Monday, February 14, 2011

Beers, bratwurst & burlesque.

Valentines Day. When Greeting Card companies around the world cash in.
My husband and I rejected the traditional displays of affection such as flowers and chocolate and went out for beer and bratwurst!

Living in the city now for a couple of months, we have already found a few of our favourite spots to eat, drink and play. I met hubby after work and we headed to the Bavarian Bier Cafe.
We've dined there twice and spent many a Friday night enjoying the gorgeous view. My husband is absolutely obsessed with their Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel, which is described as a malty, toffee flavoured bier with a delicate coffee / mocha palate and minimal bitterness.
I settled on a simple Semillon and when they brought our drinks out... well, a picture is worth many more words.That's right, 1 litre of Bavarian goodness! Look at that cheesy grin! He was so overjoyed by that beer for the entire night, I definitely scored major points for picking this restaurant last night.

The meals are brought out promptly here, we both ordered the Bavarian Tasting Platter, which includes Schnitzel, pork belly, bratwurst and small kipfler type sausages. Fantastic! I really enjoyed the sauerkraut and crispy onion strings that came with the platter, and the yellow and seeded mustard went really well with the bratwurst.
Obligatory outfit shot (I was totally channelling Minnie Mouse last night). After dinner we walked down to Kerbside for their Valentines Day flood relief Burlesque show. We scored a nice comfy couch in the front and settled in for two and a half hours of dirty humour and striptease with the fabulous Miss Bertie Page! Best Monday night ever!!

Wine Weekend in the Granite Belt

For my Mum's 50th last year I wanted to give her something truly memorable, and what could be more special than a weekend away with her wonderful daughter for a wine tasting getaway!

We spent two nights at Cypress Ridge Cottages in Ballandean, about 20 minutes south of Stanthorpe.
On our first day we visited Heavenly Chocolates... which pretty much speaks for itself!
I bought a few goodies including chocolate covered strawberries (real ones, not the lollies!) and white chocolate rocky road with soft gooey turkish delight, marshmallows and peanuts!
They also have a big selection of home made hot chocolates. I sampled the Tiramisu and my mum had the Chilli Chocolate. Absolutely lush on that chilly September afternoon.
On Saturday we headed to the check in desk to be picked up for a tour of the Granite Belt Wineries! Filippos Tours took my Mum and I to about 7 or 8 wineries, where each one provided a tasting of their sweet and dry whites and reds plus dessert wines and ports. Needless to say, by about 1pm we were feeling quite rambunctious and ready for some tasty food!

We stopped at Robert Channon Wines for a quick tasting of their gorgeous Verdelho and a gourmet lunch and dessert. I ordered the Singing Lake Duck Pie which had a crisp and flaky pastry and a rich merlot sauce. Dessert was a random drop of lemon tart, chocolate mud cake and key lime cheesecake. I had the latter and it was a gorgeously sweet and tart finish to the meal.

The tour began at 9.30am and concluded at around 5pm and cost only $85 per person, including lunch!! I would recommend going on one of these tours, as we really enjoyed being able to taste all the wine's we liked and not have to drive! Here are a few things we came away with! My favourite was definitely the Piramids Road Mistella, a sweet dessert wine which tasted like turkish delight!

My Mum and I had a really great time and I hope to organise another weekend getaway sometime this year. Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

amazing. dark. beautiful.

Black Swan.
I know this movie was overly dramatic and dark, but I have a soft spot for ballet movies. I think this is partly due to multiple viewings of Centre Stage, Save the Last Dance and Billy Elliot during my teens. I was mesmerised by the obsessive perfectionism and destructive nature of Natalie Portmans character Nina.

I know this is an absurd pairing, but Scott Pilgrim and Black Swan are my two favourite movies at the moment.

"When I'm around you, I kind of feel like I'm on drugs.
Not that I do drugs. Unless you do drugs, in which case I do them all the time. All of them."

