Tag Archives: bar

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. 

Taste test: AntiOx chocolate

AntiOx Chocolate

I recently had the good fortune of taste testing AntiOx Chocolate. I really enjoyed the Acai blend which claims to be very high in antioxidants. Any true chocoholic will sing the virtues of their vice, including myself. The chocolate bar was 70% cocoa and sweetened with Stevia. I am usually not a big fan of stevia products because sometimes they are overpowering, but they have got the balance right this time. I happily scoffed the whole bar in a couple of days.

The blocks come in Goji berries and Acai flavours, which are both powerful superfoods. AntiOx Chocolate have a RRP $4.65 for an 80g block. They also come in 40g snack bars based on wholegrains and superfoods. All products are available in the health section of Woolworths, Coles, IGA stores and health food stores.

Getting started in Honey Bees

We were interested in keeping bees, so I decided to do a little research. We attended an “Introduction to Natural Beekeeping” course by Tim Auld from All You Can Eat Gardens. It was great to see a top bar bee hive in action.

Natural beekeeping is based on the principles:

  1. Interference in the natural lives of the bees is kept to a minimum
  2. Nothing is put into the hive that is known to be, or likely to be harmful either to the bees, to us or to the wider environment and nothing is taken out that the bees cannot afford to lose.
  3. The bees know what they are doing: our job  is to listen to them and provide the optimum conditions for their well-being.

He recommends the following books:

You will need the following equipment:

  • Hive
  • Smoker
  • Hive tool
  • Protective clothing
  • Extractors – expensive, but can be hired when you need the honey

Tim Auld sells top bar bee hives.

You can buy these altogether as a package to save some money. Suggested suppliers include:

In Queensland, you need to register your hive with the Department of Primary Industries. You are  only allowed 2 hives per 1000m2.

Books and resources

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