. Throw in a sister who ONLY wants Japanese and the Christmas period and its even more difficult. The only place we thought of was Ginga at South Brisbane. 

We walked around the various restaurants first, and noted with interest there’s a new Japanese place at the performing arts centre end of the restaurant area at Little Stanley/Grey Sts. There was absolutely no one in there though which wasn’t promising, and they didn’t have any salmon sashimi on the menu (another thing little sis was after) so we headed back down to Ginga.

December 25, 2010

The Rare Pear

Rare Pear on Urbanspoon

We’ve visited the Rare Pear at Holland Park for breakfast several times now, but have not been for lunch up until today. Their breakfast menu is fantastic with more than the usual fare, offering things like breakfast bruschetta with tomatoes, asparagus and fetta, French brioche toast, and corn fritters with apple balsamic glaze and chilli jam.

Today we visited for lunch, and found it was fairly busy even on a Monday. It seems a popular place for “ladies who lunch”, as well as for all the local business people. 

The Rare Pear is situated on busy Logan Road, and has an outdoor eating area with only a few tables indoors. There is a large display cabinet offering most of the lunch choices – quiches, pies, wraps, sandwiches, and savoury crepes. Other offerings on the menu include a steak sandwich, savoury mince on corn dough bread and a haloumi open grill. 

December 18, 2010


Beccofino on Urbanspoon

Last night we had a pre-Christmas gathering with friends at Beccofino at Newstead. I was very keen to go there once I had learnt that was our venue of choice, as I have heard about their amazing pizzas. I was also so in the mood for pizza, having had a very asian themed week with regards to food, I needed some serious carbs. I had also just had a hugenormous workout at the gym so didn't feel nervous about all the pizza calories.

We ordered a couple of bottles of Catalina Sounds Sauvignon Blanc between the 5 of us ($43 per bottle), then decided we would just order 5 pizzas between us to share. I think it might have been a bit presumptuous to think we would all eat a pizza each (the boys would have no troubles but I was a bit worried about us girls), however we definitely wanted to sample a wide range of their pizzas.

Beccofino have two lists; pizza rosse (with their tomato sauce base) and pizza bianche (no sauce base). They also have a range of entrees, mains and pastas but I didn’t really even get beyond the pizza part of the menu to tell you the truth, as soon as I read the list of pizzas I developed a huge creepy smile on my face in anticipation.

December 17, 2010

The Euro

The Euro (Urbane) on Urbanspoon

It was my birthday last week and I decided to treat myself by convincing L to book us in for dinner at The Euro. We pretty much never go out in the city for dinner and after driving around a few blocks looking for a park, we passed a few interesting looking restaurants and so I’ve decided we need to expand our horizons and try a few of these city options in future.

The Euro is situated right next door to its more expensive sister restaurant Urbane. So we treated ourselves to dinner, but we didn’t TREAT ourselves to dinner! Dinner at Urbane probably requires a more special occasion than my birthday!

Thats certainly not to say The Euro is the ugly stepsister to Urbanes Cinderella. The Euro has a quite impressive menu and a stylish interior. Inside, its a long narrow restaurant with dining areas at the front and rear, separated by a bar area. The ceiling has interesting fluoro red and yellow coloured light fixtures which looked really cool. Unfortunately because of the dark lighting throughout the restaurant and of course me feeling self conscious with the camera as usual, I didn’t take any photos of the interior. All the photos that follow in this post are really dark, sorry!

December 10, 2010

Little Hong Kong

Little Hong Kong on Urbanspoon

Lazy day off, had to drive L’s car to the smash repairs (he drove into a pole at the shopping centre), which was near Sunnybank, and decided to stop in somewhere for some lunch.

We drove to Market Square and as usual walked around for ten minutes before finally choosing a place to eat. Finally, we perused the menu outside at Little Hong Kong and decided we would enjoy the food, so went in. 

Little Hong Kong is part of the Little Singapore restaurant chain. There are a few BBQ meat options on the menu, as well as a large variety of noodle, rice and soup dishes. 

