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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Capri Cafe Bar on Urbanspoon

Breakfast at Pig ‘N’ Whistle

October 18, 2014

After a failed attempt to have breakfast at a (what we learned to be very) popular bakery in New Farm, we decided to instead enjoy a meal at the new Pig ‘N’ Whistle in Fortitude Valley.

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Taken from their website:

Opened in mid 2014, the Brunswick Street venue is the newest addition to the iconic Pig ‘N’ Whistle family.

Situated in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane’s main entertainment hub, this venue has prime position in the heart of the city’s most popular nightlife spots. Pig ‘N’ Whistle Brunswick Street boasts two outdoor beer gardens, stunning high ceilings and exposed brick heritage listed architecture – all combined to make it a celebrated venue for local residents and visitors to Brisbane.

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Downstairs, the venue has a large and open modern kitchen, which focuses on local produce and simple and delicious pub food. Local craft beer and British ales frequent the many taps throughout the venue and are complemented by an extensive wine list. Pig ‘N’ Whistle Brunswick Street is the newest offering in Brisbane’s nightlife and the ultimate ‘local’ for people looking for a great, non-pretentious, atmosphere and good quality food and beverages.

It was a quiet Saturday morning with a few other patrons scattered across the different dining areas.

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After placing our orders, we opted to sit outside. Really liked the accent mirrors on the old brick walls!

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Our orders came out quickly which was great because we were starving!

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Mike ordered the Eggs Royale – Tasmanian smoked salmon, poached eggs, spinach, avocado, sourdough toast ($16) and a flat white ($3.70). Today was the day I learned the difference between Eggs Benedict and Eggs Royale… they’re the same, except Eggs Royale uses salmon in place of ham. Eggs were nicely poached, generous amount of decent smoked salmon with a nice Hollandaise sauce. Coffee was good too!

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A softie for Haloumi cheese, I decided on the Greek Breakfast – Grilled haloumi, eggs your way, mushroom, tomato, avocado, spinach, sourdough toast ($18). As you can see from the photo, Mike’s poached eggs and mine were like night and day. Mine were a stringy hot mess, with nearly naked yolks and the whites tasting too vinegary. If this were my restaurant, I would be upset if someone served those eggs to customers. Good quality (not too salty) Haloumi and nicely ripened, buttery avocadoes partly made up for my failed eggs.

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We had good service and really liked the day time atmosphere of Pig ‘N’ Whistle but think the night vibe would be even better. The food (aside from my eggs) was better than anticipated. Would definitely return at night to check out the bar and non-breakfast menu!

Catching up with friends at Bread & Meat Co

October 10, 2014

After months of hearing about not only the amazing sandwiches served at Bread & Meat Co, but the fact that they served Canadian poutine, Michael and I were super excited to suggest a visit to this eatery for a catch up with our friends.

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We were told that most of their sales occur by early afternoon and were pleasantly surprised to find the place not packed with seating available on a Friday evening.

Bright and rustic, loved that everything was on display and open to our viewing.

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With the 5 of us, we made sure to try all 3 regular sandwiches as well as their weekly special.

Beef Brisket Dip – 36 hour roasted beef brisket topped with Swiss cheese, horseradish aioli, and a side of jus for dipping ($9.50). Packed to the brim with brisket and perfect with the jus, it’s easy to see why this is a favourite among customers.

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Corned Beef Sandwich – New York style corned beef with gherkin aioli, topped with poached cabbage and a side of spicy dijon mustard ($8.50). A tad on the salty side but goes well with the dijon mustard! Those who ordered this sandwich thought pickled cabbage or sauerkraut would make a better condiment in flavour and texture over poached cabbage.

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BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich – Smoked pulled porked with a BBQ hickory sauce, topped with fresh coleslaw on 2 toasted brioche slider buns ($8.50). This was my order, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The pork melts in your mouth, good crunch from the coleslaw and the brioche held together nicely. I did, however, find the BBQ sauce a bit too sweet and overpowering the smokiness of the pork.

