WEDDING DJ & PHOTOBOOTH

May 05, 2016

During the first stages of our wedding planning, Michael had ambitious plans to set up our own DJ system which would allow guests to connect using their mobile devices to play songs. Fortunately, he soon realised that it would be a logistical nightmare!

After a bit of research, we decided to go with Quality Entertainment. They are a bigger company with lots of staff and good reviews online. We weren’t too fussed with our music, as long as we could have some options – which made our decision easy!

We appreciated being paired with a coordinator for consistent communication (mostly over email as we were overseas). We also had to fill out planning forms (30 days prior to ceremony) so that they could get an idea of who we were and what we were expecting. This was also so they could match us with an appropriate style DJ.

Some of the information they ask for include:

  • Names of bridal party and other main vendors
  • Time of set up and tear down
  • Number of guests and their age
  • Preference of music
  • Songs NOT to play (ie. Macarena, YMCA, etc)
  • List of guest song requests
  • Specific song list for ceremony, grand entrance, first dance, etc)
  • Whether we needed extra equipment (projector, photo booth, etc)
  • Whether we wanted our DJ to also act as our MC

On May 5, 2016 – we finally had the opportunity to meet up with the coordinator and finalise all details in person. Nothing was too much trouble and we were offered unexpected discounts which were very much appreciated!


ON THE DAY

We were pretty happy with our DJ services on the day! Jenn was our DJ for the night and here were some points we made note of:

  • Nice instrumental music being played for while guests were being seated for our ceremony (we didn’t specify which songs)
  • We provided all our songs for our outdoor ceremony – which were played in the right order at the correct time – and audible!
  • It was much appreciated that Jenn came up to our table once seated for dinner to introduce herself!
  • During the dinner ceremony, we provided a playlist of Vietnamese songs to play. Unfortunately, the museum sound system was not set up ideally. The dance floor was to one end of the venue and the music was quite loud towards that end and not very audible at the other, particularly because the music was played at a lower volume during dinner service
  • I remember people stayed on the dance floor and had a good time – which is always a good sign right?! 😉 At least until the song “Shots by LMFAO ft. Lil Jon” came on and everyone cleared the dance floor to do tequilla shots at the bar 😛
  • They played our requested closing song “Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond”

We also decided to hire 3 other services through them, all of which were hassle free and the guests definitely enjoyed!

  1. Projector for us to have a photo slideshow played on repeat during the reception
  2. Photo booth with props! Unlimited photos and manned by an attendant to make sure we actually got decent photos! Guests got a physical copy and we got the digital versions after the ceremony.
  3. Kissing game spinning wheel – no more clinking of glasses. Although I’m sure it’s still rigged to make the bride and groom kiss more often than not!

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Total Costs:

  • DJ, equipment (including special effects lights), set up and tear down (6pm – 1am) $749 (with a $100 discount)
  • Photobooth (9:30pm – 12:30am) with props, unlimited photos and attendant $699 (with $100 discount)
  • Projector $100 (with $50 discount)
  • Kissing Wheel – free of charge (normally $75)

We were overall very happy with the prices and services provided by Quality Entertainment. Would happily recommend them to anyone looking for similar services for their event – especially if you are looking for packages, they can definitely work with you!

Wedding Day of Coordinator

May 05, 2016

After our menu tasting with Distinction at the Canadian Museum of History, we ended our visit with our first (and only required) face-to-face meeting with our Day of Coordinator – Philippe Genest.

Phil was easy going from the moment we met him, which was definitely what we preferred. He joined us after our delicious lunch and immediately got down to business.

Some of the important items of discussions included:

  • Floor plan for reception venue (table/seating arrangement, where the gift tables/cocktail tables/DJ/photobooth/bar, etc would be)
  • Seating plan for outdoor ceremony
  • Discussion of bridal procession options
  • Seating plan for indoor ceremony (in case of rain)
  • Confirmation of all vendors including cake, DJ, officiant, etc
  • Ceremony + reception timeline
  • Projector screen set up for any slideshow we’d like to play

Aside from our face-to-face meeting, we were able to keep in contact via phone and email up to the big day.

It called for rain on our actual wedding day. In fact, it was pouring during my ride over to the Museum of History a few hours prior to the ceremony. We held our breath until the last minute when Phil decided the rain was over and the groomsman helped him set up the outdoor seating in less than 5 minutes.

A few glitches to note:

  • Museum posters not covered up in our reception venue. These were meant to be covered but a quick word to Phil and he made it happen before any guests arrived
  • No signs to direct guests to the venue – particularly because the Voyageurs Salon is a separate building from the main museum – eventually everyone made it!
  • The logistics of getting into the parking lot after hours as the museum is closed. We weren’t aware and eventually had to get security to escort us

We were honestly very happy with how the logistics of the ceremony and reception went. The layout was as we discussed and everything seemed to be in order. If there were any mishaps, we were not made aware, which was fine with us!

Overall, Michael and I were incredibly happy with our chosen venue at the Museum of History. The room rental is a little pricey but does include all set up and take down, cleaning, internet, outdoor ceremony set up, parking passes, day of coordinator, and more. For the piece of mind, and the fact that we (and our family/friends) did not have to do the heavy lifting, was worth it.

