Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Exchange Hotel

The Exchange Hotel
Address: 131 Edward St Brisbane, QLD 4000

A couple colleagues and I went to the Exchange Hotel for lunch mainly because of the promotion we saw for $10 lunches (*conditional on purchasing a drink).

On the menu, the $10 lunches actually looked pretty enticing - steak, battered barramundi, steak sandwich, aussie burger and grilled chicken wrap.

Given that I have been craving for steak for a while now, and given that the Exchange Hotel is relatively close the offfice, we decided to try it out.

Now, when you first walk into the Exchange Hotel, unlike the other old bars you would normally see, the interior has been recently refurbished and the owner has introduced a more mordern edge towards the place with the massive windows that opens the up the drinking area to the streets outside and funky paintings on the walls.

However, despite the nice ambience, the food and the services are somewhat disappointing.

Perhaps it is because we went in the lunch rush hours, our food took close to 40 minutes before it arrived. For a simple steak and chips, I was expecting food to come a little bit faster.

With the steak, you weren't allowed to choose on how the steaks are cooked - all they do is medium. And how 'medium' is their medium are simply decided by the thickness of the steak. (In another work, if you want yours well done, ask for a thinner slab of meat and vice versa.)

The sauces also could do with some improvements. Regardless whether you choose the peppercorn or the mushroom sauce, we soon realised that it was the same gravy mixed with a sprinkle of peppercorns or slices of mushroom.

Honestly, I rather wished that they charged a few dollars extra and did the sauces properly and allowed a few more choices in the way the steaks are cooked.

As for the other selections, I didn't get the opportunity to try it but perhaps they will turn out more delightful than the steak?

Overall, the place feels great for a drink but as for food, definitely not quite there yet.

Recommended: Maybe not the steak?! I heard the $1 taco nights are not too bad...

Directions: Exit Central Station, across Anzac square and post office square and you will be on Queen Street. Turn right, and at first intersection, turn left and walk towards the Botanic Garden direction. You will need to cross one street and The Exchange Hotel is on the corner of the second intersection.

Exchange Hotel on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Fishery

The Fishery
Address: 6A/16 Baroona Rd, Milton, QLD 4064

When I first arrived in Brisbane almost 5 months ago, one of the first things I was informed of, was that The Fishery does the best fish and chips in the city.

Since then, I have walked/drove past The Fishery many times. But I always manage to get past without tryingthe fish and chips there. Anyway, given that it was a lovely day on Saturday, I took a nice stroll and deliberately set myself to have lunch at the Fishery.

Honestly, the exterior of the shop can be somewhat deceiving. To me, it always felt weird to have a classical fish and chips shop at a busy intersection and in close proximity to the brewery.

However, it is still quite nice to enjoy the meal with the beach umbrellas and tables and chairs out on the concrete right outside of the shopfront.

I got to the Fishery a little bit after the peak hours, so I really didn't have to wait for long before my food arrived. I was recommended the fishermen basket although the shop assistant did comment that the most popular at The Fishery was probably their cod and chips.

And I do have to say, the piping hot and crisp fish and chips. OMG! Comfort food! It was GOOD! And I didn't run into any of the problems of being served soggy batters and chips whatnot. My only problem now, I think I have undone the week worth of training and exercise in one simple meal...

Recommended: The cod and chips

Directions: Catch a train to Milton Station. Exit through the exit at the side away from the city (that exit is a tunnel that will take you across the busy Milton Rd and to almost right in front of the factory. Once out of the tunnel, walk towards the the shops. The Fishery is one of the first store you will see on the strip of shops.

The Fishery on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Funnyfunny Korean Bar & Restaurant

Funnyfunny Korean Bar & Restaurant
Address: 85 George St Brisbane, QLD 4000

Walked past Funnyfunny by chance as my flatmate decided to host a party and I was being a bit anti-social and decided not to join them.

Anyway, with hours to spare, aimless wandering around the city was done in abundance before we had to stop and eat.

Funnyfunny was close by and with a name like that... well, we walked in.

The restuarant has two areas - the bar area and the dining area. But of course, you can always dine at the bar area, as long as you don't mind the tall chairs.

We were seated at the bar area as by the time we arrived, the dining were already booked out, which we took as a good indication that the restaurant is somewhat popular.