A good-bye is never painful unless you’re never going to say hello again

It's not like eye candy carousel has completely perished, more like an extended hiatus! You know how it is..

Initially, this blog was created to link up with other bloggers and sporadically write about my life experiences, living as a married 20 something student in Brisbane. I have met lots of lovely people through the crazy blog-o-sphere and through Twitter, including some lovely dinners and casual lunches. I still get a small thrill out of turning up to a restaurant and not actually knowing any of my fellow diners!

I am going to make a concerted effort to blog more often, if not for any other reason than to capture some special moments in my life.

So far, this year has been brought to you by cyclones, floods and the number 17. The crazy weather events of mid January meant that my husband and I were evacuated from our new city apartment for 2 and a half weeks. Friends have had to knock down walls and others have lost all their possessions. We were extremely fortunate.

During the week before the floods, I went to see Blue Valentine at Palace Cinemas with a friend and we had lunch at James Street Bistro next door.

We both walked out of the theatre feeling heavy hearted and a little depressed honestly! It was a pretty honest portrayal of what can happen to a marriage... just not necessarily your feel good flick!

Anyway, our lunch at James St Bistro certainly perked us up! I ordered the roast pumpkin salad which was honestly one of the best salads I have ever had! Rocket leaves, feta, tomato, spanish onion, flaked almonds and balsamic were perched prettily atop two gorgeous pieces of soft roasted pumpkin. A truly hearty and filling salad! Not what I expected, normally the pumpkin is cubed throughout.

Today is February 14th, and there are no blue valentines to be seen. Pink hearts and red roses only, thank you! Hubby is working today and I am be meeting him at 5.30pm for dinner and frivolity on this day of love and lust.

Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Moo Moo The Wine Bar + Grill

On Wednesday 28th July, a group of 20 Brisbane food bloggers / lovers met at Moo Moo for a truly wonderful 3 course meal with wines!

We were separated into 2 round tables of 10, which were located in side by side rooms. The decor was very bold and quite masculine, perfect fit-out for an elegant steak house, bar and grill. *another dining area, in the adjacent room to ours, I forgot to take pictures of our actual table...

The rooms are dimly lit, but it definitely adds to the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. Apologies for the dark photography! We had individual wait staff and a wine station within the room itself, how convenient! I was expecting one, maybe two glasses of wine with dinner, but they were very generous and we had our glasses topped up regularly throughout the meal.

Moo Moo graciously designed a 3 course set menu for us! Sarah (from I Ate Brisbane) and I excused ourselves to take some pictures of the restaurant before our entrees arrived!Busy busy chef's making out delicious feast!!

Oooh, looky looky! Moo Moo have a wall of glorious hanging Charcuterie, which would be making an appearance in our entree!!
Ah ha! Our tasting plates are being assembled, we rush back to our seats! More wine, and very shortly our entrees were brought out.
Definite highlights of this platter were the pork belly (of course!) as well as the tempura coated zucchini flower, which was stuffed with goats cheese and walnuts.
Onto the mains, I ordered the 300g dry aged sirloin, which was served with potato mash and gorgeous asparagus spears. The wait staff also came around with a variety of condiments for our steak. The "moo moo" was cooked medium rare (more rare than medium) and just to my liking. While not the best steak I've ever eaten, the sirloin did have a great flavour and I really enjoyed it paired with the horseradish and also their seeded mustard.

Unfortunately, my archaic camera ran out of juice before the dessert course! Ever the dessert fiend, this was my favourite of the night! Hot fudge sauce was poured over the luscious chocolate brownie by the wait staff, and the crunchy honeycomb pieces held such a great texture against the smoothness of the rest of the dish.

Such a fun night! After desserts, we all piled into the other room so we could chat with the neighbouring table of 10. The chef came and chatted with us while we ended the night with coffee's and the last of the wines.