Catching up over Korean food at Alirang

August 13, 2014

For the second year in a row, I had the chance to catch up with Ruixi during my time back in Ottawa at Alirang, over some delicious Korean food.

Alirang is a little gem on Nelson St across from Loblaws, away from the heavy traffic and the high concentration of restaurants downtown. And, there is parking for those who need it!

It is not a very large restaurant, with tired decor, tacky furnishings, and tables are packed close together. However, don’t let looks fool you. Being greeted by a packed restaurant on a weekday evening tells you this is where you want to be. Service was welcoming and we were seated within minutes of entering the restaurant. Menus were promptly provided as well as their usual warm barley tea.

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My gorgeous date!

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There were lots of yummy items on the menu so it took us a while to decide but we eventually got some delicious topokki ($9.95) to share. Perfectly cooked rice cakes with cabbage and slices of fish cake drowned in hot red chili sauce.

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For mains, I ordered Bulgogi with rice ($13.95) – a gigantic portion of tender, thin and well marinated beef. I had to take home leftovers, but no complaints over that!

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Ruixi ordered the Chicken Soondubu ($10.95) – delicious bubbling hot and spicy stew served with rice!

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The food, as always, was tasty and well prepared, accompanied by consistently good service throughout the night. Would definitely recommend Alirang to anyone wanting some great Korean food!

Alirang on Urbanspoon

Groceries and study break at Cafe Siena

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cafe Siena is located in a convenient corner at Westfield Chermside Shopping Centre, next to Coles. The cafe is bright, spacious and inviting – the perfect place to have a bite and study for a couple of hours before doing some desperately needed grocery shopping.

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The menu looked enticing and we soon found ourselves soon ordering at the counter, looking forward to a nice couple of hours. Service was extremely friendly and full of smiles.

It wasn’t long before our food arrived. Mike ordered the turkey panini with a flat white and I ordered the chicken panini with a side of chips to share.

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Hungry and excited to dig in…

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Unfortunately, despite the nice service and dining area – the best part of our meal were the chips. The panini bread was very white and just too crumbly in texture (you can probably see it in the picture above). There was hardly any chicken in my sandwich and I had to pick through rotting lettuce in my side salad.

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Despite the meal, we will probably visit again. It is a good priced area away from the chaotic throng of shoppers, however, I think we will stick to the bakery items from now on. 🙂

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Cafe Siena - Westfield Shoppingtown on Urbanspoon

Late breakfast at Eurovida

After tennis with the boys, Xuan drove us to Paddington for a late breakfast at Eurovida –  mmm, so hungry!

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There were no free tables when we first arrived so we were invited to sit at the bar and order drinks to start. Didn’t have to wait long and we were soon seated at a table by the window.

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Xuan and Kee Ping

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Re-hydrated with some water and then ordered some drinks for breakfast.

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Missing pictures, but a chocolate milkshake for Kee Ping which he said was not bad. Along with a cappuccino for Xuan and a flat white for Mike – coffees were apparently quite good!

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A house made iced tea for me. Refreshing and I liked the fresh mint.

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Loved the wooden chandeliers. Very rustic and would look great in a cottage by a lake.

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And then the wait for food… which took a lot longer than we expected. The service was very pleasant but luckily we weren’t starving and grumpy!

Simple Eats for Mike: 2 poached eggs, toasted sourdough bread, Italian sausage and grilled haloumi cheese. Tasty sausages although not spicy as expected!

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Simple Eats for Xuan as well: scrambled eggs with sourdough bread and grilled haloumi. Nice fluffy scrambled eggs and large side of not-too-salty haloumi!

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Kee Ping got one of the specials of the day: Belgium waffle with poached pear, maple syrup and cream. For $17, we all expected a much larger serving, with at least 2 waffles. The dish was also too sweet.

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I got the Grilled haloumi with poached eggs, sautèed spinach, beetroot relish, sourdough toast. Nicely poached eggs and interesting beetroot relish which had good texture but I wish it had been a little more flavourful! The spinach could use some seasoning too, a hint of garlic would’ve been very nice. Also, I love watercress salad and find it such a shame when it’s sprinkled haphazardly as garnish (as seen with all 3 of our savoury dishes). A little bit on the side with a spritz of vinaigrette would make the dish much more tasty!

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We also got a side of fries with aioli sauce to share. The cut and taste of fries reminded me of McDonald’s fries, although slightly healthier if that’s possible. Aioli sauce was nice and garlicky – yum!

On the way out, I saw these huge banana chocolate pecan muffins and had to get one for later. It was big and looked very appealing but unfortunately didn’t taste exceptional. Very tough consistency for a muffin and not strong in flavour. Oh well!

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Overall we enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. We don’t live near Paddington but if it were more convenient, we would probably visit again.

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Eurovida on Urbanspoon

Mission Complete: The Bun Mobile

I saw The Bun Mobile being at the top Urbanspoon Brisbane’s ‘Talk of the Town’ list for months and months and thought to myself, “We’ve really got to try this.”

But we could never find the time to go for lunch because we were in clinic/hospital full time (with one failed attempt to go for lunch with a couple of the doctors). Dinner was hard because we often finished late, were tired, and the truck was never parked on our end of town.

But finally… we were on vacation! A glorious week (May 13-17) of no plans except one mission: Locate the Bun Mobile to feast and taste these wonderful buns for ourselves.

