Friday, February 28, 2014

Comfort At My Table

Comfort At My Table
Address: Shop 5,19-23 Cribb St, Milton QLD 4064

I love Comfort At My Table. It has to be one of my favourite brunch places of all times. Unfortunately, trying to go there for brunch without booking is generally suicidal (you'd probably starve to death before you'd get a seat). Unless of course, you get there early enough, then it'd be more of a breakfast than brunch.

Despite the need to coordinate and plan your trip to Comfort At My Table, I can assure you that the restaurant is definitely worth the visit.

Situated on Cribb St, it is parallel to the restaurants on Park Rd, Milton and most likely people would have driven past the place many times without noticing it. A quick pointer, it is next a newsagent, on the same block as Flight Center and across the road from the Royal Thai Orchard.

On the weekend, the tell-tale sign that you've found the place would be the amount of people who sitting outside, people gazing and sipping on their morning coffee.

Now despite its unassuming exterior, the inside is stunningly beautiful.

The french styled furnitures, the flowers near the counters and the soft lighting bouncing of cream pink wall... It just gave off this warm, friendly, welcoming ambience that draws me back again and again.

Now pretty interior alone is far from sufficient to draw people back to a restaurant. However, when that is coupled with great coffe and delicious food, it is pretty much a winning combination.

The only thing that could improve t make the establishment a dynamite would probably be the services. Don't get me wrong, the girls are friendly and lovely. However, given that there are so many people there, it does take some hand raising and searching for eye contacts for them to get to you and take your order.

But after that, things flows almost seamlessly.

Both the drinks and the food comes out after a short wait and both are amazing.

I have nothing to complain about the coffee. The flavours are great and for you soy drinkers (like me), they are definitely using the right soymilk (I have a feeling it's Bonsoy they use - which is great for lattes).

For the food, most people would recommend the one pot egg bake and if you are into your savoury brunches and if you have not been to Comfort At My Table before, it is definitely a good one to start off.

The portion of the dish is just massive! The pot is filled with mushrooms, potatoes, rocket, kransky sausage, bacon and what I assume to be beetroot jam. Unless you are a massive bread fan, I highly recommend to forgo the bread and concentrate on what's in the pot!

If you are after something sweet, Comfort At My Table does fantastic french brioche as well. Unfortunately, I don't have the picture to show it, but just imagine massive pieces of brioche with ricotta, jam, strawberry and maple syrup... It will satisfy any sweet tooth!

My verdict? Just go, you won't regret it!

Recommended: The one-pot egg bake

Comfort at My Table on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Indian Kitchen

The Indian Kitchen
Address: 91 Vulture St, West End QLD 4101
There's no better words to describe Indian Kitchen as cheap and cheerful. Whilst they serve decent food, this is definitely not the place you'd go for a first date (even if you are in uni).

Indian Kitchen is located close to the corner of Boundary st and Vulture St, and with its flaming red exterior, you cannot miss it.

The atomsphere in the restaurant is quintessentially Indian. Full of pictures of Indian tradtions, golden elephant deity and of course, continuous bollywood music and dancing on tv.

I've always found the waiters to be quite friendly and cheerful. Always asking you if you'd like naan bread with that just like the Maccas' "would you like fries with that"...

Foodwise, I do prefer their vegetable dishes over their meats.

Whist the eggplant and the daahl are full of flavour, the meats tend to be on the sweet side - especially the butter chicken.

They also serve you flavoured (yellow) basmati rice with your curries, which I do like better than the normal white basmati that you would get at some Indian takeaways.

The highlight at the Indian Kitchen however would have to be the naan bread.

Yes, you do have to wait for it for a couple minutes, but the chefs make them fresh. And piping hot naan with the just right amount of crunch and softness is to me, heavenly.

In terms of price, the Indian Kitchen is also quite decent. You can get 2 veges and a meat for takeaway for $8. There are many variations you could choose, ranging from $6.90 to about $12. And to me, a filling decent meal for around $8 is just a great bargain.

