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Kitchen Sanitarium, Brisbane November 2, 2012

Kitchen Sanitarium

145 Eagle Street | Brisbane

There is a plethora of places to eat in Brisbane CBD during the work week, a lot of them really affordable as they compete for your business.  Take away sushi places selling $2 rolls line every street, as do places selling pies, burgers, chips, and your Chicken Katsu.

On a temporary health kick (I’ve now fallen off the wagon but I am to clamber back on come Monday – promise) I was in search for wholesome, healthy food.  A Google search brought up Govinda’s Vegetarian buffet, a couple of Japanese places and Kitchen Sanitarium.

Owned by Sanitarium of Wheatbix Sanitarium, Kitchen Sanitarium sells only vegetarian food with food sourced within 200km and proclaim to be organic and wholesome.

A serious meat/seafood/egg lover, I hold very little trust of vegetarians, but I was willing to give it a go after reading loads of good review.  It was on Eagle Street, Riverside Plaza, a few doors up from Pig and Whistle with lots of outside seating and some seating inside – a bright airy space.

Big menus, service breakfasts and lunch with their main meals like risotto at around $18, curry of the day (eat in $14/takeout $9.90).  Although the 4-bean quesadilla called out to me, I opted for a takeaway salad choosing from around 4 different options (small for $5.90 and a large for $9.90).

I went for the salad of the day, a Greek salad made with tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, roasted capsicum, olives, cucumber and crumbled feta.  It was crisp, light and full of flavour.  With that, I also got a beetroot and puy lentil salad made with chunks of beetroot (tasted like canned), lentils, cranberries and hazelnuts – easily one of the most DELICIOUS salads I’ve ever had. Call me a vegetarian/salad convert.

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I got the large box of salad and it defeated me, took me two goes, and 4 hours and I still couldn’t finish it all!  Next time, a small box would suffice for lunch, making it quite a reasonably priced option for lunch.  It was surprisingly filling too, and I was left feeling light and so healthful all day.

Sanitarium Kitchen on Urbanspoon

 

Sultan’s Kitchen, Coorparoo

Filed under: Casual Eats,Food — Dobsessed @ 3:24 pm
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Sultan’s Kitchen
380 Cavendish Road | Coorparoo

 

It was a Monday night, and I just didn’t feel like going home and eating a poached chicken with salad, so through the Entertainment Book I looked, and a 25% discount voucher, I found – for Sultan’s Kitchen.

 

My favourite Indian restaurant in Brisbane has always been Punjabi Palace, but was willing to try something else locally.

 

When we went into Sultan’s Kitchen, it was completely empty at 6pm, menus were presented. Curries were priced at around $18.90, rice extra at $1 per person, naan breads around $4 – $5 depending if you want it plain or filled with cheese.

 

We ordered Lamb Saag Wala (Spinach and lamb curry) and Chicken Mughlai (rich, creamy curry).

 

We were presented with complimentary popdums which had cumin seeds and were crispy and flavoursome. The food didn’t take much longer and the curries were DELICIOUS. They had the right combination of spices and flavours and none of the lingering oiliness. The basmati rice were fluffy and the spinach and cheese naan, soft (though I missed the crunch of the bottom that I’m used to) and full of flavour.

 

I wished curries were hotter because I like a bit of kick in my curry, but they were full of subtle flavour with a very mild, mellow heat. Two curries, a naan, and rice for two would’ve been $44.30 but with the discount, came to $33.25. Bargain. I’ll be back.

 

The restaurant stayed empty with as as the only Monday diners, but they lots of people in and out for their takeaway curries.

 

Sultans Kitchen on Urbanspoon

 

Steamed, Brisbane October 31, 2012

Steamed

95 Turbot Street | Brisbane

In a relatively less busy part of Brisbane CBD, under the Roma Street underpass on Turbot Street is where Steamed can be found.  With the new addition to the food scene, it seems as if Brisbane may be finally catching up to the dumpling craze that engulfed Sydney and Melbourne a few years ago.

Steamed is TINY…and while there was a communal table and could probably seat 10, it’s definitely more of a takeaway joint.  And don’t expect fancy surroundings, the whole kit is quite casual, plain and tidy.

Steamed sells only three types of dumplings (pork beef and vegetarian) and a pork bun (NOT BBQ pork bun).  All dumplings are priced at $6 for 4 dumplings (they’re happy for you to mix and match) and the pork buns (called pork cloud here) are $3 each. There are various packages, like 8 dumplings for $10 or 3 dumplings and 1 bun for $7 .  I wanted to try each of everything so I bought the 3 dumplings +1 cloud pack .  For a casual takeaway joint, I thought the dumplings were a bit expensive.