When Harry and Christine (finally) came back from their 2 week adventure-vacation-in-the-states-scoping-out-food-trucks, we were already approaching the end of our one week vacation.

But no worries! On Friday, May 17, we traveled 40 minutes to their dinner location: Southside Tea Room at 639 Wynnum Rd in Morningside.

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Dinner service opened at 5:30pm and we arrived at 5:40pm, there were already a couple of people in line. Service was extremely friendly and because we had already scoped out the menu and the daily special,  deciding what to get was easy. One each of the 3 regular buns ($8 each) and one of the special ($10). We held off getting the dessert bun ($10 – fresh banana with caramel sauce and salted peanut praline) because we weren’t sure we’d be able to eat it all.

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As we waited for our buns, the line got longer and longer… so great timing for us!

We didn’t have to wait long and soon our order was called. Oh, the excitement. As the truck is parked on the side of the road, there is no formal seating area for the Bun Mobile customers to sit and eat. Mike and I decided to walk back to a park nearby but after walking a block, we thought, “Screw it, we are going to sit at this bus stop and eat our buns while they’re nice and hot!”

And so, there we were, 2 of us sitting in darkness (wish the sun didn’t go down so early!) sharing 4 savoury buns between us with not a care in the world.

The first thing we noticed, the buns came in sturdy paper containers packed in a brown paper bag. Brownie points for environmental friendliness as everything could go into the recycle bin.

Sorry in advance, but taking pictures of food in the dark with a camera flash is not very flattering for food! The buns were amazeballs though!

The first bun we tried was the daily special: Pork Belly braised in Death Sauce, pickled cucumbers, fresh lettuce & coriander, Taiwanese red sugar & crushed peanuts. Delicious! Our favourite of the night.

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Next was the Twice cooked pork with hoisin sauce, Sakura pickled cucumber and shallot batons. Another winner. The pork was oh so tender!

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Then the Char grilled teriyaki chicken with slaw with julienne carrot and mint, Japanese mayo and hoisin sauce. Loved the slaw! I’m usually not a fan of mint but I couldn’t imagine this bun without it.

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Last, we had the Slow cooked Wagyu beef with butter lettuce, soy pickled shitake mushrooms and red dragon sauce. I have never had pickled shitake mushrooms before, it was quite interesting. Normally they have a very pungent flavour that people either love or hate. Pickling it cut the flavour without eliminating it. Although quite good, this was my least favourite bun of the night because I found it too salty for my tastes.

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As we sat there and wolfed all 4 buns down in record time – it’s goes without saying that they were delicious! The buns were actually bigger than we expected and despite being soft, held the filling well and didn’t fall apart. Eating these buns was a lot less messier than we had anticipated! I especially loved the fact that combination of flavours was so familiar to me (Asian/Vietnamese cuisine) but were combined and presented in ways I’d never experienced before.

Best meal we had in a while! Left super pleased with full bellies and already looking forward to the next time we are back!

Dear the Bun Mobile: Could you look into parking close to the RBWH for lunch/dinner occasionally? Pretty please?

The Bun Mobile Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Breakfast at Caffe di Vita

Since being introduced by our friend Fiona last year, di Vita has been one our favourite places, that’s close to home, to have breakfast with friends.

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It was only natural that we suggested to Josiah and Danya that we meet up there for breakfast and to catch up 2 Fridays ago on May 17th.

As Mike and I were walking towards di Vita, we realized it was completely void of patrons. On the other hand, Alcove Deli & Cafe, the establishment across the street that opened since our last visit in Wilston, was buzzing with people.

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I guess it could’ve been a sign, but since we had always been happy with the food and service in the past, we opted to stick to our original plans and stay at di Vita.

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We were soon joined by Jos and Danya and after some catching up, proceeded to place our orders for food and drinks.

The cute couple!

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From observation, there was only one staff member on duty out front and it was clear she had more on her plate than she could handle – especially since a number of additional customers had stopped to dine by this time.

I don’t know if there’s been a change in kitchen staff but the food that eventually came out was a little sub par compared to the number of times we’ve had in the past.

Josiah had French toasted brioche with apple & rhubard compote & an orange & honey yoghurt. I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to comment on this dish. Although it tasted good, it did not look very appetizing!

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Danya had the simple Eggs and bacon with toast. She noted the herbed butter on the toast – unexpected but nice flavour.

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Mike quite enjoyed his Eggs Benedict with ham.

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And I had the wild mushrooms sauteed in butter, thyme & garlic on toasted turkish bread with grilled haloumi, english spinach salad, a rocket & basil pesto & shaved parmesan. Very generous amount of mushrooms and nicely toasted bread but lacking the flavour of thyme and garlic.

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Unfortunately, due to being understaffed, the coffees also took very long to come out… too long. Danya’s coffee actually arrived after she was done her meal.

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It was a good opportunity to catch up with friends and grab a bite, however, I will be slower to suggest di Vita next time. Perhaps we will give Alcove across the street a try – especially when it was so popular, their menu was appealing and their prices cheaper!

Caffe di Vita 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

Light and fluffy waffles at Geláre

Mike and I went to see the movie Oblivion with Yoni last weekend at South Bank Cineplex. The movie? Entertaining, although the storyline was not unlike many other ‘the world has been taken over’ movies.