Recommended: The naan bread

The Indian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kim Thanh Hot Bread

Kim Thanh Hot Bread
Address: 81 Vulture St, West End QLD 4101

There are four bakeries in West End - Kim Thanh, Rodney's Bakery, Baker's Delight and West End Bakery.

Kim Thanh has to be the one that I visit most frequently. Although it is mostly because it is the only bakery that serves banh mi...

The bakery is situated just off the busy Boundary St, so it is a slight walk from the main area in West End.

The banh mi comes in two varieties - with chilli and without chilli. And it is always made fresh with every order.

The rolls are always crusty and white and it wasn't until yesterday that I realised that they try to toast the roll slightly so that when you take that first bite, it's always softer on the inside and crusty on the outside.

Now, to say that Kim Thanh's banh mi is my favourite in Brisbane because of the flavour would be a lie. There are quite a few vietnamese shops/restaurants in the city that also serves equally declicious banh mi.

However, Kim Thanh is the one that offers the most reasonable price.

At $4.50 per roll (and that is after the $0.50 rise they had in late 2013), it is how banh mi are suppose to be - cheap, delicious and cheerful.

Other than the banh mi, the bakery do also make very delicious fruit bagel. Not too sweet and just the right balance of cinnamon and sultanas. I often the fruit bagel, take it home, toast it and spread some butter... drool...

Now to eat banh mi at Kim Thanh's, I do have to warn you that it does not have tables and seats for you to sit down. So you are most likely going to have to walk and eat.

Recommended: Banh mi and the fruit bagel

Kim Thanh Hot Bread on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bogart's Smokehouse

Bogart's Smokehouse
Address: 1627 S 9th St, St Louis, MO 63104, United States

This is a overseas special piece that I have been mulling on. I had the opportunity to visit St Louis in USA last year for work. It is probably not the most exciting place in the world to travel to for many, but it did provide me a good opportunity to try out the famous southern styled cuisine.

Other than the ribs, the wings and the fried ravioli, which is apparently the food to eat in St Louis, the place to visit for lunch is Bogart's Smokehouse - recommended by many colleagues.

The only problem is that it is not close to downtown St Louis and you will need a car to get there (but given that you are in America, most people drove to work and all you have to do is beg a lift).

Bogart's Smokehouse is situated in the quieter 'outer' ring of St Louis. The neighbourhood reminds me a little of Bulimba infact, lot of trees, a nice park, a nice church and lots of quaint little houses (although it's more brownstone than the Queenslander you'd normally see in Bulimba). Bogart itself is on the corner street in one of those brownstone in fact.

The entrance is relatively small and understated, with exception of the massive queue that would form around lunch time, which would run down the block.

The inside of the restaurant is not that spacious either, crammed with seats and tables and memorabilias.

There is in fact no better way to describe Bogart's except as 'blokey' - it is possibly reinforced by the fact that most of the patrons are working male.

The menu itself is not overly complicated - just imagine a lot of meat.

A lot of well cooked, saliva inducing, tender, juicy meat!

After much deliberation, I had the burnt ends with pit baked beans and chips.

Now the photo below probably doesn't do the food any justice. However, I did take the photo under the influence of well... surprise.

In Australia, when we say chips, we usually imagine (and get), for a lack of a better description, fat french fries. In the US, especially the Southern States, chips will get you... well... a packet of crisp chips (see picture below).

Did I feel duped? Yes!

Did I mind? Nope!

Cos that turned out to be one of the best meals I had in St Louis.

Bogart's left me leaving and wanting to go back again. I will definitely try to visit if I turn up at St Louis again!

Recommended: The ribs are fantastic. So it the pulled pork and the burnt ends!

Bogart's Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 24, 2014

French Twist Indooroopilly

French Twist - Indooroopilly
Address: 322 Mogill Rd, Indooroopilly QLD 4068

I was quite disappointed when French Twist left South Brisbane. However, with the news of a French Twist opening in the Indooroopilly Westfield, I was much delighted.

Situated at the new food quarter in Westfield, unfortunately, all the view you will get is the bypassesrs in Westfield and Woolworth. The lovely baked bread smell are also washed away by the powerful airconditioning units circulating the shopping centre.