December 08, 2010

Cream Patisserie Boulangerie

Cream Patisserie Boulangerie on Urbanspoon

Last weekend I had to work ALLLLLLL weekend and by Monday I was tired and grumpy. I had heard one of my workmates go on about her amazing breakfast that she had gone out for on Saturday morning and I decided that it was high time L and I went out for a good breakfast meal. This is something we rarely do, a) because we hardly get up early enough for breakfast on my days off and b) because L doesn’t really like to spend a lot of money on breakfast when he could be spending it on a good lunch or dinner.

I vaguely remembered reading about a couple of places at Coorparoo which isn’t too far from our place so we set off driving in the rain. It doesn’t happen to be very fun trying to find a place that you’ve never been to before in the rain but we somehow managed. We had intended to go to Flute Fine Food on Cavendish Rd, however decided the breakfasts were a bit expensive for us, so sat down at Cream Patisserie instead. 

Cream Patisserie Boulangerie is a quaint French style cafe that offers breakfast, lunches and dinners and also has a large range of pastries in their window for purchase. They offer high teas as well (something that I noted might be good for an occasion or with nanna!) and make specialty cakes for purchase.

December 06, 2010

Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Sweet Tomato Jam

L got this Moroccan cookbook for Christmas last year and so far has managed to make only one thing out of it, but its been such a success that we've had it a few times and I thought I would share it. 
This is the cookbook here;
The recipe:
  • 1.5kg ripe tomatoes
  • 1kg lamb shoulder or leg steaks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions coarsely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 30g butter
  • 40g blanched almonds
serves 4-6

December 05, 2010

Siam Samrarn

Siam Samrarn on Urbanspoon

Siam Samrarn is our “go-to” for Thai food in Brisbane. We went on a huge holiday to Thailand earlier this year and when we returned we were on a hunt for authentic Thai food. A few of the Thai places i’ve visited in Brisbane just haven’t been up to scratch unfortunately. 

When in Thailand, L was in his element, being a chilli freak, he was on the hunt for the spiciest food he could find (I think he even ended up munching on some fresh birds eye chillies just to freak out our fellow tour go-ers). I stuck to trying to find the least spicy foods although I am proud to say I built up more of a tolerance to chilli than I previously had. The most eaten foods for myself were the good ol’ Pad Thai, Mussaman Curry, Tom Kha gai (coconut soup) and stirfried chicken with cashew nuts. Aaaaaaaah, good food times.

Anyway, back to Siam Samrarn. Its located attached to the Coles shopping centre in West End and is ALWAYS packed out. We’ve eaten there too many times to count, but L always orders the same damn dish!!

November 30, 2010

Sydney - Mamak

Mamak on Urbanspoon

Whilst we were in Sydney we knew we wanted to sample some of the food on offer in Sydney’s Chinatown, particularly as it was a fairly short walking distance from our hotel.
I didn’t particularly know where to go of course, so checked up on the trusty Urbanspoon website to see where was good. This is how I found out about Mamak. Mamak is apparently one of the most blogged about restaurants in Sydney, so I was keen to find out how good it was.
We walked down there on the Monday at lunchtime without really knowing exactly where it was, but managed to find it regardless. 

Mamak is described as offering authentic Malaysian cuisine and specialises in all types of both savoury and sweet roti. We regularly eat at Little Singapore up in Brisbane, so I was interested to know how it was going to compare.
Prices are really quite cheap, with mains at around $13-$18, but lunch specials are on offer for a cheaper price, with smaller dishes. 

Sydney - Criniti's Ristorante

Criniti’s Ristorante Darling Harbour on Urbanspoon

We went for a loooooooong walk on our Sunday evening in Sydney to try and find somewhere to eat, but didn’t really know what sort of food we felt like (I felt like something asian, L felt like Italian). We walked the entire length of Darling Harbour, noted Criniti’s Ristorante with some interest, then walked all the way down to Chinatown before giving up and going all the way back to Criniti’s.

One thing we definitely noted about all of the restaurants in the harbour was the elevated prices. I don’t know if this is a Sydney thing, or if its just because Darling Harbour is quite touristy and you are paying for this and the location/views.

Getting into the restaurant was not without some difficulty however. We walked up the stairs from the harbourside area and then didn’t really know where to go... no one greeted us, there was no obvious ‘wait here and be seated’ sign. Finally we flagged down a waiter and he told us to go to the area at the back of the restaurant to wait to be seated...... this is when we finally noticed that the real entrance to the restaurant is from the Harbourside shopping centre. Duhhhh! I really think that if they are going to have stairs and an entrance from down in the harbour, then they need to address this...