Everything was already cooked and sat in bamboo steamers at the counter (so not steamed to order) so service was quick with a tiny self-serve chili oil and vinegar section where you pick up your little card box of dumplings.

I thought all the dumplings were relatively tasty, my favourite being the pork, but none of them were spectacular.  The pastry was nice and thin though.  The Pork bun was puffy and bready, not as light as I would’ve liked and seemed to have an excessive bread to filling ratio, in saying that though, the filling was tasty also…but again, nothing spectacular.

I found the utensils provided extremely difficult to eat with.  Instead of chopsticks, they provided little two-pronged toothpicks and it was pretty much impossible to pierce and eat the dumplings without having to prod it with my finger. Also, the dumplings stuck to the bottom of the box, so by the time I’ve maneuvered the pick into the dumpling, the wrapping have split open with the filling spilling out.

Overall though, while I thought the dumplings were good, with its location and price…I’m not really hanging to go back but would grab some if I was around the area.

Steamed on Urbanspoon

 

My Favourites List December 5, 2010

Filed under: Casual Eats,Fine Dining,Food — Dobsessed @ 2:52 pm
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I’ve look at my last few blog entries and other than a recipe blog entries, I seem to hate every single restaurants out there!!

That’s not true by the way, I love lots of restaurants!  I just gt the urge to blog a lot more when I’ve had a bad experience.  I guess I just need to get it off my chest, or I want to make sure people don’t make the same unfortunate mistake that I did.

To prove it, here’s some of my favourite restaurants in BRISBANE:

Breakfast:

Flute

4/380 Cavendish Road, Coorparoo – (07) 3324 0999

I have never had a bad breakfast here, the food, the coffee, everything is excellent.  It’s on the pricey side (breakfast wise), ranging from about $16 to $24 or something.  They have an interesting menu too, steaks and polenta for breakfast anyone?? Yum yum! Never been disappointed and I’m pretty picky.

Restaurant

Anise

697 Brunswick Street, New Farm QLD 4005, (07) 3358 1558

Very small restaurant and only seats 15 people, all at the bar! It’s really great, serving Modern Australian/French cuisine and the menu changes all the time.  One of the best duck confit, the best quail, best duck fat truffle potatoes.  EVER.

Their desserts aren’t anything special but everything else is pefecto.

Best Gluten Free Pizza

Hell Pizza gluten pizza are pretty good.  I think they taste pretty much exactly like normal crust (in my opinion).  Great gourmet toppings too, but a bit pricey.  Their pizzas are about $18 – $20 with $3.50 surcharge for gluten free crust.

I also like getting gluten free Pizzas from Dominos Pizza.  I’m not above eating fast food hehe. Their gluten free pizzas are $2.95 surcharge and it’s like their classic crusts.

Sushi

I loooooooooooooooove sushi, I eat sushi at least once a week.  At least!  And my favourite is:

Hanaichi Sushi Bar & Dining

Shop E128 & E129/171-209 Queen Street Brisbane QLD 4000 – (07) 3221 1450

I love it here…my favourites are Seared Salmon Scallop, Salmon Belly and Avocado (yuuuum), Soft shelled crab hand rolls, Crab Claws, Kani Korokke…list goes on.  And you HAVE to try the black sesame ice-cream, it’s seriously the best.

Japanese

Azabu

Taringa Central Shopping Centre, 165 Moggill Road, Taringa, 4068
Only tried this place once and it is pretty awesome.  Feel of Izakaya with authentic Japanese food.
Vietnamese
Quan Thanh
5/75 Hardgrave Road West End (Brisbane) QLD 4101 – (07) 3846 3849
Thai
Golden Buddha
3 The Corso, Seven Hills QLD 4170, (07) 3902 0005
Bow Thai
14 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, (07) 3216 1700
Indian
Punjabi Palace
135 Melbourne St, West End (Brisbane) QLD 4101, (07) 3846 3884
Mint Indian Courmet
394 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, (07) 3252 0300
Bakery
Chouquette
1/19 Barker Street, New Farm QLD 4005, (07) 3358 6336
Chinese
My mum’s  (HA).
That’s all I’ve got for now, I’ll add to it as it comes to me! 🙂

 

