September 23, 2012

Banneton | New Farm

Apple Nougatine

Passionfruit Tart
This place is for the sweet tooth's out there. Upon entering this patisserie you're greeted with a lovely assortment of pastries, from sweet to savoury and a wall stacked with various types of bread. I was on a mission to try something sweet! In one cabinet there will be breads, sandwiches and such and the other with cakes and pastry like sweets; there were so many options!!

I chose the Apple Nougatine - basically it's sort of like an apple tart in a thick vanilla-ry pastry and topped with roasted almonds! What i loved about this is that there is actually slices of apples and the fact that the pastry isn't 'boring' (?)  what i mean by that is sometimes you come across desserts where you eat the filling and leave the outer pastry shell, because a) the pastry is too thick and boring on it's own and b) the pastry part is all you can taste (due to it's thickness). And therefore you end up leaving a huge chunk of the pastry part of the dessert behind!! (don't lie! i'm sure most people have tasted such a pastry or tart like that before!!) Well! This pastry actually has a sweet taste to it so even though it's on the thicker side (the base), when eaten together with the apple and the almonds, it actually compliments it well, you can still taste the sweetness of the apple as well as the slight crunch of the almonds AND have the pastry bit to balance it out. Now that i think about it i'm not sure if pastry is the right word for it? Because the base is actually more on the 'creamy' side...

Kei had the Passionfruit Tart and for lunch the Chicken and Avocado Panini.. i'll let the pictures speak for themselves.. but i tried some of the passionfruit tart, and this one is definitely more for the sweet tooth's! When you break open the tart, you're greeted with a nice amount of passionfruit, i have to admit though i did enjoy the first bite, you're definitely going to need coffee and water at the same time to get through  a whole one by yourself!! (due to it's sweetness!)

Compared to Chouquette and Le Bon Choix, this place is more comparable to Chouquette, because it is more 'pastry' and bread based desserts, my personal preference is still Chouquette and Le Bon Choix, maybe because i have tried a more variety of their items... (Le Bon Choix definitely preferred more because of the cakes... not so much pastry/bread.. Chouquette.. for it's pastries, macarons AND tarts!) But i mean this place is still relatively new and for a first time experience i quiet enjoyed it, so still this place still gets a thumbs up from me!!

Banneton - New Farm on Urbanspoon

September 20, 2012

Sardine Tin | Southbank

Unfortunately no photos, but i feel the need to highlight in words how much i enjoyed eating/hanging out here! My friend Haichau and I reserved a place here in the evening; it's a small little place, but good things come in small packages! We ordered the Cheese plate (with 5 different types of cheese, pear to accompany and a bowl of small sliced, toasted warm bread to go with) and the Charcuterie Plate (which consisted of 2 types of cured meats, and, chicken liver pate, duck rillete and pork terrine - also had the warm toasted bread as well) The portions when they come out will appear 'small' if you're a big eater, but this place isn't designed for single meals sort of place, but a sharing one! And over conversation, we found ourselves quite full! It would probably be due to the richness of the cheese with bread and the pate!!

I would probably recommend making a reservation as it gets quite busy, it's a really good place for tapas/drinks or in our case, cheese and meats to share; Sardine Tin just has that really good vibe and is worth a visit!

Sardine Tin on Urbanspoon

September 15, 2012

Blackstar Coffee | West End

photos again thanks to kei

After a failed attempt going to Bunker over at Milton (realising it's closed - this was at around maybe 7am in the morning)... and then driving over to Cup Coffee at West End, when it doesn't open until 8am... we ended up here at Blackstar Coffee! The first thing that stood out to me about this place is that it has a very grungy but relaxed feel - you can definitely expect a mixed crowd of customers from the elderly enjoying there coffee with their newspaper to the younger crowds seeking a caffeine boost.. Although the name suggests otherwise... they do offer select breakfast foods.

