• 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.

  • There has been an explosion of burger joints in Brisbane – not quite the food trend one might expect after […]

    Burgerfuel, Fortitude Valley

    There has been an explosion of burger joints in Brisbane – not quite the food trend one might expect after […]

  • Eating out can be a bit of a challenge, but we’ve been tackling it by either asking to doggy-bagging the leftovers or sharing one large meal between the two of us. And Ribs and Rumps is the perfect place for the latter.

    Ribs and Rumps, Fortitude Valley

    Eating out can be a bit of a challenge, but we’ve been tackling it by either asking to doggy-bagging the leftovers or sharing one large meal between the two of us. And Ribs and Rumps is the perfect place for the latter.

  • Motto Motto Japanese Kitchen opens in Westfield Garden City to offer more, more!

    Motto Motto Japanese Kitchen – more more!

    Motto Motto Japanese Kitchen opens in Westfield Garden City to offer more, more!

  • The SO had been to Hurricane's Grill on a business trip to Sydney some time ago and wasn’t adverse to the suggestion we should try their Gold Coast location for lunch. Obviously the Sydney outlet had made a decent impression and I had high hopes that a meaty lunch at Hurricane's Grill would satisfy my protein needs.

    Hurricane’s Grill

    The SO had been to Hurricane’s Grill on a business trip to Sydney some time ago and wasn’t adverse to the suggestion we should try their Gold Coast location for lunch. Obviously the Sydney outlet had made a decent impression and I had high hopes that a meaty lunch at Hurricane’s Grill would satisfy my protein needs.

  • It was our last night on the Gold Coast before the return to reality of work and life. The SO did a little online research and suggested we visit Provincial Restaurant & Bar on Tedder Avenue for dinner to top off our little vacation.

    Provincial Restaurant & Bar, Gold Coast

    It was our last night on the Gold Coast before the return to reality of work and life. The SO did a little online research and suggested we visit Provincial Restaurant & Bar on Tedder Avenue for dinner to top off our little vacation.

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Nest Restaurant Launch, Roma Street

Disclaimer: I attended the media launch event at Nest Restaurant as an invited guest of Nest Restaurant and The Red Republic. My comments are a reflection of my experience, which may have been non-standard, but remain completely honest and my own.

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 – arguably a great location, unless you plan to drive in and park in the immediate carparks (don’t. Rates were ridiculous).

By the time we had arrived, the Nest Restaurant media launch was well underway. The bar is not far past the narrow doorway – the bustle was concentrated there and over the plush cubicle style lounge area.

For the foodies, the best bit was deeper in the bowels of the restaurant, where the open kitchen was humming with activity and churning out samples from their menu. My favourites that evening were the fried spiced calamari with aioli, prawns and barbeque Beijing duck rolls. Their desserts also deserve a little mention, particularly their creme brûlée which had a gloriously caramelised sugar top.

Have you been to the Nest Restaurant?

Nest Restaurant Launch

Nest Restaurant Launch

Nest Restaurant Launch

Grilled Turkish bread with olive oil, dukkah and house grown herb butter

 

Nest Restaurant Launch

Nest Restaurant Launch

Nest Restaurant Launch

Fried spiced calamari with aioli

 

Nest Restaurant Launch

Pad Thai

 

Nest Restaurant Launch

Malaysian satay beef skewers

 

Nest Restaurant Launch

Crispy fried vegetable dumplings with fruit chutney

 

Nest Restaurant Launch

Barbeque Beijing duck rolls

 

Nest Restaurant Launch

Duck salad

 

Nest Restaurant Launch

Honey glazed Asian barbeque chicken wings

 

Nest Restaurant Launch

Laksa

 

Nest Restaurant Launch

Caramelised banana with Buderim ginger, Bundaberg raisins and vanilla bean ice-cream

 

Nest Restaurant Launch

NEST’s house honey creme brulee

 

Nest on Roma St on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: I attended the media launch event at Nest Restaurant as an invited guest of Nest Restaurant and The Red Republic. My comments are a reflection of my experience, which may have been non-standard, but remain completely honest and my own.

