Dinner with friends at Capri Bar Cafe

October 19, 2014

With a very pleasant previous experience at Capri Bar Cafe in Emporium in the past, we invited a few friends to join us for a revisit. A 50% off special was being offered through Dimmi at our time of booking, which made the experience more worthwhile.

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We were a group of 5 and similar to our previous visit, service was excellent. Staff were attentive, friendly, and happy to accommodate any requests – thank you!

For wine, we ordered a bottle of 2009 Solar Viejo Tempranillo from Rioja Spain ($49). It was the first time any of us had tried a Tempranillo, a black grape variety, and quite enjoyed it.

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Our friend Xuan decided to try out two main dishes while the remaining 4 of us decided to order a variety of entrees to share. This worked out really nicely as the share plates were perfectly sized and portioned.

Our share plates!

Mediterranean Bruschetta – House made olive tapanade with roasted pumpkin and grilled haloumi ($13). Really tasty and definitely an easy inspirational dish to try out at home!

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Mediterranean Koftas – Mediterranean lamb koftas served with a chick pea and rocket salad, tzatziki and Turkish bread ($17). These were moist, flavourful and delicious! Loved the freshness of the tzatziki sauce as well.

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Chicken & Haloumi – Grilled chicken served with roasted beetroot and rocket salad finished with grilled haloumi ($16.50). Salad was nicely dressed but as you can guess from this photo, the chicken was a little dry and unfortunately not very seasoned.

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Arancini – Baked beetroot and walnut arancini, served with a rocket salad and a side of marinated fetta ($16). One of our favourites. In addition to the taste, the colour from the beetroot really makes this dish stand out!

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Chicken Fritters – Oven baked sweet potato and zucchini fritters, with grilled chicken strips and house made tahini yoghurt ($18). The fritters (and the sauce) were great, another dish I’d love to try and recreate at home, especially when they’re baked and not fried. Unfortunately, this dish also contained the same unexciting chicken strips!

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Capri Pizza – Air dried beef rib fillet, semi dried tomatoes, olives and roasted eggplant with mozzarella and fetta cheese ($24). With all our food coming out at once, the pizza was a little cooled by the time we got to it but still good! Thin crispy crust and a good mixture of ingredients, would’ve never thought to add roasted eggplant to any pizza but it works well!

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Xuan’s first main was Prawn & Calamari Spaghetti – Local prawns and baby calamari, marinated in chilli and garlic with Italian parsley and extra virgin olive oil ($28.50). Nicely balanced dish with a flavourful sauce and good quality seafood, although perhaps frozen as opposed to fresh prawns.

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His second dish was NT Barramundi – Grilled Barramundi fillet served on sweet potato Roman gnocchi with parmesan roasted cauliflower and avocado salsa ($33). The fish was fresh and nicely cooked but he didn’t find the ingredients worked well together which made the dish overall not memorable.

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Sharing small dishes is great because it leaves room for dessert 😉

Xuan and Yung Howe had a slice of Flourless Chocolate Cake – Warm flourless chocolate cake with white chocolate ganache, berry coulis and vanilla gelato ($13) – mmm yummy!

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Yoni really enjoyed a Macadamia Brownie – Dark chocolate, roasted macadamia brownie served with white chocolate ganache and vanilla gelato ($13).

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We all agreed that plating of the previous 2 desserts, in particular the sauces, a little… tacky 🙂

Mike and I had an exceptional Sticky Date Pudding – Banana sticky date with butterscotch sauce and vanilla gelato ($13) – the perfect hot and cold, salty and sweet dessert combination!

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We had a great dinner, with many more hits with our food than misses. Lots of fun catching up and sharing stories and the night ended on a high note with a surprise – some port on the house! Thanks to the staff at Capri Bar Cafe for their awesome service and good food! Total bill came to $150 which was definitely a steal! Looking forward to visiting again 🙂

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Some food firsts

Since my last cooking update, I have made a number of ‘first dishes’ all of which I have been so very happy with. Today, I finally stop being lazy and share them with you!

After making risotto for the first time and having leftovers, it was only natural to try making arancini for the first time too! Arancini are rice balls that have been coated in breadcrumbs and fried.

The assembly line ready to go!

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I pan-fried instead of deep frying them so they turned out a little lopsided. Didn’t matter because THEY WERE DELICIOUS!

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This is actually the second time I’ve made this dish: rosemary butternut squash and feta cheese dip. Great with our homemade baguette crisps or pita chips!

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Potato bake. Potato tossed with (a very moderate amount of each) sour cream, white cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Also mixed in some sauteed onion and cooked bacon. Topped with mozerella and into the oven!

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Michael made cinnamon buns – I ate too many. Because they were delicious.

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After a couple of attempts, I have perfected a new recipe. Pear cupcakes… fluffy, fruity and moist! My own recipe created by my own brain. Who would’ve thought.

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I missed ‘nem nuong’ (Vietnamese BBQ’d ground pork). I finally made some for the first time since coming to Australia and… it tasted like mommy’s cooking back home. ❤ I only wished I had a BBQ!

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That wasabi lime mayonnaise we tried at Burger Urge definitely made a lasting impression. We had all the ingredients in the house so of course, we made crispy our own sweet potato chips with wasabi lime mayonnaise – delish!

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And that’s it for now! 🙂

Next Door Kitchen & Bar – Our best meal so far this year

We had an important mission on Friday (April 05) – to pick a random restaurant in South Bank and have some delicious food.