Seeing as that by it's name (obviously) it's more of a coffee roastery sort of cafe, i stuck with a basic Walnut Muesli - i find that by choosing very simple/basic items on menu that specialise more in coffee than foods, you can't go wrong! (Since as they focus more in coffee rather than food... more effort will be in the coffee rather than food.. so simple foods are best as they will be easily prepared & still taste good!) I was actually pretty surprised when the muesli came out, it looked so delicious, because i set no high expectations in terms of 'breakfast food' (and i don't mean that in a bad way, only because it is a coffee roastery you know?) Also Kei's breakfast was quite simple as well, but it's probably the simplicity of it which added to it.. simple presentation, simple flavours & with good coffee makes it all the more enjoyable!

While there seemed to be a selection of cold pressed coffee, i didn't chance to try it, but just had the usual latte; the one thing about this coffee that stood out was the creaminess of it! The type of bean they used was also quite smooth, it doesn't have that 'sharp' taste that some places have! (Personally i favour the creamy type coffees than the sharp tangy ones) Thumbs up for the coffee here! Definitely keen to try out the cold pressed coffees, have heard a lot of recommendations for i.. which got me thinking that i should have had one as take away!

Blackstar Coffee on Urbanspoon

September 9, 2012

Pawpaw Cafe | Woolloongaba

Baked Eggs - with spiced Sofrito, Fetta, Chorizo & Dukkah
Croque Monsieur - Prosciutto & Gruyere on Sourdough

photos courtesy of kei

You can never go wrong at a cafe that serves Campos Coffee (thank you pawpaw cafe)!! If the food isn't great, at least you'll know you're getting nice coffee! BUT thankfully the breakfast is good here, thumbs up from myself and kei. Initially we ventured out to the Brisbane Markets at around 630-7am to have a look and such... but afterwards ended up here at Pawpaw Cafe. Pawpaw Cafe is a sorta corner/tucked away/behind another restaurant sort of cafe - it has a very relaxed feel to it, it's one of those cafes where you can have good coffee, food and conversation! the vibe it gives is very relaxed/welcoming, and doesn't have the vibe that scream 'sorry-we-only-cater-to-particular-pompous-hipster-crowds' that some other places can tend to emit!

The Baked Eggs was my choice (yes!! thankfully i ordered first because Kei also wanted this :P) and kei's choice was the Croque Monsieur...  The Baked Eggs were fantastic; i have nothing to compare them too, but the combination of eggs, cheese and chorizo is absolutely delicious. When it comes out the eggs are still runny, and the dish it is in is hot, so the egg cooks itself if you leave it.. so technically in fact you can eat it when it is slightly runny (if you prefer it that way), wait for it to cook, or just stir it together with the rest of the ingredients! It's also a plus that this meal isn't an overload of bread either .. so you really end up cleaning up this dish well; what i also like is that the bread comes out warm and lightly toasted with a wad of butter to the side... it's just that sometimes when they butter the bread for you... and you don't eat it straight away it just becomes too soggy! (or maybe i'm just being too picky....) but i can't say enough how much i actually enjoyed this! that goes the same for kei's as well.. you cannot go wrong with prosciutto & cheese... seriously!! Shanks Pawpaw Cafe, twas a good start to my morning!

Pawpaw on Urbanspoon

September 6, 2012

Malt Dining [The Attic] | Brisbane CBD

Pan Seared Hervey Bay Scallops, Cauliflower Beignet, Wild Rice Granola, Coriander
Slow Cooked Quail Breast,Tart of Confit Quail & Caramelized Fire Roasted Onion, Jerusalem Artichoke Puree

Sous Vide Grimaud Duck Breast
Corn Pudding, Cotechino, Seasonal Beans, Fondant Celeriac & Potato
Seared Rack & Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb
Aligot, Black Olive, Baby Vegetables
Roasted Parsnip & Kipfler PotatoWith Chorizo, Olives, Sage

Malt Brownie
Salted Caramel, Chocolate Textures, Peanut Brittle
Fine Apple Tart
Brandy Snap, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
First non-breakfast post! I'll let the photos do most of the talking here (though they're grainy and not the best due to ULTRA low light where we were sitting, and silly me with no flash! #sadface) And this is actually the second time i've been here! the first time i didn't have any camera on me! -

