• We must have passed Little Greek Taverna a hundred times over the years whenever we venture into West End, but have never tried them out. When we finally made it to Little Greek Taverna, we came away wondering why the hell we stayed away for as long as we did.

    Little Greek Taverna in South Brisbane

    We must have passed Little Greek Taverna a hundred times over the years whenever we venture into West End, but have never tried them out. When we finally made it to Little Greek Taverna, we came away wondering why the hell we stayed away for as long as we did.

  • If you haven't tried Korean Fried Chicken, you are really missing out. Korean Fried Chicken is apparently a huge part of modern South Korean culture and is cooked twice, so the batter is crunchier and less greasy. They also use smaller and younger chickens, resulting in a far more tender product. So where did we go for our Korean Fried Chicken that night? Kyochon Chicken on Beenleigh Road in Sunnybank Hills.

    Kyochon Chicken

    If you haven’t tried Korean Fried Chicken, you are really missing out. Korean Fried Chicken is apparently a huge part of modern South Korean culture and is cooked twice, so the batter is crunchier and less greasy. They also use smaller and younger chickens, resulting in a far more tender product. So where did we go for our Korean Fried Chicken that night? Kyochon Chicken on Beenleigh Road in Sunnybank Hills.

  • Bucci Restaurant recently celebrated its 3rd birthday and launched a new quick and casual lunch menu, which I was invited to sample. No more excuses!

    Bucci Restaurant’s new lunch menu

    Bucci Restaurant recently celebrated its 3rd birthday and launched a new quick and casual lunch menu, which I was invited to sample. No more excuses!

  • Domino’s must have a better weatherman on their books than the national television stations, for they have just launched their latest Chef’s Best pizza range to match the cooling weather – the Pulled Beef range.

    Domino’s new Chef’s Best Pulled Beef pizza range

    Domino’s must have a better weatherman on their books than the national television stations, for they have just launched their latest Chef’s Best pizza range to match the cooling weather – the Pulled Beef range.

  • After seeing a slew of drool worthy photos of gyros served up at George Calombaris’s Jimmy Grants Fitzroy establishment by several Melbournian foodies, I had my sights set on tasting a gyros for myself. And Gyradiko Brisbane on James Street sounded like just the place to do it.

    Gyradiko Brisbane

    After seeing a slew of drool worthy photos of gyros served up at George Calombaris’s Jimmy Grants Fitzroy establishment by several Melbournian foodies, I had my sights set on tasting a gyros for myself. And Gyradiko Brisbane on James Street sounded like just the place to do it.

  • Not to be mistaken for West End’s yakitori joint Bird’s Nest restaurant or Kangaroo Point’s rooftop bar Eagles Nest, Nest Restaurant is a recently launched Asian fusion restaurant that sits within the Roma Street's Transit Centre.

    Nest Restaurant Launch, Roma Street

    Not to be mistaken for West End’s yakitori joint Bird’s Nest restaurant or Kangaroo Point’s rooftop bar Eagles Nest, Nest Restaurant is a recently launched Asian fusion restaurant that sits within the Roma Street’s Transit Centre.

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Having too many cards

I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’m not a very loyal customer. While I certainly have my favorite brands (Lupicia for tea, Leona Edmiston for frocks, Cue and Ojay for corporate wear, etc), a fanatic I most certainly am not. Yet I have accumulated mountains of store membership and loyalty cards – whenever a sales rep asks if I’d like to join their free membership, I say ‘yes’ faster than the Road Runner on speed.

Hey, don’t judge me for wanting to enjoy a discount whenever I shop. But this explosion of plastic has made my long suffering Bonia ostrich leather wallet rather obese and it has now threatened to refuse to close. Rather than getting a bigger wallet, I hunted for an alternate solution and decided to sew a separate wallet with some scrap fabric just to house these cards that aren’t used frequently.

Card wallet

Card wallet

My Bonia wallet is still my regular go-to baby and all my important cards, such as EFTPOS, credit, Medicare and driver’s licence cards. And cash, of course.

The fabric one, on the other hand, holds up to 12 cards – more if I’m willing to double or triple the cards per pocket. It’s perfect for slipping into one of our diaper bag pockets and keeps everything well-organised.

To make this card wallet, I followed this tutorial, but modified the clasp with a cloth covered button and a piece of hair elastic.

Card wallet

Card walletHow do you organise your wallet and various cards?

 

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Our new family addition – Bubby

After the many heartaches with my cervical cancer and miscarriage, the SO and I are so very happy to announce the safe arrival of the newest addition to our little family – our little Bubby.

