May 31, 2013

Campos | Fortitude Valley

Kei's Eggs Benedict
Open Egg Omellete 
Sometimes it's so easy to get caught up with these new breakfast joints that i tend to forget to re-visit old favourites. Campos is easily one of my favourite places for hang outs, breakfast and coffee. It has such a casual and relaxed vibe to it and i can always have confidence in having decent food and coffee from here!

I've blogged about Campos a few times before - and as mentioned, again one of the things i really enjoy about campos is the monthly changing menu. This time around i had the open egg omelette (April Menu), and it was delicious. I love eggs. I especially love omelettes - although i have to admit the goats cheese did take a little bit getting use to. The serving sizes are sizeable and decent - also obviously known for their coffee, i have to still mention that their coffee is ace.

Definitely worth a visit if you want a breakfast place with tradtional-ist sort of breakfast type foods, and decent coffee. Also check out their facebook page as they post up their monthly menu, which is a bonus if you are a visual person!

Campos Coffee - Valley on Urbanspoon

Stokehouse | South Bank

Crudo of Fresh Fish - from the Special Boards that night
Pistachio crusted Rannoch farm quail, parmesan & truffle cream, watercress
Wagyu beef carpaccio, horseradish cream, capers, rocket, truffle
Broccoli, toasted almonds, lemon buerre noisette
Main: Margaret River duck breast, carrot, parsnip, hazelnut, mushrooms, parfait
Main: Fish from the Specials that night
Chilli Salt Chips = amazing

(iphone photos)

This dinner was from a few weeks ago, the fatty took me here for my birthday :) Prior before choosing to come here i've heard and seen a lot of mixed opinions about this place, but i guess you can only try for yourself to find out right? It was a toss up between here and a few other places, but somehow just bit the bullet and decided to try somewhere new rather than my usual preferred 'finer' dinner places i've tried in the past.

All the dishes we ordered were pretty fantastic. It's hard to pick a 'favourite' but i guess what really stood out to me was most definitely the Chilli Salt Chips, Crudo and the Quail. The Chilli Salt chips is pretty much a meal itself. There was just so much! It's a very generous serving for a 'side' dish - if you're afraid that you're going to still be hungry after having the mains, i would suggest ordering this! But, order it anyway because the chilli salt was delicious! Crudo, literally like sashimi is a bed of fresh fish - we chose the specials for the night, and they were absolutely delicious. Tasted so fresh and tender! Definitely a go for the sashimi lovers out there and was also a good start for the on coming dishes.

For Entree - the quail and wagyu were our choices - out of the two, i enjoyed the quail more, it was crispy skinned, tender and salty at the same time. Definitely served well with the water cress and truffle cream to balance out the saltiness! I loved that the Wagyu was very much like a salad - a very light entree with the right amount of saltiness, just enough to have together with the horseradish cream and capers.

The presentations of the mains are deceivingly small; as you make your way through the dish i found myself slowing down considerably (also because we had the chilli salt chips and broccoli as sides - both of which had generous servings); the duck was cooked perfectly - tender on the inside with a nice salty flavour on the outside as well. Although at times i found it was a little bit too salty, but the vegetables it came with served its purpose to balanced it out. The Fatty chose the fish special as the main, and commented on how fresh it was!

Overall, i really enjoyed the food here - i found that the entrees stood out especially for me, and tickled my fancy more so than the mains! Stokehouse is a thumbs up for me!

Stokehouse on Urbanspoon

May 19, 2013

Yum Yum Gyoza House | Bulimba

The fatty and i actually stumbled upon this place on our way to Mud Dessert Bar, we were feeling a bit hungry and thought that dessert wouldn't be adequate!

I was a little bit confused when i walked in to this place - i initially thought it would be just a japanese gyoza bar of some sort, but the menu shows quite a variety of chinese, japanese, thai and malaysian dishes! The waitresses were also of different asian descent, so it's not exactly 'traditional' japanese cuisine i guess. None the less, we just went straight for the gyoza. There were 4 different types, the Chicken, Pork, Vegetable and Duck, hence we just chose one of each. Each of the plates consisted of 5 pieces.

The filling in each of the gyoza was generous enough and the skin was nicely pan friend. Also noted that each gyoza was quite 'plump' in sizing and not just skin and measly filling. While they are surprisingly good, and very good value for money (i believe it is $5 for each plate and you get 5 gyoza), there isn't too much that would differentiate it from getting gyoza at other joints. In having said that though, i have to admit that what you get is really good for the price!

