January 29, 2013

Kotobuki Sushi | East Brisbane

Sushi Kotobuki - tempura sushi,  crumbed chicken, cream cheese and avocado
Dragon Roll

Spider Roll
Spider Roll - Soft Shell Crab, crab meat and cucumber, tobiko and special mayo sauce
Ruby Roll - Avocado and cream cheese with fresh tuna and piri piri seasoning
Dragon Roll - Avocado, cucumber, and cream cheese with teriyaki eel
Lion King Roll - crabstick, cucumber and avocado with slightly grilled salmon with cheese on top
This place truly is a treasure tucked away in East Brisbane - Kotobuki is my favourite sushi spot! I've been here several times in the past, it's only now that i thought of to blog about this place - after i came here a few nights ago and saw that they did a bit of a revamp of their store appearance! While store appearance might not suggest much (ie: compared to Sono) you can definitely tell this place is a winner, come lunch time and dinner, ques are forming out the door, people waiting for their order for take away and the phone going off for over the phone orders. I admit, coming to dine here during the busy times probably isn't ideal if you aren't the type that wants to wait too long if you're hungry, but the sushi is absolutely great value for money. I personally prefer Kotobuki over Oiishi (over at sunnybank - i find it overpriced and nothing really that special about it...). There are a few variation of the fusion sushi, and after 3-4 visits and trying majority of the sushi selection (and all of the fusion sushi rolls) i can narrow down my favourites, the Spider Roll and Dragon Roll are my favourites! I love the 'special sauce' on the spider roll which is in fact curry-mayo sauce, it's perfect with the soft shell crab dipped in wasabi and soy! The soft shell crab maintains its crispy-ness! As for the Spider Roll, eel never seems to fail me!  perfect with the avocado and cream cheese! It's not that i don't like the other rolls, but sometimes the use of cream cheese in sushi can be a bit too overwhelming for me...

Also it's so easy to over order with the sushi.. the amounts given are quite generous per plate - we ordered 4 different types of sushi as well as a teriyaki chicken rice dish between the 2 of us and we were pretty full after! So start slow then order more if you're still hungry! As for the other dishes, the rice and noodle ones in the bowls - they aren't too bad - but given you are at a sushi joint, the fusion sushi is definitely the standout here. The sashimi is also quite relatively cheap and tasty but nothing fancy you know?

This place is definitely a regular food place for me!

Kotobuki on Urbanspoon

January 25, 2013

Three Monkeys Coffee and Teahouse | West End

Greek Salad
Nachos with avocado and sour cream
(photos from le phone)

Three Monkeys seems to be the popular choice in West End for 'cheap' eatery. I've heard so much about this place but have only been here for coffee - not food - so hence S and I decided to have our late afternoon snack here on Sunday. A Cafe that opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offering a range of snack/share foods as well as sandwiches, salads and such is a good idea - especially for those who find themselves at an hour where you don't know where to go to just chill and hang out. Personally, food wise it isn't too bad; nachos were ok - not enough tomato salsa, but servings of sour cream, avocado and corn chips were generous. The greek salad S ordered again as 'OK' as she described, a bit too generous with the leaves and less on the fetta and olives! I see this as a good place for pal times and chats - without the pressure of lingering waiters/waitresses waiting for you to finish up your meal and leave. It has such a relaxed vibe no matter how busy it is which is what i really enjoyed about this place!

Three Monkeys Coffee & Tea House on Urbanspoon

January 20, 2013

Dandelion and Driftwood | Revist

Waffles w/ berry compote and vanilla ice cream
Kei's coffee: Brew Coffee - the flavours change with the temperature! This coffee had a really strong flavour to it!

I can honestly say that this is the best coffee i've ever had! I know i usually 'standardise' coffees i have with breakfasts', but this time i can definitely single out Dandelion & Driftwood. Their single origin blends are pretty amazing, nothing i've tasted before - the blend i had today was the Costa Rica and the usual Driftwood blend - both of these were so smooth! (Like the first time we came here - the coffees we had today were pretty pleasing!) Being far from a coffee connoisseur; it's quite hard to express in details the flavours etc - so it's really one of these things where you have to taste it for yourself - the great thing is, if you're after a detailed explanation/description of your coffee - each coffee is served with a little card describing your cup! Clever idea! And also, the waiter & waitresses are very good with detailing the coffees available for the day! 

