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
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…
February 14, 2013
Dropped in Sourced Grocer in Teneriffe.
Exciting little fresh produce shop with cafe specializing in local produce made with attention and care. Owner Jerome’s point of difference is sourcing out passionate producers and running his own truck to collect the goods himself to bring it to his customers. The shop is small but organized and stylish. The coffee is good and the deli showcases all the great produce sold here. We had the sourced sandwich, a iced latte and took home some Bangalow Cheese and cultured butter, and fresh fruit and veg.
Chatting with Jerome and great to see a business like his thriving. We share a common philosophy of truly believing in the quality of what we sell and enjoying it at the same time. I have always been keen to increase the amount of organic produce we use so seeing if he can help me source some organic shallots.
Just a few of the brands that I picked up.
Blendale Organic Poultry
The Original Bangalow Pork
Bangalow Cheese Co
Pepe Saya Butter
Brambah Organics (Dairy)
The sandwich was delish. The bread is wholesome and fills you up. Juicy sweet tomatoes, ripe avos, salad, the dressing is yum and the Bangalow ham and the aged Swiss or jarlsberg cheese also very nice. Coffee by cup in westend is sweet and aromatic.
Also inspired by the open warehouse style setting and decor.
October 14, 2012
Came to the festival for the first time. Yes I admit, the catch copy of “you had me at pork nuckle” was the persuading point.
Tried all three biers. Lager, wheat and dark. All very good. A festival with German tap beer as the main spot light. It’s good stuff.
Sausages supplied by Goitzinger. Purchased the Frankfurter and Bratwurst. Brat looks appealing with pepper and herbs and frank looks relatively bland but the frank is about the smoking. The meat and skin are crispy having had enough moisture taken out through the process. Both very good though. The knuckle was perhaps more a novelty. I am sure I can do much better considering the potential of the meat. It’s got all those good inter connecting cartilage tissue that would turn into great gelatinous moist chunks of meat as long as its been cooked properly. The meat was roasted too long and skin was dehydrated and even the insides became a bit dry. And the seasoning ha not seeped in enough. Still an exciting dish to have in front of you with cold beer!
August 17, 2012
Ekka, the once a year event where you pay heaps to enter a park to spend heaps for rides, games, overpriced food and grog. And pay again and again, and again… Have to admit the once a year novelty and the kid’s sheer expectations to the extent that they will actually behave if they want to be taken to ekka does loosen the wallet.
Since last year, starting off the festivities with fresh SA coffin bay oysters and some bubbles has become a routine. Actually not a bit of respect paid to the agricultural highlights of QLD but what the heck. The Ocean Kings were a bit of a let down this year. The oysters superb, and the Seppelt sparkling, fleur de lys? was really good. The can bottles of crown lager were cute too. Mini hot dogs from goitzinger not bad at all.
Obviously we can’t go home without the strawberry sundaes.
We passed the dagwood and went for meat on the bone. A roasted turkey leg and pork ribs with chips. Both a feast for the eye but unfortunately not equally great in the mouth. Both meats a bit gamey and lacking flavoring. Perhaps too spoilt as I always get to eat Bangalow Sweet Pork. Tons of BBQ sauce to save the lack of flavoring!
Not pictured, also let our appetites roam free on coffee, frozen coke, honey doughnut puffs, strawberry gelato from the Greek Youghurt Company. beautiful and the kids only day in the year when they can have two ice cream in the space of 30minutes!
My show bag! Beautiful proper smoked small goods from goitzinger!
The kids got their rides and daddy tried to impress them with the hammer scale game which ended up a pretty average 118 out of 150, with a pretty average prize being a smallish stuffed snake.
All in all, had a great time!