As for the other dishes, we didn't try anything else, but as mentioned, this place seems to offer a lot of mixed cuisines. Maybe not the place to go if you are looking to try specific 'authentic' cuisines.

Yum Yum Goyza House on Urbanspoon

May 15, 2013

Mud Dessert Bar | Bulimba

Passionfruit Mille Feuille
Deconstructed Banoffee 
If you have a sickly sweet tooth, this is the place for you. I kid you not, these desserts are so rich, to the point where a few mouthfuls would suffice. I was under the initial impression that the passionfruit mille feuille would be light and delicate in terms of pastry, so something savoury and sweet at the same time. On this occasion i guess i was proven very much wrong. As you can see, the main element of the dessert seems to be the chocolate, the ice cream was a very rich dark chocolate, the chocolate filling and the passionfruit filling was very rich and sweet,and, not only that, it was in between slabs of sweet chocolate. So after a few mouthfuls i literally could not keep on eating it, despite my love for sweets.

The same goes for the banoffee, it looks deceivingly tame in terms of how sweet it actually is. Like the Mille Feuille, everything on this plate was just i guess, bluntly put, sugar. There was no real variation in terms of flavouring and in texture. It's just not the dessert that makes you want to crave more.

Unfortunately to say, i'm actually a little disappointed since i'd heard mention of this place a few times! Don't get me wrong, if you love your rich and sweet desserts, this is pretty much going to be gold for you. But if you prefer variations in flavours and textures then you're probably going to think it's only average at best. Comparatively, i would prefer Freestyle over Mud. Seeing as they are similar in style, in that they both offer tapa type foods as well as desserts. Sorry Mud, it's a thumbs down for me! (in having said that, someone has told us that the tapas are much better than the desserts, so we might need to come back and try!)

Mud Dessert Bar on Urbanspoon

Bucci | New Farm

gotta love the miniature saucepan that it comes in!
Baked Ricotta with figs & honey
My Main! Delicious!
Italian Doughnuts 

Came here for my friends birthday on May 2!

The photos are pretty sketchy and grainy due to the low lighting! Sorry! But don't let the grainy quality of the photos deter you! The food here is pretty delicious! Despite it being an Italian restaurant, the menu has quite a few variations; so if you're not so into carbs pasta - they do offer the fish, chicken, lamb and steak! What i like is also the wide selection of entrees available and share plates as well. I found that majority of the dishes aren't the 'typical' italian sort of dishes, but more that they use main ingredients and use it in a non-conventional sort of way! Out of all the salads and entrees from the night, my absolute favourite has to be the baked ricotta! It tasted absolutely delicious on it's own and with the honey! Loved the way the entrees also came out, in miniature frying pans! so cute! The olives were OK, there just wasn't anything that really differentiated them from other olives in general; they weren't stuffed or flavoured in any other chilli oil etc etc. just plain.

My main, was. Absolutely. Delicious. Tastiest past i've had in a long long while! As mentioned the menu is quite non-conventional in a sense speaking. I chose the Pappardelle al ragu d'anatra AKA Duck Ragout Pasta (papppardelle) with tomatoes, capers and olives.  This entire combination was just so delicious. The serving size is quite generous for pasta. I was expecting tiny portions for some unknown reason. So when it came out i was quite surprised. What was also a +1 was the fact that they generously served duck with the pasta itself. The fatty chose the hay stack cooked lamb, i don't have a photo unfortunately but he complimented the duck being the best his had, and that it was cooked perfectly! I tried some myself, and recalled the lamb being really tender! Personally i'm not a huge fan of lamb, but i did enjoy what i tried!

I would have to say the desserts here are OK, Bucci would stand out more so for the entree and mains rather than the dessert. They were enjoyable and that's probably where i will leave it. Nothing i would rave to someone else about you know?

Overall i really enjoyed the pasta here, definitely worth a re-visit, as mentioned my favourite dish regardless of the fact that it is an entree is the baked ricotta! It's definitely the share platters, entrees and the mains which really give Bucci the +1 rather than the desserts! I also have to mention, the service we received was pretty remarkable. Amongst the group of people i dined with, majority had specific dietary requirements (allergies/intolerances to some ingredients used), not a lot of places cater for adjustments in the menu like Bucci does, our waitress was very attentive to the slight changes in the dishes and was more than happy to recommend different options! It's always refreshing when restaurants can cater for specific requirements!

