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