There were a lot of empty but reserved tables that we’d walked past, we were told that there was only one table for two available... whoops we’d underestimated how popular this place was and probably should have booked. We were escorted to our booth and presented with a menu.

November 29, 2010

Sydney - Yama Japanese Cafe

Yama Japanese Cafe Restaurant on Urbanspoon

A lot of our weekend in Sydney was spent perusing the lovely Queen Victoria Building. We had had a largeish breakfast that morning and after spending quite a few dollars and dragging L around the shops buying clothes, clothes and more clothes, I was after a light lunch. 

We escalatored our way up to the top of the QVB to the lovely Yama Japanese Cafe. The menu caught my eye as they have a large variety of loose leaf teas to choose from and I was so in the mood for a pot of tea. 

We sat down and after perusing the menu I became hungrier and hungrier.
I chose the Sydney Special blend pot of tea (a mixture of black and green tea blends, mmmm), whilst L decided to be rebellious and ordered sake.
For food, we ordered gyoza (panfried dumplings), chicken karaage and the salmon lovers plate which consisted of salmon ngiri and salmon and avocado small rolls. 
The food was LOVELY. I kept raving about how glad I was that we had chosen to eat there. The salmon was fresh and delicious, and the salmon sushi rolls had an amazing sweetness to them which although I didn’t know what it was, I quite enjoyed the flavour.
The gyoza were practically inhaled, but fairly standard when it comes to gyoza.  We finished up with the chicken karaage which was crunchy and covered in seaweed garnish and Japanese mayo and came with a fresh nicely dressed side salad. 

November 27, 2010

Sydney - Diethnes

Diethnes on Urbanspoon

Saturday night in Sydney and we had no idea where to go but wanted to experience some good food. We also wanted somewhere cheap and near our hotel. Our lovely friends who are Sydneysiders booked Diethnes and so the four of us walked the few blocks there as hungry as hippos. 

Diethnes is a traditional greek restaurant. It is situated in this blink and miss it basement type of room in the Sydney CBD. The decor is hilariously bad, featuring plastic plants, false windows and leather booths, and the waiters are all lovely old greek men. 

Our friend S had especially booked a booth for us, so we sat down and admired our surrounds. We were immediately presented with a basket of complementary bread and butter. The bread was crusty and fresh and looked delicious however we only had a slice each as we were planning on eating up big. 

November 26, 2010

Sydney - Lindt Cafe

Lindt Chocolat Cafe on Urbanspoon

L and I took off for a naughty weekend getaway to Sydney. L has only been to Sydney once and I haven’t really been and visited the city area for a couple of years so we were excited and fully prepared to eat a lot of food. As soon as we touched down and got to our hotel which was situated near Darling Harbour, we took off for a stroll around the Harbour area and headed straight for the Lindt cafe, which I’ve previously had the pleasure of  sampling.

Unfortunately it was a Saturday afternoon, which meant we had to contend with the usual multitude of tourists as well as Sydney-siders out enjoying their weekend. The Lindt cafe was majorly crowded and we had a lot of trouble finding a table. The tables that were there were also chockers with empty glasses and plates that hadn’t been cleared.
L ordered the vanilla waffles for us to share, and we resolved to buy a few of their chocolates and their yummy delices to scoff later at the hotel. 

November 22, 2010

Pho Halong

Pho Ha Long on Urbanspoon

L and I are leaving in 6 weeks for a much anticipated holiday to Vietnam. Earlier this year we visited Thailand and so Vietnam seemed to be the next obvious place to go. Neither of us have travelled overseas extensively at all, so we are really looking forward to it. Mostly, the food! I’m obsessing over researching where to eat and what to eat. 

We have recently started visiting Pho Halong, a small restaurant on Logan Road at Mount Gravatt, very close-by to where we live. We have eaten at a couple of other Vietnamese places in Brisbane but nothing so far is as good as Pho Halong. 

We will usually head there on a weeknight when we’re running low on grocery items for dinner. Its so convenient for us and so cheap to eat there that its very easy to avoid cooking and head on down!