Bucci on Urbanspoon

more photos (below) of what the others ordered that night, sorry about the varying quality as we all only bought our phones with us and the lighting was pretty dim ("mood lighting") 

BURRATA TARTUFATA - Stretched curd cheese from the Vanella Cheese Factory, crisp pancetta, truffle honey, blueberries & walnuts

Definitely a very interesting flavour, honey, cheese and walnuts, a little bit unusual but very delicious none the less, especially if you are a fan of cheese variations!

Caprese salad with Vanella Cheese Factory buffalo mozzarella 

Tuscan orange & fennel salad, radicchio, buffalo feta, pistachio & olive

Rustic fusilli pasta, fresh tomato, garlic, chilli, pancetta, basil,
anchovies, olive oil

Parmesan, truffle & potato dumplings, walnut paste, lemon,
parmesan & rocket

Crisp cannoli, filled with sweet ricotta, glazed fruit, roasted almonds, 
dark chocolate & Queensland macadamia nut honey

May 3, 2013

Shucked Coffee House | Newstead

Cold Drip Coffee & Iced Coffee
Harry's Hash
Cactus Jack 

Sorry about the repetitiveness, for those who follow myself on instagram - one or two of the photos tend to be the same. No DSLR photos because i wasn't expecting to go out for breakfast on Saturday! But thank you iphone 5 for producing decent photos i can use on my blog! HDR mode yeh yeh yeh!

I've actually been stalking Shucked on instagram, facebook, urbanspoon and on several blogs when someone reviews it. The photos i've seen always look so appetising (drool) but like it goes, i always want to try but just haven't etc etc with the excuses. 

Getting into the 'colder' season in Brisbane, i thought i would go along with this whole seasonal thing, hence why i chose to have the 'Cactus Jack' aka the savoury mince. The entire meal composed of the mince itself, tortilla chips, 2 poached eggs and a lemon. When it came out i was caught a little unawares to how to eat this, i'm use to the 'usual' mince where the egg is already in the mince itself, but i guess the reason why they have it on the side is so the poached egg stays 'poached' instead of having it in the mince where it will cook through (and then you get the usual comments that goes along the lines of, 'oh man they don't know how to poach an egg', 'why is this poached egg not runny at all - let's rate this place zero' etc etc). OR simply the eggs are aside for presentations sake (haha). I really am just speculating here (hahah). That aside. I ended up just scooping the egg into the mince one at a time as i ate it. The tortillas are a good idea, light and crispy so you still taste the texture of the mince, however it can get quite messy eating it when you're trying to 'scoop' the mince and it keeps sliding off. What i like about this mince is the fact that it's not just sauce. In some savoury minces i've noticed the ratio of actual meat to sauce is quite minimal, so it's pleasing to see that you're actually eating meat and not just the sauce. The actual sauce itself is not as viscous, however still enjoyable. The hash was the only part i tried from the fatty's dish, and all i can say that i liked what i tried! Hash was very crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, i'm very certain it was delicious considering how fast it disappeared from his plate!

What i really enjoy about the breakfast here is the creativity they put into the menu, but at the same time keeping 'classic' ingredients as the main elements of each dish. That way it doesn't deter the not so adventurous crowd when it comes to choosing. There's always something about these non-conventional names for breakfasts which really attracts me to these breakfast places (in general). I also quite enjoyed the coffee here, i find rare to find a breakfast location which serves good breakfast as well as (good) variation in coffee (cold drip, pour over & aeropress). Most of the times cafes focus on one or the other to make it 'their signature' (good food or good coffee) Hence I was surprised they had the option of cold drip coffee, pour over as well as aeropress coffee on the menu. Not something i see very often. This was pretty much another +1 for why i like this place. Also, that cold drip coffee was ace. 

Definitely a place to try out, I love the design of the cafe - mixed chairs, wooden tables, graffiti art,  vintagey deco pieces - it just has a really nice casual vibe to it. Their location is also pretty nifty; in this suburban area, tucked away into a building. The food and coffee is just ace, and not to mention if you tag yourself in as well as instagram you get a but of a discount ;)

Shucked Coffee House on Urbanspoon
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