March 29, 2013

Gramercy Espresso and Eats | Brisbane CBD

Bircher Muesli with yoghurt and fresh fruits - absolutely delicious! how vibrant does this look :D
that honey.
Avocado Toast

this muffin - perfect with the iced coffee that day
iced coffee in a jar - love this!
yerp - if you don't follow me on instagram, these are pretty much the same photos from there; courtesy of iphone 5 - for the days i don't carry around my dslr.

I've actual been here several times in the last few weeks, and i've yet to blog about it, not because i've been lazy (like some of my other posts), but because my first visit was very positive, and i felt  really compelled to try a few more eateries from here to  'consolidate' this 'positiveness' in order to blog positively about this place since i sincerely enjoy this cafe, if that makes sense. 

This place has already become a fast favourite, everything about Gramercy just appeals to me - i love the design, modern, sleek but with a very comfortable and warm feel to it. Not to mention, it has the  'grocer' look with produce (assuming-ly used in the eatery, and not just for decor! :P) that is visible to the eye, the open 'kitchen' where you can see your food being prepared, the table of baked goods staring right at you when you order, and most importantly the warm reception from the staff; each and every time i visit! 

Other than having coffee that is pretty ace, i absolutely love the food menu (well the ones i've tried so far). The bircher muesli was the first thing i tried - i honestly didn't think much about it because i was in dire need of coffee and food that morning, so when it came out i was so surprised at the presentation. It's different to all the muesli's i've had at other joints which usually just comprises of the 'muesli', yoghurt and sometimes a little pot of milk on the side. As you can see from the photo, it consisted of fresh sliced/grated apples, strawberries, blueberries, honey and yoghurt with the muesli. It looked amazing and tasted amazing. Someone tell me where in Brisbane would you find someone that would put that much attention/effort into serving muesli? I'm still amazed every-time i look at the photo! This pretty much encouraged myself to come back here to try something else before i blog about it! The smashed avocado on toast was the second to tick off the menu - again, looked delicious and tasted delicious - i can only leave positive comments about the food here! However... i need to try more of their baked goods - i stare at them all the time when i order; i just forget to ask what they are, not that it would matter because i would still eat it (yay gluttony), haha. 

One other thing i want to mention is the way that some of the drinks are served in, ie: my iced coffee arrived in a jar! I thought this is so cute and creative! I love it - it's these little things which just add a plus to one's dining experience you know? 

Gramercy Espresso & Eats on Urbanspoon

Cirque | New Farm

Genovese Coffee Beans for the Latte
Turkish Eggs
These eggs are actually served cold! - They're cooked though!
Madame Croque
mushroom, haloumi and avocado as sides added!
all that shaved ham and gruyere cheese!!

I can't believe it has taken me this long to eat here. Part of the reason why is because every time i go past Cirque, it's always jammed packed.. it must of been our lucky day today, it was still relatively packed but we were able to get a seat. Service was quite prompt - different to what i've read of some of the reviews on urbanspoon, they were quick to get us seated with water on our tables, taking our coffee orders first and then letting us know about the specials of the day. 

It wasn't too hard to pick out what to order, with those few ingredients from each dish catching our eye immediately, we ordered the turkish eggs and the madam croque. The turkish eggs as the names goes is like a baked eggs dish, only the difference is, that this dish is actually served cold! I guess it sounds strange enough to have have an eggy dish cold, but in actual fact, it tasted pretty fantastic when i tried some! It had a mixture of cheese and salsa baked into it! Definitely not your average egg dish but worth a try! I had the madam croque, I had no idea that it would look like this! This was definitely a substantial meal! I guess the reason why chose to have this is that i saw gruyere cheese and that was enough for me to omit any other descriptions of what this meal consisted of! I think i could have done without the sides, but it was probably a good idea even though i was so full after! This grilled sandwich had SO much cheese and ham it's not funny! Literally layers upon layers of ham and cheese with a bit of tomato relish inside, while i was in heaven while eating this, i do admit that after awhile i felt like i needed to eat something else because it was overwhelming! Hence the sides of avocado, mushroom and haloumi <- i have no idea why i got the haloumi!

I can see why this place is jammed packed on weekends! The service is prompt, the food is delicious and the value for it is also great, i mean where in Brisbane can you find a combination of sides of haloumi, avocado and mushrooms for $3-$4?

