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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Eat Street Markets | HAMILTON WHARF QLD 4009

Saturday night, two-and-a-half hungry bunnies were sitting in their pad wondering what to have for dinner, when suddenly, a lightbulb appeared above my head; why don't we go to the Eat Street Markets where we can eat as much different food as we want?!

So we hopped into the car and off we went to Hamilton Wharf next to Portside.

We had been to the Eat Street Markets once before, when the foodies destination had just been established. I think the idea of cooking and serving international street foods from shipping containers is brilliant and it was about time that Brisbane finally has something like this as Asia is full of hawker stands that serves cheap yet super delicious street foods. We ended up having so much food on our first visit, but we still failed to try all of the morsels that were on offer.

So this time round, our plan was to pace ourselves and take things slowly.

It was a failed plan.

The moment when we set foot at the markets, which were beautifully decorated with glittering fairy lights everywhere, I had forgotten our tactics for the night. We started off with a garlic langos with the cheese, sour cream and salsa ($9) which tasted fantastic with some BBQ sauce. It was washed down by a bottle of cold Eumundi ginger beer ($5) and believe it or not, some dark chocolate coated strawberries($7). We then devoured a grilled cheese kransky w' sauerkraut in a roll ($7) and some pork ribs w' coleslaw ($14), before ending the night with a giant chocolate coated cronut ($7) (half croissant, half donut... just in case you were wondering).

It was a fun night filled with ample food options and exotic music. Eat Street Markets is a novel idea and I would recommend that you visit at least once, but make sure that you don't get too overwhelmed by the overcrowded atmosphere and make sure that you bring enough cash as it can get pricey. And yes, some patience will also be needed when it comes to finding a parking spot...

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $53 (including $2 entrance fee each).

Eat Street on Urbanspoon

Howzat Burger | 510 Adelaide Street, BRISBANE CBD QLD 4000

When Phillip Johnson opened his pop-up eatery called Howzat Burger back in January this year, I never had an opportunity to visit it as work was located all the way down at the other end of the town, and as a consequence I was kicking myself.

Inevitably, when I found out that the burger joint is no longer just a pop-up and would open from Tuesday to Friday every week, the first thing I wanted to do during my maternity leave was to take a leisurely walk to the top of Adelaide Street and get myself a massive, juicy burger. And that's exactly what I did with the other travel bunnie last week, right before an appointment with my obstetrician.

So the walk seemed like it had taken forever under the burning midday sun and by the time I had waddled my way to Howzat Burger, I was exhausted, but only to realise that the it was packed and the queue was almost out the door.

The other travel bunnie and I scored a table five minutes later, where he enjoyed The Don: grain-fed beef, cheddar cheese, vine ripened tomato, iceberg lettuce and mayo($10) and I devoured a Mexican Wave: roast pork belly, classic slaw, cos lettuce and chipotle mayo($10) with a side of fries, chilli & salt ($5) and house made horseradish mayo ($0.75). I wasn't overwhelmed with my burger, as both the pork belly and the classic slaw were relatively tasteless, however the chipotle mayo certainly helped to spice up the flavours. I also took a massive bite of The Don. The meat patty was thick and juicy, and with the combination of the fresh ingredients, it was definitely a winner.

The lunch was good, although I can't see myself going back to anytime soon due to its inconvenient location for me to waddle all the way to when Grill'd is literally just downstairs.

PS. for those of you who can't make it all the way to Howzat Burger at lunch, you can always get one of their burgers at the Eat Street Markets on the weekend.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $25.75

Howzat Burger on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cai Guo Qiang's Fallen Back to Earth

A few weekends ago, the other travel bunnie and I finally had the time to visit Cai Guo Qiang's Fallen Back to Earth exhibition held at the Gallery of Modern Art. The large-scale installations are simply breath-taking and our favourite was definitely the centrepiece of the exhibition: Heritage 2013 which features ninety-nine animals gathered together peacefully drinking water from a crystal blue lake, from which the reflection of the animals can easily be seen.

After the exhibition, we relaxed at the GOMA Cafe Bistro by the river in the late afternoon breeze. We sipped on a San Vittoria Peach Tea ($3.50) and an iced latte ($4.30) and shared the tea-infused desserts ($8) which are inspired by the exhibition. The trio of desserts include a peach bun, jasmine sago pudding with preserved kumquat and jade green tea and pandan mooncake. It was just the right amount of sweetness to put a perfect touch to our afternoon.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $30 for tickets + $15.80 for food and drinks

GOMA Cafe Bistro on Urbanspoon

Mad Hatter's High Tea at Stamford Plaza | Cnr Margaret & Edward Streets, BRISBANE QLD 4000

Mum came to visit me last week, and with Easter just around the corner, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to take her to Stamford Plaza for their Mad Hatter's High Tea.

Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, the two-hour high tea starts at 3.30pm during the Easter holiday period and is held in the hotel's lobby, which is probably not the best location if you are after a relaxing and enchanting affair, as there is a constant flow of passersby.

I was really looking forward to the “down the rabbit hole” experience but it was unfortunately nowhere near as good as I had expected.

The extremely slow service was paired with average food, which included coloured sandwiches, cracked macarons, two easter chocolate eggs that could easily be bought in packets from your local supermarket, cold pea soup and two little bottles of pink lemonade. We waited 15 minutes to get someone's attention so that we could ask for the tea menu. Tea was poured into our cups, but we weren't allowed to keep the teapot at our table, which meant that to get the cups refilled, we had to get the wait staff's attention again and eventually, we just gave up as our waitress had a less than friendly look on her face.

So yes, at $49 per person, I was less than impressed with the high tea experience at Stamford Plaza.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $98. 

Brisbane High Tea - Stamford Plaza Lobby on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chop Chop Chang's | 185 Boundary Street, WEST END QLD 4101

Could Chop Chop Chang's be Brisbane's answer to the ever so popular Chin Chin?

I had this very question on my mind the whole time we were on our way there.

Occupying quite a large and open space on the busy Boundary Street in West End, Chop Chop Chang's serves pan Asian street food. Each table has a bottle of Sriracha sauce by Huy Fong Foods proudly placed in the middle of it so I instantly had a good feeling about the joint.

The lunch menu is simple but the options are filled with your everyday south-east flavours, like nahm jim, chilli, lime and thai basil.

We sipped on an iced Vietnamese coffee ($4.50) and a ginger beer ($4), while sharing their karaage ginger, garlic chicken w' iceberg and karashi mayo ($12) as an appetiser. The crispy chicken was well marinated and extremely juicy inside, and the fresh iceberg lettuce certainly added a nice texture to each bite.

It was a little difficult to decide on the mains as every dish on the menu had its own uniqueness. We eventually settled on the crispy roast pork, aromatic master stock, choi sum and egg noodles ($18) and twice cooked sticky beef ribs w' hot sour herb salad ($22). The crispy roast pork was tender and the skin was perfectly crispy, but I struggled to understand why the beautiful pork was placed into a bowl of broth which almost immediately soaked the crispy skin making it soggy and a little rubbery. I personally think that the dish was pretty boring for $18, but my disappointment was quickly erased by the deliciousness of the sticky beef ribs. Those melt in your mouth, fall off the bone sticky beef ribs. Words can't even begin to describe how much I liked that dish and yes, I was really close to licking the plate at the end of the meal.

Lunch at Chop Chop Chang's was definitely above my expectations and while it's hard to convince myself that I've found Brisbane's answer to Chin Chin, this pan-Asian eatery has without a doubt made it to my list of regular eating spots.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $60.50

Chop Chop Chang's on Urbanspoon
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