Scallops with fried egg and balsamic vinegar July 11, 2010

Filed under: Food,Home Cookery — Dobsessed @ 6:17 pm
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This is an adaption of Gordon Ramsey’s scallops and quail egg recipe.  I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious, probably works better as a starter because it’s not filling, but I ate like 4 lamb sheek kebabs, a hot dog, two sausage sizzles, butter chicken, naan, steak…and more today, so this was more than enough.  I made this with what was available in my pantry and my fridge, so no quail eggs, no pea purees…but it tastes delicious.  I like my scallops lightly seared, and raw in the middle so that it keeps its al dente-ness (don’t know if you can use al dante to describe scallops…but I hate over cooked scallops!) and I also like my egg yolks runny and they ooze all over the scallops and that with the balsamic gives it a nice, rich creaminess.
Ingredients

– Scallops, I used 10 small scallops, but if you have fat scallops,  you could slice them through the middle so that you get two thinner ‘coin’ shapes

– 1 egg

– curry powder

– salt and pepper

– drizzle of balsamic vinegar, mine was flavoured with macadamia nuts

1 Cook the scallops for about 30 seconds on each side, and as it’s cooking, dust it lighting with a slight pinch of curry powder, flip and repeat

2 Remove scallops onto a plate and fry your egg until the whites are cooked but the yellow is runny

3 Place the egg on the scallops and season with salt and pepper and lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  I would recommend not using more than a teaspoon

4 Break the yolk over the scallops and EAT!

 

Bistrot Bistro & Bar | Logan Road | Woolloongabba June 27, 2010

Filed under: breakfast/Brunch,Casual Eats,Fine Dining,Food,Food review — Dobsessed @ 1:48 pm
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One of my favourite meals are breakfasts…although, I must say I like going out fine dining too, so I guess I can’t really say that. To be honest, there isn’t a meal of the day I don’t like.

Anyways, still fresh from week 2 of my 21-Day Wonder Diet, my friend and I decided to go for a nice, long morning walk. Both of us have already had breakfast but after over an hour of walking and chats, we decided to stop at Bistrot Bistro & Bar for break.

I really liked the decor, it looks Parisian with pendant lighting, exposed brick walls and beautiful booths and timber floors. The service was very attentive (too much so), we were asked if we were ready to order three times in two minutes.

I don’t want to be overly negative, but our food came before our coffees (which we’d ordered first). Not much for adaptation, I thought the food was seriously overpriced. They had no gluten free bread (and no other alternatives) so I ended up paying $10 for 2 poached eggs, and ordered a side of house made beans with ham hock for an additional $7,

The eggs were poached beautifully, the yolks a vibrant orange, but that’s where the good ended. The beans were very sour with the tomatoes, and undercooked, so very hard, salty (with the ham hock) and unappetizing.

My friend had also ordered poached eggs, and her toast came grilled but she said you could taste the grill – and not in a good way. Neither of us was particularly wowed by the boring, unimaginative, overpriced food.

Our coffees were weak, lukewarm and insipid.

Oh yeah, one other criticism, the whole menu was written in jargon. Eg. Nduju $5 – that was apparently a Japanese style salami. Kessler $5 is actually just bacon…couldn’t they have just had that on the menu? Or am I just not ‘refined’ enough for Bistrot Bistro? Probably…which is why I probably won’t go back either. At least not for Brunch.

 

Gluten Free Saucy Chocolate Pudding (Pantry Puddings) June 15, 2010

Filed under: desserts,Food,Home Cookery — Dobsessed @ 7:25 pm
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This is seriously the easiest chocolate pudding to make ever…and it tastes soooooo good!  And the servings I’ve listed make just two small 150ml sized ramekins, so it’s perfect for middle of the night cravings (it only takes 15 minutes after all!) or when girlfriends drop by and you’re in search of something sweet.

I wanted to call it Pantry Puddings because the ingredients this recipe calls for are always in my pantry…but my friend laughed at me when I said that, so maybe it’s not the case for everyone?

The first ten times I’ve made this recipe, I used dark chocolate which was very rich (and delicious) and pouring cream into the pot made a rich, delicious chocolate sauce, I’ve also made it with Rolo recently which was less rich and had a nice milk chocolate caramel goo in it.  I probably perfer the orginal version because if I’m after a chocolate hit, I want a REAL hit…not a mild one…but either one is tasty.

Makes 2 small ramekins

Ingredients

80g of dark chocolate, break into pieces

40g of butter

1 heaped tablespoons of self raising flour (I used White Wings Gluten Free flour)

1 – 2 heaped tablespoons of caster sugar (for the Rolo version, I only used 1 tablespoons of caster sugar – you could probably use brown sugar too)

1 egg

– Preheat oven to 200 c fan forced

– Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl on Medium for about 2 minutes – do it in 30 second bursts and stir afterwards so it’s combined, no whisk needed, I just use a spoon.

