Category Archives: Restaurant

Restaurant review: Primal Pantry

primal-pantry-sign

To celebrate Matt being on holidays we thought we enjoy a nice lunch out. If you are following a paleo diet your options are somewhat limited in Brisbane, but we decided to try the Primal Pantry. The Primal Pantry serves only organic produce, 100 percent grass fed meat, no refined sugar, no grains, no processed oils and limited dairy. It is the ideal place to go if you have allergies or food intolerances.

primal-pantry-chicken

For entre we shared succulent Crispy Chicken Wings with prosciutto wrapped scallops and creamy cauliflower puree.

primal-pantry-duck

For a main I tried the Confit Duck on seeded bread, with superfood watercress and caramelized orange.

primal-pantry-beef-cheeks

Matt had the Mexican Beef Cheeks with crisp tortilla and cucumber salsa. I tasted some and we both thought this was the highlight of the meal.

primal-pantry-veggies

We also ordered sweet potato fries with aioli sauce and roast vegetables as a side.

We agreed it was a nice place to have lunch and that we’d be back sometime soon, perhaps to try their tempting breakfast menu next time.

Primal Pantry
Corner Florence and Macquarie Streets
Teneriffe, Brisbane QLD 4005
 Primal Pantry on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: The Paleo Café Brisbane

paleo-cafe

The Paleo Café is located on the corner of Market and Mary St, and has both indoor and outdoor seating. I have also been to the Paddington café where there is only indoor seating and no bookings allowed. They are both popular places so you’ll need to arrive early to get a seat.

The paleo diet encourages followers to eat like cavemen – consuming lots of meats, eggs, nuts, seeds and berries, while eliminating sugar, grains, legumes and dairy. So one great thing about this chain of cafes is that it is the perfect place to eat for people with celiac disease or food intolerances.

The first time we visited for breakfast, where I had eggs and avocado on toast. I was keen to try the grain free bread, which turned out to be the perfect addition. I also tried the bulletproof coffee, but it wasn’t for me. I like their regular cappuccino which you can have on coconut or almond milk.

For my birthday we went again to the Paleo Café and just about all of us ordered the lamb burger, which is a tender lamb patty on linseed focaccia with mint aioli, rocket, tomato, onion, avocado and gherkin topped with beetroot relish and served with sweet potato chips and more aioli. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals and the chips were the highlight.

For work lunches I have regularly been having the Mediterranean Vegetable Salad, which is a generous mix of roasted eggplant, olives, onion and greens, topped with a moreish salad dressing. You have the option of adding some protein, with chicken, prawns, salmon or kangaroo, but I like to have it plain. Sometimes I treat myself to dessert, but these are really rich, so it’s best to share with a friend.

Highly recommended for a lunch date with friends or family.

Paleo Café
The Paleo Café chain has five cafes in Cairns, Paddington in Brisbane, Brisbane CBD, Bondi Junction in Sydney and the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Paleo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review of Fat Noodle

For our anniversary we decided to have lunch at Fat Noodle. It is located at the Treasury Casino, so we were not allowed to take our camera in, which is why there are no photos. Although having said that, our neighbours were taking photos with their phone cameras, so I don’t know how strict they are on their no camera policy in the restaurant.

The menu consists mainly of Vietnamese dishes, with a sprinkling of Chinese, Thai and Malay. The restaurant is owned by Luke Nguyen, so we expected the dishes to be authentic and fresh.

We were greeted with Jasmine tea, but I decided to try the fresh ginger lemonade while Matt had a glass of wine. Entrées were bought out pronto, and I devoured huge fluffy BBQ pork buns, while Matt sampled the delicious prawn and pork rice paper rolls.

For a main, I couldn’t go past the signature dish, Fat Pho Noodles, which is a 20-hour beef broth, with thinly sliced Angus sirloin and brisket, bean sprouts, fresh Thai basil, fresh chilli and rice noodles. It was a huge dish with plenty of noodles and a great meaty flavoured broth. I regretted eating the pork buns and I struggled to finish my dish. Matt choose to have the Singapore Laksa, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Overall Fat Noodle served generous sized dishes with authentic Asian flavours.

Fat Noodle on Urbanspoon

Fat Noodle
Treasury Casino
130 William St
Brisbane CBD
Ph 07 3306 8888
Open 7 days, Lunch, Dinner and Late

Restaurant Review: L’angolo Bistro

langolo-sign

L’angolo Bistro means ‘the angle’ in Italian, as the restaurant is right on the corner of the building in Hamilton Harbour. I was invited to attend a tasting event last night. L’angolo Bistro menu consists of authentic traditional dishes, as well as more modern interpretations. They also try to use fresh and organic ingredients where possible, this includes pizza dough from organic flour and a selection of organic and biodynamic wines. The menu includes many gluten free, vegan and dairy free options. 