In terms of its food, I find it to be on the more expensive side of other Korean restaurant found in CBD. However, the portion they provide are big. In terms of value for money, it's acceptable - just.

Anyway, we orderd the Dol Sot Bimbimbap and the Kimchi Jigae (kimchi soup with pork and tofu).

As expected, the Dol Sot Bimbimbap was good. The Kimchi Jigae on the otherhand, there are good points and bad point. The soup was very tasty and full of pork and tofu (I was very full after finishing that). What I had trouble with however, was the rice.

The rice was tough and very hard and felt a bit stale. Chewing through that after the soup has soaked it through was okay but otherwise...

I would have happily skipped the rice altogether and just had the soup if not for the fact that you needed something bland to balance out the strong flavours of the Kimchi Jigae.

But then again, after reading the reviews after I got home, I realised that you'd probably go to Funnyfunny more for the drinks than the food. Lesson learn.

Recommended: The soju

Directions:From Central Station, go across Anzac Square, Post Office Square and you come out on Queen St. One more down is Elizabeth St, turn right on Elizabeth and continue walking down. From Elizabeth St, keep on going down until you hit Albert St and turn left. Two streets down, turn right onto Mary St and keep on going down to George St. Funnyfunny is located close to the corner of Mary St and George St.

Funnyfunny Korean Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Address: 194-202 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000

I thought I will add my review on one of my favourite Japanese ramen place in Sydney.

I will proudly say, Sydney does fine ramens (okay, maybe not compared to Japan)! And Sakuratie is definitely one of those hidden gems in the city. I pretty much visit Sakuratei every time I visit Sydney (which is every 2 months or so).

The restaurant is located on Clarence St, hidden in a little arcade. Don't get fooled by its small exterior, once you go in, the restaurant s much larger and expands into the courtyard at the back.

By lunch hour, Sakuratei is generally filled with people and getting a seat could be a problem.

Sakuratei does a lot of good dishes. I am also a fan of its kitsune udon and salmon lunch box. I also often go there for its takeaway sushi. Given the opprotunity, it is recommended to try them all.

However, in my opinion, the dish that Sakuratei does best, is its katsu. The inside of chicken katsu is moist and juicy whilst the outside is crisp and crunch (even after it has been soaked in the spicy soup).

And yes, I am salivating just by the thoughts of it.

For those who doesn't like spicy food, Sakuratei offers the same ramen in miso or soy based soup. But honestly, I think the spicy soup brings out the best flavour.

Now... only if Sakuratei would open a store in Brisbane...

Recommended: Chicken katsu ramen - spicy


Sakuratei on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 3, 2012


Address: Shop 24, 95 Elizabeth Arcade, Brisbane, QLD 4000

Went past Himawari a couple times as I went in search of Kadoya and Madtongsan. Anyway, since there always seem to be quite a number of people (although not as much as Madtongsan), I thought it was probably good time to give Himawari a go (especially when it has a really cute name meaning-sunflower).

Now the speciality at Himawari seems to be its bento boxes (as recommended by the girl at the counter). Fair enough. Since everyone there seem to have ordered the bento boxes.

I went for the pork katsu bento box. There is no particularly reason for it except I wanted deep fried food but wanted to given chicken a rest (it seems at every Japanese restaurant, I am either going for the karage chicken or the teriyaki chicken).

Anyway, the food arrived fast enough as the girls at the counter were really friendly. But to be honest, the food was simply just average.

The katsu was well fried, but it was rather dry (but that's okay, coupled with the plum sauce, it was nice).

The salad was what got me. I was really expecting a japanese salad (you know, simple vegetable with some cupid mayo?). What I got was a fusion salad - lettuce, mushroom, tomato with Italian dressing.

And at about $12 per bento box... I just have to say, I expected something a little better and more refined.

Recommended: The bento boxes

Directions:From Central Station, go across Anzac Square, Post Office Square and you come out on Queen St. Go down one street and turn right and keep on going down. Once you go past Albert St., keep an eye out for Elizabeth Arcade. Turn left into the Arcade, Himawari is located on the left handside.

Himawari on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Tea Centre

The Tea Centre
Address: Albert Lane, Brisbane, QLD 4000

I normally go to The Tea Centre when I want to escape from the world. Don't ask me why I like to 'hide' in the middle of a busy city. But sometimes, it is true that the more crowded it is, the quieter it gets when you reach inner peace.

