• Lokal + Co is located just off the main West End strip down O'Connell Street and was easy to find. Owners Norwegian expat and chef Herge Olsen and Corey Thoms have created a lovely space with a fresh clean aesthetic of crisp white and pine.

    Lokal + Co

    Lokal + Co is located just off the main West End strip down O’Connell Street and was easy to find. Owners Norwegian expat and chef Herge Olsen and Corey Thoms have created a lovely space with a fresh clean aesthetic of crisp white and pine.

  • 'Pretty' and 'idyllic' were my first impressions of Lakeview Espresso. Nestled comfortably in the midst of neat homes and quiet streets, Lakeview Espresso has a soothing view of the lake and small kids' playground across the street. The alfresco dining area is covered and would be prime coffee relaxation real estate, especially if the weather is fine.

    Lakeview Cafe, Burleigh Waters

    ‘Pretty’ and ‘idyllic’ were my first impressions of Lakeview Espresso. Nestled comfortably in the midst of neat homes and quiet streets, Lakeview Espresso has a soothing view of the lake and small kids’ playground across the street. The alfresco dining area is covered and would be prime coffee relaxation real estate, especially if the weather is fine.

  • This modern Japanese (with some Korean influences) is the sister eatery to BRIO Breakfast Bar Dining next door. Think bowls (katsudon, curry and ramen) and sushi. Zero Fox tauts itself as being 'modern Japanese', so don't expect a high degree of Japanese authenticity.

    Date lunch at Zero Fox

    This modern Japanese (with some Korean influences) is the sister eatery to BRIO Breakfast Bar Dining next door. Think bowls (katsudon, curry and ramen) and sushi. Zero Fox tauts itself as being ‘modern Japanese’, so don’t expect a high degree of Japanese authenticity.

  • It’s official! We have only had one breakfast at Billykart West End, but I am already super jealous of our friends Stew and […]

    Breakfast at Billykart West End

    It’s official! We have only had one breakfast at Billykart West End, but I am already super jealous of our friends Stew and […]

  • While the SO was getting dressed, I scrolled through a couple of suggested breakfast cafes and was impressed by the feedback for My Kingdom for a Horse. Everything lovely everyone had to say about them  is well deserved!

    [Adelaide] Breakfast at My Kingdom for a Horse

    While the SO was getting dressed, I scrolled through a couple of suggested breakfast cafes and was impressed by the feedback for My Kingdom for a Horse. Everything lovely everyone had to say about them is well deserved!

  • The wedding we were in Adelaide to attend was being held at Sfera’s Park Suites and Convention Centre and we were staying there for convenience. However it meant we did not have easy access to the abundance of dining options in the city, but the wedding couple suggested Pickled Duck was around the corner for the hungry.

    [Adelaide] Lunch at the Pickled Duck

    The wedding we were in Adelaide to attend was being held at Sfera’s Park Suites and Convention Centre and we were staying there for convenience. However it meant we did not have easy access to the abundance of dining options in the city, but the wedding couple suggested Pickled Duck was around the corner for the hungry.

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1

Lokal + Co

When I heard Lokal + Co in West End was offering a menu with Nordic influences, we were keen to visit.

We fell in love with the exquisite variety of fish dishes during our visit to Oslo last year. Smoked salmon, fermented trout, roe in a tube might not be appetising first thing in the morning for many, but it was such a healthy way to start the day. We would love to find something similar in Brisbane and held onto the hope Lokal + Co might be the answer to that prayer.

Lokal + Co enroute signage

Lokal + Co is located just off the main West End strip down O’Connell Street and was easy to find. Owners Norwegian expat and chef Herge Olsen and Corey Thoms have created a lovely space with a fresh clean aesthetic of crisp white and pine. Furnishings were simple and functional, with touches of warm copper (I adored the globe light fixtures over the coffee/bar counter).

Lokal + Co - counter

Lokal + Co - counter of pastries

Lokal + Co - cozy corner with two armchairs and coffee table

Lokal + Co - lunch menu

While the Danish open rye with sardines, egg, fennel, radish and iceberg lettuce (AUD$19) and grilled house cured gravlax with warm potato and braised fennel salad in a mustard seed aioli dressing (AUD$24) leaned more towards what we came to believe is ‘Nordic’, there was a chill in the air. Can you blame me if it drove a temptation for a warm wedged spiced roast pumpkin quinoa salad?

I loved that the quinoa was a crunchy element! The satisfying bulk came from the silky eggplant with creamy sweet and slightly smokey roasted pumpkin. The wedge of lemon would’ve been overkill with the tart tahini yoghurt dressing, but if you like the bite, knock yourself out and squeeze away!

Lokal + Co - Wedged spiced roast pumpkin quinoa salad with grilled eggplant, toasted almonds and tahini yoghurt dressing. AUD$19

Wedged spiced roast pumpkin quinoa salad with grilled eggplant, toasted almonds and tahini yoghurt dressing. AUD$19

The SO’s Cubano-pulled pork sandwich initially did not look like a serious contender. Not when compared to the now-considered-normal monster sized burgers and sandwiches that have dominated the dining scene these last couple of years. However where it lacked in size, it made up for in flavour.