I settled into the comfy bench seats and here’s what we tasted:

langolo-anchovies

Anchovies marinated in a Chardonnay Vinegar, with breadcrumb and Fior di Latte – fresh and not at all fishy as I was expecting!

langolo-calamari

Deep Fried Baby Calamari served with Basil Pesto Mayo and Lime – tender sticks of calamari that were cooked just right.

langolo-meatballs

Delicious tomatoey meatballs made using grandma’s recipe.

langolo-pizza

An authentic thin pizza base – pizza with mozzarella, Italian pistachios, grated zucchini, diced tomatoes, parma prosciutto and shaved grana.

langolo-rissotto

Risotto with prawns and asparagus in a lobster bisque – was impressively presented and cooked to al dente.

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Homemade mushroom and spinach lasagna with black truffle bechamel.

langolo-pasta

My personal favourite of the night was tagliatelle with marinated quails, pancetta and Sardinian Mirto. The homemade saffron egg pasta was divine.

langolo-pork

By this stage I was getting close to full, and the pork belly came in a close second favourite. The crispy skin was perfect (hint: turn it upside to cut it) and it was served with truffle mashed potato and mushroom sauce.

langolo-brownie

The Italian Dark Chocolate and Almond Tarte reminded me an American brownie.

langolo-donut

The Traditional Italian donuts were filled with a delightful Chantilly Cream and served with hot chocolate.

langolo-truffles

And lastly there was just enough room to pop in an decadent Italian Chocolate Truffle filled with pistachios and walnuts.

Overall I was impressed by the quality and variety of dishes we were served.

L’angolo Bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while also offering a small aperitvo menu in keeping with the Italian lifestyle.

L’angolo Bistro
T04, Hamilton Harbour,
Kingsford Smith Drive, Hamilton

L'Angolo Bistro on Urbanspoon

Thank you L’angolo Bistro for inviting me to be a guest at your restaurant.

Review: Puk Coffee

Puk Espresso sign

Puk Coffee is located underneath the Storey Bridge at Kangaroo Point, so you’d expect it to be noisy, but you can’t hear the traffic at all.

Puk Coffee outside

We sat outside where the Ekka winds made it a little cool but a beautiful day for winter. I wish I’d worn my jumper.

Puk Moonshine Coffee

Puk have swapped coffee suppliers and now serve Moonshine Coffee Roasters coffee from Federal, in the hinterland near Byron Bay, New South Wales. They also serve T2 tea.

Puk mocha

I had a delicious mocha, which I couldn’t fault.

Puk espresso

Matt had a short black, which he thought was very smooth. How cool is the cup?

Puk breakfast bagel

The menu had a good selection of reasonably priced items – all of which were under $10. We both ordered the breakfast bagel, which was a free range omelet, with double bacon and BBQ sauce. I found mine a little peppery, but a filling way to start a Sunday.

Puk Coffee
98 Main St
Kangaroo Point, Brisbane

Puk Espresso on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Chester Street Bakery and Bar

Chester Street sign

Chester Street Bakery and Bar has reopened to the public today. It will be a sourdough bakery by day and a neighbourhood bar by night.

Chester Street outside

I was fortunate enough to be invited to Chester Street for a sneak peak at a test kitchen. The restaurant was only open to friends and family and media to allow staff to perfect the dishes and gain valuable feedback.

Chester Street oven

The bakery is fitted out with a combination of new and rustic furniture. But the main attraction is an impressive cobalt-blue wood-fired oven which bakes the bread.

In the last couple of weeks, while the bakers have been learning to perfect the bread, they held an honesty box system, where locals could exchange their loose change for a loaf. What a novel idea.

Chester Street pork main

For my main plate I couldn’t resist trying the wood roasted pork belly. It was two generous slices of soft pork with cubes of apple and quince, on a bed of radicchio leaves. It had a lovely sauce with hints of anise and citrus.

Chester Street chocolate cake

The chocolate and almond cake was moist and soft and came with a delicious light and airy expresso creme fraiche.

Chester Street bread

Bread is baked daily and starts from $6 a loaf. There is currently a choice of Classic Sourdough, Olive and Rosemary, Walnut Sourdough, Rustic Fruit, Seven Grain Loaf and Roman Style Pizza’s.

Breakfast is also available and you can choose from doughnuts, granola, rhubarb and pear compote, frittata, sweet and savory muffins, baguettes, fish cakes, fruit salad, savory galette, and pecan scrolls.

We took home a loaf of sourdough. It has a mild sour taste and robust texture – it’s so nice I wish we  lived in the neighbourhood, because I would eat this bread every day if I could.

Chester Street Bakery and Bar
32a Chester Street
Newstead, Brisbane

Chester Street on Urbanspoon

Thank you to Chester Street Bakery and Bar for inviting us to their test kitchen. 

Restaurant review: Arriba Grill

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Arriba Grill is a great concept. The Lutwyche shop features a black and white cartoon style mural over one wall, and everything is clean and brand new looking.

arriba-grill-menu-card

You fill out a menu card (as above) with your selections for a freshly made organic burrito. All the meat selections are marinated in chilli, so I ended up changing mine to black beans. Matt had the chicken with pinto beans, mild tomato salsa, and lettuce, cheese and guacamole as extras. I had the black beans burrito with mild corn salsa, lime rice and lettuce.

arriba-grill-burrito

The coriander gives it a nice flavour. My burrito was filling as it was packed with rice. The price is right at around $10 depending on extras.