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Xuan and Alexis

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Lastly, the weekly special Porchetta – Juicy pork loin with an herb stuffing, crispy crackling, topped with a salsa verde on a warm ciabatta roll ($9.50). Porchetta is something I learned for the first time tonight and it was true to its name – fatty and moist, boneless pork roast.

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Cool salt and pepper shakers

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And of course, how could we pass up the opportunity for a taste from home – Canadian Poutine with golden fries, fresh curd cheese smothered in hot gravy ($6). The good news is, the gravy was well seasoned and not crazy salty as some of our friends who’ve already visited warned us. The sad news is, this is not real poutine. The salty, squeaky cheese curds of real Canadian poutine is irreplaceable. And unfortunately, the chopped up bocconcini served at Bread & Meat Co is an admirable replacement, but simply not good enough.

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We wouldn’t order the poutine again. Instead, we look forward to trying their Sweet Potato Parm Fries ($6) or their Chili Cheese Fries ($7) next time.

The sandwiches were all delicious and massively filling. Look forward to visiting again and would definitely recommend to our friends. They even offer free weekday lunch delivery in the CBD for orders more than $18, how awesome is that?

Good to see you guys!

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Catch up soon Sarah!

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Bread & Meat Co on Urbanspoon

Vegetarian dinner at Kuan Yin Tea House

Mike and I have been wanting to try out Kuan Yin Tea House for a while now as we often seen how highly rated it is in Brisbane for its vegetarian cuisine.

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Had the opportunity to try it out with the lovely Amanda over dinner one night. We were famished and the menu looked well priced and quite appealing!

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We immediately noticed the fantastic service provided by all the staff which was friendly and accommodating. We arrived for dinner around 7pm on a Friday and were surprised to be told the restaurant was out of rice, although the staff were apologetic and happy to offer a substitution.

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The meals at Kuan Yin are very affordable. We ended up ordering 2 appetizers and 2 main dishes to share, as well as a bubble tea each. Note to self and others, that is a lot of food for only 2 people, as warned by the staff! 😛 However, we were hungry and wanted to try as many dishes as possible, taking away leftovers is always an option too! 😉

My lovely date!

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Peking Duck Rolls. Interesting concept but shouldn’t be called a peking duck roll when it’s nothing like the original dish which normally only has additional spring onions and a sweet bean sauce. Very sour and overpowering pickles and the vegetarian duck skin didn’t seem to have seasoning.

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Sweet Potato Wedges. These were delicious! Not sure what the secret to the seasoning is, but we definitely tasted salt and cinnamon. Yum!

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Because Mike couldn’t join us… we made him feel included! How convenient to have such beautiful photos 😉

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I chose the sweet and sour pork bento box. Since they didn’t have any rice left, they offered a tofu substitute instead. Also came with a few side dishes including veggies and a fruit salad. Overall, this dish was satisfactory. Filling but I wouldn’t get it again.

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Last dish, Sour Spicy Dumpling Soup. Huge serving, lots of dumplings but we didn’t find the broth spicy or sour enough!

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Overall, had a great time, however, more due to the company than the food. I’ve been quite privileged to have extremely good Asian styled vegetarian food in my life, which may have set my expectations a little too high 😛 With that being said, I would definitely come back for another visit and try different dishes, even if it’s just for those sweet potato wedges alone!

Kuan-Yin Tea House on Urbanspoon

Jamroc Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Second stop on Food Adventure Day with Yoni was Jamroc Jamaican Jerk Chicken. With a 90% rating on Urbanspoon and having never tried jerk chicken, we were looking forward to it.

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What is jerk chicken? From their website, “Infused with a secret blend of herbs and spices, our chicken is marinated for 24 hours and char-grilled to succulent perfection.”

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Jamroc is convenient to get to but doesn’t really have a dine in atmosphere. There are probably less than 15 seats scattered indoors and along a bench outdoors, so not really convenient for grabbing a bite with friends and hanging out.

Service was friendly and the staff was happy to provide suggestions. We opted out of a combo, going to for a burger/wrap + drink instead.