Despite that, the interior of the place remains beautifully done up, with the mock arched windows, chandelier styled candle sets and metallic courtyard chairs, it emanates the feeling that you are in country France somewhere, sipping on your latte whilst munching on macarons.

I generally don't sit down and eat at French Twist, prefering the environment of my own couch/balcony and because I tend to buy loaves and cakes to take home and share with Z.

In terms of coffee, they do very decent coffee. I won't say that it's my favourite, because the wait for the coffee is generally quite long regardless of how many people there are in the restaurant.

In terms of the food, I have tried their chicken tartine. And I have to say, although it wasn't bad, it was nothing very impressive.

Whilst I was happy with the amount of topping (chicken) on the sourdough bread, the flavour was a bit lacking. It did feel as if I paid over $10 for something I could have done at home.

On a side note though, its blueberry slice was quite devine. Not too sweet, not too oily and lots of blueberry flavour. Always really enjoyed that.

So I guess it is going back to takeaway from me at French Twist Indooroopilly.

Recommended: The bread and the slices

French Twist on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pawpaw Cafe

Pawpaw Cafe
Address: Cnr Potts St And 898 Stanley St, Woolloongabba, QLD 4102

Pawpaw came into my vision as one of those highly recommended brunch places. Strangely, I have never been too curious to visit Pawpaw until a friend of mine dragged me to it (this could have something to do with me hating driving to the Gabba).

Anyway, after (not)much debate, we set out to Pawpaw.

The decor at Pawpaw extremely quaint, with the blue tin walls and neon looking sign on the outside and long wooden benches and bambo print wallpaper on the inside... At that point, I really did wish I had taken some photos as I walked in.

For our brunch, as I went with friend who doesn't drink coffee, we all ended up ordering tea instead. Thinking back, I really wish I had bucked the trend and tried out their coffee. Cos apparently the coffee there was quite fantastic. But saying that, at least this gives something to go back and try later.

Food wise, I ordered the Pawpaw house burger whilst my friend had the quinoa and potato hash cakes with beetroot relish.

The burger was delightful. Full of flavour and it was so large that I really had trouble finishing the whole thing. My only concern was that it was a tad greasy. However, given that I am having a burger, there's no way that grease was not going to come with the package.

One of my friend had more of a mixed feeling to the hash cakes though.

whilst it was flavourful (I had a snippet of a taste), it really didn't go well for her as she really doesn't like halloumi (the dish is full of it) and quinoa (it had quite a bit of quinoa too)...

But despite it all, she agreed that for the portion of the dish, the flavour of the food and the price we paid, it was definitely worth the visit.

Curious to Try: Quinoa & potato hash cakes with beetroot relish and coffee

Pawpaw on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 21, 2014

Moose and Gibson

Moose and Gibson
Address: 77 Jurgens St, Woolloongabba QLD 4102

The girls and I had started this habit of trying to do monthly brunch/catch up in late 2013. It is really meant for us to take some time away from the daily grind and catch up on each other's life and well... gossip.

Moose and Gibson in the Gabba was our first stop as we have heard good things about it from a myriad of people dining and wining in Brisbane.

We scheduled to meet at 10:30 on a Sat, and whilst we had to wait a lil to get seated, the waitress was nothing pleasant and accomodating as we not only got the number of people turning up wrong, we also arrived in drizzle cross the span of an hour.

Now the one thing everyone recommended to try at Moose & Gibson was their peanut butter salted caramel shake (? - can't remember exactly what it is called), but unfortunatley on the day, by the time we were ready to order, it has been sold out. Which was rather a shame.

The other dish that came highly recommended to us was the chorizo egg bake.

The dish came out quickly enough (probably because by the time we ordered, the brunch crowd has dissipated)and I was well impressed with what I received.

For one, someone has finally done it right and toasted my sourdough bread and provided some butter! (Cold bread is a little peeve of mine - bread is just meant to be warm!)

