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Anise again. Again Awesome February 2, 2010

Anise


Sometimes, I feel apprehensive about recommending or raving about a restaurant because I always end up feeling that if the food isn’t great, then it reflects badly on me. My sister ELLE never likes any places I rave about and I always seem to take it a bit personally.

Recently, I’ve been raving about Anise, I went there once a couple of weeks ago and loved it. My friends E&N decided they wanted to go to it too and I must admit, I was a bit nervous until the food arrived and the food spoke for themselves.

I was pleased because the menu had changed since my last visit (which wasn’t that long ago). To start, I had Moreton Bay bugs with sandcrab ravioli and E&N ordered the soup of the day which was a Moreton Bay bug bisque served with thinly sliced, crunchy baguettes.

My Moreton Bay bugs was delicious, tender, cooked perfectly and not at all rubbery, the ravioli was excellent too, pasta thin and the filling full of flavour. I still had major food envy as the bisque came in a cute little tureen and was rich with seafood flavour, delicious.

For mains, I opted for the lamb rack served with mash and asparagus and E&N got lamb and steak. The lamb was cooked, beautifully pink and went lovely with the slightly sweet butter, the mash was smooth without being glue-like. The sauce was a balance of saltiness and sweetness – I ended up wiping my plate with the duck fat, truffle salt potatoes.

Oh, the potatoes…these were the best potatoes ever, we ordered two serves, probably a bit too much, but it was great. Super crunchy cubes with an earthy truffle aftertaste, I could’ve just had that and nothing else. I didn’t try E&N’s steak, served with a potato terrine and horseradish cream but they said it was very, very good.

As the restaurant is very small, you’re never looking around for a waiter, and despite the close proximity to other diners (everyone is seated at the bar), I never felt that other people were listening in on my conversation or that I was uncomfortable.

The first time I went to Anise, I didn’t think the desserts were particularly spectacular and I thought that again this time. My Mille Fuelle was fine, the raspberries – very sweet, the curd – creamy, the sorbet – refreshing, the pastry – bit hard, not as light as I imagined it could be – totally acceptable but definitely nothing spectacular.

E&N thought their crème brulee and blackberry ice-cream was divine, so perhaps my expectations for desserts are a bit too high?

It’s absolutely delicious though, and as I write this, I have reservations to go to Anise again this Saturday.

Anise on Urbanspoon

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Bishamon February 1, 2010

Filed under: Casual Eats,Food,Food review — Dobsessed @ 7:58 pm
Tags: , , ,

I love Asian food, and it is not because I am Asian.  I really hate it when people assume that I know everything about every Asian cuisine just because I’m Asian.  Thai food and Japanese food are worlds apart, OK!

My favourite Asian food is Japanese, it hasn’t always been like that, but I think I definitely developed a taste for it when I lived in Japan for nearly two years four years ago (was it really four years ago??).  I actually think it’s very hard to find a decent, authentic Japanese restaurant in Brisbane.  I’ve yet to be completely wowed.  My favourite for sushi is Hanaichi (not the sushi deli, but the sushi train thing) – infact, that’s pretty much the only place I’ll go for sushi train.  I quite like Sakura in West End but I think it’s very expensive, their sashimi platter is worth it though.  I’ve been to Sono obviously but I think people go there for the ambiance rather than for the food because it certainly isn’t that authentic or that great for that matter. I also like Mizu actually…but I never think to go there, their fish cake brings me back to 600 yen obentos from Jusco and I absolutely love their soba noodle and crab salad.  All the other places like sushi train places like Sushi Stations are just disgusting, I don’t even bother.

I recently read a review about Bishamon in Spring Hill and it had great reviews so I thought I’d give it a go.  In the space of three weeks, I actually went twice.  The restaurant is small, split into two rooms, a more casual look room and the other side that has a Teppan and posh chairs.  The service is very much Japanese, with the waiters very attentive and friendly.

The first time I went there, I was absolutely overwhelmed by the extensive menu.  There were at least two pages of appetizer/entree sized meals, a page of mains, sushi, sashimi, te maki (hand rolls), teppanyaki meals, shabu shabu (steam boat), sukiyaki (cook your own beef, tofu and vegetables in a sweet soy sauce).  I spent a long time deciding and ended up ordering way too much.  As usual, I ate before I could take pictures, but I ordered yaki gyoza, home made potato salad (it arrived served with chips as well!), soba noodle salad (huge, huge servings), B-Roll (inside out sushi roll with salmon, omelet, cucumber, avacado), beef tataki with rice, green tea ice-cream.


I thorougly enjoyed everything, the yaki gyoza was a bit dry – I usually like a bit of broth in it against crispy gyoza skins, the potato salad was exactly like in Japan, bits of mashed potato with pieces of potatoes with carrots and mayo – yummy.  The soba noodle salad was delicious, it was simple with a mirin/soy type dressing topped with nori, I could easily just eat that for lunch and it only cost $10.50, the B-roll was also yummy, fresh and full of flavour.  The beef tataki was served lightly seared so it was very rare, with a dipping sauce, I liked it but didn’t have THAT much flavour.

I decided to take MMa week later because she loves Japanese food, and annoyingly, it was not as great as the first time I went.  We ordered the yaki-gyoza, but this time, some of the pieces were barely pan fried and were not Krispy, the chicken and cashew salad that we chose for the chef’s recommendation were pieces of fried chicken karaage with cashews doused in sweet chilli sauce.  Disappointing, my mum could’ve whipped that up in three seconds and it wouldn’t be that coyingly sweet.  Next came the grilled eggplant, which was a huge piece of grilled eggplant, halved, smothered in miso paste.  The first bite was delicious, rich and very creamy, but after three bites, it became way too rich and the miso was way too sweet.

Our mains arrived next, I ordered teriyaki beef fillet which came medium (I requested medium rare) with a side a salad decorated with yummy Japanese mayo, rice and miso soup.  The beef was nice, and I enjoyed it with the rice, I left most of the salad.  Nothing to rave home about…I would’ve loved a good kobe beef…but I couldn’t really expect that for $30.  MM was very disappointed with her salmon.  Her salmon was cooked heavily in butter, you could the salmon swimming in grease and it was very overcooked and served with tartare sauce – not very Japanese.  I didn’t mind it because I love butter, but MM felt it was too oily to be enjoyable.

Overall, I didn’t mind the meal, although I didn’t feel it was as great as the first time I went.  The whole time though, I was obsessed with the table next to us who’d ordered the sukiyaki – it’s all you can eat for $35 wagyu beef!! Next time I go back (and there will be a next time), I’m definitely going for that.

500 Boundary St Spring Hill QLD 4000 | (07) 3832 3888
Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-2pm, 6pm-11pm