The Smoke BBQ

The Smoke BBQ on Urbanspoon

Having read and heard a lot of good things about Smoke BBQ at New Farm, I decided it was time we tried it out. Getting a table here is more difficult than we first thought however, having decided on a Friday night, we phoned them Monday to book the table. Uh sorry, we are pretty booked out, the girl on the phone said, but we have a table for two at 5.30pm?
Apparently even booking for two people was difficult 4 days in advance. L decided to go for an 8pm booking on the Thursday night as a compromise. 

We rocked up to the Smoke BBQ famished and ready to hook into some BIGGGGGG ribs.
First we were seated outdoors on the sidewalk on a rocky table with no glasswear for our plonked down bottle of water, amongst a few other empty tables and insects buzzing. Having passed two empty tables on the way out, I asked if we could change tables to an indoor table. I was told no, that those tables were for bookings.
I explained to the waitress that we did in fact have a booking anyway. Ummmmmm, no.... she still said.
Could we possible just swap tables then with the incoming people? They would never know that they had an indoor table instead of an outdoor one? Ummmmmmm no sorry, thats not possible.
Resigning myself to our rocky outdoor table on the footpath, I wondered how we would pour our water having no glasses on the table, and mentally gave them a big strike on the big notepad in my head.
Thankfully, they then managed to come back out and tell us that we could in fact have a table indoors. Thank goodness I said, and wandered inside where the atmosphere was much cosier and accommodating.

November 14, 2010

Strawberry Bread

Because L does ALL the cooking at home (I hate cooking dinner), I occasionally start feeling guilty and feel like I should cook something, anything.
So lately I have been trying to get into baking and desserts. So far I have had a few attempts at slices and biscuits, and a failed chocolate cake. I also don’t have many of the utensils required for baking, so am slowly accumulating various tins etc.
I found this recipe for strawberry bread by trolling through other foodie blog sites. I am a big fan of banana bread and I love strawberries and so this seemed interesting. 

The recipe link is:

I usually spend just as much time on lining the cake tin as I do mixing up the batter. I like to painstakingly get it perfectly lined until there are no creases left, and in doing so usually waste about three metres of baking paper. Oh well......

This strawberry bread was super easy to make.
  •  1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups strawberries, quartered 

November 12, 2010

Archive Beer Boutique and Bistro

Archive Beer Boutique and Bistro on Urbanspoon

L has finished his uni practical rotation, and so we joined his prac group friends for a meal and a few beers at Archive Beer Boutique (a fancy name for a pub??) at West End.
Archive offers 2-4-1 meals on a Wednesday evening. L and I have been here for this deal once before. I had a steak on this previous occasion and although I ordered it medium-rare it had come out almost well-done.  As such I was a bit apprehensive about eating here again, although who can pass up 2-4-1 meals?

Archives main claim to fame is their awesome craft beer menu. They have a few on tap as well as offering a huge list of bottled beers. They also have gluten free beer for those intolerant ones amongst us.

A few of the beers on offer

November 07, 2010


Vapiano on Urbanspoon

Vapiano has been reviewed just about to death already but I still plan to add in my 2 cents as this was our first visit.
This restaurant is located in Albert Lane, a very cute extension off Albert St in the city, which contains several interesting and yummy choices for eating and includes one of my favourite shops, The Tea Centre (but that’s another story). 

We headed to Vapiano, keen as mustard, with 2 of our good friends for lunch on a Saturday. Upon entry you are presented with a card each. Instructions were to head to each counter for pasta, pizza or salads as we desired and to swipe the card when ordering. At the end of your meal you head to the front counter to swipe your card again and pay, this is a massive bonus if you have a group of people and need to split the bill. There is also a full bar inside as well in case you fancy an alcoholic beverage. 

November 06, 2010

Bishamon Japanese

Bishamon Japanese on Urbanspoon
I was very reluctant to write this post. We’ve been heading to Bishamon for a long time now, and it seems that more and more people are discovering this wonderful Japanese restaurant. We’d like to keep it all to ourselves so there’s more for us, but because its one of my favourite places to eat, I would like to brag about it a little.
Bishamon is located in Spring Hill on Boundary Street across from the International Hotel which handily has a bottle shop in case you want to grab something to drink. Bishamon is BYO wine as well as being licenced and offering a range of beers, plum wine and several types of sake or rice wine. 