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I chose the Rasta Wrap with marinated chicken breast pieces, garlic mayo, tomato, onion & lettuce. Super fresh wrap and vegetables. The chicken was indeed succulent and nicely char grilled, however, I found the garlic mayo overpowered the seasoning of the chicken. For the level of spiciness, I chose “Chilled Out (Mild)” which was way too mild, I didn’t taste a hint of heat. Would definitely go at least one step up next time to “Traditional Spice (Medium)”

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Yoni got the Negril Burger with marinated chicken breast, smokey BBQ sauce, tomato, cheese, onion and lettuce. Nice bun, toppings and chicken, but he too felt the sauce overpowered the chicken and not enough spiciness.

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We also grabbed some yummy tropical fruit juices ($2.50 each), mainly because I missed having soursop… and we were thirsty.

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Personally, I find the prices comparable to Grill’d and the (chicken) burgers overall tastier. I would definitely return but only if I’m with no more than a few friends due to lack of dining space. And definitely up the level of spiciness on my chicken. Until next time!

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Jamroc Jamaican Jerk Chicken on Urbanspoon

Quick meal at Golden BBQ

Golden BBQ was on our list of cheap eateries to try during Food Adventure with Yoni day a few weeks back. Roasted pork and BBQ’d duck are 2 of my favourite dishes, so I was really looking forward to a quick but delicious bite, especially considering the 88% rating on Urbanspoon.

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We arrived around lunch time on the weekend, busy but a few empty tables so we didn’t have to wait. There is no real decor or ambiance in this restaurant, which is fine! More of an in-and-out kind of stop.

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The plan was to be out eating for the entire day so Yoni and I decided to share a combo plate – $14.50 for a choice of two meats with steamed rice (or noodles for an extra $0.50). Of course, we chose the BBQ pork and duck.

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Every portion comes with a complimentary soup of the day. I don’t know if the type of soup changes often, but it was pumpkin or squash for us. Very dilute but warm and inviting nonetheless.

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There is hardly a wait for your food at Golden BBQ and our food came out within minutes of ordering. Portion size generous, served with a side of boiled or steamed napa cabbage. Unfortunately, both meats were served at room temperature and as a result, the pork skin was not nearly as crispy as it should be. Should be served piping hot so it was a disappointment. They do have great prices for a quick and easy meal out so I can see why people love returning.

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I’ve been spoiled growing up when it comes to roasted duck and pork. My honest opinion, the ones offered at Golden BBQ are definitely not as good and flavourful as they should be. If you’re having a barbecued meat craving or want to serve something nice for dinner, I would recommend picking up the meats at Burlington BBQ (a whole duck for around $25-30 and serves a whole family) just a few shops away, as their meats are tastier. It also ends up being much cheaper when you take it home and make up your own rice and side dishes!

Golden Barbeque on Urbanspoon

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

Today (Jan 31) is Tet or Vietnamese New Year! (Also known as Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year)

Happy new year everyone! I wish you all health, good fortune, and prosperity!

Last year, Mike and I had went out for a Chinese New Year banquet and then to check out some of the festivities with Christine and Tan. This year, we didn’t really celebrate as we are pretty stressed out with studying for the MCCEE.

But we had to at least go out for food. So a quick Japanese dinner at one of our favourite places, Wagaya in Fortitude Valley.

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Our favourite dishes:

The chicken karaage bento box for Michael

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And tonkotsu ramen for me… which was way too much for me, especially as upset tummy recently. But delicious as always!

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The lion dancing had just started when we were done and heading home so we paused to watch for a few minutes. Didn’t stay for very long but it looked like many people were enjoying the show!

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Look at this cute gift my grandparents gave Michael and I before leaving Canada. Can you guess what was inside? Lucky red envelopes for both of us! Thank you Ong Ba Ngoai, from the both of us!

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And lucky pockets from my mum before we left as well! I actually forgot she gave us these until she reminded me and had to go find them! 😛

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Thank you also to my Aunt and Uncle 2 for a red pocket before I left, I almost forgot! 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Have a safe and great time!

Lunch @ Dumpling Up

August 26, 2013

Got off early from the hospital, woo hoo!

Hungry and in time for lunch, how lucky 😛

Dumpling Up not only has a restaurant but a little kiosk next door where they sell dumplings and steam buns to go. After enjoying their buns-to-go a number of times, we decided to check out their restaurant for lunch.