Another reason why we ventured out here again is because of the new items on the menu... The waffles! I don't usually choose sweet items for breakfast, today was an exception though - the waffles were perfect with coffee! Deliciously soft and sweet, and perfect with the tartness of the berries!

If you're adventurous with coffee blends, i'd definitely recommend you give this place a go! D&D is really nice quaint place situated in a sort of suburban housing area! It's also towards the smaller side so it gets busy pretty fast! So first in first serve really!

my first visit here

Dandelion & Driftwood on Urbanspoon

January 14, 2013

Vroom | Fortitude Valley

Spanish Omellete - Chorizo, Grilled Tomato, Spinach and Grilled Mushrooms (extra) with slices of turkish bread and butter
It's hot. Like everyone else in Brisbane - i will also put in my word of thought on this weather, but i'll be blunt. I hate Summer, and I hate beaches (dying from the heat, sun, being sticky from sand sticking all over you, salt in the air making your skin and hair feel gross etc). Yes, i'm totally 'un-australian' and yes my parents probably chose the wrong country to move to; and. I'm totally unashamed at voicing my dislike on this season!! I also have no idea how this lead to a tangent from my supposed breakfast post!

Today was an impromptu late breakfast, at 12 and no place in mind we just wanted to find a park and sit in aircon and eat. Vroom happened to be the closest place and also because it was just too hot to walk around looking for a place to eat! S and I both ordered the Spanish Omellete - it was the time of the day where the mood for 'interesting' breakfasts had past. I was just hungry. So this Spanish omellete was going to be the most creative choice for the matter of trying different breakfast items today! This omellete was pretty generous in serving size: half the plate - and probably one of the most satisfying omelletes i've had in awhile! they definitely weren't being sparse with the ingredients, plenty of mushrooms, tomatos and chorizos! Again, didn't touch the toast, but S had a bite or two of it and apparently isn't the best.

Vroom has more traditional style breakfasts', they don't throw in anything 'exotic' or 'out there' - it's perfect for occasions where you just want something 'ordinary'. It's crazy how a lot of breakfast places get so creative with their menus - or i should say, they reinvent names for traditional dishes in some cases!

Just been looking at some of the previous reviews (some not so good) but our experience was fine, and the food was fine - so maybe we got lucky and also chose the right thing?

Vroom on Urbanspoon

January 5, 2013

Pearl Cafe | Woolloongabba

Bubble & Squeak Croquettes w/ poached eggs,spinach, pearl providore tomato relish & lemon.
House Smoked Salmon w/ green apple, fennel, soft boiled egg & rye toast
This place has been on my to go list for awhile, and now that K and i are here, coincidentally they have a new summer menu out as well! Not that i knew what was on the old menu though! I love the location of Pearl Cafe, this cafe is located in a strip in a building surrounded by old antique and quirky stores. None of them were open but i'm keen to come back, i love antique stores - i'm always on the hunt for film cameras! But back to the cafe, Pearl Cafe is retro styled, mixed with contemporary furnishings. So it fits into the old building that it is located in quite nicely! 

When these dishes first came out, my first impressions were 'summer', 'light' and 'delicate' - definitely reflecting the decor of the type of place Pearl is as well as the season we are in. The items on the menu are quite non-conventional types, although it does offer the choice of standard 'bacon and eggs' with extras etc. I'm always up to try something different, but the challenge was what to choose, in the end i settled for Salmon dish, sounds normal, only, the servings of green apple and fennel caught my eye! I can sum up my entire meal as 'refreshing' - i can't say i absolutely loved it, but the combination of green apple, fennel, salmon and eggs were definitely different to anything i've tried before. The rye toast was  not what i expected at all! I guess every time i see Rye Toast it reminds me of the thick cut toasts served from when i went to The Burrow for brekky.. so when it came out the rye toast resembled and tasted more like a cracker! it was pretty crunchy and thin for toast! The smoked salmon on its own was fantastic though! Nothing like the packaged salmon you can get from other cafes and the egg was poached (yes, it's not boiled as it says on the menu?) perfectly! However i just don't think it makes it to my favourites - i mean definitely wins in the title of unusual combinations though!! I wish i could of walked away from here with fantastic opinions because of past blogger reviews of the old menu! I might need to come back and try something else! Somehow compared to my unusual combination of flavours.. Kei's dish sounds like it would taste more appealing, but again also gives the impression of a 'delicate' meal.

