November 25, 2013
Don’t know why but I have not explored this part of Brisbane too much. Dropped in Bird Cage at Woollongabba for lunch today. Initially came across this place in an article in mustdobrisbane. The picture of the tasting platter lunch with 5 bowls of goodies enticed me to check them out.
Have to say I was not expecting too much as many new places have left me disappointed and the classically fitted out restaurant inside the same heritage building as Enoteca was eerily quiet from the outside. Walking in, we notice the huge ceiling fans humming harmonically and a few young chefs rhythmically prepping probably for their dinner trade. We were offered to choose a table of our fancy and we decided to take the comfy looking tall segmented booth seats.
The lunch options are attractive at $19 per dish and we ordered one of the tasting plate $19 and one of the Thai beef salad $19 as well as the lunch special beer on tap Asahi $6 and Cricketer’s Arms Lager $6.
The tasting plate had pork belly on kimchi and cucumber salad, salmon cakes on green papaya salad, greens w mushroom, chicken and eggplant yellow curry. The pork belly could have been a bit more moist and the Asian greens a tad sweet for me but the salmon cake, super! And the chicken in the curry, perfection! The eggplant I like a bit softer but the contrasting texture among the ingredients (chicken juicy sous vide? Onion, sweet and well cooked, eggplant slightly hard) showed care in the cooking. I savoured the dishes and ordered extra rice$4 to polish everything off.
The beef salad featured a decent sized sliced steak grilled medium and a very spicy papaya salad.
The desert share plate ($19 including two coffees) consisting of intentionally crunchily battered banana fritters and rich coconut ice cream and caramel gritty textured salted caramel sauce finishes off the meal in a decadent happy way. The coffee was very good too!
I imagine that the place is busier and livelier for dinner but having the grand restaurant to ourselves, hogging the comfy booth seating and taking it all in, this lunch was probably the best 73 dollars I spent for lunch in a long time. We shall be back!
November 25, 2013
This is completely untimely being 11months away but forgot to post…
Before the film crew came out for my second degustation dinner, for my first degustation dinner, I had drafted a scenario of what I wanted to explain with each drink and dish. Considering the flow of the evening and mindful of food getting cold etc., I wasn’t able to explain fully all the information behind the dishes, drinks and food pairing, so where else to talk about it to my heart’s content other than this blog!
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November 25, 2013
Was fortunate to be able to score a table at Ortiga before their closure last month.
I was very keen to repay a visit since chef Pablo mentioned us to an interview he did with the Virgin Airlines inflight magazine. Recommendations from fellow chefs/restauranteurs are the ones that I am grateful the most.
Pictured, the inch thick wine list, inspiring dishes delicious and beautiful. My favorite was the eel dish with elegant espuma and lamb tongue with apple-slaw and garlic flower. The lamb shoulder was as fall off the bone as rumoured and the tanginess of lemon puree and delicious juis, great. The desert with dehydrated buttermilk was awesome too! Open kitchen in full steam yet composed, and a final pic with Pablo.
Very sad to see such a world class dining venue getting acclaim but the Brisbane public not following. I also regretted that my visit had to come at the trigger of their closure news. In the end, I would like to think better late than never and my wife and I were glad and felt fortunate that we were able to experience Ortiga. A truly memorable evening. Thanks Pablo and the team!
November 23, 2013
Finally! A yakitori restaurant in inner city. Damn good too! Using charcoal imported from Japan and free range chicken. Range of good sake and wine too.
Umm, I still think I do a decent job of my own yakitori but the quality of Bird’s Nest compared to the fuss and mess… Hey if you find me at their place sneaking a skewer once a week, that doesn’t mean a thing…
November 3, 2013
Take a look at http://www.taros.com.au and click on “shots” where I speak about a deconstructed 12 course ramen themed degustation dinner I did a while back. Contains a lot of shots about my ramen making so gives you an idea of what I do!
October 31, 2013
Now Extra Junky with Backfat Topping!!
Jiro is not ramen, it is a food called Jiro.
(popular proverb among hardcore Jiro fans)
Backfat laden Shoyu Tonkotsu soup and a thick hard noodle that bites back. Heaps of sprouts and cabbage, some shallots, two slices of charsiu. Chilli paste and Dried fish powder and minced garlic also add a strong accent. Although still stoically MSG free, it is very unlike Taro to create something so loud, indelicate, this is the epitome of Japanese Bogan food. No claims accepted for garlicky smell and oily stains. Limited and will sell out.
$15.90 Mini 135g = Single
$17.90 Small 270g = Double
$19.90 Large 405g = Triple
October 3, 2013
Dellugo in New Farm used to be a favorite of mine when entertaining overseas guests back in the days when I was a mining industry corporate.
Fond memories of a long dinner at Cafe dell’ Ugo with a stretch limo taking my VIP guest back to Sofitel.
Now my VIP guests are my 6 and 4 year olds who are relatively well behaved but are needed to pay close attention to so they don’t break anything on the table.
We had two pasta dishes, a gamberi tagliatelle (special request) and a ragu short pasta. Also the Involtini special and monkfish special. The standout was the gamberi tagliatelle.
I always find myself not enjoying the mains as much as I do the entrees or the pastas. But anyhow the gamberi pasta was amazing!!!
Tiramisu and almond tart to finish off. The tiramisu was very very nice. Coffee was excellent too!