Delicious steak at Bakehouse Steakhouse, Ipswich

Will drive 49 minutes for steak…. Well to Bakehouse Steakhouse in Ipswich anyway – it’s totes worth it.

My friend Bolliwood, who used to live in Ipswich had heard rumors about a great steak restaurant there. So we drove from Brisbane to check out Bakehouse Steakhouse and see what the fuss was about.

It was stunning inside. From the moment we walked through the adorable candy-pink door and I saw the ‘press for champagne’ bell – I knew we were in a good place. The interior design is beautiful. The candy pink theme continues inside with a stunning European-looking bar (it’s the arches that do it) to a cute dessert station all captured in a beautiful old brick building with a lovely courtyard outside. Even the bathrooms were cute with brass taps.

I was very tempted by the wine and cocktail menus…. however I am attempting to cut back post-holiday season so it was sparkling water for me. The Aperol was calling my name from those beautiful arch shelves in the bar too… anywho I resisted.

I would normally go for an eye fillet but instead decided on trying something different – the rib fillet on recommendation from the team there. All steaks come with salad and limitless chips – yup, limitless! I went with medium rare even though my preference is rare because by then I trusted the team’s suggestions. We also ordered the truffle mash (how could you not, really??) and some greens. Because we are healthy. Or at least pretending to be.

The steaks came out quickly and were beautiful and tender. Delicious and definitely worth the 49minute drive. Add to that the creamy and flavorsome truffle mash and we were happy as can be.

We will be back for sure and checking out more of the area. I hear there are fantastic donuts at the bakery…

Bakehouse Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mosconi – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

We were all really excited to eat some pasta this weekend as after the holiday season we’ve been attempting to be less indulgent to save our figures. After looking at a few options for Italian dining around Brisbane we settled on Mosconi in Fortitude Valley.

The three of us arrived at the restaurant and oddly a guest who arrived after us was bought in from behind us and seated. We were taken upstairs to our table where two of the chairs had their legs down the hole in the floor at the edge of the mezzanine. The tables were crammed upstairs and it was a full house. Not a great start.

We had menus dropped at our table and upon seeing a different meal on another patron’s table we asked if there were specials – had we not asked we wouldn’t have been told them. The team weren’t very attentive.

The entrees at Mosconi were fantastic. Beef carpaccio and burrata. The burrata was my favourite – perfect with the yellow peach, tomato and basil pangrattato. Delicious.

We missed out on the pappardelle special as it had sold out already so we chose the butternut risotto and the lamb ragu tagliatelle and asparagus with Parmesan custard. We couldn’t decide on a third main meal so we decided we would get some cheese instead afterward.

I’m thankful we didn’t get the third main. Both mains and the asparagus were bland. Two of us stopped eating as it just wasn’t very good. Super disappointing considering the premium price point and our excitement to eat there.

It’s never nice writing negative reviews but it wouldn’t be fair to only share the good stuff.

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

 

Cheeky Poke, West End Brisbane- Fresh, Healthy, Quick!

Fresh, healthy and quick – three things I look for when I’m on the run! Cheeky Poke provided just that. 

I stopped by the Cheeky Poke Bar in West End in Brisbane for a quick bite with a friend. It’s a gorgeous setting with gardens, lights in the evening and a cool atmosphere.

There are loads of options to choose from, either from their pre-designed menu items or choosing your own. After a big day, I didn’t want to think about making my own so I just went with the tuna bowl and it was exactly what I was hoping for!

My bowl:
Tuna (GF) – Sashimi Tuna (Mooloolaba, QLD), Black Rice, Zucchini, Pickled Onion w/ Parsley, Cherry Tomatoes, Jalapenos, Edamame, Wasabi Ponzu, Tobiko, 64° Egg, Cheeky Nori, Sesame, Togarashi & Salt

The ponzu provides that beautiful tang I love with my poke, the tuna fresh and firm and the vegies perfect to keep me feeling like I’m getting my intake of greens! I also love the 64° Egg – I mixed the whole bowl in together and devoured it.

Great place for a healthy stop. Check out the menu HERE.

PS. My pic is horrendus and overexposed from using flash as it was dark! The real thing is much better looking.

 

Cheeky Poke Bar - West End Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Banter Bar Kangaroo Point – Fresh Fish & Chips

A new-ish edition to Kangaroo Point, Banter Bar has been on my list to visit for some time.

The restaurant itself is a converted Queenslander, well fitted out with a beach-side, simplistic feel to the interior. The bar is a bit more funky with a giant neon sign and there’s plenty of tables around.

