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