Cirque on Urbanspoon

March 24, 2013

My Pho Bar | Jindalee

Fresh Rice Paper Rolls
Pho - called 'My Works' on the menu
Pho - with onion, bean sprouts, basil with variation of rare steak, tripe, flank, beef ball and tendon

After being overly disappointed with Fat Noodle, the Pho and side dish here was absolutely delicious (not only by comparison, but that fact that it really is!). I came here with the fatty yesterday for dinner after much debating (aka indecision) of what to have for dinner - this is why i prefer breakfast over dinner! It's so much easier to decide where to go!

We both got the same noodles - the 'My Works' which is a combination of the variation of the meats you can have in Pho. In hindsight, i should have just gotten the beef steak - i'm not so much a fan of the tendons and tripe! But otherwise it was still so delicious. The broth was still hot when it came out and the steak still rare and cooking through - you can sort of see it in the photo above. What i really like is that the sliced beef was still very much tender even when it cooked all the way through in the broth and the broth itself was just delicious - the only thing i can criticize on is that while the broth was delicious to have on its own and with the noodles, somehow it felt like it was missing something, even with the basil added, the flavour didn't seem as 'strong' as other places (?) perhaps it's a different variation in soup, but still i definitely enjoyed the pho here compared to Fat Noodle a few nights ago!

Price wise - good value for price - some may still say it's still expensive than places in Inala, but i would say it's still well worth it (especially when i think of Fat Noodle!)

Anyhow,  i'm not Vietnamese, so i can't go on about how Pho should 'properly' be served etc, so i will let the photos do the talking! This place definitely gets a thumbs up from me :)

My Pho Bar on Urbanspoon

March 20, 2013

Fat Noodle | Brisbane CBD

Signature Pho Dish 
Beef Angus Wok Noodles

After being opened for awhile and with no expectations set (i will explain why) - the fatty and i decided to try this place out. The reason why i said with 'no expectations' is that my general experience with 'fusion' styled foods have always been average at best, so hence going somewhere with minimal expectations dampens the disappointment i feel after a meal and while i pay for the bill. My reviews of places have always been honest, and this time will be no different.

Unfortunate to say, i can only say, the food here is really only average at best. While it isn't  unenjoyable, there isn't anything amazing about it either. I would most definitely prefer to go to Sunnybank or Inala (that general area) to eat Pho that is authentic, at half the price and double the portions. The taste was just 'OK' - for those who have eaten Pho in the Southside, you can definitely tell the difference between the flavours and will be quite disappointed. But i guess for those new to Pho, they will find it reasonably tasty. The soup in the Pho was lukewarm, so it didn't allow for the bean sprouts to 'cook' when mixed in and the sliced beef was already well done and towards the tougher side when chewing it - compared to eateries in the southside, i'm used to having the broth steaming hot to allow for the sprouts to cook over, the beef towards the rare side so that it is still cooking through when it arrives and usually is still tender to bite. Fatnoodle just seems 'over prepared' in regards to Pho. So...Like i said, not disgusting or tasteless, but it's just excessively expensive for such a small portion, where you can get double the portion for half the price. There are only a few occasions which i will negatively shed light on price vs portion wise when it comes to food, and only when i feel strongly disappointed by it - i feel like for 2 dishes which totalled $37 - i could have had a far more satisfying meal elsewhere.  The only positivity i can shed is that the food came out relatively fast after ordering.

The other wok based dish, the Beef Angus, again was just OK - nothing fantastic, it definitely has more of a 'western' style to it rather than asian - if anything it was more of a noodle salad dish rather than a wok dish. I guess i would just choose an authentic eatery in the Southside over Fatnoodle in regards to taste and value. Afraid to say this won't be a place i will frequent again!

Fat Noodle on Urbanspoon

March 10, 2013

Spring Hill Deli and Produce | Spring Hill

Mediterranean Eggs
Shashuka - Spicy Baked Eggs 
shaved dark chocolate on the cappucino! thumbs up for using real chocolate! (photo from iphone)

comics at the back of the clipboard menu - creative idea! (photo from iphone)
yep took along my chunky slr today - and only 2 photos from the phone!

A few questions (really only just two XD)... Why are there not many blog reviews about this place? and.. Why have i not eaten here earlier? I do not understand! The breakfast here is pretty fabulous, so fabulous that i burnt the roof of my mouth while shovelling my dish down. My gluttony broke loose. No regrets though.