Now on to something more important: WAFFLES

If you take your movie ticket to Geláre, just down the street, you get 50% off basic waffles (comes with whipped cream and syrup, other toppings extra).

It was way past lunch and we still hadn’t eaten, how could we say no? So off we went.

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Friendly staff, happy to wait while we took our time deciding! We each settled for a large waffle with a scoop of ice cream – $7.50/each, a great price.

Mike and Yoni decided on White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and I got Chocolate Overload – mmm!

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The waffle was just the way I like them – piping hot, crisp on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. Super tasty! Some people prefer harder, denser waffles like the ones served at Max Brenner. As much as I love Max Brenner, I really do think these waffles are better. Especially because they’re freshly made on the spot!

Many reviewers on Urbanspoon found the consistency of the ice cream (thick, elastic-like) to be off-putting. Yes, I agree the consistency of the ice cream is different to what I’m used to, but it was delicious! Rich and creamy, far from lacking in flavour.

I’ve also noticed from reviews that some people are under the impression Gelare is serving gelato (“ice milk products with a low cream content”) – No, that is not the case! If you bother to read the About page of their website, Gelare explains their ice cream in detail:

  • Real flavour and no artificial ingredients
  • Features a higher cream content than almost every other ice cream on the market.
  • While other ice creams contain as much as 50% air, Geláre is made with no air. (Explains the “gooey” texture)
  • Geláre is unique because it is much creamier and thicker than Italian ice cream. It is also much heavier, creamier and more intensely flavoured than American ice cream. Geláre is an improved “hybrid” ice cream combining and also exceeding the best qualities from both countries.

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We all left super satisfied with full bellies – who would’ve thought it could be so filling! Would we come back? Most definitely, and soon too! 🙂

PS: You can get the same 50% off deal every Tuesday – without a movie ticket!

Geláre on Urbanspoon

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 🙂

Next Door Kitchen & Bar 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

Finally trying out Gunshop Cafe

We’ve heard from numerous friends that Gunshop Cafe is a wonderful place, especially for breakfast and we’ve been meaning to try it out for 2 years now.

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Coincidentally during Meaghan’s stay, there was a 50% off flash deal for Gunshop Cafe! Unfortunately, we couldn’t do breakfast or lunch because of our clinic schedules but anticipated a good dinner.

We were booked for 6:15pm on April 02. The restaurant was still quite empty when we arrived so we were given our choice of seats. We initially sat outdoors towards the back of the restaurant but the lighting was quite dim so we ended up changing our minds and moving inside.

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The restaurant is small but warm and inviting. Although the decor is minimal, it works well and makes bold statements. I especially liked the fan outdoors and how the ceiling lights cast dancing shadows upon the entire restaurant.

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It took us a while to make up our minds on what to order because everything on the menu looked really good.

We settled on drinks first, which was my first disappointment. It was a hot day so I asked for my tea to be iced rather than served hot – never been a problem at other restaurants in the past. Unfortunately, I ended up with lukewarm and extremely diluted tea.

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We started off with the $50 shared plate. I can’t remember all the items, but this plate included: goat cheese stuffed green olives, sorpressa, black pudding, marinated lamb cutlets with romesco sauce, Western Australian sardines. All shared plates also came with olive oil, dukkah, evoo+balsamic, charred sourdough.

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Overall, the plate was really good. Lamb was cooked perfectly and the romesco was delicious. The black pudding was heavily spiced and extremely tasty. The added pickles and mustard were good accompaniments. There were way too many olives as they are really salty and you can only have so many. Meaghan and I aren’t fans of sardines but Mike really enjoyed them.

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But the sourdough wasn’t charred, only lightly toasted which was unfortunate because the added flavour would’ve been really nice. The other disappointment – as we were almost finished the dish, we realized the dukkah and evoo+balsamic was never brought out. A big no no for us – always serve what you say!

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We then moved onto our mains.

Meaghan had the confit duck leg with du puy lentils, potato fondant, roast tamarillo and heirloom carrots. Duck was WAY TOO salty and extremely tough and dried out – unexpected for meat that was supposed to be cooked long and slow in its own fat. Unfortunately, she ended up leaving a lot of it behind.

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Mike had the homemade gnocchi with tomato fondue, evoo, prawns and basil. He enjoyed it, although not very memorable.

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Lastly, I had the wild mushroom risotto with poached duck egg, truffle oil and cress. Oh my goodness, my dish was unbelievably bland. There was absolutely no salt in my dish and we joked that the salt that was supposed to go into my dish must’ve been put into Meaghan’s. Risotto was overdone and the taste of vinegar overpowered my poached egg 😦 Please use less vinegar! When asked how our meals were, I did let the staff know that there was absolutely no salt in my dish, although it went went unacknowledged. I didn’t send back my food because I hate doing that – makes me feel like a total snob but this dish would’ve been justified. Instead, I just added some salt and ate what I could, was already filling up from the shared plate anyway!

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The other thing I didn’t like, which I’ve mentioned before about other restaurants – random salads. Don’t get me wrong, watercress is one of my favourite greens, but when it happens to be placed on all 3 dishes, I think it’s there for decoration and not for flavour. It also makes the dishes look less appealing.