Anyway, maybe it is because of its location (hidden in an laneway away from the busy Queen St strip), in my opinion, The Tea Centre is a good place to get a good pot of tea, a nice slice of cake and really reach inner peace.

The decor of the Tea Centre is quite exotic, with the counter filled with wooden shelves filled with tea that goes almost all the way to the ceiling. There are also displays of intricate teapots that makes you want to take them home.

There is a long list of tea of all sorts of variety on the menu. My preference tends to be for the fruity ones. Hence I went for the ones with all the berries.

Now, everyday The Tea Centre also do two ice-tea specials. If you are not a fun of hot tea like I am, I'd recommend the ice-tea. They are also quite nice.

Other than the teas, you also have a small selection of light lunches - consist of sandwiches and chicken panini etc. I am not that big a fan of their food (not that they are bad or anything, but it's rather average), but I do like the fact that they give you the option of something savoury to nibble whilst you enjoy the tea.

Maybe it is because I have a sweet tooth, I do like their desserts and think that it goes extremely well with the tea.

I thought the winter fruit crumble was extremely nice and so was the lemon cheesecake. However, I do have to agree that I could probably get better elsewhere. However, with the tea and in the relaxing atomshpere, I would happily go back again and again.

Recommended: Red fruit tea and the lemon cheesecake

Directions: Exit Central Station, across Anzac square and post office square and you will be on Queen Street. Turn right, and cross one street (that'd be Edward St). Keep on going down the shopping strip. Right before the first intersection, there's a Vodafone and there's a laneway next to it. Turn left into the laneway and the Tea Centre is at the very end to the right.

Tea Centre on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Phuc Deli-Viet

Phuc Deli-Viet
Indooroopilly Westfield
5 Musgrave Rd, Indooroopilly QLD 4068, Australia 2 Edmondstone St, South Brisbane, Qld 4101

It is in my belief that a good pho can be the cure of many things - cold and flu, winter blues and hangover on a big night out.

Okay, so there is no scientific research behind my claims, but I swear that it works on me (or it could be the psychological thing?).

Anyways, after big night out on Friday, I woke up on Sat morning and craved for pho. With Trang being all the way in West End, I was in no shape to get myself there in one piece.

After some quick research, I decided to head to Phuc Deli-Viet.

Getting there was quite easy - a simple bus ride away. And once there, the entrance from the bus stop leads right to the food court and of course, Phuc Deli-Viet.

Now, I have always reserved my opinion about food court food. Don't get me wrong, there are some really good ones but most of them really lack the finesse and ambience that you get in the restaurants.

But the funny thing about Phuc Deli-Viet is that although it is located in the food court, the exterior of the shopfront are done so well, if you ignore the background, you could almost pretend that you are in a restaurant (although the plastic spoons and the takeaway chopsticks do ruin the effect...)

Anyway, I got there just after noon and already, a line has started to form at Phuc Deli-Viet and luckily I managed to secure a table for myself (which when dining by yourself can be a problem).

I ordered the Pho - Special and I have to agree, at $16, it is one of the most expensive pho I have ever paid for. Nevertheless, I stood my ground (because I was craving pho at that moment in time).

The pho arrived fast enough and it portion was MASSIVE and filled with meaty toppings.

The soup is also clear (as it should be) and very tasty. Now, I am never any good at telling if there's any MSG in the food, but heck, the Pho was good and I really didn't care at that point.

All in all, very pleased with the experience. Although it is a tad expensive (psychologically, it is just difficult to justify paying this much at a foodcourt), the taste and the portion really makes up for what you pay for.

Be back again after my next big night out. :p

Recommended: Pho - special

Directions: King George Square Bust stop - catch the P88 or 444. The bus stops right in front of the Indooroopilly shopping centre. Walk in through the entrance behind the bus stop. Foodcourt is on the same level and Phuc Deli-Viet is not missable.

Phuc Deli - Viet on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bun Mobile

Bun Mobile
Address: Mobile Food Truck, but I found them at - Loading Dock Espresso West End
2 Edmondstone St, South Brisbane, Qld 4101

Went out searching for Bun Mobile during lunch last week and settle for once and for all the comments I have heard about this fusion buns.

