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Monday, July 21, 2014

Marchetti Cafe | 202-210 Edward Street, BRISBANE CBD QLD 4000

Marchetti is Brisbane CBD's newest café. Nestled between Canturi and the Tattersall's Club in the Tattersall's Arcade, Marchetti reminds me of the coffee scene in Melbourne. The shop is small yet polished with a touch of Italian charm.

The other travel bunnie and I went there for a quick bite of lunch the other day. The lunch selection is very limited at the moment, however there is a more extensive menu due to be released later on this year. A toasted croissant with prosciutto and cheese and a porchetta panini with a mocha for the other travel bunnie and a hot chocolate for myself was our order for day. Although I personally think that for $9, the croissant was slightly disappointing, Marchetti does make a good spot for catch ups with friends over a coffee or two.

With its art-deco inspired interior, Marchetti is a good addition to the CBD. I'd be interested to try the lunch menu when more options become available.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $29.70

Marchetti Cafe on Urbanspoon

Cowch Dessert and Cocktail Bar | 2/179 Grey Street, SOUTH BRISBANE QLD 4101

After the Night Noodle Markets, like two kids who sneaked out on a school night, the other travel bunnie and I were in mutual agreement that it was too early to go home, and headed to Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar for some sweet treats.

It's hard not to like this place, which is decorated with over hanging lights in the shapes of milk bottles and cows' udders. I had one look at the menu and my heart was pounding with excitement but I was also faced with the dilemma of picking out a dessert from the many potential options. Options such as their signature gourmet dessert pizzas ($17) or naked pops ($9.80) that can be dipped in your choice of chocolate and then topped with your choice of three toppings. That menu seriously brings out the greed in people.

In the end, I decided to have a tiramisu with cookies & cream ice cream ($11.50) with a classic dark hot chocolate ($6). And as for the other travel bunnie, he opted for the waffle bowl ($13.80) served with condensed milk ice cream and turkish delight ice creams then topped with chocolate flakes and Oreo. The tiramisu had a distinctive taste of liqueur to it which I found to be quite strong but the other travel bunnie was happy to switch desserts with me. I was so happy that he did because I loved his dessert to bits! Both ice creams, especially the condensed milk ice cream was extremely creamy and delicious. As for the hot chocolate, it wasn't as thick as I was expecting but it was definitely filled with chocolate goodness. And as a bonus point, it was served in such a cute cup!

Before we even left Cowch, we were already planning our next visit!

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $31.30

Cowch Dessert and Cocktail Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 18, 2014

Night Noodle Markets

Last night the bunnie family hopped to South Bank for the launch of Brisbane's much anticipated Night Noodle Markets. Decorated with colourful paper lanterns, the markets have hawker-styled food stalls lined one next to another offering a wide range of popular Asian dishes. To prove the markets' popularity, there were people everywhere queueing for food (8,000 I am told), and I don't blame them with an aromatic smell constantly lingering in the crisp winter air, it's sure hard to resist.

To thoroughly enjoy the markets, I think you need a plan of attack, or what I call, the mighty plenty plan:
  • plenty of cash;
  • plenty of time (see below);
  • plenty of patience (I waited 40 minutes for my cheese okonomiyaki ($12)); and
  • plenty of comfort (although wearing your best pair of Loubies with black leather miniskirt may look hot, standing in a long queue waiting for food may make you regret that decision).

So you've had some food and you are after some drinks to wash it all down so you should definitely check out the enchanting Tanqueray Gin Garden. It's hard to miss with its mysteriously beautiful design. And while you're there to relax in the fantastic ambience (I loved the live music!), why not sip on a refreshing Tanqueray and Tonic? You can score your free Tanqueray and Tonic at the markets by following @tanquerayginau on Instagram and tag your photos! Further information can be found at the garden.

The Night Noodles Markets is one of the highlights of the Good Food Month and the markets operate from July 17 to July 27 with free entry.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Shouk Cafe | 14 Collingwood Street, PADDINGTON QLD 4064

Last Saturday, the other travel bunnie and I took minibun George out for breakfast for the first time. It went well! I'm thrilled that after five weeks, we can go back to our normal routine because you all know how much I enjoy my weekend breakfasts.

Shouk Cafe in Paddington was on the top of our list and it's only a short drive from the city, so we thought - Shouk it is! In fear that there would be a long queue to get in, we arrived at the cafe at 7.30am on the dot, just as they opened. And we were their first table for the day!

Inspired by the markets of the Middle East, the menu at Shouk Cafe sounds tempting and exotic. After a quick browse of the menu, the goats milk date panna cotta ($15) caught my attention, and as for the other travel bunnie, he decided to have the Latke stack ($16). So we sipped on our drinks (a cappuccino and a chai latte) while waiting for our meals. It wasn't exactly a short wait and just as I was starting to get anxious (mostly because I was scared that minibun George might wake up any minute and start crying), the dishes arrived.

Aaaaand so, I understood the wait. The chef aced it with impeccable presentation of both dishes. The lightly sweetened goats milk and date panna cotta was served with pistachio, seasonal fruits and a kataifi pastry nest, and dare I say it was the prettiest breakfast dish I've ever had. The panna cotta was ultra smooth and creamy, and it had just the right amount of sweetness before it gets completely turned into a dessert. The crunch kataifi pastry nest provided a layer a texture to the dish. Whilst I found that some of the fruits on the dish were too tart to go with the exotic taste of the panna cotta, it is a dish that I very much enjoyed. And yes, I did lick the spoon.

The other travel bunnie's dish was Polish potato pancake tack with leg ham, crème fraîche, dill and pickled red onions. According to him, the Latke stack was the perfect balance of starchy morning carbs and fragrant flavours that was tied together with two perfectly gooey poached eggs.

So there you go, Shouk Cafe is yet another great addition to the Brisbane's food scene with a very exotic touch. The bunnies love it and I can see myself going back there over and over again.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $39.20

Shouk Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pitango - Solo Lunch Pack

On Monday, a brown insulated lunch bag was delivered to me at home. Inside were three bags of organic soup from Pitango. The brand is known for their delicious, organic, fresh chilled soups and meals and they have recently launched their single serve soups in Australia. Receiving the soups meant that I could have a healthy lunch without the fuss of cooking and cleaning, which means a lot for a first time mum with a 5 week old newborn. I was excited to taste all of them and planned to have the soups the next day for a lunchtime picnic rendezvous with the other travel bunnie.

As the night fell and my stomach rumbled, I couldn't help myself but to open the fridge to see what was readily available inside...and the soups were just sitting there staring back at me. And that's how I ended up gulping down a bowl of rich, creamy organic Thai pumpkin soup. I think it's really smart that Pitango has jazzed up this classic traditional soup with warming curry paste and coconut cream.

The next day, as if minibun George had known that we were about to go out, he was on his best behaviour. We ended up sitting on the grass under the sun for a wonderful picnic. And yes, the soups from Pitango made an appearance. It took me two minutes to heat them up in the microwave, which makes them a healthy on-the-go lunch.

Disclaimer: these organic soups were provided courtesy of Pitango, however my opinion is as always, my own.

*PitangoTM Solos are available now across IGA stores nationally.

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