I ordered the special of the day, the Red Emperor and chose for it to be crumbed with a Greek side salad. I didn’t drink (I know you’re all shocked – ha) BUT they have a big selection at the bar and even nice champagne by the half and full bottle (hello Louis Roederer!) would go down well with some of their fresh oysters if you ask me.

Our meals came out quickly and looked as good as they tasted. Crunchy chips, fresh Greek salad and a herb crumbed, generous piece of fish. Delightful!

I’ll definitely go back soon, especially now I have oysters and champagne on my mind. They have a take away menu too, would be lovely to grab some and watch the sunset on the Kangaroo Point Cliffs.

You’ll find Banter Bar right off Main Street, next to The Pineapple Hotel and there’s parking out the back.

PS. I’ve been back since and the beer battered fish is just as delish!!

 

Banter Bar & Seafood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Best Pre-Theatre Dining In Brisbane? Bacchus South Bank

Bacchus was the Roman god of agriculture, wine and fertility. It’s a fitting name for this Brisbane restaurant, let me tell you why…

I was lucky to snatch tickets to opening night of Aladdin and wanted to show my friend, Benny some of the beautiful food Brisbane has to offer.

Enter the Bacchus pre-theatre menu. Limited choice (seriously, if you need me at the theatre by 7.30pm, I CANNOT have the full range of options!), and still I had issues deciding which to go for. Bacchus is in South Bank too, right across from QPAC thankfully, otherwise we would probably have been late.

Of course I went right into questioning Andrew, the phenomenal Bacchus Sommelier about his wine list. Andrew said that while there were LOTS of suggestions for what to put on the extensive list, he listened to no one. He created the list himself five years ago and nobody else has touched it since. I could happily waste a month of Sundays coming to visit just to taste the wines!

It was a hot day so we thought we would start with a white wine. Andrew picked the Woodlands chardonnay. I am one of those weird people that enjoys very oaked and smoky wines and this one matched my tastes.

The warm bread arrived, made in house. Superb.

The amuse-bouche followed. A spinach and tapioca-chip ricotta with blue tea foam – the sweet baby blue is naturally coloured. Next to that was the deep-fried pecorino croquette with mortadella mousse – delicious and full of flavour. The oysters were quite a surprise, filled with an oyster sponge, carrot and ginger puree and puffed quinoa. They were light and filled with flavour. What a way to set the stage for a meal!

For our entrees, we shared the beef tartare and the squid ink and kingfish gnocchi. The beef tartare (O’Connor eye fillet), with hand cut mustard seeds, crostini and topped with a quail egg was just a taste of the quality of what we were in for next.

The winning dish for me was the squid ink and kingfish gnocchi. First of all, it looks gorgeous. Stark black poufs on the plate with vibrant orange dollops and green dressing. When I learnt how it was created, I was even more impressed. There is no flour and no potato in the gnocchi. And that gorgeous dollop of sauce is tomato purée, sitting on cannellini puree and sprinkled with tomato dust. Mussels and Stradbroke Island cuttlefish give the dish some more texture, a bit of crunch. The tomato puree is a perfect twist, a pop of acidic flavour. Nicely done Chef Speroni.

When I praised the entrees, the waitress probably summed it up best when she said, ‘the tasting menu is the best, they don’t want to offer any half way dishes.’

Cue the apple and rosemary granita for a palette cleanser.

While I have dined at Bacchus Brisbane a number of times (it’s a favourite), it was my friend’s first visit to the restaurant. He reminded me just how spectacular the design is. Stunning rich brown leathers and mahogany wood with warm lighting makes for quite an opulent feel. It oozes quality. You quickly realise the staff and the food are of that exceptional quality too, you know you are being well taken care of and in great hands.

We went with white wines to match our mains, the kingfish and the herb risotto. A Murdoch Hill chardonnay and a Dog Point Marlborough – perfectly matched by Andrew.

The herb risotto with fennel, chevre and blood orange dust was delicious. It’s one of those comforting meals you have to purposefully consider making each mouthful last longer.

The corn really bought the kingfish dish together, with the textures changing each bite of the succulent fish. Marinated corn, dehydrated corn, popcorn – all subtle taste changes and textures for each mouthful.

Had I have had the time I would have also chosen a dessert but Aladdin was calling. Or rather, Genie was getting ready to hypnotise the crowd with his captivating eyebrows.

