October 28, 2012

The Burrow | West End

Wakey Wakey Eggs n Bacie - free range eggs, black forest bacon, sunflower rye toast with Pepe Saya butter (with extra Avocado)
A Bit Cheeky - Braised beef cheek with mushroom duxellé and poached free range egg served with sunflower rye toast and red wine reduction (with extra Avocado)
 Not going to lie, but when i first saw the sign for 'The Burrow' i was determined to believe this was some sort of voodoo shop of some kind. Mind you i saw this cafe (which i know now duh!) it was dark and all i saw in my mind were the 'faces' (which in fact are bunny feet .. but all i saw was a long face with 3 eyes -_-) ... Until i saw saw other food bloggers blog about it and the photos; it obviously pointed out that it was very far from a voodoo shop...... -_-;

So S and i had breakfast here today - this place oozes casual, it's not table service - which i don't mind. What i really like about it is, is that you are given the menu, choose what you want to have, order and then sit down - sometimes it's just a bit of relief to get the paying business over with so you can just sit down, enjoy your food then leave when you're finished instead of lining up or waiting for someone to get your bill. We also went a bit later for breakfast (around 10) when there were heaps of people so our food did take a little long to come out, but the wait was worth it!

I sorta felt like a bit of a carnivore as 'A Bit Cheeky' is what i ordered, it's a filling as you are eating a generous serving of beef (which is very tender) with mushrooms duxelle, a poached egg, 4 slices of toasted rye bread and avocado as extra! I didn't taste or see any mushrooms, but despite the absence it still tasted really good! I thought the poached egg was a bit random to have with a very meaty meal, but  egg was still cooked nicely, runny on the inside! The avocado i asked as an extra because i thought, the texture of just meat would be heavy and overpowering after a while.. so i'm glad i did because although the spinach was there it didn't provide for a 'change in taste'.. if you know what i mean... Along with the generous amount of beef you also get 4 slices of rye bread (well that's what i got)... unfortunately this is the only bad thing i can say about it, i didn't particularly enjoy this type of bread.. even though it says it was toasted .. it wasn't (? - it didn't taste or look toasted...) and it was also very dense and hard to chew as well.. not the type of bread i prefer... S also had the same opinion of the bread... S opted for the more 'traditional' type breakfast of Bacon and eggs, as well as asking for extra avocado.. judging by how quickly it all disappeared from her breakfast.. i would say it's a winner! 

We both agreed this place is worth coming back for to try the other food! The menu style of food is similar to Pablo and Double Shot where the selection of the menu is a bit quirky, as in it's not typical traditional eggs and bacon sort of place! Definitely a good casual breakfasting location!

it only just clicked why it is called 'The Burrow' & the bunny feet (which i thought where ghoul faces)  - duh. le sigh.

The Burrow on Urbanspoon

October 14, 2012

Ann =Gyoza Bar= [Lunch Menu] | Fortitude Valley

Spicy Gyoza (comes with the Tower Lunch Box set)  - comes on a bed of fresh bean/salad so that the gyoza won't stick to the pan and at the same time keep the gyoza hot :D
Tower Lunch Box Set
 So Good. Sorry, but it shits over Harajuku Gyoza - well anything beats Harajuku Gyoza - even supermarket gyoza is better (obviously in my opinion, and excuse the french) i'll stop as i'll go off on a tangent about how much i don't enjoy harajuku gyoza!

The Lunch menu is quite basic, there is a choice of the Tower Box Set with rice, 2 hand rolls of sushi and salad PLUS a choice of 6 pieces of gyoza (spicy, pork, seafood, cheese, etc) or beef, chicken, pork etc ~ The other option is the Bento lunch, but that doesn't include the gyoza in it...  The gyoza is panfried on one side and still soft on the other... when they bring it out, it's on a hot plate so the gyoza is left hot even when you're eating the rice/sides, which is convenient. The skin of the gyoza is not too thick or too thin, and the filling is quite substantial.. so far i have tried the 'spicy' filling which i presume is in combination with pork, the cheese filling which is actually pretty good - it's filled with cheese, corn and pork i think (? or i could be imagining there was meat there.. but the important thing is that it was pretty cheesy!) - i know, sounds sort of weird, but it's really good - worth a try as it is different to your general pork/chicken gyoza! Also tried the plain pork one which is just as good on its own with the sauce! The good thing is, if the Tower Lunch Box Set is not enough for you, you can always order extra gyoza :) I generally don't talk about the 'cost' of food - because it's not the reason why i visit a place/why i don't visit a place.. but i think it's just worth a mention here that it is definitely good value for the quality of food produced!