A friendly staff member stood at the door introducing the lunch specials (on display in the window) to interested patrons.

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We were interested and promptly shown inside. Two words: lovely decor! Unfortunately, the restaurant was almost empty. A shame considering this restaurant opened only a few weeks ago at that time.

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They had appealing $10 lunch sets (rice with a main, 3 dumplings and green tea) but we decided on the a-la-carte menu instead in order to try more items.

All dishes were only $2.90 – amazing! We chose a variety of dishes…

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Started off with BBQ pork steam buns (2 per plate) – tasty as usual!

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Silly face!

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Deep fried pork and shrimp dumplings (3 per plate) – fillings tasted very similarly, decent but not a stand out.

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Edamame – overcooked with too much oil and salt.

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We also tried a few sushi options, all of which came with 3 pieces per plate.

Salmon roll (salmon, avocado & cucumber)

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Dragon roll (salmon, prawn & pickle)

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Spider roll (fried soft shell crab, pickle & cucumber)

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It’s a good thing we didn’t order too many because the sushi was not very good. Rice was overcooked, as you can probably see in the pictures. And the ingredients (tempura prawn and soft shell crab) were cold and not freshly made.

The price was great but the food did not match in quality. It was disappointing to see a large beautiful restaurant, with plenty of seating space, so empty in the middle of lunch time. And such a small menu that didn’t live up to expectations.

Service, however, was great and hopefully they will soon work out the kinks with the food – when you offer a limited menu, it should dazzle! Or maybe it was just a fluke in the kitchen the day we visited 😀 It is a lovely restaurant (with a bar and even private rooms) with good prices and we will be back in the near future to check it out again!

Dumpling Up on Urbanspoon

Lunch Date with Mike @ Gyoza Bar ANN

On Friday, we were able to get out of the hospital earlier than usual. That meant an opportunity for a late lunch date!

Gyoza Bar Ann had been on our list of places to try, specifically for their dumplings. We arrived a little after 2pm, loudly greeted at the door by very friendly and hospitable staff.

My date!

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The lunch menu included Tower Lunch Boxes ($12 each), which of course, we each got. Each Lunch Box comes with steamed rice, a green salad and the choice of one out of 12 main dishes. 6 of the choices are gyoza (dumplings) and the other 6 vary from teriyaki, karaage, sashimi and tofu.

We missed the lunch rush 🙂 Lovely restaurant almost all to ourselves!

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Without much deliberation, Mike chose the spicy gyoza (made with pork) and I chose the cheese gyoza (made with chicken).

And, since it was Friday, we got drinks! Asahi for Mike and a Chu-Hi Lychee cocktail for me 🙂

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We didn’t have to wait long for the food, even though it says 10-15 minutes on the menu. Our dumplings came out on a sizzling hot plate with some onion and green beans. The staff brought over the gyoza sauce which we poured into the hotplate and let the flavours sizzle away for a minute more.

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Rice was slightly overcooked but good flavours. Salad was fresh with a lovely dressing.

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The dumplings were crisp with flavourful filling. My cheese gyoza also had tomato in it, added to the juiciness of the meat. Mike’s dumplings were oh-so-spicy – I couldn’t handle more than one.

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A really nice experience, we will definitely come back to try different dishes soon!

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Ann Gyoza Bar on Urbanspoon

Yum Cha at King of Kings

Yoni was in town last weekend, and since Mike and I had been craving some yum cha (or dim sum), we convinced Yoni to come with us to King of Kings.

We arrived before the restaurant even opened for dinner, so an empty restaurant and plenty of seating to choose from. The staff were extremely friendly and service was great! I I also enjoyed the music – relaxing instrumental tracks (Muzak) of popular songs, both really old and really new. Nice when you have a headache! 😉

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The reason why we enjoy having Yum Cha at King of Kings is because it is available all day and is made to order. The menu was small with 16 items to choose from that cost around $7-8 each. It didn’t take us long to make up our minds, we went ahead and ordered 7 dishes. Although I just found out on their website that there’s a much more extensive menu available, we’ll have to find out when we can get those options.