The tardiness of this post means that the next Bloggers dinner has arrived, tonight! We are headed to The Gunshop Cafe in West End this evening for what is sure to be another memorable evening!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oyama, Fortitude Valley

We really love sushi. I mean, it's like serious between us.. Jake, Sushi & I.. total BFF's. So naturally, when his birthday rolled around towards the end of June, his first choice was Sushi Train! However I made the subtle suggestion that *maybe* we should venture somewhere a little different for such an occasion, and he happily obliged. We are so crazy, instead of Sushi train, we went wild and booked into a Japanese restaurant instead. Woahhh, we live on the edge!

We headed over to Oyama on Wickham Terrace on Friday night and were seated in a lovely corner table with a good view of the restaurant. Oyama has 3 sections; a sushi bar with fresh sushi made to order, a Teppanyaki bar (so much fun!) and normal a la carte dining.

We ordered Yakitori as a starter, which is basically chicken peices on skewers. Super prompt service, however I felt slightly uncomfortable as the lovely staff seemed to linger / hover over our table. Almost immediately after we had finished the last skewer, they had whisked away our plates! Prompt service is normally welcome, however this just seemed a little abrupt.

We also both ordered tempura prawns and vegetables, which were absolutely delicious! Lightly battered, sooo crispy and hot! Jake ordered his with rice, and I decided on udon noodle soup. The noodles were perfectly slippery and the soup was perfect with the crispy tempura. We really enjoyed our meal, I just wish it hadn't felt so rushed!!

Afterwards, we headed over to the Mana Bar (aka Nerd Bar FTW!) for birthday cocktails and games! They have really delish cocktails, my fave was definitely the Mana Potion We played guitar hero and some punchy fighty game. Such a fun fun little club, we have been back a couple of times since, it's always a good time! *see random video game in background? weeee, fun!!

Lunch on Q

Recently, through the help of twitter and facebook, I was been lucky enough to come in contact with a group of fellow Brisbane food bloggers. These social networking sites get slammed quite frequently, but I hold nothing but fondness for them, as they provide a wonderful avenue to connect with like minded people and make some new friends.

I met up with a group of 5 other food lovers for lunch at Restaurant Two during Lunch on Q in June. For only $35, we enjoyed a two course meal with wine! Such a glorious treat, as Two is generally out of my price range for lunch.

Main course was either Braised Channel Country Beef Cheeks, Red Vegetable Puree, Mushrooms and Onion Jam or Grilled Jacob’s Well Prawns, Asian Salad and Nam Jim.
I chose the beef cheeks, and boy was I glad I did! I had never tried cheeks before this, and for some obscure reason I had the idea that "cheeks" were referring to a part of the cows bottom, when (shock horror) they are LITERALLY the cows cheeks! Further reading and research later confirmed that I am not the only person to make this mistake... so yay for me I guess.

Anyway, if you ever get the chance to order beef cheeks, DO IT! They were so tender and just fell apart at the touch of the fork.
Heavenly beef products = hallelujah!
It should be noted, that beef cheeks run the risk of being incredibly tough if they aren't cooked slowly at the right temp. An amazing mains, and a testament to the talented chefs at Restaurant Two. The second highlight to this dish was the onion jam, which was thick and caramelised and I loved this flavour paired with the tender beef and juicy mushrooms.

For dessert, we had a choice of Mt Tamborine Rhubarb, Apple and Pear Crumble with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream or a selection of farmhouse Cheeses, Quince Paste and Biscuits. Being the sweet toothed, candy loving gal that I am, I chose the crumble for my second course. This was lovely, the crumble had a great texture and the warm fruits were beautifully offset by the delicate, smooth ice cream. So decadent for a mid-week lunch! I didn't manage to take any pictures of the meals as we were all enjoying the company and conversation... and the delicious food!

I have been so stupidly busy lately with uni, work, life, etc and have completely neglected eyecandycarousel, hence the incredibly belated post. Hmmm, only 10 weeks late... woops!