The gyoza here is definitely the better ones i've tasted while out in Brisbane (nothing beats homemade gyoza though!) - the interior here has more of a traditional japanese feel to it; and whilst it might reflect a 'formal' dining area, if anything it's the opposite; and, if you're expecting  large portions to fill a stomach, fancy cocktails and fancy presentation of food to take instagram photos of, then this place probably isn't for you. This place focuses more on the simplicity of the gyoza served and presented rather than 'pretty-ing' up the gyoza on a plate (come on, there's only so many ways you can make gyoza fancy - it's going to end up in your stomach anyway). Also gyoza isn't intended to be a complete meal for those who would complain about how little they get! Gyoza isn't a meal itself! There's a reason why it's served with rice & sides as well as the option of ordering more!

(This place actually opened a few days ago, the guy who opened this also owns Nonbei in The Valley which is just as good! Definitely worth a visit!)

Ann Gyoza Bar on Urbanspoon

October 13, 2012

Pablo | New Farm

caper & herb marinated smoked salmon, dill scrambled eggs, seeded peasant toast, smoked tomato compote.
brioche french toast with marsala & vanilla baked apple,  chai tea homemade ice cream & smashed pistachio brittle
How appealing are these to the eye? I've read a number of good things about this place and thought it was about time to try it. The menu is a single page on a mini clipboard for Breakfast (and also obviously a page for lunch, drinks etc). The moment i saw the words capers, salmon and scrambled eggs; i knew i had to order it! While based on personal preference  it's not to say that the other items didn't stand out... (as the captions on my photos indicate, all other choices are just as descriptive & delicious to the ears such that choosing would be made difficult!) but if only i wasn't so partial to salmon/eggs combination...

The dill scrambled eggs had a  strong 'dill flavour' and was a little towards the bland flavour without a bit of salt and pepper, however that's probably why it was served with the salmon (due to the saltiness!) The thing about this dish that stood out to me the most was the addition of the capers and the red onion - you could say that it 'completed' the meal, and gave it that extra kick! Loved it! Not to mention the eggs were really soft and 'eggy'... 

I'm glad Kei ordered the French Toast (due to my insistent suggestion.. :P)! It makes a great photo, but what's so awesome about it is that they actually give you a whole baked apple!! I mean when you read baked apple with french toast, you sort of think 'oh yeh, i'm going to get sliced apples with it' - but seriously, a whole freakin apple! Apparently Kei says the homemade Chai ice-cream was good! And from what this dish looks like i find it hard to believe that it could even be disappointing!

After trying this place, it's easy to believe why people rave on about this place! A must try for all breakfast lovers out there. It's so helpful that the Breakfast list is descriptive; so you know what you're in for, and probably more as it beats all expectations of what it will look like/taste like when it comes out!


Pablo on Urbanspoon

October 11, 2012

Double Shot Espresso | New Farm

How cute is the cup and pepper shaker?
Breakfast special: Mushroom (marinated in sweet chilli sauce) and 2 poached eggs on toasted turkish bread with roated tomato, fresh tomatos and a wedge of lemon.
Bubble and Squeak
Similar to The Little Larder, this cafe is a small tucked away cafe in New Farm; and like The Little Larder and Kettle & Tin (Paddington), on first impressions this cafe is sort of built into a house and spills out onto the streets; Not to mention it is also dog-friendly as well. This cafe is on the smaller scale as opposed to many others, but after finishing my meal here, i can conclude that size does not matter. I can honestly see this place being packed on a weekend with people waiting to be seated!

This is not your 'traditional' sort of breakfasts, i found that the dishes we ordered seem to have a bit of a twist to them; I ordered the mushrooms and poached eggs which was the special breakfast of the day, i expected like any other cafe to be just the 'usual' eggs - poached eggs on toasted turkish bread. Rather, on first taste/inspection, the mushrooms seem to have been marinated/sauteed in some sort of sweet chilli sauce mixture (?). Yep, sounds bizarre  but interestingly enough it was very delicious - the combination of sweet chilli sauteed mushrooms with lemon juice squeezed over (and seasoned with pepper) with the eggs, fresh tomatos and toasted turkish bread made an awesome combination! There was just so much flavour altogether! (it was one of those dishes where you want  to scoff everything into your mouth - because there is so much flavour, and, so you could taste everything a once, but thankfully i didn't forget myself.. so i ate this civilly like every other person :P) The poached eggs were cooked perfectly, that when pierced it spilt over the mushrooms and  turkish bread. I did find that towards the last few bites, the amount of sauce from the mushrooms were a bit overwhelming, especially when you have the yolk of the egg with it and the already buttered toast soaking up the sauce and egg...  so the fresh tomatos were actually an excellent idea to 'break the taste' in your mouth and act as a 'refresher'.  tip: don't scoff down the fresh tomatos first!

The Fatty ordered Bubble and Squeak - I didn't really know what this was (until i just wiki'd it) that it's supposedly suppose to be made from 'left over' vegetables and roasted or made into a mash of some sort - that is, according to what i've read (don't quote me). But, this dish is definitely far from being 'left overs', all of the vegetables, potato, mushroom, peas and pumpkin are roasted until soft and seasoned generously. This was so delicious. Especially with the poached eggs and toast, it makes a very substantial breakfast. It has to be what they used to season it - i mean what ever it is, i don't think i've enjoyed roast vegetables this much; and especially for breakfast! This item is a regular on the menu (as opposed to what i ordered) so i would more confidently recommend to try this item out!