The eggs themselves was nicely cooked (running yolks and all)was supported by chorizo and spinach in a tomato based sauce. And the portion! It was massive!

I finished the whole thing of course and rubbed my food baby in delight.

Yes Moose & Gibson, I am definitely coming back for that shake I missed out on!

Recommended: Potted Eggs

Moose and Gibson on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chop Chop Chang's

Chop Chop Chang's
Address: 185 Boundary Street, West End QLD 4101

Z and I were very excited when Chop Chop Chang opened up in West End. There just seem to be a perpetual shortage of good Asian food outside of Sunnybank and the Valley. Our hopes (or at least mine) were riding high on Chop Chop Chang being a knockout restaurant that we'd visit again and again.

When it opened up, Z and I actually visited it separately and we came back with vastly different opinion of the restaurant.

Z went first with a friend of his shortly after the restauarnt opened and unfortunately they both came back with disappointing reviews. Being a Thai Fusion restaurant, they both thought that Chop Chop Chang lacked flavours you'd generally get from a typical Thai restaurant and the prices were twice the price you would have paid for Thai food.

The drinks they ordered were also expensive, however, it wasn't too bad, although it's definitely not somewhere he'd go for a big drinking night out (he'd be broke after that).

Following his 'highly positive' review, I pushed back my planned visit to Chop Chop Chang several times until one day, so homesick for Asian food, I decided to give it a try and see it for myself.

walking into Chop Chop Chang, the black and yellow decor is simple and elegant. Although I don't get the feeling of being in Thailand (other than the chopsticks on the table), it is a very nice environment to dine and drink.

Seated down, after a quick glance at the menu, I do agree that the prices are on the expensive side (sauces and dips costed extra)and its creative menu has left me a bit confused (I guess I was too used to have Asian menus set out under headings like "rice" & "noodle").

In the end, I ordered the crispy roast pork (which came with veggies and noodle).

Given it was during lunchtime on a weekday, I didn't have to wait for very long when my food arrived. And it was a large bowl of noodles and topped with ample portions of roast pork.

I was a little surprised when I didn't see the veggies. That is, until I lifted the noodle and found all of them hiding under the noodle.

This did tickle me a little bit as it reminded me of the story my grandmother use to tell me when I was a child, about poor families hiding drumsticks under rice/noodles for the kids so although on first glance it looked like everyone was getting the same thing, in reality, the kids where getting the superior cuts.

I can no longer remember what the moral of the story was, but I guess there are things are just imprinted in your memory.

Back to the dish, I have to say that the crispy pork was absolutely delicious. The skin was crispy and the meat was tender and juicy. The flavour of the soup was great (a little bit on the light side, which I really didn't mind). There was a lot of vegetables and it was a welcoming change to the usual noodle soup with had a few pieces of veggies floating around.

On the whole, I definitely had a better experience at Chop Chop Chang than Z. And although I agree that it was on the pricey side of Asian food, I'd be happy to go back and try out some of their other dishes.

Curious to Try: The jungle curry with barramundi

Chop Chop Chang's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cafe Wrapture

Cafe Wrapture
Address: 71 Russell St, West End QLD 4101

This place has been one of my favourite eat out places for a while now and honestly I don't know why I haven't reviewed it sooner.

The credit of "finding" Wrapture really goes to Z. It was one of the places on his 'urbanspoon wishlist' and one fine Saturday morning, we ventured out a lil further than our normal brunch areas and since then, I have never looked back. It has became one of my favourites in West End for brunch and lunch.

Now the outside of Wrapture looks a little hippie(especially since it is open next to one a tarot, crystal & etc shop and the decor took on a lot of that influence with crystals hanging down next to the doors and those gypsy-esque cushions for the outside lounge).

The inside of the store is a little narrow, especially on a busy day where there seems to a perpetual line of people getting food and coffee.

My recommendation is that if you can, just get a seat on the outside. You can better enjoy and the sun and people-watch anyway.