This might sound easy, but there are tons of restaurants to choose from and so many sound good! The second restaurant we stopped at, Next Door Kitchen & Bar had a menu that invited us in immediately. All tapas styled dishes that sounded amazing and the best part: no lining up on a Friday night.

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The restaurant was quite busy, but the staff joined 2 small tables together and we were seated almost immediately.

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Cocktails on the menu were quite appealing but we opted for wine instead. Mike and Meaghan shared a bottle of Dalrymple Pinot Noir and I got a glass of Kiss Chasey Rose.

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It’s not often when you look at a menu and think, “You can order whatever you want, I would be happy to eat it.” But that was the case!

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Because the dishes are meant to be shared, the restaurant recommends 2-3 plates per person. We decided on 7 plates to share, as we also had full intentions to finish the night off at Max Brenner for dessert – needed to save some room!

FRESH BAGUETTE, PEPE SAYA BUTTER & HOUSE MADE SARDINE BUTTER ($9.50) Baguette was nice and crispy on the outside, chewy and dense on the inside – just the way I like it. It was my first time trying sardine butter so I was a little apprehensive, but it was quite tasty!

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GOLDEN FRIED POLENTA CHIPS, SALSA VERDE, SOUR CREAM, PICKLED EGGPLANT ($14.50) The polenta chips were fried beautifully! 6 sticks, a perfect portion to share between 3 people. I especially liked the pickled egglant, yum!

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PEA ARANCINI, GOATS CURD AIOLI, CORIANDER OIL ($14.50) Arancini (fried rice balls coated in breadcrumbs) is something I’d never had until last year. I’ve only had it a few times since and it was delicious this time as well 🙂

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GARLIC PRAWNS, GREEN ONION PILAF, GREEN BUTTER & SNAIL BEIGNET ($16.50) Succulent prawns on a delicious bed of rice. The snail beignet was not strongly flavoured but very nice with the crisp crust.

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CURED OCEAN TROUT, PICKLED BEETROOT, KATAIFI CRISP, DILL MAYONNAISE ($16.50) I normally don’t like cured fish, but the trout was delicious and worked nicely with the beetroot. The kataifi crisp (made from shredded phyllo dough) tasted like a delicious vat of crispy butter. I’m glad it was shared between 3 people! 😛

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SEARED QUAIL, TRUFFLED WHITE BEANS, RAISIN & PINE NUT VINAIGRETTE ($22.50) The most tender quail I’ve ever had! It’s a hard decision but probably my favourite dish of the night! 😀

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TRUFFLE PARMESAN FRIES ($8.50) We couldn’t resist! Such a generous portion of delicious, crispy fries – you could smell the parmesan from across the restaurant and the aioli just made them even better. Nom nom nom!

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Service was extremely attentive throughout the night. Mike and Meaghan had their wine glasses continuously topped up. Plates were promptly cleared off the table and we never had to wait long between dishes. The only thing we would change: To serve the fries first rather than last so we can enjoy them alongside the other courses.

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Thank you Meaghan for treating us to a wonderful dinner! We will definitely be back and be recommending this restaurant to our friends 🙂

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Oh awesome richness at Capri Cafe Bar

Another 50% flash deal, this time for an amazing dinner at Capri Cafe/Bar – Mediterranean styled dining at Fortitude Valley’s Emporium.

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We had reservations for 6pm and were immediately shown to our table. Very happy with the tentative and friendly service!

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We ordered some drinks and after a lot more pondering, finally decided on food.

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We got three entrees/sides to share:

1) Oven baked chips and aioli – don’t really know why we ordered this. Chips were really plain and could not taste the garlic in the aioli. An unnecessary addition to such good food!

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2) Arancini – Home made beetroot and walnut risotto cakes served with a fetta and rocket salad. A really good sized portion and quite delicious! The salad was nicely dressed which was a pleasant surprise because I’ve had many undressed “decorative” salads in the past at other restaurants.

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3) Scallop canneloni – Pan fried sea scallops with cherry tomatoes, garlic, fresh herbs, salsa verde and Grana Padano cheese. Generous serving of scallops and super fragrant tomatoes – yummy!

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Onto our mains!

I got the Prawn risotto – Local garlic prawns with roasted pumpkin and fresh basil in a creamy risotto. Don’t be fooled by the size of the plate, it’s a deep dish, could barely finish my serving! Huge, super fresh, well marinated prawns – I was very surprised at how many prawns I received, at least 6! Risotto was creamy and delicious with the roasted pumpkin – mmm!

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Meaghan chose the Pumpkin Gnocchi – Roasted pumpkin in a creamy sun dried tomato pesto sauce with fresh
spinach and Grana Padano cheese. I tasted some – it was amazing! The only thing that would’ve made this dish more awesome is filling in the gnocchi 😉

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Mike got the Sand Crab & Scallop Risotto – Fresh Australian sand crab and sea scallop meat in a seafood bisque risotto topped with fresh rocket and Grana Padano cheese. Nicely flavoured with generous amounts of seafood – he was definitely pleased with his food!

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Service was great throughout the night, thank you to the wonderful staff at Capri Cafe/Bar for a delicious night out! With 5 drinks and 50% off all our food, our bill for 3 people came to $95 – a steal! Would definitely recommend giving this place a try!

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