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Dinner started on a high and ended on a low for us, which is too bad. Thankfully we weren’t paying full price because that definitely wouldn’t have been worth it. However, we aren’t giving up on the Gunshop Cafe just yet. The service and ambiance were great, so we will definitely give it another chance – breakfast next time though!

Gunshop Cafe 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

Beastie Burgers were not too Beastie

March 05, 2013

Two days before our Medicine in Society exam, we joined Nuangi for a long-awaited lunch date. We wanted to meet up in South Bank, and after a quick browse on Urbanspoon, it was decided that we’d try Beastie Burgers.

There was a nice variety of burgers on the menu and being pretty hungry, we were excited to receive our food. In addition to burgers, we also each ordered a side of either handcut chips with aioli and aged balsamic or onion rings with aioli.

Nuangi ordered the “Spice Route” without the bun – flame grilled beef burger with roast sweet potato, haloumi, chili jam, tomato relish & hommus.

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Yoni and I both ordered the “Cicciolina” – flamed grilled beef burger, roast eggplant, capsicum, haloumi, rocket & pesto. You can see why the burger is not “beastie.” It is simply a humongous bun with a normal sized patty, in this case, overcooked and dried out patty. The burger is also not constructed well, with everything haphazardly thrown onto the bun and smeared with a limited amount of sauce. The burger was simply “ok” and unfortunately not memorable in either taste or looks.

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After ordering, Mike was told they didn’t have any avocado (a shame, because it was the start of lunch service) so he had to change his original choice of the American in Noosa to the Swiss Miss – flamed grilled beef burger, lettuce, gherkin, gruyere cheese, tomato relish & homemade mayo.

The boys and their burgers

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Picture with Nuangi!

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The burgers were not impressive in any way, but their potato wedges were absolutely fantastic – best wedges I’ve ever had – for real. I will definitely visit again just to have these! The balsamic vinegar and aioli sauce were great flavours and worked very nice with the hot and super crispy wedges.

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With such few customers at the time we ordered, it took a disproportionate amount of time for our food to come out. Not only did it take long, our food also came out too staggered. We all started eating at different times and Michael was done his burger by the time his onion rings finally came out. With that being said, the server voluntarily took the onion rings off our bill, even though we didn’t voice any complaints. Much appreciated.

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A good time with good company but would we come back again? Maybe, but definitely not for the burgers – for the potato wedges! And perhaps next time we’ll try the milkshakes so many reviewers rave about as well. 🙂

Beastie Burgers on Urbanspoon

Breakfast at Chez Nous Cafe

With our first exam (Nov 5) down and 2 more to go (Nov 7&8), Mike and I headed down to Roma on Nov 6 for some breakfast and a few solid hours of studying.

We had paid $19 for a voucher at Chez Nous Cafe worth $48. It included 2 breakfasts or lunches and 2 drinks.

The location couldn’t be more convenient – just across the street from Roma St Station.

We walked inside expecting a limited menu to choose from as part of our deal but it was a pleasant surprise to be told that we could pick anything off the extensive menu. The prices of each item would be added up and if the total was over $48, then we would just pay the difference.

We both ended up ordering the big breakfast with a coffee and a can of lemonade. There was plenty of outdoor seating, but we opted to sit inside with airconditioning and a slightly quieter atmosphere.

The food arrived quite quickly, and it was the nicest plated breakfast we’ve had in Brisbane. Most other places we’ve been to haphazardly chuck everything onto the plate so it was nice to see a little effort into food arrangement.

The big breakfast consisted of 2 pieces of buttered toast, 2 eggs, a lot of bacon, a sausage patty, 2 hashbrowns, 2 big slices of grilled haloumi and a serving of tomato relish. Everything was really nicely cooked, which was definitely a nice change from the last few breakfasts we’ve had out.

Our dishes were promptly cleared from the table and we settled into studying. Nov 6 was also Melbourne Cup Day so it became pretty busy and loud as more people came in to watch the horse races. But that was alright, we headed home for more studying on the comfort of our couch 😉

Friendly staff, fast service, good food, nice atmosphere… would we come back again? Definitely. Even without a voucher!

Chez Nous Cafe on Urbanspoon

Part 2: A Delightful Wednesday

October 24, 2012

Mike and I love food and wish we could go out all the time. Unfortunately, we are both poor students so can’t afford it! However, we do try to take advantage of as many great voucher deals as possible!

And tonight was such a deal: $69 for a 6 course degustation meal and a glass of bubbly for two at L’Academie! We had a good time there last year and thought it would be worth going a second time!

The week before we emailed in a reservation but never received a response. A little unexpected, but nothing a quick phone call couldn’t solve and we were booked for 7pm.

Always a nice change to get dressed up for a night out! 🙂

Upon arrival, we were shown to our table and our degustation meal was explained to us. Unfortunately, the server did not speak very good English and also did not know the menu very well. We missed half the things she was saying and couldn’t really ask her any questions regarding the food (Ie. she didn’t know what a palate cleanser was). Throughout the meal, we had 3 servers, which I find out and just adds to potential confusion.

The bread had been put out at our table ahead of time, but we also noticed the bread in the kitchen was just sitting in a basket, also exposed to air. Dry, crusty bread isn’t very nice! And the same problem we had the last time.

