Finney Isles Cocktail Masterclass

I have absolutely no excuse to not be able to make a cocktail anymore after Finney Isles hosted a fun and informative (and delicious) cocktail masterclass evening inside their alluring big blue door.

The Finney Isles team had chosen four cocktails to share with us and they were all in fine form. My friend also swore they must have chosen their most handsome barmen – worked well for the photos!

We were provided a bit of a history lesson around each cocktail, perhaps a history story would be more accurate. They guys were full of hilarious quips which made the history to each drink highly amusing – a little poetic licence never hurt anyone! I won’t go to much into the history of each drink as I won’t do them any justice. You’ll just have to go in and visit for yourself!

Our welcome drink was a gin rhubarb peppermint and armaro spritz. I loved the peppermint hit – made for a really unique and refreshing cocktail.

First up, we learnt how to make a margarita which was apparently originally called a daisy! This was lost in translation in Mexico. The most important note I remembered from this cocktail was to use good tequila! 100% agave is sooo much better and worth the price tag. Fresh citrus is an absolute must – it activates your tongue! I’m not sure what activating your tongue means but I like the sound of it.

A beautifully balanced margarita is created from tequila, tripple sec and citrus as well as the all important salt rim!
Hilariously, in Mexico this was just to keep the flies out – they didn’t know that they were creating something delicious.

Next up, a mojito! Would you believe rum was considered to be for the slaves way back so this was how the higher class people dressed it up to make it taste nice.

There was a lot of debate from the team on how much soda should be used at the end. Majority were on the slim to none side – contrary to popular belief.

The other important note, slap your mint, don’t muddle it. Muddling bruises the leaves whereas slapping activates the flavours.

A Martini Tuxedo was up next. Again we were reminded not to use sh*t ice. Also interesting was to rub the lemon skin on the glass stem. This transfers the smell onto your hands while you drink the cocktail for an integrated experience. So thoughtful.

Last but never least, we made pinã coladas. I love a properly made pinã colada! Fresh coconut cream and pineapple makes all the difference here.

After our lessons we were able to jump behind the bar and make our own cocktails. Of course I chose the pinã colada… mainly because I wanted to drink another one but also because it didn’t involve any challenging moves.

Hot tips for delicious cocktails
• Use bigger ice cubes (freeze water in a big container and smash it up). Otherwise they dilute too fast and water down the drinks. We can’t have that now.
• Always have fresh citrus in the fridge.
• Quality alcohol is important. Especially quality tequila.

I’d still prefer to visit Finney Isles to have my cocktails made – their expert knowledge is undeniable and the taste and experience is on point.

Todd & Pup New Summer Menu, Moorooka

You might remember me raving about the G&T eggs bene I had last time I visited Todd & Pup in Moorooka – it was amazing and this time was no different!

There were so many great choices on the new summer menu that Jane and I struggled to pick. There’s a tick from me straight away.

In the end, Jane went with the festive breakfast and I chose the summer mushrooms. True to the menu’s name, both were really fresh and summery.

But first, juice!! I love starting the day with a fresh juice, makes me feel healthy – even if I’m not haha. I had the signature juice which was beautiful and citrus-y, bursting with flavour.

The festive breakfast had peach with fresh ham, egg, bocconcini and basil. So, Jane wasn’t 100% sure of her decision.. she wasn’t sure how it would all go together. Hilariously, within a mouthful, I couldn’t shut her up about how good it was!

Jane starts “holy crap that’s actually delicious! The peach gives it a completely different flavour. Fresh. Mmmm.”
A moment later… “OMG that peach… wow.”

Obviously I want to try the festive breakfast now too.

My summer mushrooms were simply delicious. Very moreish with that amazing truffle honey drizzled over the whole plate and mixing perfectly with the mushrooms and feta. I was so excited just about the mushrooms and truffle honey that I forgot there were eggs hiding in there which picked it up another notch! The different textures of the dish (including walnut) make it very interesting as well as tasty.

The staff were super helpful and friendly which always makes the whole experience that much better. Sitting in the cool summer morning air was a lovely way to start the day too.

Great work Todd & Pup! I want to try the decadent fried chicken eggs bene soon too!

Todd & Pup Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

*While this dining experience was complimentary, this review is true and authentic. 

Traditional Thai at Mekhong Brisbane, New Farm

This new traditional Thai restaurant serving up northern Thai fare is just what New Farm was needing. They’re right across from the cinemas and are the perfect spot for a bite before or after a movie.

Thai northern fare is full of citrus, herbs and a bit creamy. It’s not as spicy as the rest of Thailand. Their new Chef came from the renowned Blue Elephant restaurant in Paris and has created some beautiful traditional dishes.

We tried a range of dishes from their new menu, but of course I had my favourites. The Karri puffs were amazing along with the Esan sausages, the Mekhong seafood Keaw Coco and the mango sticky rice!

The Karri (curry puffs but the Thai version) puffs are made in house… including the fluffy, crisp, perfect pastry. I was only going to eat one but couldn’t help myself with the second one too. Chef has created a Turmeric whole egg mayo to go with the Karri puffs – it’s incredibly creamy and pairs well.

The esan sausage was delicious! Not something I would normally order straight off the menu but it came recommended to us and I’m so glad we tried it. It’s a fermented pork sausage, chunky and full of flavour. I highly recommend trying it with the chili and ginger it is served with.

The pla muc tod tumeric calamari was everything you’d hope for. Crispy on the outside, seasoned but not overpowering with tender and fresh calamari inside.