1

Burgerfuel, Fortitude Valley

Burger Fuel

There has been an explosion of burger joints in Brisbane – not quite the food trend one might expect after generations of nutritionally dubious fast food, but I suppose with the ballooning population of dude food and the resurgence of all things ‘manly’ (beard oils anyone?), burgers were bound to reclaim its standing as a desirable and optimal food choice. And why not, seeing as burgers are taking up the game in quality and variety?

Burger Fuel

New Zealand franchise Burgerfuel has now joined the fray and expanded to Australian shores. Their Fortitude Valley Emporium store is their first in Brisbane – they have another on the Gold Coast. Deviating from the classic bright red colour ways many burger joints adopt, Burgerfuel’s striking The-Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Prince shade of purple would be difficult to miss as it’s been incorporated into the menu boards and plump American diner style booth seats.

Burger Fuel - Bio Fuel. AUD$11.50

Bio Fuel. AUD$11.50

The Bio Fuel burger hails with a grass fed beef patty, free range egg, beetroot, salad, relish and aioli. The SO had one with his work colleagues before and was quite happy to order it again.
The SO also ordered a side of spud fries (AUD$4.90) to share and I was surprised it arrived with aioli. One of the things I sorely miss about fast food dining is the lack of free condiments – back in Singapore, you usually have at least a choice between ketchup or chilli sauce at any establishment. The fries were thick cut and simply salted, so a perfectly respectable side.

Burger Fuel

All Burgerfuel burger orders come with this nifty little paper contraptions. Dubbed the ‘doofer’, I learnt that it’s a hamburger packaging device that contains your hamburger during consumption, licensed in Australasia by Burger Fuel, an award winning gourmet hamburger franchise. Which makes perfect sense if the burger wasn’t so moist and dripped a lot – not a point I’m complaining about, seeing as I would much rather have a wet burger than a biscuit dry one.

Burger Fuel

Burger Fuel - Flame Thrower. AUD$12.20

Flame Thrower. AUD$12.20

The Flame Thrower is a char grilled chicken breast with jalapeno sauce, avocado, salad and relish and aioli, which I had without the bun and it arrived instead wrapped in crisp lettuce cups. MOS Burger used to offer a similar burger concept several years ago, so it’s nice to see another burger joint offering this as a no-carb option. Like the Bio Fuel, I had to juggle with a very drippy ensemble, particularly as my Flame Thrower was overly generous on the sauce and didn’t have a bun to soak some of the liquid up. Good thing they had bathrooms to wash one’s hands post-meal.

 
Burgerfuel on Urbanspoon

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Ribs and Rumps, Fortitude Valley

Growing a little human involves a number of physical changes and one of them, much to my dismay, is that the volume I can consume in one sitting has been dramatically reduced. Eating out can be a bit of a challenge, but we’ve been tackling it by either asking to doggy-bagging the leftovers or sharing one large meal between the two of us. And Ribs and Rumps is the perfect place for the latter.

In essence, Ribs and Rumps is a steak house, marketing itself as a prime dining establishment with multiple locations across the country. Its décor reminds me of Melbourne’s Steer Bar and Grill – all dark gloss with splashes of bright red.

Ribs and Rumps

Ribs and Rumps

Ribs and Rumps

Ribs and Rumps - Beef ribs and a grain-fed MSA chargrilled rump steak (220g AUD$39, 380g AUD$45) with choice of fries or baby potatoes with sour cream

Beef ribs and a grain-fed MSA chargrilled rump steak (220g AUD$39, 380g AUD$45) with choice of fries or baby potatoes with sour cream

The SO decided against having any sauce with the steak as they are an additional AUD$3, but the options were tangy BBQ relish, creamy garlic, creamy mushroom, peri-peri, creamy pepper, aioli or extra RNR basting. Frankly I wasn’t impressed that sauce was an add-on, but seeing as the steak was cooked as requested (medium-well), we easily did without and just savour the juicy meat.

Slathering the stiff sour cream onto the baby potatoes was a bit of a challenge, but their petite size was perfect for a single mouthful.