I remember the first time I was at a banquet and had more than one set of cutlery – gosh I was so confused, haha! Certainly know better now 😉

Hey dear!

We had a view of the kitchen from our seats

First course: Oyster 2 ways: Bloody Mary and au Gratin

I’m not a fan of oysters, especially raw oysters – but I figured I must try! Michael thought they were quite delicious but I simply couldn’t get past the aftertaste of raw oysters. The other components of the dish were good though! What I disliked: the undressed, out of place julienned carrot and onion. I also wish the chef had separated the oyster from the shell. Would make things a lot easier and look more appealing if patrons could just go straight to slurping the oyster!

Second course: Fried tofu with some Asian styled sauce with a side of salad.

Tofu was way overfried. Crisp but completely dry. Not enough sauce also made the dish quite tasteless, and I normally love tofu. And again, with an undressed and haphazard salad, this was our least favourite dish of the night.

By this time, they had not given us our glasses of bubbly so we had to request them. Unfortunately, it was a different server and he too, did not speak English well and couldn’t understand our request. It was fine though, as he asked the lady who initially seated us and she promptly brought them out. Seems like they just forgot, so no problem! In case you were wondering, it was 2 glasses of Charles Vienot Brut Cuvee.

Third course: Strawberry & citrus sorbet (We think! Couldn’t figure out if it was citrus or just lemon)

Nice but a little too sweet for a palate cleanser! I found the portion a little large as well.

Fourth course: Chicken skewer on a bed of greens

Chicken was amazing. Crisp on the outside, tender and perfectly cooked on the inside, I wish there were 2 skewers! The salad was a little weird for me, again. Raw zucchini skins are definitely not the tastiest things you can put in salad

Fifth course: Thyme and garlic pork fillet on Paris mash, saffron carrot & Blaukraut (got the full name off the menu on the counter beside us)

A very hearty dish, we were definitely getting full now! Pork was perfectly cooked and made me wish there was more than 3 slices and less mashed potatoes! The sauce was so overpowering (tasted mostly of Worcestershire sauce actually) that it made the Blaukraut (German braised red cabbage in red wine) seem like a really odd and weak-flavoured addition to the dish. Nevertheless, still quite tasty.

Sixth and last course: Choc Hazelnut Gateau

Yummy! The other time we had dessert here, it was a crude and dry brownie. This cake (even though it was precut and refrigerated) was moist, decadent, full of hazelnut crunch and the serving size was enormous! I would’ve been more than happy with a piece half that size, but who was complaining!

With our bellies bursting with happiness, we said thank you and headed home 😀

Overall, we had a good experience. Staff were friendly but really need to work on learning their menu items and ingredients. Some dishes were quite tasty but we hated the undressed filler salads that came with many plates. Dessert was super generous and delicious which ended the night on a high note. We understand L’Academie is a training restaurant, and with such mixed reviews on Urbanspoon, we definitely did not walk in with any expectations.

Will we come back?

For a good price we would. But I think we’re more interested in trying out a new place next time.

L'Acadamie on Urbanspoon

Part 1: A Delightful Wednesday

October 24, 2012

Met up with Christine for study date – lunch at Petit Four in Wintergarden Queen St Mall. Christine had a ‘tasting’ voucher – $15 for the 2 of us which I thought was definitely worth it!

I had read a number of negative reviews on Urbanspoon but was quite happy with the pleasant service! We were patiently instructed on our options and what we could choose:

  • 2 hot drinks (approx $5/ea value) – I chose a hazelnut chocolate milk while Christine got a strawberry mocha. My milk was nearly hot enough to even melt the chocolate so I ended up with a clumpy chocolatey drink. Fortunately, it still tasted good.

  • 2 chocolates ($3/ea value) – Wild passionfruit for me and a rose shaped fudge for Christine. Yummy chocolates!

  • 4 small macarons (approx $3/ea value) – Pistachio and citrus for me, strawberry and pistachio for Christine. I really enjoyed these but haven’t had them enough to know if these would be considered ‘great’ or not.

  • 1 tart (approx $5/ea value) – Lemon meringue. Nothing special but tasted good.

  • 1 square (approx $5/ea value) – Chocolate mud cake. Didn’t really like this – barely enough chocolate flavour and not very moist – definitely not a ‘mud’ cake.

  • 4 finger sandwiches – We got one of each flavour: egg & dill, chicken, tuna and tomato/cheese/ham. Again, nothing special but they were good!

Overall, the food was quite decent. And really, how could you complain when you paid $15 for all of that food, in Brisbane?

There were also numerous people who came to redeem the same voucher (which expired the next day). I was amazed at how impatient and stuck up some customers can be. Hello?! You chose to be cheap and purchase this great deal… what on earth are you so high and mighty about? Some people really need to learn to be a little more respectful!

Anyway, Petit Four is located in a corner of the mall so you don’t expect much. But they do have a cute environment with  clear plastic chairs and little tables (seat 2 or 4) as well as clear stools for 2 big counters for customers to sit at. We set up shop at one of the counters and ended up staying for close to 5 hours, mainly studying with some chit chat 😉 Not once did we feel pressured to leave and the tasting definitely filled us up for a while!