For our main we had the beef basil (tender beef and flavorsome), the son in law egg salad (light and refreshing) and the Mekhong seafood Keaw Coco – a green curry with seafood, which is literally served inside a young coconut! You can eat the flesh of the coconut too, it’s delicious all together.

What I loved about Mekhong Brisbane and the lovely owners was the thought, heart and passion that had clearly gone into their restaurant. Their family still live in Thailand and many of the recipes are generational. The design of the restaurant is laid back and the colours are to match the Mekong region, right from the pictures on the walls (ask the stories behind these if you get a chance) to the colours of the walls (to match the river) and the cup that you enjoy water from.

I will definitely come back for the larb kai esan and pad see ew. Oh and the tod mun.

They’ve just opened for lunch five days a week and cater for vegans and vegetarians too. They welcome the LGBTQIA+ community with open arms. Oh, and they’re BYO with a bottle-o just three doors down!

PS. You can also find them on Menu Log and Uber if a trip to New Farm is off the cards.

Mekhong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

**While this meal was complimentary, this review is true and authentic. Looking forward to trying more dishes and seeing the owners again.

The Brunswick Project For Bloody Mary Eggs, New Farm

Bloody Mary scrambled eggs. Hmmm. A rather unique menu item at The Brunswick Project in New Farm, so I thought I would give it a go!

The plate is presented like any other scrambled eggs, toast but with chimmichurri, volcanic smoked salt shaved celery and, a small jug of Bloody Mary mix to pour over your eggs!

It was… different. Enjoyable but slightly overwhelming towards the end. I suggest pouring the mix a little over your eggs at a time so you can have a break if you feel like it.

It was a lovely spot sitting outside on the balcony in a bit of Queensland sunshine. Pet friendly too of course.

The Brunswick Project Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wow Dumplings, West End Brisbane

Well, wow isn’t exactly how I’d describe Wow Dumpling to be honest.

I’d had this West End restaurant on my list for some time and a colleague of mine, Sandra and I snuck out for a quick lunch to try them.

Wow Dumplings is hidden away on Vulture Street, a small eatery with a couple of tables inside and out. I’m fairly sure there was one person working the front and back as she was the only outwardly facing contact, kept disappearing out the back and wait times were long. There was a limited menu and limited seating – it’s not set for big scale service.

We tried the Malaysian laksa wontons poached in soup. They were nice at first bite but the flavour became quite overwhelming after a while. Too rich with the wontons.

Next up? A handmade ramen dry noodle.. thing.  Szechuan Noodle Bowl. It was quite nice but again the flavour was a bit overpowering after a few mouthfuls.

The weird thing I found was that there was no soy, chilli or black vinegar on the tables to mix your dumplings in. They were simply served as is. I could definitely have gone for some vinegar.

Their simple pork dumplings (and vegetarian for Sandra) – the poached dumplings in szechuan chilli sauce were quite nice but not worth going back for. I’d rather go to New Shanghai, Little Red Dumpling or Fat Dumpling any day.

Where’s your favourite stop for dumplings in Brisbane? I want to try Fat Noodle next, apparently they have good xiao long bao.

Wow Dumpling Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Musseling in at King Crab Co, Bulimba

I’ve been waiting for (what feels like) a looong time to visit King Crab Co in Bulimba. I’ve seen all the foodies there and their fabulous food. There’s a couple of crab houses in Brisbane now and I feel like it’s my duty to go in and try them all. So I couldn’t wait to get in and try this one for myself!

I made the right decision (I had no idea at the time) right off the bat. It was mussel night! Each Tuesday they have 1kg pot of mussels for only $15 when you buy a drink. Oh-my-life. The white wine marinara sauce was what dreams are made of. As much as I was loving the mussels, I couldn’t wait to finish too so I could soak my bread in the sauce… it was soo delicious. The mussels were fresh from SA that morning – just do yourself a favour and try them. If you go, you’ll probably see me there too, I intend to go back time and time again for these!

My photo of the mussels just didn’t do them justice so I’ve borrowed the one below from their Facebook page.

We had other food too. It’s not all about the mussels, people. Delicious corn on the cob with shichimi togarashi, and delicious fries before the main course of crab. We choose truffle and parmesan fries but it was tough with choices like shichimi togarashi and chilli and molten cheese in the mix.

Obviously you can’t go to a crab house without eating crab (although I really want to try the lobster roll for lunch), right? We spoke to the team and they recommended the spanner crab. It had came in fresh that morning from Fraser Island. Spanner crab’s shells are a lot softer than other crabs. It made for much easier eating, you simply break the body in half with your hands and you can start pulling out that delicious flesh. The legs on the other hand aren’t quite so easy but as I always say, with crab half the satisfaction comes from breaking and cracking and working to get your food. Something fairly primal about the task that makes it even more satisfying.

Oh the sauce!!! On recommendation we went with the Singapore chilli sauce with the crab, and yes, I recommend you do too!

The crab is served in a bag (again, my pictures really don’t do these delicious crustaceans any justice) and you get the adorable bib (Instagram opportunity, anyone?) and all the tools for cracking and smashing and gloves for alllll the mess you will make. So much mess. Not really fun unless it’s messy though, is it?

King Crab Co has SOFI Spritz on tap, I tried the blood orange & bitters spritz – it wasn’t too sweet which is what I am always worried about. Something nice and refreshing to add to the mix.

If you’re around Bulimba (or even if you’re not) definitely check this place out. I will be back again soon. I want to try the ceviche as well as the lobster rolls.. and more crab and mussels! Yum!

King Crab Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

*While this dining experience was complimentary, this review is true and authentic.

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