From the initial research, the concept was what really intrigued me in the first place. Being Asian, I am a natural lover of steamed buns. But using that burger style? I really wanted to see THAT!

Not only that, the restaurant/eatary is actually on a set of wheels and its location changes from day to day?! There is nothing more exciting than trying to explore Brisbane whilst hunting the Bun Mobile down!

Anyhow, I set out during lunch hour after tracking down where the Bun Mobile was going to be on Thursday (they send Tweets out everyday in regards to their location) and set off.

Luckily, it wasn't too difficult to track down (espeically with a truck/trailer painted like below).

The Bun Mobile has three staples on the menu - the teriyaki chicken, twice cooked port and wagyu beef. Those at set at A$8 each.

Every day, they also have a special list ranging from the twice cooked lamb to ducks (I have heard) and dessert buns such as salted peanut praline (drool...).

The special today was the twice cooked lamb and given that I am a wuss when it comes to lamb, I opted for the twice cooked pork.

The service was especially quick - in less than 5 minutes, I was served!

And surprisingly, it actually tasted pretty good! The bun was warm and soft (note here, don't do take away, buns will get soggy. Eat it IMMEDIATELY!) and the fillings were flavoursome.

Now I feel bad saying this, but (and there almost always is a but) after the first bun, it didn't leave me satisfied. I was hungry enough to probably chow down one more at least.

And given that a bun cost A$8...That's not that economical as a part of the regualr lunch routine.

However, kudos to the owners for coming up with the concept and it is something definitely worth tracking down and trying!

Recommended: I heard the teriyaki chicken bun is quite nice and I am curious about the salted peanut praline bun!

Directions: Depending on the day, you will need to figure out where they are. Just note that Bun Mobile takes Sunday and Monday off.

Bun Mobile on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Madtongsan II

Madtongsan II
Address: 85 Elizabeth St Brisbane, QLD 4000

The first time I went in search for Madtongsan II, I ended up in Madtongsan I, and being the stubborn person I am, I went out in search of Madtongsan II a couple days later and its posh interior designs and plush sofas.

I am really ashamed to say, I can't believe it that I missed it the first time I went looking for it! Because M II is literally less than 2 minutes away from M I!

M II is located right above a Korean supermarket and there are some stairs you'd have to climb up (1 floor) and a sturdy wooden door (it's actually really light) that you'd have to push through. But once inside, what you get, is a proper restaurant that looks and feels nothing like M I.

Not that M I is bad or anything. But clearly, anyone who has been to M I and M II will tell you, whilst M I is good for a quick lunch or a casual eat out, the classier M II is where you could organize gatherings and take dates.

Anyway, this time, I did go for the hot stone bimbimbap and when it was served, OMG! It was as good as I imagined it to be!

What was regrettable however, was that as they are trying to maintain the classier image, the fan must be on to ensure that the restaurant doesn’t smell like hot stone bimbimbap. Sure enough, very quickly, the aroma of the rice sizzling on hotplate dispersed. (But on a sidenote, I am very pleased that for once after hotplate, my cloth didn't stink...)

What was also notable was that the side dishes tasted better than M I. The pickled onion and the creamy pasta was so well made, I polished the side dishes off within five minutes of it being served.

Anyway, so here's my recommendation on MI and MII. If you want hot stone bimbimbap, go to M I, the aroma lingers in the air longer (beware your clothe will smell a little) and if you go to M II, order the more classy stuff like hotpot etc.

Recommended: The hotpot also looked really good. If you have enough people, try that!

Directions:From Central Station, go across Anzac Square, Post Office Square and you come out on Queen St. One more down is Elizabeth St, turn right on Elizabeth and continue walking down. There's a few traffic lights, but once you get close to the mall entrance for Madtongsan I, keep on walking down, 3-4 doors down, you'd find Madtongsan II.

Madtongsan II on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Grassland / Little Lamb

Happy Grassland / Little Lamb 小尾羊歡樂牧場
Address: Shop 22, 23 Runcorn Plaza, 254 Warrigal Road, Runcorn, Eight Mile Plains, QLD 4113

Went there in an outing with a couple of colleagues and I have to say, I am pleasantly impressed with Happy Grassland despite the dismal reviews on Urbanspoon.

