Tuesday, December 22, 2015

IX | A Food Lover's Guide

Brisbane's a small town, and a big city, with dreadful or delightful weather depending on how you're feeling and the food scene can be viewed as 'cute' and small-time or big and booming depending on your expectations. I've found some delicious gems among a myriad of new names cropping up everyday and I'm a repeat visitor because most of the time I'd rather go back to places that I know and love instead of taking a risk that it might be a subpar experience everytime I want food. In this post I've compiled my favourite places to eat in 3 categories so whether you're in the mood for coffee, casual or classy, I hope you find something you'll want to try!

Custom burgers at Miel Container, CBD

36% Milk Chocolate Iced Chocolate, Noosa Chocolate Factory

Buttered Toast, The Doughnut Bar

Strawberry glazed and Original Cinnamon Sugar from Donut Boyz West End (also at Westfield Garden City now!)

Blueberry Crisp, Donut Boyz
Hot Chocolate, John Mills Himself CBD

Ltd Espresso, Fortitude Valley

Bunker, Milton

While we can't claim to have a vibe as iconic as Melbourne, I think the coffee scene in Brisbane can hold its own. One of our favourite things to do on a lazy day out is to source a good brew, whether it's from the Valley at Ltd Espresso or Reverend's Fine Coffee, and the Bunker guys in Milton and their siblings at John Mills Himself do great coffees and hot chocs too. 
I work in the city and I've been testing the waters around to find a good local. I usually go to Meat and Eat or Cafe Brisbane and occasionally I'll venture over to the Noosa Chocolate Factory for an amazing chocolate drink- hot and over ice are both great.
I love a good sweet treat to accompany my cap and my favourite places in Brisbane to get them are Chouquette for their amazing berry tart or cakes, Donut Boyz and The Doughnut Bar. I've decided I veer to the donuts instead of the cronuts.

Mushrooms and Eggs Benedict, Comfort at My Table, Milton

The Baker's Arms, Woolloongabba

Original and Tropical Acai Bowls, Kiss The Berry CBD

The Burrow, West End

The Greenwich burger, NKB Express Indooroopilly

Honey Bread, Passiontree CBD

Pizzas, pulled pork fries and wings, Newstead Brewing Co

Dumplings, snow pea shoots and noodles, New Shanghai

Salted caramel iced chocolate, Koko Black Indooroopilly

Brunch is good at our favourite, The Baker's Arms in Woolloongabba where the menu changes every week so I just pick what looks good in the cabinet and the coffee is always amazing, Comfort at My Table in adorably pink and girlish surrounds, Tazza Coffee in West End, Hallowed Grounds in Upper Mount Gravatt, Deedot Coffe House in Holland Park and Sprout Artisan Bakery- their lemon meringue pie in croissant puff pastry and raspberry crumble brioche are both amazing. If you can't wake up early enough, pizza at The Burrow and burgers at NKB Express and Miel Container are amazing. We tried Zeus Street Greek's Uncle Tzimmy's pitas and they were delicious, but Ole and Popolo are both great options at Southbank for a dressier casual vibe. Further north is the Newstead Brewing Co, which does interesting beers and food thoughtfully designed to accompany the drinks- the sweet potato fries and the pizzas were particularly good!
I don't cook Chinese food all that often, let alone technique-and-labour-intensive dumplings and provincial meals so an authentic Chinese meal out for me is New Shanghai in Queens Plaza in the CBD for their xiao long bao dumplings, pan-fried pork buns and zhajiang noodles. Another favourite food of mine is ramen, and I love the ramen from Hakataya, Genkotsu in Runcorn and Taro's in Ascot and on Edward Street in the city. Taro's have different types of noodles and a lot more variety of soups to choose from but Genkotsu and Hakataya are closer by and less pricey.
My favourite places for sweets are Koko Black at Indooroopilly for their Belgium Spoil, salted caramel iced chocolate and handmade chocolates, Passiontree in the CBD because their honey bread is delicious, Cowch for their dip 'n chill (with ice-cream instead of frozen yoghurt) or cakes and hot chocolate at The Three Monkeys in West End. If I'm up north the Northshore Hamilton Riverside Cafe does an amazing apple pie- probably the best I've ever tried. I visited Kiss the Berry not long ago and tried my first acai bowl and I absolutely loved it! Acai bowls combine the best of my favourite healthy breakkies- icy smoothies, chia seeds and fresh fruit and granola all come together in a perfectly delicious, healthy bowl of goodness.

The Ark, Rogue Bar + Bistro Newstead

Individual skewers, Birds Nest Yakitori
Salmon with pea textures, Malt Dining

We don't dine fine too often, but when we do we choose the destination based on their food. Rogue Bar + Bistro in Newstead never disappoints, and on a recent visit to try their summer menu we determined the pork belly to be the best dish that we tried and some of the best food we've ever eaten. The Caesar salad with crisp pancetta, cos and a 64 degree egg was absolutely delicious and I loved the carrots, dukkah, honey and labne. The chips there were amazing, as always and it was a delightful meal. Their desserts have numerous elements and are definitely worth trying.
SONO Portside is also a wonderful destination for a special occasion, and their dinner Tasting Course menu and lunch sets are good value and give a little sample of everything. Another 2 delicious place for Japanese (I really love Japanese) are Birds Nest Yakitori for grilled meat and vegetables in West End and Hosokawa in Ascot for amazing sashimi- again, the lunch sets are exceptional value.
I've only eaten at Malt Dining once but the fish was delicious and the service was faultless and I would absolutely recommend it for a special occasion!

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