Bubby

Born on Tuesday 14 April 2015, 14:46 hours
Weighing in at 3.056 kg and 50 cm long.

We’re so incredibly grateful to the many family and friends who have sent their love and well-wishes, and while we are excited for everyone to meet the little man, we have been loving our quiet family time getting to know each other. So in the meantime, please excuse the lack of updates. We’ll be back in blogging order as soon as Bubby’s routine is more settled.

Below is our baby’s birth story.

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Little Greek Taverna in South Brisbane

We must have passed Little Greek Taverna a hundred times over the years whenever we venture into West End, but have never tried them out. Was it because every time we did, the little corner restaurant would be packed with every table spilling down the sidewalk on either side? Or perhaps we were simply too lazy or always enroute to catch up with friends at another venue?

Whatever the reason, we finally made it to Little Greek Taverna and came away wondering why the hell we stayed away for as long as we did.

Little Greek Taverna

Little Greek Taverna

Being on the fringes of the eclectic West End, Little Greek Taverna seemed to attract a varied clientele of family, friends groups and couples seeking a good meal and conversation without yelling over overly enthusiastic bands or singer/song writers crooning on guitars. There simply isn’t space for live entertainment. And besides, the vibe at Little Greek Taverna and their service staff was a no-monkey business to seating and feeding its hungry punters quickly and without fuss.

We dropped in without a reservation and were fortunate to grab a table for dinner. Well-worn tri-fold menus encased in thick frosted plastic were handed over with a laminated sheet of specials for our inspection, and it definitely didn’t take them long to deliver the goods after taking our order.

Little Greek Taverna

Garlic prawns to share. AUD$15

The SO wanted to start with the garlic prawns to share, but our entire order arrived at the same time, which was fine by us. Served simply in a tiny frying pan that might only fry up two eggs at a time, the pile of these plump and juicy sweet prawns could have so easily been overcooked or overpowered by the strong garlic sauce they had been tossed in, but the balance was perfect by our account.

Little Greek Taverna

Keftedes and salad. AUD$15

Little Greek Taverna

Chargrilled barramundi with salad and salsa. AUD$15

The first impression when our two mains arrived was that there didn’t look like much on the plate. Both had the item we had ordered and a small bowl of Greek salad – chunky cuts of tomato, cucumber, onion, olives, a pickled chilli and only in the SO’s case, cubes of feta dressed in olive oil. The rest was a sea of white ceramic, making it look deceptively empty.

The keftedes and salad served as a main comes with eight large tablespoon sized panfried beef meatballs. Thin crispy crusts encased the ground beef insides and yielded easily to the dinner knife, breaking off nicely into bite sized pieces. I was expecting the keftedes to be plain, but they were surprisingly moist and spiced enough that it didn’t simply taste of beef.

The fillet of chargrilled barramundi was a generous serve, made slightly crispy from the flat grilling and well-seasoned. The SO quite enjoyed this one and found himself polishing off this main fairly quickly.

With mains priced around AUD$15, we found Little Greek Taverna very reasonably priced for the area and quality of the meal – certainly placing it on our list to visit next time we’re in the area.

 

Little Greek Taverna on Urbanspoon

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Kyochon Chicken

As the evening progressed, the food truck lines at the Eats and Beats event simply got too long and the divine smell from the King of Wings truck gave me a hankering for chicken. And honestly what better fried chicken is there than the other KFC – Korean Fried Chicken.

If you haven’t tried Korean Fried Chicken, you are really missing out. Korean Fried Chicken is apparently a huge part of modern South Korean culture and there are very noticeable differences between it and the American KFC. For one, Korean Fried Chicken is cooked twice, so the batter is crunchier and less greasy. They also use smaller and younger chickens, resulting in a far more tender product.

So where did we go for our Korean Fried Chicken that night? Kyochon Chicken on Beenleigh Road in Sunnybank Hills.

Kyochon Chicken

Kyochon Chicken

Kyochon Chicken is located in a small shopping cluster just off Beenleigh Road that also houses an organic food mart, the local (and apparently popular on a Friday night) Domino’s outlet, another Korean eatery and a liquor store. It ain’t fancy, polished and probably not the kind of place you’d bring someone on a first date – not unless they really love their chicken.

Kyochon Chicken

All seating was located inside the little shop – 3 tables of four and 2 tables of two, but they do take-away if you’re feeling a little claustrophobic. Nothing fancy here, though there was a television airing a Korean talk show while we were there.