For entree, i myself had the scallops and the fatty had the quail, the scallops were cooked well, but its combination with the wild rice granola which is the key to this dish i believe!  it was just that little bit of crunch and saltiness from the wild rice which just made the taste in this entree from good, to really good. The quail, while it was enjoyable i didn't quite think it was much of a standout compared to the scallops! (being bias here! hehe)

For the mains, i was torn between choosing the salmon or the duck.. ultimately the duck won me over! i was pretty satisfied with the duck, it was tender and not over cooked or chewy! what i also like is the accompanying sauce beans and potato! This dish also had duck liver (i think) and it was a bit too rich and salty for my liking... but still good none the less in combination! While the photo may indicate the portions to be on the 'smaller' side.. in between conversation and wine.. by the time i finished i was pretty full! I love duck! But also keeping in mind we got a side of to share as well, which was delicious! chorizo = heaven!! the fatty's lamb was actually good as well.. considering lamb is my least favourite of choice of meats...

For Dessert, we chose the apple tart and malt brownie. The Apple Tart is A+++, the photo doesn't do it any justice at all in terms of what it tastes like (nor does the presentation - don't be disappointed by how it looks like as the taste makes up for it!), but the tart is made of a light pastry and inside with apple filling, and accompanied with the vanilla ice cream made it perfect!! If i had to compare this Apple Tart to another apple based desert, it would have to be the Apple Millefeuille Dessert at Sake; the Sake dessert is much light in comparison and i personally would prefer it over Malts, but i mean they are both so good (i've been to Sake a few times and have always gotten the Apple Millefeuille, so i definitely recommend it!) The Malt Brownie was just as delicious... a thick wedge of vanilla ice cream in between chunks of brownie!! awesome combination and nice presentation! 

Malt Dining on Urbanspoon

September 1, 2012

Kettle and Tin | Paddington

Hunter's Eggs: Eggs scrambled with roma tomato and sauteed onion topped prosciutto and grilled toast
Chorizo & Sweet Potato Frittata with Tomato chutney & rocket salad
Kettle & Tin, one of the many cafes in Paddington, the difference being that it's sort of  a house turn cafe sort of place; love the exterior and interior of this cafe - with choice of seating on the 'porch' outside in the sun or inside. It has a very modern vintagey feel to it, which i do admit had me drawn to it regardless of what would be on the menu... (it's funny how sometimes the 'feel' and 'look' of a place is just as important as the food.. or if not, a big factor in attracting people to it!)

Hunter's Eggs was my choice and Chorizo & Sweet Potato Frittata for Kei. The prosciutto was the star of my meal, the extra saltiness along with the eggs, tomato and bread just completed it!!! The egg on its own would have been a little plain but with the prosciutto, it was perfect for taste! I thought that my portions was well balanced... I say this because usually when i order a meal with toasted bread i find that you end up with more bread than 'topping' - so by the time you've finished the first slice of bread with the egg (or whichever topping), i always have a slice of bread which is usually untouched because it's too plain to eat on its own! Can't comment too much about Kei's frittata only that it sounds/looks good! Chorizo & Sweet Potato! What an awesome savoury combination, definitely not something you would see everyday considering the 'usual' frittatas are of egg, corn, potato or ham - it gives the menu an interesting twist, and i guess that's what sets this menu apart from other cafes; the menu while remains simple and sort of limited (for breakfast), each item deviates from what you would normally expect!

Other bloggers who have reviewed this place seemed to comment on the service being a bit poor and food coming out slow (?). It didn't feel that way to me, but then again, i suppose Kei and i were just talking and time seemed to pass (and the impressions i got from the waitstaff weren't rude either). So i guess it's just subjective to the matter of how fast you want the food out/what kind of service you want, and whether or not you're in good company & good conversation :)

Kettle & Tin on Urbanspoon
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