A healthy way to enjoy Mexican cuisine.

Arriba Grill Lutwyche
Shop 1, 554 Lutwyche Road
Lutwyche
Ph: 07 3357 7072
Open Lunch and Dinner, 7 days
www.arribagrill.com.au

Arriba Grill Lutwyche on Urbanspoon

Restaurant review: Montrachet

montrachet-snails

The day of our special occasion, we received a text asking to confirm our reservation. We both appreciated the small touches of good old fashioned customer service.

We were looking forward to dining at Montrachet in Paddington and dressed up for the event.

Of course, it has a very French decor with red leather chairs and benches. The tables are crowded up against each other to make the most of the available floor space. It wasn’t full on a Monday night, but there were only a handful of empty tables.

The waiters and waitresses were attentive and wore cute stripped waistcoats.

The menu is very French and we started with entrees of:

Escargots en Cocotte – Snails baked in little pots with garlic butter, tomato, spinach and topped with puff pastry lids
A very generous serve with 3 snails in each pot (so in total 9 snails).

Bouillon RichelieuxFoie gras with a trio of ravioli: chicken and black truffle; Prawn; beetroot and goat cheese cooked in a beetroot broth
Melt in your mouth pasta pockets.

montrachet-duck

Followed by mains of:

Bouillabaisse – Reef fish, scallops, fresh green prawns and scored cuttlefish served in a rich seafood broth with aioli and garlic French toast
Large pieces of fresh seafood in a divine tomato based soup.

Canard aux Deux Façons – Confit roasted duck leg and roasted duck breast served with a pea and vegetable ragoût
Crispy skin with moist meat in a sauce of summer vegetables.

And perfect homemade Pommes Frites (potato chips). I normally like them cut thin, but I guess most Australian like them thick as they were served.

Sadly we were too full to be tempted by the chocolate truffles, Grand Marnier souffle, crème brûlée, or the french cheeses.

You can also eat at the marbled comptoir (counter).

The opening hours are not what you’d expect, but civilized for the staff. Lunches are Monday – Friday from 12.00pm and Dinners are Monday – Thursday from 6.00pm.

Please leave your jeans at home!

Highly recommended.

Montrachet
224 Given Terrace
Paddington Q 4064
Phone: 07 3367 0030

Montrachet on Urbanspoon

Restaurant review: Mount Gravatt Hotel

mount-gravatt-hotel

I couldn’t find a decent review of the Mount Gravatt Hotel online so I decided to write one. I used to live in the neighbourhood, but couldn’t remember what it looked like, nor find an image of the outside on google.

We discovered that the Hotel is across the road from the car yards on Logan Road, with a drive-through liquor shop out the front. The loud mosaic coloured carpet and decor, hinted at the pokies in the corner room, and a kids play area the other side.

The staff were unenthusiastic to be working on a public holiday.

The meals were what you’d expect at a pub chain. My Graziers beef rump was cooked well, with a side of vegetables tossed in butter. Big M’s steak was more expensive, but not a very good cut of rib fillet and overcooked.

We decided not to have dessert, but I was intrigued by the Fanta cake.

There is a work day lunch special of $10 meals which might tempt me if I still lived nearby.

Mount Gravatt Hotel
1315 Logan Rd, Mt Gravatt, Queensland, 4122
Phone:  07 3349 2276
http://www.mountgravatthotel.com.au/

Mount Gravatt Hotel on Urbanspoon

Restaurant review: South Bank Surf Club

southbank_surfclub_fishnchips

It was a little strange to walk through the French Festival and not sample any of the food, but we were on our way to the South Bank Surf Club for lunch.

It was an obvious choice, but we both ended up ordering the Surf Club Fish and Chips. The service was friendly and excellent, and our food arrived quickly in clam shaped dishes. My Mulloway fillets had a good beer batter, although it was just starting to go brown. The fish inside was cooked to perfection. The tartar sauce was on the mild side, but moorish nevertheless. Big M said the meal was let down by run-of-the-mill chips, and thought it could be improved with homemade ones.

The décor was clean and modern, and I love their motto of “life savour”. It would be good if they had their own toilets rather than using the communal Southbank ones. We were surprised to see a busy Ben O’Donoghue in the kitchen.

southbank_surfclub_choconemesis

I ordered the infamous chocolate nemesis for dessert. A decadent mousse-like cake invented by the River Café – even the crème fraiche wasn’t enough to cut through the richness and bitterness of the chocolate (and I’m a self-confessed dark chocoholic). It was still an guilty enjoyable treat.

My peppermint tea came with an unusual strainer, and we couldn’t work out how to use it!

Let’s hope the Surf Club will revitalise the Southbank dining scene – with a few little tweaks, I’m confident it will become a firm favourite with the locals in the nearby high rises and throughout Brisbane.

South Bank Surf Club
30aa Stanley Plaza
Parklands, South Brisbane 4101
Phone: 07 3844 7301
http://www.southbanksurfclub.com.au/
@SthBankSouthClub

South Bank Surf Club on Urbanspoon