Compared to a similar lunch we had at Surfers Paradise’s Hurricane’s Grill, Hurricane’s Grill steak and ribs combo was dripping in more sauce. Ribs and Rumps’s rump steak was weightier at 220g, while Hurricane’s Grill’s sirloin was 200g.

Ribs and Rumps - Broccolini with olive oil and flaked almonds (AUD$10)

Broccolini with olive oil and flaked almonds (AUD$10)

 

Broccolini, so often overcooked, was not at Ribs and Rumps and they were quite generous with their lashings of olive oil, so the flavour came through. However for the same price, I reckon the Greens, almonds and herb butter at Anise is a better version of greens to serve as a side.

Service was quick and quite gracious despite our small order. Other tables were groaning under the weight of meat-aholic platters. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, there’s the mixed grill (a full combination of beef ribs, rump steak, lamb chops and beef sausage with a fried egg for AUD$50) or the Meat Your Challenge (AUD$85). You might have to roll home after tackling those menu items though.

 

Ribs and Rumps on Urbanspoon

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Managing gestational diabetes through diet control

Disclaimer: The following information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice or used to alter medical therapy. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Most women are tested for gestational diabetes (GD) around the 24th to 28th week of their pregnancy in Australia. Some have shared how awful and uncomfortable the experience can be, but whatever the experience, many have expressed how devastated they feel when diagnosed with the condition and how they are overwhelmed that they are failing their unborn babies.

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Image by il-young ko (Flickr)

 

If you’re one of the unlucky 3-7% of women diagnosed with GD, please don’t beat yourself up over it. The reality is gestational diabetes can be very manageable with proper medical advice and care.

Registering with the National Diabetes Services Scheme

Once you’ve been diagnosed, your GP may manage your GD care or refer you to an endocrinologist. They should assist you with registering on the Australian National Gestational Diabetes Register. Registration is free, as long as you reside in Australia and hold, or are eligible to hold, an Australian Medicare Card. The Register was established within the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) to help women who have had gestational diabetes to manage their health into the future. Once registered, you and your doctor will be sent regular reminders to have diabetes checks, and you will also receive information to help you continue a healthy lifestyle.

Image by pkuhnke (Flickr)

Image by pkuhnke (Flickr)

 

Being registered with NDSS also gives you access to a large range of subsidised products that help you to affordably self-manage your diabetes. These products include:

  • subsidised blood glucose testing strips
  • subsidised urine testing strips
  • free insulin syringes and pen needles (if you require insulin or an approved non-insulin injectable medication)
  • subsidised insulin pump consumables (for approved persons with type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes).

Diet control for gestational diabetes

Depending on the severity of your GD, your doctor may opt to see you first try to manage your glucose levels through diet control. You may have a session with a dietician, who can educate you on making better food choices to help you diet control your GD.

Having been diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD) since Week 11 of this pregnancy back in October, there’s been a lot of change in our kitchen and the way we make our food choices. My food world might have shrunk in some areas, but it’s surprisingly expanded in others and a lot of it involved learning more about what I put in my mouth than ever before.

Instead of butter or margarine with my Vegemite toast, it’s avocado.

Instead of potatoes, I have sweet potatoes (yup, even sweet potato chips). Cauliflower mash makes a great substitute too.

Instead of vermicelli or regular noodles, I cook with sweet potato noodles (a Korean product I recently discovered).

Instead of a burger, I have a salad (or a bun-less burger – sometimes referred to as a ‘naked’ burger at some establishments).

Instead of white bread, we buy Burgen soylin loaf, which has one of the lowest carbohydrate ratings per serve on supermarket shelves.

Instead of cakes, cookies and the like, I have fruit or a few squares of dark chocolate.

And instead of soft drinks and juices, just drink water. When you’re pregnant, constipation is a constant threat, so water is your best friend.

Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai and Chinese cuisine are generally not gestational diabetes friendly. Protein dominant Western meals are better, but homemade meals are the best if you are willing to do a little meal planning. Below is an extract of my food diary with the corresponding 2-hour post meal glucose levels. For reference, my endocrinologist (who is reputedly quite strict) set my glucose targets as less than 5mmol/L for fasting (first thing when I wake up) and less than 6.7mmol/L for 2-hours after meals. Targets may vary depending on your doctor.