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Our guest for the weekend, Yoni, with long hair.

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Deep fried squid tentacles. This dish was generous but not as good as we’ve had before, I wish the batter was lighter and crispier.

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Panfried pork bun. Tasty dumplings with large amounts of nicely seasoned pork filling.

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Steamed BBQ pork bun. These buns were just okay, the filling was very gelatinous – too much flour added as filler.

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Deep fried prawn dumplings. Nice and huge crispy dumplings with lots of flavoured shrimp filling. Would definitely get again. Really weird sauce… I don’t even know how to describe it.

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Pan fried pork buns. Good sized buns with a tasty pork filling.

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Deep fried glutinous buns. My favourite of the night, I always love these glutinous buns and these ones had a lovely savoury meat filling.

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Steamed custard bun. Although the flavour was nice, the texture of the custard was too clumpy and dry, not the delicious creamy filling I was expecting.

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We were given fortune cookies to end our meal. So whose fortune was better?

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Total cost: $52 between 3 people – not bad! The quality of King of Kings yum cha is decent, although everything tastes much better when you are starving. Some of the dishes were really good and others were sub par. Would we come back again? Probably, because it’s so convenient from our house (less than 10 min bus ride). Although we’ve heard from many that Sunnybank is the place to go for dim sum so we’ll have to make our way down there one day!

King of Kings on Urbanspoon

Yummy burgers located: Burger Urge

We’ve never had a really good burger in Brisbane, so when the opportunity came up, Mike bought a deal: $18 for 2 burgers and 2 small chips at Burger Urge.

We took advantage of this week’s vacation to go try it out and having never been by the place before, we didn’t know what to expect.

Burger Urge (in Fortitude Valley) is a small, edgy restaurant with modest seating areas indoors and outdoors. They are a local establishment (with 4 other locations) and use what I love to see: fresh local ingredients.

Taken from their website:

  • There are no preservatives or stabilizers in our sauces.
  • All produce is fresh – We go to the Rocklea Markets 3 times a week.
  • All produce is sourced from local vendors.
  • We use free range eggs and bacon.
  • All meat comes from farms and barns – not cages!

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A friendly smile greeted us as we approached the counter.

It did not take long for me to make up my mind. The lamb and haloumi cheese combination was irresistible so I got Zorba the Greek (An unbeatable combination of prime ground Australian lamb topped with fresh onion jam, haloumi cheese, whole-egg mayonnaise, and pesto on a bed of cos lettuce and tomato). I also upgraded my chips to sweet potato fries with a garlic aioli mayonnaise.

Mike took longer to decide, but eventually settled on the Primal Urge (Prime ground Australian beef topped with beetroot, pineapple, free range egg, tasty cheddar cheese, homemade tomato chutney, and whole-egg mayo on a bed of cos lettuce, tomato and white onion). He also upgraded to sweet potato fries with a wasabi lime mayonnaise.

Grabbed a drink and took a seat outside. We liked that the seating area was sheltered and was pleasantly surprised at the random decor overhead – colourful suspended bikes. Definitely unique and something we’ve never seen before.

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It wasn’t long before our meals arrived and boy did they look yummy!

I apologize now. We were really hungry and just wanted to get on with eating… I didn’t realize how terrible these photos were – they do not do the burgers any justice!

The burgers were arranged and skewered in a way that kept the burger open so you could see everything inside.

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My burger had a huge amount of pesto which I thought would be overpowering but that was not the case at all, especially because the patty was nice and thick. The onion jam was sweet and delicious with a generous amount of haloumi. Flavours worked great, there was definitely no leftover burger on my plate.

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Mike tried to eat the burger with his hands but quickly admitted defeat as the first bite released a gush of egg yolk. No worries, that’s what the fork and knife are for! The combination of egg, beetroot and pineapple wasn’t something we saw until coming to Australia – but so good!

The one thing I would change about the burgers: cutting off the oxidized edges of lettuce. It would make the burgers even more appealing!