Would I come back? Yes! But only when I’m not so cheap and poor… 😛

Petit Four on Urbanspoon

Finally got home around 5:30pm to these! So pretty!

From this guy! 😉

We had a dinner date that night (you’ll see in Part 2!) so he decided to get me flowers… awww, so sweet!

Review: L’Academie Hotel (A well needed and deserved break!)

L’Academie Hotel is a training restaurant located in Spring Hill, Brisbane. L’Academie provides students of the Shafston School of Hospitality the opportunity to work in a live service kitchen and on the restaurant floor, putting into practice the skills that they have acquired in theory classes.

A couple of months ago, I bought a Scoopon for this restaurant and only used it this past Saturday. 3 course meal for 2 people and a bottle of wine for $50. $25 dollars each for some good fine dining, who can resist? After days and days of studying, it was just great to relax for an evening.

The restaurant is nicely decorated and inviting. This is from the dining area looking out towards the front door. Food being put out from the kitchen on the right, bar on the left.

The dining area. The paintings work well for the restaurant although I can’t imagine having them in my home!

Even the chandelier matched the colour scheme

We were seated immediately and a waitress came to give us menus and take our orders.

Our table – a good size for 2. That bread. The both of us had to wonder how long had it been sitting there… completely dried out, hard and brittle. We could barely cut into it without making a mess everywhere. The butter had also been left out for too long and had the consistency of mousse.

L’Academie was definitely not giving us a very good first impression. But rather than start out the evening complaining and asking for replacements, we decided to see what else the restaurant had to offer.

The entrees came out shortly.

I ordered the special – don’t remember the exact name but it came with breaded calamari and a salad. Delicious! Calamari was perfectly cooked and just the right amount of accompanying salad and sauce.

What was not pretty to see, however, was oxidized lettuce. It’s entirely natural but should never appear on a plate served in a restaurant. I wouldn’t even want it seen in anything I would serve my family, just unappetizing. Would’ve taken only an extra second to rip it off, so more care needed!

Mike ordered the Marinated Sweet Chilli Scallop & Tiger Prawn Salad with Fresh Rocket & Ginger Dressing. A seafood fan, he claimed it was fantastic. “Simply good.”

We were able to choose a bottle of wine between Tyrrell’s merlot or chardonnay, we chose chardonnay. Good wine, although not nearly worth the quoted price of $80 on our Scoopon. This bottle can be bought in the range of $15-20.

Our dishes were cleared within a few minutes of finishing but it was never intrusive. Staff was really great the entire time.

Our mains arrived in only a few minutes.

I ordered the Tasmanian Rosemary Lamb Rump on Sweet Potato Mash with Tomato, Bulgarian Fetta & Mint Salsa. Yummy! The lamb was so nicely seasoned and it was my first time trying the lamb and mint combination – was definitely not disappointed. Gravy was also amazing! The serving of sweet potato was massive but definitely delicious.

Mike had the Cold Water Slipper Lobster with Brown Rice Pilaf, Braised Leek & Chive Beurre Blanc. It was the first time either of us had heard of the slipper lobster – it’s tiny! But in his words, “So succulent and satisfying.”

With such satisfying entrees and mains, we were really hoping dessert would take it home for us. Man, were we ever disappointed! We chose to share a chocolate brownie and gosh, even I can make better brownies… from instant mix!

The brownie was nice and chocolately, but unfortunately too hard and dry. 😦 L’Academie, please don’t plate your desserts ahead of time and have them refrigerated… that is so cafeteria! I’m sure the brownie would’ve tasted at least 3x better if it had even been slightly warmed up before serving. Such is the downfall of convenience!

One of the servers kindly took a picture for us. Even getting down on one knee and proclaiming, “I think I took a good one there!” (You be the judge ;))

Thank you L’Academie Hotel for a much needed good night.

We had a great time and overall good food. Would we come back again? Perhaps, if we can get a good deal like this time! Service was great… although we had at least 4 people serve us – would’ve preferred to be stuck with one person the entire time. We weren’t too happy about certain aspects of the food as mentioned above. And lastly, the atmosphere was a little too much like a family restaurant than fine dining (although we understand it’s a training restaurant). Some music to set the mood would be nice! And maybe a separate area for large (noisy) groups 😀

Score: 3.5/5

 
L'Acadamie on Urbanspoon

Follow-up: Never order flowers from Dveras Fine Flowers

As promised, below is the closure to a complaint post I wrote regarding Dveras Fine Flowers. You can read that entry here.

Amazingly, the manager I spoke with called my sister quite early the following morning.

She continued to insist that their return policy was that if I wanted my money back, they would have to come and take the flowers (no Return Policy stated on website). She told my sister that she had also offered to replace my mother’s bouquet – both of which I had repeatedly turned down.

My reasoning:

  1. Why on earth do you need to come and take back someone’s present when clearly you were at fault and the bouquet can’t be reused?
  2. If you could provide a replacement bouquet that looks similar to what I ordered, then why didn’t you replace the original arrangement with that that one to begin with?
  3. You thought you could get away with something because this was an international order and now it’s backfired in your face.

Reasoning #3 was made even stronger when my sister gave me the manager’s explanation: They had run out of white lilies so had to work the colour scheme of the bouquet around tiger lilies. Bull! The bouquet would’ve looked perfectly fine even if only orange lillies were substituted, not to mention every other flower was substituted or replaced with cheaper ones. And she initially used roses as her excuse with me.