Sitting on the fence with this one! I guess the 'delicate' servings are indeed European Styled breakfast types as opposed to more substantial servings and heavier on the flavours of breakfast elsewhere. So i do think they did a good job in reflecting the 'culture' of a European influenced bistro (BUT this is just me assuming that european breakfasts are more light weight - i could be totally wrong and making this up :P) I think i need a re-visit to re-affirm a liking to this place! Fingers crossed i choose something that 'wows' me.

Pearl Café on Urbanspoon

Mundo Churrasco | Bardon

Came here for the Fatty's Birthday on Friday! 

This place is pretty much a carnivore's dream come true. Meat, Meat and Meat. Aside from the tapas and salads that are served initially on arrival that is.  So upon arrival, waiting and then being seated - we were served the tapas; out of all the tapas the cheesy bread was the stand out above all of them. This cheesy bread is different to what you would sort of expect; i assumed that it would be 'soft' and warm etc etc, but it actually is more 'hard and crusty' when you try to bit into it, and the centre doesn't ooze the cheese, rather it's like as if the cheese was baked into the bread (?) so the texture is more 'chewy'. The other entree tapas served were okay - they weren't bad - it's just that they didn't really stand out... after the initial tapas; 3 different salads were bought out as well as Cassava Root, which resembles bread crumbs on first inspection :P But the guy explained to us that you're supposed to sprinkle it over meats to add crunchiness and flavour.
Tapas : Pao de Queijo - gluten free cheesy bread
Entree - Olives, Salami, Rice Ball (?) and not sure what the other one was called!
Cassava Root - to go with meats; adds a bit of crunchiness!
Onwards to the main course of the evening .... which was the meat!! On your table there are these wooden little cork like things, one side is red and one side green... green indicates that you're good for more food and red, the opposite. Waiters literally walked to each table with swords of different cuts of meat, beef, pork, lamb and chicken. The awesome thing is, on each 'sword' each chunks of meat were cooked differently, varying from rare to well done. I probably enjoyed the beef steak cut the most out of all of the different meats, followed by the pork (on the sword), and pork belly (served already cut up from a plate from the waiters) then the lamb, unfortunately i didn't quite enjoyed the chicken! The beef and pork were probably the most tender out of all of them and the ones with most flavouring, but again i suppose that depends on which cut of meat and 'rarity' of how it is cooked.. i found some cuts to be too salty for my liking and some cuts too dry and tough, or too tarred from the bbq.. after awhile the taste of meat is sort of excessive, but i guess that's why there is salad and also roasted vegetables (waiters walk around with the plate serving to people).

They slice off the meat, and you grab the meat with the tongs provided!
Pork Belly

Pudin de Lite - Brazillian version of creme brulee
 I thought the desserts were 'okay'; i mean the creme brulee tasted like creme brulee, nothing really special about it...  - but i have to mention, the churros here are definitely way better than the ones from 'San Churro' - they were crunchy and doughy on the inside and well seasoned with cinnamon!
This place is more of a banquet style dinner, probably more suited for 'smaller' parties... between the two of us it was fine, because the waiter just had to slice twice, but imagine if you had a large seating of 6+ people, i'd imagine the time it would take to go around to each person to cut the meat etc etc. Although it is an all you can eat place, you do get full rather quick because food isn't coming to your table at a constant rate (especially if it is full house).. so obviously while you are waiting, food settles and you become rather full! Overall i did enjoy it, however i would probably prefer korean bbq because it's more fun to cook your own meat rather than wait for people coming to your table cutting up meat for you! 

Mundo Churrasco on Urbanspoon
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