The sweet potato fries came in really cute small baskets. I’ve seen this at other restaurants but still think it’s great to go that extra little step for presentation of chips. The chips were crispy, had great flavour (spicy Urge seasoning) and were delicious. The best thing? Trying the wasabi lime mayonnaise – definitely a hit with us! We’ve always made a curry mayo for sweet potato at home but we loved this! It will definitely be something we make from now on!

Awesome food! We’ll definitely be back whenever we’re in the mood for some seriously good burgers!

Burger Urge - Fortitude Valley on Urbanspoon

Harajuku Gyoza – A long time coming

Michael is a huge fan of dumplings – so am I.

We’ve also passed by Harajuku Gyoza many many times – each time itching to go in but holding off. We finally went on April 04 during Meaghan’s visit.

Super friendly service with shouts of ‘Irasshaimase!’ (welcome) as soon as you walk in the door. Great decor as well, I really liked the plates and the lights.

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The menu is simple but offered a variety of dumplings averaging $8 for 5 pieces.

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We ended up ordering edamame (boiled young soybeans), chicken karaage (marinated and lightly battered fried chicken) and 5 gyoza (dumpling) dishes, all grilled with pork, duck, chicken, vegetable, and Moreton Bay bug filling.

Food verdict? VERY AVERAGE, nothing special.

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Edamame was great, although it’s hard to get that wrong.

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The chicken karaage had too much batter and skin for my tastes – I’ve had much better.

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The dumplings were not very flavourful. If I didn’t know what we had ordered, it would’ve been hard to tell the difference between the pork, duck and chicken gyozas. The vegetable dumpling had interesting (edamame in the filling) texture, although not great flavour. This was also my first time tasting Moreton Bay bugs – it was tasty but I wouldn’t be able to say if it was cooked well or not 🙂 I also wish the gyoza wrappers were more chewy and crispy.

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Even though the food was a little lacking, it was clear everyone (including us) were enjoying themselves. The restaurant was soon filled to capacity and buzzing with conversation. Every time a sake shot was served (from a huge bottle), the staff would yell out leaving customers laughing and a little self conscious 😛

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For dessert, we shared an apple gyoza with icecream and a peanut butter & white chocolate gyoza with icecream. Each came with 3 pieces of deep fried dumplings and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious. You simply cannot go wrong with those flavour combinations… deep fried. I was so excited to eat it, I forgot to take pictures 😦

A really enjoyable evening but we probably won’t come back unless it’s with a large group of friends for the atmosphere. We will try out other gyoza restaurants before coming back to Harajuku solely for the dumplings.

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Harajuku Gyoza on Urbanspoon

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!

Capri Cafe Bar on Urbanspoon

Yumminess at Wagaya

After stopping in for a drink at Wagaya on Christine Q’s birthday earlier this year and enjoying the experience, Mike and I decided we had to go back and try out the food.

We finally went for lunch with Meaghan on March 22 and despite not making reservations, we were immediately shown to a cozy booth.

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My favourite part about Wagayu? A self-service, touch screen at your booth to order your food and drinks. Pictures, descriptions, and prices of each item is available and you can order at your leisure.

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We each ordered a Bento lunch box and 2 sushi dishes to share. Each lunch box ($13-14) comes with rice, miso soup, a creme croquette, ebi fry (tempura prawn), salad, soft boiled egg, agedashi tofu (silken tofu coated in cornstarch, deep fried and served in a hot broth) and Japanese pickles – a great deal!

Mike and Meaghan also shared a pitcher of Hokkaido beer. For some reason (and I do trust his pouring skills), this is what happened when Mike went to pour a glass… haha!

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Meaghan ordered the chicken katsu (breaded deep-fried cutlet) lunch box

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Mike ordered the chicken nanban (fried chicken seasoned with vinegar and tartare sauce) lunch box

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I picked the chicken karaage (marinated and lightly battered fried chicken) lunch box

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In addition, we got a spider roll and a rainbow roll to share

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And for once, I enjoyed the miso soup!

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The food? All amazing! The lunch boxes had so much food, we didn’t even need to order the other dishes. So stuffed! The service was also prompt and cheerful, unlike many reviews I saw on Urbanspoon, which was a pleasant surprise. With great decor, delicious food at decent prices, we will definitely return again soon!

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Wagaya 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