(I need to mention the cups they use. I love the Bodum Insulator Cup that my latte came in, it keeps the coffee hot inside but is cool to touch without burning your hand when holding it. I know, I'm a bit lame, but how freakin cute and awesome is the cup?)

This place is relatively new still, but i can definitely see this place grow in popularity as word spreads. I spy more items on the menu i would try out, so for me, this place is definitely worth a re-visit! Like i mentioned initially, as it is on the smaller scale for cafes, i think it's safe to say to go there early before it gets too busy!

Double Shot Espresso on Urbanspoon

Yum Cha Cuisine | Carindale

(yes photos are blurry - i was a bit too eager to try this! :P)

Unfortunately Yum Cha isn't a favourite so i feel i can't give a more 'in-depth' review of what i think about each dish, i mean, the 'skin' of the dumplings weren't too thick, the filling for each one was substantial enough and it wasn't oily. If anything it's comparable to most yum cha places at sunnybank, and perhaps even better than a few. I am honestly, very surprised at how good the quality of it is! The food comes out relatively quick after you order so you aren't left hanging for too long. Unfortunately the Chinese Tea isn't as good as you would find at other Chinese Yum Cha places, after a second round of hot water into the tea... a lot of the flavour is lost,.. where as if you go to the ones in Sunnybank, after 2-3 rounds the strong flavour is still there! Gosh i sound like an old lady complaining about tea!

Yum Cha is one of those things which i can only have once in a while... first because i've never really had any exceptional ones here in Brisbane and secondly... i guess i've been too many times in my childhood, such that you get sick of it! Being Chinese myself, i guess i'm a bit sceptical when a new yum cha place is open in a shopping centre precinct \ - to be honest and with the least amount of discrimination possible, when i first set foot inside i expected it to be 'Westernised' therefore did not set too high of expectations. However i'm happy to be surprised at how much i enjoyed all of them, more so the steamed dim sims - while they weren't FANTASTIC, they weren't disappointing either. This place still gets the tick of approval but personally i sit on the fence for this one since Yum Cha isn't a favourite of mine! 

Yum Cha Cuisine (Carindale) on Urbanspoon

October 5, 2012

Anise | New Farm

Scallops, chorizo, witlof, pea, broad beans
Duck breast, wild mushroom risotto, porcini velouté

Lamb back strap, confit leg, pommé moussaline, cavalo nero
Actually came here for Kei's Birthday last Friday, but due to a busy week, i wasn't able to update sooner! (Photos again from Kei's camera). So! Onto the Food!

Between the Entrees, i chose the scallops. These were delicious - They were lightly smoked but also so tender that it was 'melt in your mouth' sort of moment! Chorizos were also served with, the extra saltiness really does compliment the light taste of the scallops, further more the beans and pea puree helped to reduce the sharp salty taste from the chorizo itself! While it might sound strange to have that sort of combination of the tastes helped balanced it out! I mean, this is the first dish, but i absolutely loved these scallops and i've already qualified this as a favourite from here!

I was adventurous with the main meal (hah! not really); it's just that normally i don't choose lamb because it is my least favourite of types of meat, so i don't know what crossed my mind to choose this, but thank god i did. I loved the lamb! This has to be one of the most tender and flavoursome lamb cuts i've ever had. It doesn't have that 'really really really lamb' smell, nor is it drowned in spices or sauce (*the lamb smell like as in it doesn't taste like its been freshly butchered.. i dunno how to explain this!! it still taste like lamb.. just not overwhelming!!). I was so surprised when my knife literally sliced through it! Under the lamb was a serving of potato that was so creamy and served so nicely with the lamb! For someone who rarely eats lamb, i actually would recommend this dish if you go there!

The other choices for the main (from the photos i posted) are the Duck and the Fish, and like the Lamb,  they were very appealing to the eye - and the people who ate these gave a thumbs up to these dishes as well! Anise is a very intimate bar/restaurant, and by intimiate i mean that it only sits a handful of people - around 20 odd seats or so. However i wouldn't judge a place because of the size of the restaurant; because it is small, the guy at the bar was very attentive and was able to give good recommendations, especially with the drinks! This place is a definite thumbs up for me, i mean i have heard a few mixed reviews about this place prior, but needless to say i walked away from here with a positive opinion about this place. It might depend on what you order as well (?) scallops and lamb were definitely a winner in my opinion and the service is great (you wouldn't come here for a romantic dinner for two you know? it's more of a social, casual yet classy dinner/drinks sort of place). Anise is definitely a favourite in my books, I'm keen to come back here for wine and cheese! (i spotted a cheese board!) 

Anise on Urbanspoon
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