This is probably the only restuarant you will find in Brisbane that offers buffet hotpot AND buffet BBQ together. And at around $30 per person, and by the fact that the restaurant fills up very quickly at weekend lunch time (and predominantly by the Chinese who are good at hunting down a bargain), I think it fair to say that it is a good bargain!

The location of the restaurant is a little bit awkward for those not living in the South and doesn't have a car. But otherwise, it is quite easy to get to and you should be able to get a carspace relatively easily.

The restaurant is all you can eat and they offer a range of choices from the usual fried stuff (you know, fish cocktail, dumplings, buns - which are in fact quite yummy), to all your hotpot needs, to skewers after skewers of lamb, chicken fish...

What I was especially happy of, was the Chinese side dishes of tofu strips and marinated tripes. I would highly recommend to try some of these - they are GOOD!.

Of Course, all drinks are included in the price and there are also ice-cream and fruits after to cleanse the palate.

In terms of flavouring, I didn't think it was salty or spicy at all. And you are given the choice of mixing your own sauces to match your liking - Another massive plus for me.

The only downside of the place is that after eating there, I didn't want anything to eat for the rest of the day (dinner and snacks alike).

And in the mean time, I will endevour to eat healthier food and do a bit of detox before going back next month! :D

Recommended: It's all you can eat! Be adventurous!

Directions:Sorry everyone. I got driven there, which means that the moment I stepped into the car, I lost my bearing...

Little Lamb on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Madtongsan I

Madtongsan I
Address: 99 Elizabeth St Brisbane, QLD 4000

I went in search for Madtongsan based on recommendation from my colleague who believes that Madtongsan is probably one of the best Korean restuarant in Brisbane CBD region.

Now to be fair, they actually recommended Madtongsan II over Madtongsan, but that's purely because the decor of Madtongsan II is more posh and more spacious than the original restaurant. But given my (lack of) ability of navigate around the city, I found Madtongsan instead.

Madtongsan is located in the Elizabeth Arcade, directly opposite of Kadoya. The restaurant looks relatively small from the outside, but there is a second level (but the ceiling is relatively low there).

I got to Madtongsan quite early during the lunch hours and was seated immediatedly. Already, there's quite a bit people there and during my 40minutes in the restaurant, people just kept on pouring in (which in my opinion is a good sign that the restaurant is well loved).

The menu had a large selection of dishes ranging from seafood pancakes to bibimbaps and ricecakes...drool, all my favourites and so hard to choose!

Now this is where I made my mistake. When I was back in Sydney, I was given the rule of thumb by my friend who told me that in a situation when you don't know what to choose in a Korean restaurant you've never been to before, go for kimchi fried rice. If the restaurant can get that wrong, don't go back.

So, given the array of choices, I went for the safe bet - kimchi fried rice. However, no more than two minutes after I ordered, I regretted it.

Almost everyone was ordering the bimbimbap and the smell of rice sizzling against the hotplate/hotbowl filled the restaurant quickly, making me salivate.

Now I am not saying that kimchi fried rice was bad or anything (it was delightful in fact and I enjoyed every single bite), but all I am saying is that if you ask me for my recommendation, go for the bimbimbap!

And yes, if you are wondering what I will be ordering next time I go? Definitely the bimbimbap!

Recommended: The bimbimbap

Directions:From Central Station, go across Anzac Square, Post Office Square and you come out on Queen St. Recommended to go down two more streets, which would take you to Charlotte St. Turn right and keep on going down. Once you go past Albert St., keep an eye out for an arcade. Madtongsan is directly opposite of Kadoya.

Madtongsan I on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Address: Shop 7, Eagle Street Pier, 45 Eagle Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000

I hate to say this, but the best word I could use to describe Nagomi is - nice. I am not the type of person who like to praise things using the word 'nice'. To me, that's the word to use when you can't fault anything but there is really nothing special to make an impressionable memory.

Having tried out so many restaurants and eateries in Brisbane (especially in Brisbane CBD), what Nagomi offered is really not that different to other westernized Japanese take-away.

Fair enough, the view of the restaruant is quite delightful - overlooking the Brisbane Rivers. I am quite fond of sitting at the restaurant and space away at the view for quite a while during lunch hours.

the food offered isn't too bad either. You get gyoza, salad, miso soup,edamame and the main (I went for teriyaki chicken in this case) which do feel you up rather nicely. And given that the whole bento box is priced at $12.90, I do feel that I had my money's worth.