Drinks wise, I have always been tickled by Wrapture's creative coffees, the Ali Baba, Sofia Loren and Ghengis Khan... It is recommended that you give it a try yourself. I will just say that I have always enjoyed the coffee Wrapture. If they weren't always so busy and the queue for coffee is always quite long, it'd definitely be one of my favorites.

For the food, other than the wraps, Wrapture also do plates and rice bowls.

I for one have never been curious enough to find out what they are like (I really really like the wraps). So if anyone has ever tried them, I'd very much welcome comments and reviews.

Now getting back to the wraps.

They are hands down, the best wraps in Brisbane!

I am not sure where they source their wraps, but it is chewy and soft and I could just really eat the wraps all day with some hommus!

However, Wrapture really do take it a level further. I mean, why stop when the wrap is amazing? They fill it with the most awesome flavours inside and just the right amount of dressing to keep everything the right balance in terms of taste and moisture.

On a little side note, I will add here that my two favourite wraps are Apollo and Tandango. Apollo comes with halloumi and it just really adds to the texture and the flavour of the wraps.

Now whilst you are there, I will also point out that there's a little fridge next to the counter where they keep their cake slices - it's generally chocolate brownie, white chocolate & pistachio and toffee & pecan.

They are simply delightful (AND gluten free)!

If you still have any room after the filling wrap and coffee, do yourself a favour and get a slice of their cake.

However, nothing in this world is without its vice.

Wrapture is so popular that the wait for coffee and wraps on the weekend can be anywhere between 30-60 minutes.

My recommendation, go early or go there during lunch during weekdays and avoid the crowds.

Recommended:The coffees and any of the wraps really...

Cafe Wrapture on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Granada Cafe Tapas Bar

Granada Cafe Tapas Bar
Address: 154 Melbourne St, South Brisbane, QLD 04101

This one is from a little while back and I apologies for not having the opportunity to put it up earlier.

Granada came highly recommended from a few friends around Brisbane, with some claiming that it is even better than some taps they've had in Spain (and certainly around Brisbane).

On that note, a couple friends and I decided to host a birthday dinner at Granada.

Given that we had about 10 people, we decided to share a jug of sangria and as for food, we shared some (well... reached into each other's plates) and had individual dishes.

The sangria was traditional and well... to be honest, I prefered the sangria from Ole, whose sangrias was just a tad more refreshing. However, for the tapas, I enjoyed many of what Granada offered.

For the night, we had the chorizo with white bean puree, the spinach and goats cheese croquette, the pastry turnover with braised beef cheek, soft corn tortilla with whiting fillets, refried beans, tomatillo salsa and garlic prawns. Some of my friends also had the grilled lamb cutlets, which they believe deserves honorable mention.

Of the tapas, the chorizo was by far my favourite (other than the fact that I love chorizo anyway). But with the slightly charred flavour mixed with the creamy white bean puree, to me, it was just heavenly.

The braised beef cheek pastry after that unfortunately did not quite match up after the chorizo. And by far, it was one of the dishes that just failed to make an impression that night.

The goat cheese croquette was crunch on the outside and creamy on the inside. However, depending on how you like your food seasoned, some people have found it needing a little bit more flavour.

Just as we were starting to get a little disappointed with the tapas, the whiting fillet tortillas managed to wow us.

There's no sufficient way to describe this. However, the flavour from this dish was just spot on! My favourite fish taco ever would have to be in New Zealand, however, this is closely second best!

The mains I will quickly brush past. The garlic prawn was juicy and flavourful, just as I expected to be. It was definitely on the great range but I hate to say this, I have had better down in Sydney.

The grilled lamb cutlet however did manage to surprise many (possibly because when we thought of spanish tapas, we never really thought about grilled lamb cutlets?).

But the flavour for the lamb was again spot on and the meat was tender and juicy. The person who ordered it was gloating for the night and the rest of us all felt a bit of food envy.

All in all, my experience at Granada was nothing but pleasant. They definitely have some great tasting tapas and is worthwhile to visit again and try out the rest!

Recommended: It was all really nice! I especially like the chorizo and the fish taco.

Granada Cafe Tapas Bar on Urbanspoon