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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ole Fuego | 322 Moggill Road, INDOOROOPILLY QLD 4068

The sun was shining, Indooroopilly Shopping Centre was pumping with shoppers and the mini bun gee was sound asleep.  The combination was perfect for the other travel bunnie and I to finally try Ole Fuego for a Sunday lunch.

I was immediately taken by the indoor/ outdoor setting of the restaurant and the fact that I could peer straight into the kitchen with my eager eyes, willing the chefs to bring out my food.  Having scouted out the other diners’ plates for tasty food, I ordered the Calamares - Fried calamari, alioli, fresh lemonas ($12) from the tapas section of the menu as our shared starter (which our lovely waitress confirmed was a definite house special).  Yum.  Enough said!  The calamari was the perfect balance of tender white flesh and crunchy coating – the ideal appetiser.   We decided to try a long time favourite for our shared main, De Pollo - Chicken, chorizo, morcilla, mushrooms, peas, piquillo peppers ($43) paella for 2.  Now I have high expectations for paella having first gotten hooked on its addictive comforting flavours in the eateries of Barcelona a few years ago but I can confirm that this meat and mushroom packed version did not disappoint.  The chicken was perfectly cooked and a nice contrast to the salty moorish flavours of the generous sausage pieces scattered throughout the dish.  Conversely, the sweet piquillo peppers added a lovely highlight to the well rounded dish.  And of course, the rice was the ideal texture.

The food and ambience at this cute little eatery is reason enough to venture to Indooroopilly Shopping Centre (as if I really needed another one thanks to Camilla, Koko Black and soon, H&M)! 

The verdict is simple, authentic Spanish with a reasonable price tag in a venue that makes you feel far from a shopping centre eatery. Ole!

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $58.00

Ole Fuego on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Moray Cafe | 158 Moray Street, NEW FARM QLD 4005

It was an accidental discovery. The other travel bunnie and I were researching for our trip to New York when we came across Buttermilk Channel, an American institution located in Brooklyn known for their fried chicken with cheddar waffles. So on a cold and windy December day, we jumped onto the F train from west 42nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue to get our cravings satisfied. We got there at a bad time as the bistro was closed until dinner service and given that we were on a tight schedule, we never tried their fried chicken and waffles. Ever since, every now and then I have huge hankerings for that dish.

I was browsing on the internet the other day when I got distracted by the breakfast menu at the Moray Cafe. My eyes fixated on the Southern fried chicken breakfast with American style savoury waffles, chilli fried eggs, corn salsa and French coriander ($23.50). I almost chocked on my saliva when I read it. Straight away I messaged the other travel bunnie to inform him of my exciting discovery, and that’s how we ended up at the Moray Cafe a short while ago. Yes, I know that it is a quite long introduction to this blog post, but at least now you understand my obsession with fried chicken and waffles.

Breakfast was awesome and it sure did satisfy my cravings. As soon as I drank my rocky road milkshake ($6) (well, it was the other travel bunnie’s to start off with), I knew that breakfast would be good. The milkshake was insanely good, you should try it. Having said that, the iced mocha ($5) was pretty delicious too. 

The chicken dish is definitely not for the fainthearted presented proudly in generous servings. The other travel bunnie and I shared it with a side of a fruit plate ($13.50) which also comes with coconut yoghurt and fresh honeycomb. Although the chicken was slightly on the dry side, the problem was easily solved with the tasty salsa. I quite enjoyed the savoury waffles’ soft and doughy texture, and thought that it created a nice contrast against the crispiness of the chicken pieces. 

Since our visit the Moray Cafe has updated their menu, but the Southern Fried Chicken with American Style savoury waffles is still available. Something tells me that we will be back in no time. 

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $48.00

Moray Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Commit the Mortal Sin this Valentine's Day

Is it really terrible to eat cake for breakfast? I mean, what if it’s really, really good and it’s just so hard to resist and you share it with your loved one (wow – that’s a lot of justification in one breath)? I had it for breakfast this morning and I blame it on the Romantic Month of February when Cupid Decides to Come Out and Play, after all, Valentine’s Day is only just around the corner. 

Introducing the Mortal Sin. The name alone brings out the curiosity in people. It’s devilishly delicious. The cake consists of rich, delicate and irresistible layers of vanilla cheesecake, chocolate mousse and marshmallow fluff, with a chocolate cookie base. Need I say more?

I think the cake is perfect to share with your loved one this Valentine’s Day. Or even better, have it all to yourself… but consider yourself warned, it will leave you with a sweet hangover. I note that there is no warning on the cake box about eating it all yourself?!

Disclaimer: the cake was provided to the bunnies free of charge courtesy of Michel’s Patisserie, however my opinion is as always, my own. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Denim Co. | Shop B09a Little Stanley Street, SOUTH BRISBANE QLD 4101

A late Sunday breakfast session always relaxes me, and the bunnies’ recent visit to Denim Co. was absolutely what we needed after weeks of running errands in order to organise minibun George’s baptism (it was a perfect event and I have plenty of photos to share). 