The menu has a couple of items, including dumplings, dried squid and two kinds of soup. But let’s be honest, it’s the chicken you really want. At Kyochon Chicken, you generally have the option to order half chicken or whole chicken portions. The flavours on offer were the original (AUD$13 for half, $24 for whole), spicy marinated (AUD$14 for half, $25 for whole) and soy marinated (AUD$14 for half, $25 for whole).

Groups are at a distinct advantage as Kyochon Chicken also offers combinations – half original and half spicy marinated ($26), half original and half soy marinated ($26), or half spicy and half soy marinated ($26). All orders come with a serve of pickled cubed radish to help tackle any greasiness. You order at the counter and if you’re eating there, you pay after your meal.

Kyochon Chicken

Half serve of soy marinated chicken. AUD$14

Kyochon Chicken

Did I love it? Heck yah! The pieces were assorted, so they weren’t just the drumsticks, wings and breast. Just another great way to learn chicken anatomy, except tastier and wrapped in a golden crunchy shell. Even the SO who was full from his Vira Lata Food Truck sandwich snuck in two pieces and was impressed by how tasty Kyochon Chicken was.

 

Hello! Kyochon Chicken on Urbanspoon

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Bucci Restaurant’s new lunch menu

Disclaimer: We dined as invited guests at Bucci Restaurant and Lucid Media to sample their new lunch menu. Opinions – as usual – are our own. 

“Why?”

I looked up from my iPhone, thumbs poised over the screen to punch out some choice words to describe the leisurely lunch we had just had with Jessalyn from Feed Me Now Brisbane on Instagram.

“Why did we wait so long to visit Bucci?” the SO asked, as he reversed the car carefully into the surprisingly tame traffic on James Street on Easter Saturday.

Frankly I was stumped. Why haven’t we visited sooner? Bucci Restaurant isn’t terribly far away for us to travel and while the parking situation on James Street can be blood-boilingly frustrating, it isn’t as if we haven’t ventured into the area in the past to visit shops like Leona Edmiston‘s vintage store, or other eateries, such as Gerard’s Bistro and Gyradiko. The restaurant isn’t ridiculously pricey either and it had a good welcoming vibe in a prominent location.

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

Admittedly every time we have walked past Bucci Restaurant in the search for a meal, the place was often filled with an older clientele that always had a bottle at the dinner table. It hinted that one should linger longer to truly drink in the atmosphere and savour the meal – an impression that was often at odds with what we would have been looking for at the time.

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

However Bucci Restaurant recently celebrated its 3rd birthday and launched a new quick and casual lunch menu, which I was invited to sample. No more excuses!

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

Bucci Restaurant‘s new lunch menu continues with its Italian influences and is divided into four sections: pesce (fish), carne (meat), verdure (greens) and dolce (sweets or dessert). Each section had items ranging from AUD$5 each (Calamari Ripieni Fritti) to AUD$14 (Arancini al funghi) and AUD$22/29 (Rag Ragu)… to the most expensive thing on the lunch menu – Bistecca at AUD$49.50 (chargrilled 400g Diamantina Hereford cross Wagyu rib, on the bone with patate fritte and Bucci’s mustards).

This deviation from the more traditional antipasto, primo, secondi, contorno, insalata and dolce menu format is definitely a reflection of the more casual approach Bucci was aiming for, but also offers diners with dietary restrictions or preferences an easier time of surveying their options.

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

OLIVE ALL’ASCOLANA AUD$12.50 (6 pieces)

The Olive All’Ascolana are stuffed olives are from the Ascoli region of Italy. Traditionally olives of the Ascolana strain are used, which are large, green and mild in flavour. Bucci‘s version were giant green olives with a gentle flavour – its stuffing combined fennel, salami, pork, rosemary and chilli. The combination made for a robust meaty starter that was sufficiently satisfying to calm a rumbling tummy without whetting your appetite too much.

Each marble-sized gem was crumbed and fried, and served with fresh salsa verde. This dish is a convenient finger food to share, as long as you are careful not to pop them straight into your gob before checking how long ago they might have emerged from the fryer (aka CAUTION: HOT!).

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

Prosciutto and pickled mushrooms with cow’s milk labna balls

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

CAPESANTE SALMORIGLIO AUD$23

To our surprise, two other dishes arrived at our table with compliments of executive chef Shaun Malone.