With the pre-theatre menu you can choose an entrée or a dessert and a main with a wine. Phenomenal value at $69 and the quality and taste is up with the very best to try in Brisbane. They have packages for overnight stays too – I wish I had considered that earlier.

While we were dining I also took the opportunity to try the house red. I was so impressed that I asked the Sommelier to come back and explain why it was so impressive. He explained that he felt there was no need for house wine to be sh*t. After travelling around Europe and experiencing the house wines there for many years, he felt it was important to bring something like that to Bacchus. And the result? A wine so good the wine house even put their brand on it! A Bacchus Shiraz, from the Barossa Valley made by Kaesler. Give it a try next time you’re there and let me know if you agree on the taste and the quality.

PS. Bacchus is the Queensland home of Dom Perignon, the champagne is offered by the glass! For this champagne and wine fiend, Bacchus is a VERY happy place to visit.

I hope to try one of their degustation menus one day too.

**While this dining experience was complimentary, this review is completely authentic and true. I have dined at Bacchus many times over the years and will continue to do so.

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

Authentic Ramen Right In The Gold Coast!

Guys! I found true, authentic Japanese ramen on the Gold Coast! Yasssssss!

‘Irasshaimase!’ Although food is usually my first note, when you enter Ramen Danbo, there is a distinct atmosphere and energy. The staff are all ready and excited and happy to see you.

Your first mission, and I call it a mission for a reason, is to choose your ramen. Now, if you’re like me, this is a massive mission because I want to try every flavour!! I am always torn between a traditional tonkontsu and trying something a little different. Kim and I eventually decided on sharing our ramen (because we are greedy and wanted to try both) and a side of bite-sized gyoza each (see greedy, above) and a Kirin beer. Can’t beat a Kirin on a hot day and the Gold Coast was certainly turning it on!

What’s a little different here was that you were able to customise your ramen right down to the your noodle firmness, the richness of the soup and the spiciness. And of course there’s the extra sides but you can choose extra house braised pork belly (chashuu-men) or rekka ramen option which loosely translates as inferno – yummm. We were given a heads up by the team that the best way (how the Japanese do it) is firm noodles, a lot of richness and as much spice as you like, however a little, is more advised than none. We stuck by this advice and it definitely paid off.

We chose a booth to sit in but I would go for the bar next time, I enjoy watching the Chef’s do their thing. Kim’s choice was the nitamago ramen which is the classic ramen but with the rekka option and extra “nitamago” or soft boiled eggs. I chose the negi-goma ramen  with freshly sliced spring onions and toasted sesame (apparently a Japanese favourite) with the rekka option and nitamago soft boiled eggs as an addition. I love those eggs – ramen just isn’t the same without it.

The ramen came out first – they were quick! We tried each other’s and decided we preferred our own (that worked out well) but agreed they were both delicious. Mine was slightly more spicy and rich than Kim’s, absolutely delicious. The difference is the ramen is truely authentic. Imported Japanese ingredients and all. Some of the staff have even come from the Ramen Danbo group in Japan! No wonder it’s so good.

Gyoza followed quickly afterwards, they’re special ‘Hakata’ gyoza, big enough to devour in just one bite! Hand made, delightful little parcels of happiness! If you read my blog, you know my obsession with anything from the dumpling family. These little babies are flavoursome and even more so when you add the green paste to them that comes on the side! It’s made up of Japanese lime, green chilli and pepper. You eat it the same way you would wasabi, either mixed in with the gyoza sauce or dabbed on before you dip. It’s quite a unique flavour and I bet you will wish all places served it up after you’ve tried it.

The restaurant in Southport was pumping. There were lots of customers coming through and many were Japanese (always a good sign). Although, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Ramen Danbo is such a success if you know the history. The original Ramen Danbo opened its doors in 2000 with a simple mission – to deliver a tonkotsu ramen with top quality and flavour, with strict consistency. After placing number one in a TV poll of the top ramen shops in Fukuoka, the brand expanded quickly all through Japan. We are pretty lucky to have it right here on the Gold Coast!!

If you’re from Brisbane and a fan of Taro’s ramen, this is a must try. I will be there again soon to try the classic tonkontsu option! And the gyoza… rude not to.

Ramen Danbo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

**Although this meal was complimentary, this review is authentic and true. I can’t wait to go back and eat more – I will try the classic next time. Plus it’s a great excuse to hit the beach too!

Want new blogs to your inbox?

Yeah you do!

Add your email to receive new blogs to your inbox. We promise not to spam.

You have Successfully Subscribed!