Last day in Brisbane!

Today is sadly, our last day in Brisbane before heading back to Canada for the holidays.

Clearly, Brisbane is EXTREMELY sad to see us go, check out how hard it was crying:

This video was taken while Mike and I were trapped at King George bus station. We had a reservation for High Tea at 11am but couldn’t weather the storm to walk a few blocks to the restaurant so had to cancel instead.

All jokes aside, it’s been quite a day. The first storm hit around 11am (in the video), with more than 11 000 lightning strikes across Southeast Queensland. The second one started around 10pm tonight and is still going strong! Thunder and lightning non stop! Read more about it HERE

For our last meal in Brisbane, a long overdue dinner with Mario at Madtongsan II – my favourite Korean restaurant! We’ve been often enough as it’s been mentioned here, here, and here!

We arrived around 5:30pm and the spacious restaurant was already packed. We were quickly seated, given water and glasses were brought for our champagne.

Michael and I love the Bi Bim Bap here so that’s what we ordered – I got tuna and Mike got beef. Mario chose to have a pork belly stir fry with vegetables and rice! We also got a dumpling appetizer to share. Our dishes came out very quickly and mmm – the food never disappoints!

Crispy dumplings

My stone pot! Doesn’t that look delicious?!

Michael’s dish

Mario’s spicy, but delicious, dish that was making all of us cough 😛

So good, all gone!

The meal costed $49 between the three of us – not bad! 🙂 And more importantly, we made it home before the second storm 😉

Madtongsan II on Urbanspoon

Soft shell crab yumminess at Gambaro’s (@ Emporium)

Geez, I know it looks like it from my recent posts – but I haven’t been eating 24/7, I swear.

Over these past few months, Mike and I have bought a number of vouchers for restaurants around the city. We are quite in love with these deals, as it gives us many opportunities to try new places, well within our financial means.

One of the last vouchers we used this week was for 2 imported iced teas, 2 gourmet soft shell crab burgers (normally $14.50 each) and a large bowl of chips to share at Gambaro’s (@ Emporium).

The voucher was being sold by Groupon for $19 but because I had a $10 Groupon coupon, we paid only $9. What a deal!

The voucher stated that we had to make our booking online, however, because we went to book the day of, the system wouldn’t let us. Instead we were told to call the restaurant to make a booking. I tried calling twice between 10-10:30am but no one picked up. So we decided to head down anyway!

Gambaro’s was less of a restaurant and more like a cafe with a limited number of tables. We explained to the lady working that we tried to call but no one picked up. She seemed a little unhappy but told us to take a seat and she would bring out our food shortly. We decided to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather.

The imported teas were 2 TeaNY drinks (founded by electronic musician Moby) made in USA. One was vanilla berry hibiscus and the other peach berry green tea. Both were good! The package and taste (diluted, weak flavours) reminded us quite a bit of Vitamin Water.

Unlike many negative reviews on Urbanspoon complaining about the wait times and quality of food – our food came within 15 minutes and not only looked delicious (definitely looked better than the picture in the voucher) but tasted great as well.

The crab burgers were seriously yum! On a nice bun with japanese mayo, a variety of greens and slices of tomato, cucumber and red onions. I wouldn’t have called the bowl of chips ‘large sized’ but we certainly didn’t need any more fries!

During the hour or so we spent dining, the place quickly filled up. With diners getting takeaway, redeeming vouchers or just having a normal meal. Everybody seemed to be attended to promptly and food was quickly served as well.

Upon leaving, we said thanks and good bye to the lady who served us. She seemed a lot happier as the day got busier and thanked us for coming. With a little hesitation, she handed me a card and asked us to leave a review regarding our experience on Urbanspoon. She seemed quite unhappy regarding all the negative reviews people have been posting. I told her we’d be more than happy to talk about our positive experience, especially now that I’m regularly linking my blog to Urbanspoon.

Would we come again? Yes! But not while we’re on a budget! 😉

Gambaro at Emporium on Urbanspoon

Lunch at Cicada with a doll!

A doll with big beautiful blue eyes! 😉

A final get together with Kristen on Nov 15 at Cicada before heading back to Canada!

Mike and I had passed by this place since last year with the intention of trying it out so I was glad we finally did it, and with good company too!

We went on a Thursday around lunch – super busy! Even so, we were promptly shown to our seats and service was quick and very attentive. I did not expect to be checked on so many times, so that was nice! The seating and decor both inside and outdoors were varied but lovely – catering to all sizes of groups, whether for meals or just to have drinks.

We ended up getting drinks and sharing a plate of calamari, salt & szechuan pepper, soft leaves, cucumber, cherry tomato, vietnamese dressing and 2 servings of shoestring fries with aioli sauce. The calamari was nicely cooked (although so little!) and the salad was fresh with a nice light dressing. Is it a vietnamese dressing though? Well… I’ve never had such a dressing in my life. 😉 but still tasty!

Prices were within the range we were expecting – $18.50 for the calamari dish. Would we come back? Yes, but probably only if we were in the area!

Cicada on Urbanspoon