The first was a simple plate with paper thin slices of prosciutto and pickled mushrooms with cow’s milk labna balls. Unfortunately I had to leave most of this one for the SO and Jessalyn to tackle, but I did sneak a few bites of the pickled mushrooms and I love them! Pickled foods can often be a hit or miss, love it or hate it type deal. Too much pickling and your tongue feels like it needs to be scrapped with a butter knife. Too little pickling is just depressing. The SO quipped that while the pickled mushrooms were good on their own, it was far more pleasurable when combined with the saltiness from the prosciutto and labna balls’ silken creaminess.

The second was a short wooden board, its edges and surface worn almost as smooth as a river bed stone. Upon it bore the CAPESANTE SALMORIGLIO. Normally these would come on a board of six, but they had thoughtfully sent across just three of these sweet grilled Hervey Bay scallops – one for each of our company.

The SO, being the paranoid gatekeeper of all things that go into my mouth during my pregnancy, ruled that I was not to have a scallop… Just. In. Case. Sigh. I swear I’m going to have all the seafood my greedy little heart desires the minute this baby comes out. Dressed with an oregano and lemon dressing, fermented chilli aioli and pancetta crumbs, he relished both his own and my share, and would only let me scrap the crisp pancetta crumbs for myself. Yet despite missing out on the scallop itself, I was floored by how much I loved the crumb. I imagined it liberally sprinkled through a simple spaghetti with olive oil, garlic and chilli.

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

MOSCARDINI ALLA GRIGLIA AUD$15

The Moscardini alla griglia is a long plate lined with slow braised and grilled baby octopus with a salad of chickpeas and creamy thick hummus, fresh succulent quartered heirloom tomatoes, young rocket leaves and a spicy smoked trout aioli. There was also an unexpected treat of sweetness from finely sliced pickled onions as well.

I have – hand on my heart – never tasted octopus done as tender as the ones served on that plate, so if you’ve been traumatised by rubber octopus in the past (as I definitely have been), I highly recommend trying Bucci‘s octopus salad. When I asked executive chef Shaun Malone if his octopus had been manually tenderised (revered sushi chef Jiro Ono would massage his octopus for 40-50 minutes to tenderise the muscular beast into submission), he shook his head and insisted his baby octopus only needed lots of slow cooking.

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

CRAB LINGUINE AUD$26/33

Jessalyn had her eye set on the crab linguine. When the large main sized plate arrived, the heavy aroma of butter and fresh crustacean had my mouth watering. Bucci Restaurant have used local spanner crab with a thinner linguine, tossing just enough chilli to provide interest, and adding parsley and lemon for freshness. If you’re absolutely ravenous and a big eater (or don’t care to share any entrees or desserts*), go for the main size at AUD$33. Otherwise, the AUD$26 size would be more manageable.

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

Panfried barramundi with panzanella salad. AUD$32

If there’s barramundi on the menu, the SO would be sure to put serious consideration into ordering it. The panfried barramundi with panzanella salad was on the Bucci ‘Today’s Specials’ chalkboard. The crackle from the crispy skin was glorious – seriously, I would opt for fish crackle over pork crackle any day of the week. The SO offered me a sliver of his barramundi (really smooth and plump flesh), as we lamented how often we’ve been disappointed by limp fish crackle. Not here!

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

I forgot to describe what a panzanella salad was to the SO, so he was surprised that the bright red squares underneath his barramundi were really tomato soaked cubes of bread. The rest of the salad included coiled cucumber ribbons, the same heirloom tomatoes as my Moscardini alla griglia and this cute little semi-deskinned cherry tomato, that looks like a bon bon.

Lunch at Bucci Restaurant

CHOCOLATE NEMESIS DEL AUD$12.50

Jessalyn suggested we try the chocolate nemesis for dessert. With its claim to be ‘the best chocolate cake ever’, how could we resist? We accepted the challenge, but insisted we partake in it together. The square slice was paired with a quenelle of light vanilla mascarpone and crushed frozen raspberries.

Personally I’m not sure I would throw my hands up and proclaim the chocolate nemesis is the best chocolate cake ever, but if you like your cake texture light and somewhere between mousse and chiffon, not diabetic-inducingly sweet but not bitter either, then the chocolate nemesis is a contender for that title. If your definition of ‘best chocolate cake’ is rich sweet and dense to the point of fudge or lava, this isn’t it.

“So…” the SO pressed, glancing at me as he took a turn onto our street. “Why did we wait so long to visit Bucci?”

I sighed and stretched to pat the baby bump (the real one, not the food one). “We’ll definitely visit again once the baby’s here.” I promised.

Bucci on Urbanspoon

* No dessert?! What is wrong with you?

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