We arrived shortly after 9.30 on Sunday morning in order to avoid the morning rush, but noticeably Denim Co. is popular amongst the locals and it was pumping. A brunette lady wearing gold glittered Converse shoes walked over to introduce herself (her name was Sophia) as the cafe’s manager and she turned out to be a bubbly sweetheart with an Italian upbringing and naturally she’s passionate about great food. 

We started off with some nicely chilled fresh pineapple juice, followed by an iced hazelnut latte and a sweet, creamy strawberry milkshake served in a retro glass milk bottle. I’m usually not a fan of syrup in coffee, but the iced hazelnut latte tasted delicious with the sweetness from the syrup rounded out any bitterness from the espresso. I felt like it was the perfect Sunday coffee, not too sharp, just mellow and smooth yet refreshing. 

The other travel bunnie and I were stuck on what to have for breakfast as there were several dishes that we were both very keen on. With perfect timing Sophia walked over to us and suggested that she would bring us a selection of their breakfast dishes (which mind you, are available all day from 7am until 3pm allowing you to have that sleep in that you’ve been craving for all week). 

Dude, they sure know how to spoil their customers. The dishes were beautifully presented on wooden serving boards and dainty china plates. It was as if our table had turned into a blank canvas with vibrant colours artistically painted all over. We almost didn’t know where to start. Almost. The other travel bunnie quickly moved on the balsamic mushrooms, spinach and fetta on Turkish toast while I feasted on the smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill on dark rye accessorised with a poached egg. The other travel bunnie doesn’t usually order mushrooms for breakfast because he’s more of a bacon and eggs sort of guy. But he was impressed with the mushrooms. According to him they were simple but flavoursome and the Turkish toast had the perfect crispiness. We finished off with fluffy pancakes served with mixed berries and maple syrup (and a little toasted banana bread). By that time we were so happy and content, and we were both ready for a nap. 

I must say that I was surprised at the price of the dishes. Being located in a prime spot on Little Stanley Street, I expected Denim Co. to charge a premium for their food to take advantage the passing tourist trade. But much to the contrary, the dishes are really well priced. 

Before we left Sophia handed us with two lunch boxes filled with their goodies. Let’s just say that they quickly disappeared and relocated into our tummies after we got home that afternoon. Although I do feel that the Italian peach (pesche con crema) needs to be specially mentioned. Denim Co. gets an old Italian lady to make these and these cream filled peach shaped cakes are just too cute to resist. 

Disclaimer: the bunnies were welcomed to Denim Co. as invited guests, however my opinion is as always, my own.

Denim Co. on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Kiyomi | Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA

If you are a fan of Sokyo in Sydney then you will no doubt be happy to know that chef Chase Kojima has teamed up with Jupiters Hotel & Casino to create the newest Japanese dining experience on the Gold Coast - Kiyomi. 

When the other travel bunnie and I found out about Kiyomi late last year, we were so eager to try it we arrived only to find out that they were still in the process of opening. Last weekend we took a trip down to the coast again and mum was equally ecstatic about claiming Minibun George all to herself as the other travel bunnie and I were about having a date night (trust me, date nights don’t come easy these days). 

We took the escalators to the second level to find a semi open space where traditional and contemporary collide. As a part of the hotel’s $345 million refurbishment, Kiyomi is decked out in dark wood, with a large glass panel featuring splashes of neon colours at the back to add a funky touch. Greeted by the hostess who then led us to our table, we were introduced to our waiter for the night, Ricardo. 

Whilst deciding on what to have for dinner, we sipped on two mocktails offered at the restaurant - Miyagi Mojito and Kawaii Fizz, both $10 each. Miyagi Mojito is a combination of apple juice, passionfruit pulp, lime juice, fresh mint and refreshing soda water. As for Kawaii Fizz, I have no shame in admitting that I’d be more than happy to drink it everyday. Gladly. It’s a delectable combination of strawberries, coconut cream, vanilla and lemonade (or soda water if you prefer) and I can declare that the name is certainly very fitting. 

The first dish to arrive at our table was the salmon belly ($6 per piece). The texture was silky and oily just as you would expect from that part of the fish, but it hardly showcased the chef’s skills. I took another sip of my drink wondering if Kiyomi is all about that hype. Then the next dish arrived. The scampi - seared, foie gras, apple and mizuna ($9 each) looked wicked, but tasted even better with the sweet, sweet flesh tempered against the mild peppery flavour of mizuna. The scampi turned to be my favourite dish of the night. We also savoured scallop, yuzu honey, scorched corn, mache ($18), Moreton Bay bug, grapefruit, samba, mayo, vinegar ($24) and Dengakuman, toothfish, caramelised miso, cucumber ($37).  None of the meals were a disappointment. It’s amazing how a rather terrifying looking toothfish can taste so delicate and delicious. 

The desserts, mango shiso ($13) and mochi ravioli ($10) in comparison to the rest of the dishes were not strong in my opinion, but only because the rest of the dishes were superb! There were several elements to the mango shiso including fresh mango slices, mango sorbet, basil and mint meringue and yoghurt cream, and the presentation was beautiful. It was a refreshing ending to what turned out to be a magnificent dinner. 

We absolutely loved our dinner that night and Kiyomi is now one of my favourite Japanese restaurants without a doubt. 

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $152.00

Kiyomi on Urbanspoon
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