Each half of Lokal + Co‘s Cubano-pulled pork sandwich fit quite comfortably in the SO’s hands when they were picked up. As he took each bite into the warm bread, barely anything slipped out from between the slices of bread and the SO’s hands stayed relatively clean.

I certainly enjoyed the several bites the SO offered and I almost voted he had the better meal. The leg ham and Jarlsberg cheese – absolutely perfect!

Lokal + Co - Cubano-pulled pork sandwich with sliced leg ham, Jarlsberg, dill pickle, beer mustard aioli and thick cut potato chips. AUD$18

Cubano -pulled pork sandwich with sliced leg ham, Jarlsberg, dill pickle, beer mustard aioli and thick cut potato chips. AUD$18

Was Lokal + Co the answer to our prayer for an omega-rich Scandanavian and Nordic breakfast? Unfortunately, no, but that is totally ok. Fermented trout and pickled sardines first thing in the morning isn’t for everyone. What Lokal + Co has to offer is.

 

Lokal + Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1

Lakeview Cafe, Burleigh Waters

Surfers Paradise is usually our go-to Gold Coast location (and Amimoto my go-to lunch spot), but when the Ekka holiday rocked around, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to head down the coast on an adventure. I heard of Lakeview Espresso and convinced the SO to take us to lunch there.

Lakeview

‘Pretty’ and ‘idyllic’ were my first impressions of Lakeview Espresso. Nestled comfortably in the midst of neat homes and quiet streets, Lakeview Espresso has a soothing view of the lake and small kids’ playground across the street. If your tyke is being fussy, I recommend taking them over for a quick play while you’re waiting for your order.

The alfresco dining area is covered and would be prime coffee relaxation real estate, especially if the weather is fine.

Orders and payment were made at the counter. It was also a chance to sneak a peek at the specials board and the baked good offering. In our case, it was the lamb burger and croissants.

We were also offered a 15% discount on our order as first-time customers.

Lakeview

Lakeview menu

Lakeview - latte

Lakeview Espresso has a light meal section. If my stomach wasn’t planning a mutiny, I would’ve gone for the Acai Bowl (AUD$13) or the Breakfast Burrito (bacon, egg, cheese, baby spinach, bean salsa, Mexican spices and house BBQ sauce for AUD$12).

However we were hungry for a hearty lunch and the prices for a bigger meal weren’t much more than the light meal options. I was tossing up between the Brat Bowl (roasted veg hash with sauteed kale, feta, poached egg and avocado in a light dressing for AUD$12.50) and the Mushrooms (thyme roasted mushrooms with sauteed kale and veggie has on sourdough with pumpkin hummus for AUD$14), before the Burleigh Beans caught my eye.

Lakeview - Burleigh Beans. AUD$12

Burleigh Beans. AUD$12

Lakeview Espresso‘s Burleigh Beans is vegetarian Boston style beans with a poached egg, sour cream and four slices of generously buttered sourdough toast. You can add chorizo for an additional AUD$3 for a carnivor-friendly version.

The sourdough toast was perfect for scooping up the plump beans. The sour cream helped mellow out the sweetness and smokiness of the thick BBQ sauce. However I quickly became overwhelmed and tried to drain as much of the sauce as possible with every bite halfway through my meal.

Lakeview - Chicken Bacon Burger. AUD$14

Chicken Bacon Burger. AUD$14

The SO had better luck with his chicken bacon burger. The bun barely held together the smoked chicken, bacon, baby spinach, cheese, tomato and beet relish combination. This one was for the truly hungry.

Lakeview - Mini avo toast. AUD$8

Mini avo toast. AUD$8

Bubby got a mini avo toast. Unfortunately Bubby doesn’t have the hang of biting through the crunchy harder edges of the toast yet and he isn’t keen on the fresh salad leaves. On the other hand, the avocado was perfect. The mashed avocado had chunks of feta mixed through, adding saltiness and textural interest.

Lakeview - playground across the street

Lakeview Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1

Date lunch at Zero Fox

The SO and I rarely have the opportunity to have lunch together during the week. It is a shame, as he only works in the next suburb and there are a number of interesting lunch options down his way. I suggested – on a whim – that when Bub is at daycare the other week, I come down to have lunch with him at Zero Fox and he jumped on the idea – and his team came along for the ride.

The SO and his work team have already dined at Zero Fox a number of times, and have given it their thumbs up.

Zero Fox

Zero Fox

This modern Japanese (with some Korean influences) is the sister eatery to BRIO Breakfast Bar Dining next door. Think bowls (katsudon, curry and ramen) and sushi. Zero Fox tauts itself as being ‘modern Japanese’, so don’t expect a high degree of Japanese authenticity. Their kimchi fries (fries topped with cream cheese and kimchi) and Meong-Meong burger (spicy pork burger with pickled radish, kimchi, tomato, cucumber and perilla leaves, and comes with chips) are dead giveaways.

