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Brisbane Devoured: October 2011

October 24, 2011

Menya Mappen Noodle Bar

Menya Mappen Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

As an avid reader of several Sydney food blogs, I was well aware of Menya Mappen in Sydney, and was so excited to see that one had opened up at Sunnybank. L and I raced over there for lunch last week. 

The place is small, but with plenty of bench seating and a high rotation of noodle consumers you are bound to get a seat. Add that in with a not-so-efficient ordering system, and there were plenty of seats available but with a line to order going out the door and down the pavement. 

The ordering system is cafeteria like. Basically, there are several noodle options available, so you start by choosing your base. L and I both went for the sukiyaki beef option however I had udon and L had soba, just to say that we weren't getting the same thing (we argue about this, I always say we cannot order the same dish). 

October 17, 2011


Alchemy Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

L and I don't often visit fancy fine dining restaurants, so L's birthday definitely called for something a little bit special. Perusing various menus, we both decided on Alchemy. Alchemy is located in a prime spot overlooking the Brisbane River and the Story Bridge, a perfect spot for a lovely romantic dinner. Unfortunately the place is a little difficult to find for first-timers, leaving us arriving in a fluster and somewhat late. 

The atmosphere inside was welcoming, although the restaurant is fairly dark inside, it was full of happy diners and didn't have that stuffy fine-dining ambience that we were expecting. Walking into the bar area, we were greeted warmly and taken to our table. I immediately noticed the cool red chandeliers dangling from the ceiling, soooooo want one of those hanging over our dining table.

We aren't particularly expert in wines and we usually reach straight for a Sauvignon blanc, however having tried most of the sauv blancs on the menu we asked for something a bit different. Our waiter sent the sommelier over to our table and he kindly pointed us in the direction of a Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Blanc, a French white which was very easy to drink, crisp but not terribly acidic. 

We were presented with complementary bread and whipped butter and decided on our meals. 

October 14, 2011

Little Saigon Grill

Little Saigon Grill on Urbanspoon

Brisbane city is ridiculously difficult to get around when its raining and you are without an umbrella. We were in the city one weekday trying to locate somewhere to eat for lunch when it started bucketing down. We ducked into a small arcade (Rowes arcade) in Edward street, which connects with Post Office Square, and found Little Saigon Grill. 

Familiar with Vietnamese food after our trip to Vietnam earlier in the year, we were happy with this find. 
The usual suspects are on the menu, including banh mi (meat filled baguettes), pho, rice paper rolls and grilled meat with rice noodle salads. 

My banh mi had a super crunchy exterior to the baguette, but the bread was nice and soft on the inside. Delicious sliced pork with plenty of herbs made for a great lunch. The only fault was having to pick off the chewy rind from the pork. 

October 09, 2011

Giveaway Tickets!! Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show

Good news, the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show is on again, at the Brisbane Convention Centre from Friday the 4th of November to Sunday the 6th of November. 

Probably the most exciting part is the chance to see celebrity chefs and their kitchen demonstrations; Matt Moran, George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan, Tobie Puttock and Manu Feildel. 

Also exciting is the introduction of a dedicated gluten-free area, featuring products from exhibitors and specialised cooking demonstrations.

There is a range of other classes and demonstrations including; 
  • Riedel Decanter Bar – savour speciality wines with a panel of wine experts.
  • Riedel Wine Theatre – get your tastebuds tingling as you sample top drops and master the art of wine/food matching with Australia’s finest viticulture experts.
  • CheeseMatters Discover Class - cheese experts step you through a cheese tasting, matched with a glass of fine wine or beer and other accompaniments.
  • Sunbeam Academy – cupcakes and coffee, the essentials of life. Tie on an apron and learn to master the making of both with tips from the pros.
  • Oxford Landing Estate Restaurant – be transported to South Australia in an instant and enjoy dishes prepared with the best SA ingredients and perfectly complemented with a glass of Oxford Landing Estates wine.
  • Barilla Pasta Class – enter the interactive ‘Casa Barilla’ to learn more about pasta – taste it, and try to make the perfect pasta dish yourself.
  • Chef Book Signing Sessions – we all have our favourite – and this is your chance to meet them and have your cookbook signed. 
Head to Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show for more information and to buy tickets. Adult entry tickets start at $21.50, and you can also buy tickets to the Celebrity shows and various classes. 

 We do have a double pass (2 adult entry tickets) to giveaway!!!!!!!
To enter: leave a comment on this post (leave your email address please), or email us at
You have until 8pm Monday the 24th of October to enter! Winner will be decided via a random number generator and tickets can be posted to you.

October 07, 2011


Cirque on Urbanspoon

On L's birthday, we thought we would head out for a nice lunch with my sister, and thought of Cirque at New Farm as an option, having never been there and wishing to try it out. 
Cirque is a blink and you'll miss it shopfront located along the massive stretch of Brunswick street at the New Farm end. Indoors is tiny and a bit cramped, we were seated downstairs, however there is an upstairs section as well that we didn't get a chance to check out. 

The coffee brand used is Genovese from Italy. L's latte was fabulous and while very strong as is typical of Italian coffee, it was well made and not bitter. My sister ordered a refreshing watermelon, pineapple and mint juice of which I was super envious, whilst I panicked and got an iced chocolate... it was okay but I'd hoped for something larger. I do prefer when chocolate syrup is used rather than chocolate powder, so this was a bonus.

October 03, 2011

Verve Restaurant Bar Cider House

Verve Restaurant Bar Cider House on Urbanspoon

Apparently Verve's actual title is longer than we thought, Verve Restaurant Bar Cider House is certainly a mouthful. Located in the basement of the Metro Arts Centre on Edward Street in the city, its certainly more difficult to find than we thought as well. After a performance at La Boite Theatre on a weeknight, we were looking for somewhere to eat in the city and thought we might try it out. 

They certainly nailed the basement look. Descending a staircase, the restaurant is brick walled and very dark. The place was noisy and we got a student vibe from the patrons. Seating involves plastic orange chairs, but tables are plenty. There is a bar up the very back,  not that we ventured far. 

Verve serves up italian food, and also has a considerable cider list. We aren't sure, but there must not be many bars in Brisbane with such a variety. I ordered my glass of usual sauv blanc, however L decided on a Bulmers pear cider (500ml, $10). Served on ice, it was most refreshing. Other varieties sound quite interesting, including Rekorderlig strawberry and lime, and St Helier pear and blackcurrent and I regret not trying one of these.

October 01, 2011


Anouk on Urbanspoon

Although Anouk is widely known and blogged for being one of the best places for breakfast, L and I had not visited up until this occasion. Its the opposite side of town for us, and we very rarely get over to Paddington. After months of wanting to visit, we made the trek on a Monday morning. Grabbing a street park in this area is like trying to find a purple and green spotted cat, so we were pleased to nab one just outside, yes!

There were indoor and outdoor tables, however we preferred to sit out in the sun and watch the cars and pedestrians go by. Indoors looked to be packed out with local "trendy" people.
The breakfast menu looks extremely interesting with such dishes as chai infused coconut rice with almonds, baklava french toast with apple, pistachio and walnut crumble, and maple baked beans with poached egg and kefalotiri soldiers. It was refreshing to see, and great to not have to order the usual eggs benedict and bacon and eggs.

L as usual wanted what I wanted, so I won out with the smashed bubble and squeak with maple cured bacon and spicy red pepper and pork pesto. The bubble and squeak component was mainly potato, sweet potato, spinach and cabbage. The best part was the sweet bacon, but the rest was full of flavour and definitely had a spicy kick. It was a tiny bit greasy, but a minor complaint.