The menu offers a huge variety of appetisers and larger meals which are best enjoyed when sharing numerous plates between you and your friends. There are the usual suspects including sashimi, gyoza and sushi as well as some other interesting choices.
Bishamon also has a small teppanyaki bar squeezed in front of the main kitchen, we have never eaten from this part of the menu, but would imagine you’d have to book specially to sit here. 

The highlight of the menu for us is that you can order all-you-can-eat Shabu Shabu or Sukiyaki for $32, which is something we ALWAYS get due to the great value. Imagine as many plates of thinly sliced melt in your mouth wagyu beef as you can eat. If you aren’t familiar with each of these dishes, they basically involve a hotpot simmering away on your table within which you cook beef and vegies then dip into a variety of sauces with the Shabu Shabu or raw egg if you order Sukiyaki. Rice is included. 

November 05, 2010

Little Singapore Sunnybank

Little Singapore Sunnybank on Urbanspoon

Although we live so close to the many restaurants of the Sunnybank area, we have only recently started venturing over there for dinner. We’ve eaten at Little Singapore at Sunnybank numerous times and also at their Uptown branch in Albert Lane in the city.
Little Singapore is located in Market Square at Sunnybank, amongst an absolute plethora of tasty and cheap places to eat. We’ve tried a few places in Market Square but find ourselves going back here to eat. 

We drove over there this past Wednesday night, having bare cupboards at home and not being bothered to head to the supermarket to get anything. It was almost eight thirty when we found ourselves seated however the restaurant was still super busy. We have been there at random occasions ie late at night on what we thought would be quiet weeknights and yet this place is always packed. It must do a fantastic trade.

November 01, 2010


He died with a Falafel in his hand....

A couple of years ago whilst visiting Brunswick heads in NSW on a holiday, we fell in love with the falafels at a vegetarian cafe there (Yamis for anyone wanting to know). This was actually my first time eating falafels, I’m ashamed to say, I’d previously written them off as being “gross vegetarian food”. I am a fairly carnivorous person in my defence.
Anyway, my fiancé L came up with a recipe searching on the web here;

Falafel Recipe:
2 cups dried garbanzo beans
1 1/2 cup dried fava beans
1 cup coriander leaves
1/2 cup parsley
8 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp salt
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 very large onion
1/2 tsp blk pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda, added 15 minutes before frying
1/2 tsp baking powder

October 31, 2010

Southern Spice Indian

Southern Spice on Urbanspoon

Southern Spice is (one of) our local Indian restaurants. We’ve not eaten in the restaurant itself, but gotten takeaway from there a few times. L couldn’t be bothered cooking on this particular evening, and I’d just gotten home from a long day at work and flopped on the couch, so Indian takeaway it was.
They offer the “Spice meal for 2” which is a choice of either samosas or pakora (deepfried onion fritters), with one naan, two main meals and raita all for $41.90. This is only a saving of $4.20 but we knew we would probably be ordering all of this anyway so decided to take the offer. Unfortunately having previously experienced their naan, we knew we’d have to order another one anyway. Their naan is good, but on the smaller side, so couldn't be shared between two people. Or maybe we just eat too much?
So, L phoned up and ordered the pakora, Beef Vindaloo for him, Chicken Tikka Masala for me, then found out the deal only came with plain naan, so ordered that and a garlic naan in addition. 

Ajisen Ramen Brisbane

Ajisen Ramen Brisbane on Urbanspoon

Wow our first post.... amazing. It took us about 3 days of brainstorming to actually come up with the name of our blog, however I think our first review won’t take that long to write at all!
Ajisen Ramen is one of our new favourite places to eat lunch when we venture into the city. It is a Japanese based chain with stores in China, Japan, the U.S. and all over South East Asia. Stores in Australia are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane of course. 

According to their website, there are many different types of ramen soup bases. Ajisen Ramen’s specialty is the tonkatsu or pork soup base.
Ajisen does have numerous other Japanese dishes including Bento boxes, rice dishes, all sorts of side dishes including gyoza, karaage and edamame, however we believe if you are going to visit, you definitely should try their ramen. Some of the side dishes or appetisers that they offer look fairly dodgy to me anyway, like frozen type spring rolls, calamari etc.