The service is quite efficient - didn't have to wait for long (which was a nice bonus).

the taste of the food is not exceptional but it is not too bad. I felt that improvements were definitely possible for the Gyoza and in regards to the teriyaki chicken, the porportion was a little bit small in comparison to the amount of rice given.

All in all, not too bad. Much more delicate than Hanaichi, but I think overall I prefer the similar bento boxes offered by Wagamama...

Recommended: Bento Boxes

Direction: Exit Central Station, cross the Anzac Square. Go down the tunnel and through the post office square. Cross Queen St and go through the post office building. Cross the road, and go through the garden path of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Turn left once you hit the street and you would be able too see the Eagle Street Pier. Nagomi is just on the corner of the array of restuarants.

Nagomi Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Satay Club Noodle House

Satay Club Noodle House
Address: 66 Charlotte Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000

I have heard lots about Satay Club Noodle House before I decided to go and judge for myself.

Most of the comments tend to fall into two categories:
1. Go for the duck laksa, it is wonderful... OR
2. Don't go, the porportion served is too small and the wait is too long.

Well, I decided to go there on Wednesday at midday. I got a seat quite quickly, given that depsite the small entrance, the inside is quite big and packed with tables and chairs.

However, waiting for the food to arrive did take a bit longer than expected. And it was made more difficult as you could smell everyone else's food around you which really wore down my patience and worked up my appetite.

I took the recommendation and went for the duck laksa. Have to admit, there were a lot of duck (which made me very happy), howeve, the flavour of the laksa seemed to be watered down quite a bit and wasn't as creamy and flavoursome as I had wanted.

Saying that, the person sitting next to me ordered stirfry noodle of somesort, I was salivating after his food the entire time... so maybe the flavour is a bit of pot luck?

In terms of pricing and proportion, I found that the size of the dish was ample and I really struggled to finished all my laksa. However, it was somewhat more expensive than what I would have normally paid in Sydney.

Saying that, I think I might go back to try one of the stirfry noodles soon...

Recommended: Try one of the stirfry noodles, they smelled amazing!

Directions: Charlotte is the fifth street parallel to the Central Station exit. So, once you exit station, just go straight down. Once you hit Charlotte, turn right and keep walking. The restaurant is located in close proximity to AJ's Vietnamese.

Satay Club Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teppanyaki Lovers

Teppanyaki Lovers
Address: Level A, Myer Centre, 91 Queen St, Brisbane, QLD 4000

Seven months after my last Japan trip, the craving for okonomiyaki has built to the point where I was looking up for recipes online trying to make my own okonomiyaki (and that is always a bad sign because my cooking skills are far from being impressive).

Worse still, okonomiyaki is one of those foods that whilst it is abundant in its country of origin (Japan), it is relatively difficult to find across the continent (especially in Australia it seems). The only other place that I am aware that makes okonomiyaki is a restaurant called Kabuki and its okonomiyaki cost around $18...

In the interim, I decided to take myself to Teppanyaki Lovers underneath Myers. Yes, the wait at the Teppanyaki Lovers can be long (especially if you order okonomiyaki - give them 10mins at least) and the ambience is completely lacking (you are right next to the bus stop). And if you want to compare the okonomiyaki from Teppanyaki Lovers to the ones from Osaka or Kobe... The batter tends to be a bit thick and there are not enough cabbages and a little too much mayonnaise.

But what I would love to highlight is that all the basics you want in okonomiyaki is there and at least it give you the familiar taste of okonomiyaki at a relatively low price. And for that, I am simply happy and grateful.

Recommended: Okonomiyaki
Directions: Make your way to Myer centre. The eatery is beneath the Myer food court, so down the elevator near Michel's, you find yourself next to McDonalds. Turn left and there's a corridor, walk down. Teppanyaki Lovers is on the right handside.

Teppanyaki Lovers on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 22, 2012

XXXX Brewery & Alehouse

XXXX Brewery & Alehouse
Address: Corner of Black & Patent Streets Milton QLD 4064

Quite honestly, the XXXX Brewery tour and its alehouse is somewhere no local Brisbanian would ever go. Or so I have been told by many Brisbanians.

