Nickel Kitchen and Bar opens


When you walk into the Nickel Kitchen and Bar you’ll be drawn to the amazing chandelier which is made from wine glasses. A nod to the owners’ famous Craggy Range winery in New Zealand.

The décor is opulent industrial meets art deco monochrome. The black and white photography on the walls are taken from their family owned and operated winery. There is a huge bookcase with wine bottles and off to the side is a massive bar.

The menu is inspired by New York and the owner TJ Peabody is aiming to bring the concept of the brunch trend to Brisbane. In America brunch isn’t just a meal between breakfast and lunch but an all-day affair.

The ingredients are sourced from among the best of Australian produce, including chickens are from the Barossa Valley and line caught fish of the day. The menu is designed to be egalitarian with a snack menu available all day.  There are classic dishes with a little bit of a modern twist. The classic Caesar salad is made at the table.

Nickel aims to bring back memories of dining out from your childhood, when you dressed up and went out with your parents for special occasions.

Nickel Kitchen and Bar is located at 757 Ann Street in the Fortitude Valley.


Restaurant Review: The Paleo Café Brisbane


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


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:


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


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


Delicious tomatoey meatballs made using grandma’s recipe.


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


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


Homemade mushroom and spinach lasagna with black truffle bechamel.


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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
Ph: 07 3357 7072
Open Lunch and Dinner, 7 days

Arriba Grill Lutwyche on Urbanspoon

Brisbane Times Good Food Guide Queensland 2012


I was excited to get my hands on the very first edition of the Brisbane Times Queensland Good Food Guide.

With more than 450 reviews of eateries in Brisbane and covering the top of Queensland right down to Northern New South Wales.

Each review includes price range, opening hours and a score.

The 208 page full colour book is edited by Queensland food writer Natascha Mirosch. She has dispatched more than 25 reviewers all over Brisbane and up to Port Douglas and down to Coolangatta to seek the best places to dine in Queensland. Find out which dining establishments were dished up a coveted Good Food Guide Award chef hat.

The book is available in newsagents and book stores for $24.95.

An online version of the book is available, with access to all of the reviews. For a limited time the website only subscription for Brisbane Times Good Food Guide is only $4.50!!!

This is a Rocketman Media sponsored post.

Restaurant review: 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

Mount Gravatt Hotel on Urbanspoon

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