Like its neighbours the London Club and Claret House, Zero Fox offers both indoor and communal street/people-watching outdoor pub seating. It is perfect for a casual work lunch with colleagues or a lazy Saturday lunch.

Zero Fox - Kimchi fries. AUD$9

Kimchi fries. AUD$9

The kimchi fries were surprisingly tasty and I found my hand reaching into the bowl long after I was past full. Although the kimchi topping was soft (I prefer a little more life and crunch in the vegetables), it has a decent kick, which the cream cheese helped mellow out.

Zero Fox‘s  katsu curry chicken bowl is definitely not like the cheap AUD$10 katsu curry bowls you often find in shopping malls. For one, their katsu curry chicken bowl was served in proper dining ware and was drowning in a mild curry – just the way it should be. They also have generous chunks of soft potato and carrots draping across the crispy chicken katsu.

Like the katsu curry chicken, the katsudon chicken bowl has the same chicken katsu fillet, heaps of pickles and loads of rice underneath. There wasn’t much sweetness, which I like and the bowl also had fresh quartered tomatoes – a refreshing healthy touch.

Zero Fox - Katsu chicken curry. AUD$16

Katsu chicken curry. AUD$16

Zero Fox - Meong-Meong burger. AUD$15

Meong-Meong burger. AUD$15

Zero Fox - Katsudon chicken bowl. AUD$15

Katsudon chicken bowl. AUD$15

Zero Fox Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1

Breakfast at Billykart West End

It’s official!

We have only had one breakfast at Billykart West End, but I am already super jealous of our friends Stew and Tiff, who live in the apartment block above. They have direct access to such an amazing eatery right on their doorstep and they might not even need to get out of their PJs to grab a brilliant cuppa in the morning.

Billykart West End

Billykart West End

While the chilly wind blew up a gale outside, we walked into a full indoor dining area. Every table had customers, young and old, digging into plates stacked with fluffy buttermilk and ricotta pancakes (an especially popular menu item at the tables with kids) or crispy corn fritters.

We were really lucky to have walked in right as several tables were leaving and were ushered to a table with plenty of room to prop down a high chair for Bub.

Billykart West End

Pastry cart

Unfortunately a full restaurant means the kitchen got smashed. I watched the buzz in the open kitchen – chefs had their heads down, sliding thick slices of bread for toast and scooping out nests of eggs out of the fryer. Meals flew out constantly, yet we still had to wait 20 minutes for our breakfast.

Thankfully the coffees were quick and Bub was in a cooperative mood.

Billykart West End - Spanner crab & scallop congee. AUD$18.50

Spanner crab & scallop congee. AUD$18.50

The spanner crab and scallop congee was the PERFECT winter warmer. My first mouthful brought back all my childhood memories of home back in Singapore. Cooked and blended into a thick tacky smooth rice congee, the richness came entirely from the crab and scallop flavours. I would have loved a little more bits and chunks of crab and scallop, but the pickled ginger and crispy shallots provided the crunchy element. This is nothing like the thin watery concoctions you sometimes unfortunately encounter at yum cha restaurants.

Protip: say ‘hell yes’ if they ask if you’d like to add a poached egg to the congee.

Billykart West End - Aussie Asian eggs. AUD$23.50

Aussie Asian eggs. AUD$23.50

Now the Aussie Asian eggs doesn’t come cheap at AUD$23.50 a plate, but it certainly hasn’t stopped it from being one of Billykart West End‘s more popular dishes. If you have ever been to Malaysia or Indonesia and had ‘tahu telor’ (a traditional Indonesian tofu or bean curd omelette), the texture and presentation of the Aussie Asian eggs will be familiar.

Served drizzled with oyster sauce, the best bits of the Aussie Asian eggs were the skull island tiger prawn, bacon and the deep fried egg. The chilli had a bit of a kick, but nothing that would blow the average spice-eater’s top off.

 

Billykart Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1

Brisbane Night Noodle Markets start tonight!

If you missed out on last weekend’s Regional Flavours Festival, be ever thankful that winter is Brisbane’s foodie season. The hugely popular Night Noodle Markets returns to South Bank and you’ll have from Wednesday, July 20 till Sunday, July 31 to dig in!

The Night Noodle Markets is part of the Brisbane Times Good Food Month of activities and if it’s anything like last year’s, expect another great selection of stalls, entertainment and appearances from the who’s who list (Adriano Zumbo and Luke Nguyen ring any bells?).

Good Food Month: Night Noodle Market

Last year’s New Shanghai’s Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai steamed pork dumplings)

What am I hoping to sample at this year’s Night Noodle Markets?

Of course the spectacular clear raindrop cake from Harajuku Gyoza and the Instagrammed-to-death strawberry watermelon cake from Black Star Pastry. And so will everyone else! Best get there early.

And while you’re waiting, grab some skewers from Hoy Pinoy. Those rocked my world at last year’s Night Noodle Markets.

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