 

Fasting G Breakfast Breakfast 2hr G Snack Lunch Lunch 2hr G Snack Dinner Dinner 2hr G
5 1 serving instant oats with half cup long life milk 4.9 Corned beef. Mashed sweet potatoes. Cucumber & tomato 5.4 Grilled ocean trout with salad and chips. 1 plum 4.6
5.1 2 Burgen soylin toast with scrambled eggs 5 1 peach Chicken and wombok stirfry vermicilli 6.3 1 peach Chicken and wombok stirfry vermicilli. Unsweetened Mexican hot chocolate in skim milk 5.4
4.8 2 slices rye toast with baked beans 4.7 1 hardboiled egg Homemade vegetable soup. 1 nectarine 5 1 oatmeal cookie. 1 hardboiled egg Steak, roast carrots and pumpkin with yoghurt and dukkah, steamed peas with herbed butter 5.7
4.8 1 serve instant oats. 1 plum 4.7 Small skinny latte Chicken, basil pesto, sweet potato, salad greens with penne 6.3 2 pork sausages. Cucumber and tomato. 5.7
4.3 2 slices rye toast with baked beans and dukkah 5.9 1 slice raisin toast Homemade beef and veg stew. 1 nectarine 4.6 1 nectarine Penang chicken curry with low GI rice 6.3
4.8 1 third cup oats with cocoa powder and cacao nibs 5.3 1 oatmeal biscuit Slow cooked beef and veg stew 5.3 2 pork dumplings Nandos quarter chicken, half corn and chips 5.3

As you can see, it’s possible to have a varied and healthy diet that is lower in sugar and carbohydrates.

Portion control is also half the battle. Often what gets served at takeaways is at least twice the quantity you really need per meal and the 2-hour post meal glucose reading proves it every time.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s a steep learning curve and I hate being ‘that’ person with all the dietary requirements. It’s not a particularly well-known diet amongst the general populace and there have been occasions when people mistakenly think I’m a celiac or vegetarian. Neither really describes what it’s like to have gestational diabetes, but fingers crossed – you’ll be back to normal once your baby is born. I’m certainly looking forward to pigging out every decadent scrumptious food that I’ve been denied soon.

Did you have gestational diabetes during your pregnancy? How did you manage and when did you go back to normal?

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The Garden Share Collective: Long time no see!

It’s been awhile since I last shared what’s been going on in the garden, and while I could bore you with the reasons why, let’s just see what’s been going on.

This year’s Brisbane summer hasn’t been particularly crippling, but I’ve had to keep up the watering nonetheless – a service I provide every morning before breakfast. Potted plants don’t have the luxury of establishing deep roots and are much more dependent on the gardener for all its nutrients.

My current plant inventory includes:

  • Spring onions
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Mint (not so happy at the moment)
  • A variety of tomatoes that sprung up in various pots after I took out some castings from my worm bin
  • Tatsoi
  • Mizuna
  • Asparagus
  • Passionfruit: 2 varieties
  • Aloe vera
  • Alyssum
  • Petunias (starburst in pink and white)
  • Portaluca (pink, peach, orange and yellow)
  • Marigold (not terribly successful)
  • Calathea (adopted from an exhibitor, possibly a Calathea Exotica)
The Garden Share Collective: February 2015

Calathea

 

The Garden Share Collective: February 2015

Tatsoi and mizuna

 

The Garden Share Collective: February 2015

Freshly harvested greens for dinner

 

I’ve added a number of flowering plants to the balcony garden to try attracting more beneficial insects to our little space (and deter pests naturally). It seems to be working as I haven’t seen as many aphids or been bitten by mosquitoes.

The Garden Share Collective: February 2015

Portaluca

 

The Garden Share Collective: February 2015

Petunias

 

Adding the splashes of colour has also made gardening much more pleasurable, especially as the petunias are prolific bloomers. As long as they are regularly pruned, they seem to be enjoying themselves in their pots. On the other spectrum, the marigolds have been disappointing – after planting at least a dozen seeds, only two have sprung up.

 


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