My sister eventually decided against the refund because it was not fair to my mom to have them come and take away her birthday flowers. Instead, Dveras Fine Flowers apologized by sending my mom an additional bouquet with light flowers as well as a plant – both of which were nice.

Unfortunately, despite the positive resolution, with all the trouble that I went through and the dishonesty I felt from Dveras Fine Flowers, I stand my ground and will not be ordering from them in the future.

Never order flowers from Dveras Fine Flowers

I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my mom’s birthday this past weekend.

After looking through many websites, I finally settled on Dveras Fine Flowers for 3 reasons:

  1. They are based in Ottawa. I had walked in to buy flowers before and they were of good quality. Also, since I was ordering from Australia, I thought they would be trustworthy as the delivery address was local. And if there were any problems, easier for my family to get in touch with them
  2. Their prices were okay. Not cheap by any means, just not as expensive as other florists in Ottawa
  3. I really liked, and believed my mom would like the arrangement I picked – Arrive in Style

The Arrive in Style bouquet looked like this:

The description, taken directly from their website stated:

This beautiful bouquet will most certainly arrive in style! Ready for the runway, as it were. A delightful combination of light colors and lovely flowers, it’s simply beautiful.

Light pink roses, white asiatic lilies, alstroemeria, cushion spray chrysanthemums and statice are delivered in a stylish vase. Style to spare!

The bouquet that ended up being delivered to my mom looked like this: Hideous

Not only were ALL the flowers substituted for different colours, there were no signs of alstroemeria, yellow carnations in place of chrysanthemums and purple baby’s breath was used in place of statice!!

But none of this could’ve been a problem, except they didn’t even try to obtain consent for ANY of the substitutions.

On their website, their Substitution Policy is:

Occasionally, substitutions may be necessary to create your bouquet due to the availability of certain flowers in various parts of the country. Care is taken to maintain the style, theme and color scheme of the arrangement, using flowers of equal value. Additionally, the substitution of certain keepsake items may be necessary due to increased demand, especially during major holidays. In single-flower arrangements, such as an all rose bouquet, or orchids, we will make every attempt to match the flower type, but may substitute with another color.

If this is how they work around their Substitution Policy, they may as well replace the entire paragraph with:

“The entire bouquet may be replaced, at anytime for whatever reason we chose, with another containing entirely different colours and flowers.”

Obviously, I called to complain and the manager knew right away which order I was referring to. The phone conversation ended up somewhere along these lines:

  1. Her initially telling me, “Oh I had to substitute the original light pink roses with hot pink ones.” Really? That’s the only thing? What about the purple flowers, tiger lilies, purple baby’s breath and chrysanthemums!
  2. Why didn’t you ask me for my opinion on any of these changes?! “Oh, because when we first called the contact number, your sister said you were in Australia.” That’s why I gave you my sister’s contact number! It doesn’t matter where I am, you should’ve called the contact number!
  3. I am not satisfied, I want my money back. “I’m sure your mom loved the flowers. It was the exact same floral arrangement, only the colours were changed but it was a very nice and bright bouquet.” Loved? Are you kidding me? There is a reason I chose Arrive in Style – because it was light and elegant, not bright and tacky. How does the one you sent her look anything like what I wanted? Do you know what she likes? And it was most definitely not the same floral arrangement!
  4. “You know, the bouquet was only $36 and that it was already a really good deal.” Are you kidding me? I paid a lot more than $36 with tax and delivery! And price has nothing to do with this!
  5. I am not satisfied, I want my money back. “We can deliver a substitute bouquet to your mom instead.” Really? How about NO. How are you going to guarantee that it will look anything like what I ordered in the first place?! And if you can guarantee it, how come you didn’t deliver that one to begin with? “Well… well, if you want a refund, we are going to have to pick up the bouquet.”
  6. Are you serious? You want to come and take the flowers away. Why? Is it not bad enough that you screwed up majorly, but now you want to take her birthday present back? Are you going to use the flowers in another person’s bouquet, is that why you need to pick it up? “No… but…” How about you just give me my money back.
  7. “Let me call you back tomorrow.” Excuse me? You’re going to call me back? To my Australian number? “Yes, I’ll call you back tomorrow, if I don’t call you, you can call me.” You don’t even know my Australian number, call the Canadian number I left on the contact form, talk to my sister.

So that was how my phone conversation went. Got nothing out of it! And received absolutely no apologies for their errors with my order. She only said, “I’m sorry you’re not happy with the bouquet, but… (insert another excuse here).”

In conclusion,

  • I’m sure she will not call tomorrow because she doesn’t want to deal with this problem, which is why she hung up in the first place.
  • I’m sure I will never purchase flowers from them again.
  • I’m sure Dveras Fine Flowers thought they could get away with these “substitutions” because I was ordering from Australia.
  • I hope none of my readers will be ordering from Dveras Fine Flowers in the future. There are many other local florists that do a great job and have good customer service and satisfaction.
  • I hope Dveras Fine Flowers comes across my post when they Google themselves.
  • I hope they do call tomorrow and rectify this problem so I can come back and edit this conclusion to make it more positive.