In all seriousness though, i am so impressed with the food! It's been a little while that i've actually admitted to loving a place on first tasting of food! I chose the Shashuka dish which is in fact apparently an Israeli baked spicy egg dish (?) My knowledge of the origins on this name is pretty limited to no idea at all.... but, this was so delicious, it came out piping hot on the pan (the waitress wasn't kidding when she said it was hot - yerp i accidentally touched it and my resolve broke loose and started shovelling this down) - so it's a combination of tomato, fetta and 2 poached eggs - the poached eggs end up cooking through though because the entire dish is just emitting heat! Just a warning for you poached egg lovers out there! I don't have anything 'negative' to comment on for this dish because i just loved the entirety of it! It's a combination of my favourite things, cheese, egg, and tomato. Not to mention that it's a bit spicy so it adds a nice kick to it! The Fatty chose the Mediterranean eggs which i had also initially been eyeing, but as a general unspoken breakfast rule, I MUST NOT ORDER THE SAME THING! For the sake of variety and photos for this blog :P The thing that really caught my eye with the Mediterranean eggs was the 'Dukka' - i've had dukka with eggs before and remembered it was really good! And i definitely remembered correctly because the dukka with the poached eggs were delicious - if you haven't had dukka before i guess the best way i can describe the taste is that it's a combination of nuts and spices (of what sort i'm not so sure) - i know it sounds ordinary - but somehow it just 'completes' the taste of the poached eggs and fetta on the sourdough toast. The descriptions of what we ate aren't exactly concise - we were both hungry and focused on ordering! And there isn't an updated menu on urban spoon! 

Another thing to note is that there are vegan and gluten free options as well, as well as the option to change particular ingredients on the menu if it isn't to your taste: ie - on the mediterranean eggs - the fatty didn't want goats cheese, the waiter kindly took note and was happy to change it to feta! So having these few options definitely does make it a bit more flexible!

Coffee wise - i'm ashamed to say i didn't take much notice after the food came out! But definitely something which i do remember is that they use actual dark chocolate shavings on the cappucino rather than powder! Only thing is, the chocolate was a little too bitter for the coffee, something a bit sweeter would have complimented it better!

What i also really like about this deli cafe are the detailing touches which what makes the cafe - for instance the back of the menu clip board is comprised of 'old-fashioned' comics imprinted on it, the old school like suspended light bulbs above the tables, the wooden tables and also how each table has a flower in an old milk bottle with the table number attached to it. This place is just really niche! I love it! Comparison wise to other cafes in regards to design and interior - closest might be Sassafaras over at paddington - except definitely more 'orderly' and less of a 'dissaray' style! Anyway this is just a bit of a tangent for me, i tend to notice these things about food places - it also helps in leaving lasting impressions for me!

This may be premature - but i think i've found a favourite contender for my 2013 breakfast food locations!

Spring Hill Deli and Produce on Urbanspoon

March 6, 2013


Off James Street - near Jamie's espresso.
Taken with my Olympus OM-10.

March 4, 2013

Ltd Espresso and Brew Bar | Fortitude Valley

Dropped by here on my way to city today; it's a little bit difficult to review a coffee only place 'thoroughly' especially when people have varying tastes on how they like their coffee. I've actually walked passed here quite a few times but have been a bit hesitant in going in. I admit the 'narrowness' of the this shop intimidated me at first - yeh, silly, i know. 

This place will be a winner for the coffee lovers out there (most likely - i think. heh.) The latte was smooth, and the temperature just right - perfect for the times where you desperately need that caffeine hit, without losing half your taste buds when you swig it down. It's pleasantly surprising to see that they were able to squeeze in a few tables towards the back for 'have here' coffees.  You just wouldn't have imagined for such a narrow fitted space! Quite impressive. The 'finer details', the light bulbs, small wooden bench like chairs outside, and the artwork along the wall really gives the interior (and the whole cafe) a nice finish (this is probably a little irrelvant to this review but it's these 'smaller' details of shops in general which really catch my eye). Something else you won't miss is the clever, ever changing daily messages on the A-Frame right outside the shop. Prior before actually trying this place out, they always caught my eye and made my mornings.

In terms of comparison, I still find Dandelion & Driftwood at the top of the ladder (because i frequent this place way to often so it's still my personal preference at the moment!), Blackstar is pretty amazing too (if you want to check that out as well), and Ltd has definitely made it to the top favourite coffee spots so far. Although i've only been here once, i know i'll probably frequent here more often now since it is so close within the vicinity of where i live! Well done Ltd, while i enjoy most foods and coffees it takes a bit for me to actually name a 'favourite', you've made it to my tops list!

LTD espresso and brew bar on Urbanspoon
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