Nevertheless, being only recently migrated to Brisbane, anything with the word "tour" seems to interest me.

As a result, I booked myself a $25 tour on the Saturday afternoon to find out and understand the production of beer. More specifically, XXXX beer.

The XXXX Brewery is located in Milton, which is only two stations away from city. The factory is also right next to the railway line, which means that it is pretty much means you can't miss it. The entrance however is tucked away at the back streets, so there is a little bit of walking. Close to the entrance, there will be signs that will guide you to the meeting point of the tour.

It is recommended to get there a little bit early (10-15mins). Bags need to be stored. The tour also asks for covered shoes and no photos or videos on the tour for safety and security reasons.

The tour generally last about an hour and the guide will take you through the process of beer making from the beginning all the way to packaging. The tour guide will also give you a history of the brewery and the origin behind the name XXXX. But all that, I won't ruin it for you here.

At the end of the tour, you are provided with four free beers (or soft drinks). And one of them is the wooden barreled XXXX beer which they now only sell at three places - Albion, Cairns and at the factory in Milton on Friday and Saturday.

Now I am not a beer expert to be able to tell you how it would be different to the stainless steel barreled ones. But if you are a beer fanatic, recommended for you to try.

The alehouse also serves up snack and food for the hungry. Unlike a proper restaurant, it does not offer dinner menus. You do however have a choice between the snacks and the 'light' lunch option (the portion is actually massive. I was given a 'side' salad that I could have possibly consumed as the meal).

All food they serve, they have made it with a beer twist in it. Whether it is the XXXX beer battered fish and chips or in the steak.

The actual taste of the food... I am sure that I have had better elsewhere. However, the beer is great and the atmosphere is light and fun. It serves as a great catchup place with a few mates to have a cold beer and a few bites on a Sat or Sun afternoon.

Recommended: The beer! Food wise, unless you are hungry, go for something light.

Directions: Catch a train to Milton Station. Exit through the exit at the side away from the city (that exit is a tunnel that will take you across the busy Milton Rd and to almost right in front of the factory. Once out of the tunnel, walk towards the city direction, first street (after the beer factory), turn left, the entrance is not far ahead to your left.

XXXX Ale House on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 20, 2012

Harajuku Gyoza

Harajuku Gyoza
394 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006

I have been delaying this one for quite a bit. Everyone I know seems to be raving about Harajuku Gyoza and telling me how it is one of the most interesting/fun restaurant in Brisbane.

Anyhow, knowing how long the queues could be, I went there for dinner on a rainy Friday evening a couple weeks ago and luckily, the restaurant was only half full. But before the meal was finished, I assure you, a line started to form outside the restaurant.

The decor of the restaurant was fun and vibrant with pictures of the cute smiling dumpling everywhere and the Japanese feature plates hanging on the walls - I found the one of of KISS especially interesting. Maybe it is in relations to the Japanese fascination with heavy metals rock bands? (I am thinking Dir en Grey here...)

Anyway, seated at the bar and pondering away, I waited for my hakushika sake and edamame along with grilled duck, grilled prawn and grilled pork dumplings.

I do have to admit, for a gyoza bar, the variety of dumplings on offer are kind of limited. But then again, Harajuku Gyoza as the name suggest, is a gyoza bar and not a dumpling bar and they do offer side dishes to keep the variety interesting.

In terms of flavour, I do think that their grilled duck and grilled prawn is pretty nice but the pork dumplings are not that special... Maybe a bit more flavour in the filling might assist?

It is probably also noteworthy that Harajuku Gyoza is quite expensive. 3-5 grlled dumplings can set you back $8. For a gyoza fanatic like myself, I could probably devour about 12-15 gyozas in one meal? You can do the math how much it would cost to satisfy me in one meal.

But I guess most people go to Harajuku Gyoza for the experience of it. Especially with the waitresses (or two of the many waitresses) dressed up in vibrant pink and blue wigs and costume and create the vibe you (should) get in Harajuku. (I have been to Harajuku twice and saw nothing like that...)

Overall, it was definitely a fun experience, but if you do go, go with lots of friends.

Recommended: The sake
Direction: I have to admit that I am a little bit lost here. I don't actually remember how I got there. Just that it involved qutie a bit of walking.... sorry...

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