– After the chocolate has cooled slightly, add the egg and stir that through until it’s well combined

– Add the flour and the sugar and stir.

– Pour into ramekins and bake for 12 – 15 minutes.  You know it’s ready when the top has puffed up, so check after 12 minutes…if you leave it too long, it’ll be quite cakey and less gooey in the middle…and trust me, you want the goo.

So, so good.

 

Staying at Bich Duyen Hotel and travelling along the Mekong Delta, Vietnam April 6, 2010

I wanted to start this post off by saying, “Recently, I returned from a trip to Vietnam…” but then, I realised, I’ve been home for over a month, I can’t really say it’s recent anymore.  Yes…I must say, my travels seem like a fond, distant memory…work gets to you like that.

I haven’t been eating out much, just eating really bad junk food like Pizza.  Dominos does gluten free bases, and I have to say, they’re pretty good…alot better than Pizza Capers (which is soggy and cardboard-like) so ever since then, I’ve been eating pizza on a weekly basis.  So, instead of blogging about Dominos pizza (I always get Hawaiian with chilli flakes and garlic oil), I’ll blog about a day tour along the Mekong Delta when I was in Vietnam (nearly two months ago!!) where there was some food involved.

Following advice from forums, my friends and I didn’t book any tours until we got to Vietnam.  In Ho Chi Minh City, we stayed at this great little place called Bich Duyen Hotel.  It was fairly central and it was manned by this great guy called Jan.  It was 4 storeys with no elevators, so my friend KK was trepidatious when she thought she may have had to lug her 27kg luggage up the spiral staircase.  No worries, Jan hoisted the suitcase on his shoulders, picked up another 15kg bag and was up the stairs and back down before we could sit down and take off our shoes.

The place was very clean, no shoes allowed and the rooms were basic, with air-con, fan, firm mattressed beds, and showers.  No room service or that kind of stuff but Jan, the reception/bell boy/conceirge/travel agent/currency exchange was absolutely lovely.  He gave us great exchange rates, was full of useful local tips and above all, honest.  He’d tell us what we should expect to pay and even cautioned us to be careful with certain type of transport.  The rooms were cheap too, maybe about $20 or something per night.  We also woke up to freshly cooked breakfast, Jan would ask us everyday, “Would you like egg or bread with jam and butter?”…eggs were an omelette with capsicum, onions and the bread was always a crusty fresh baguette.

We also booked a couple of our tours through them.  Don’t book online before you go to Vietnam, it’s such a rip off.  We booked while we were there, through Delta Adventures – listed in the Lonely Planet Guide, and it was cheap and great.  For US$15, we got transport, with a young jovial guide, who spoke excellent English to the Floating markets, where we were transported on ‘long boats’.  For me, it was spirit-changing, families living on the boats on the Mekong Delta, they have barely anything and yet, as we drifted past, children would run out, so happy, and wave to us.

We then stopped off to see where they make coconut candy and they also showed us some snake wine – rice wine steeped with snake and peacock – taste like bad tequila.  True, this part of it was just a blatent excuse for you to buy stuff, but nothing was expensive, the candy was like $1.30 for a packet (of like 20 or 30) and you got free samples.  During all this, it was also interactive too, the guide told us great stories and histories, so it was never boring.

Our next mode of transport were small boats rowed by standing people with two long oars…we all wore conical hats, very relaxing.  Lunch was in a locality where as soon as we got there, the food were served, lunch was included in the $15 and a simple fare of rice, spring rolls, clear soup, and yummy pork chops.  We decided to pay and extra $5 (between the three of us) and we got a big, crispy fried Elephant ear fish which was eaten with rice paper rolls, rice noodles, vegetables and peanuts.  Very yummy and fresh…despite the fact that it was fried.

After that, we were given 45 minutes or so to relax, most people grabbed a hammock and had a nap, I pretty much was the only one to get a working bike (no flat tyres, wonky seat or askew handle bars) and rode for a bit…not very safe though, I felt nervous everytime a car or motorcycles went past…with friendly honks of course.

We had the option of paying extra to head back by speedboat as opposed to the bus, heading back by bus is included in the $15, speedboat costs extra…I can’t remember exactly how much it was, but I think it might’ve been $15 or something…nothing unreasonable.  It was worth every penny…it was a different way back, and the guide allowed us to sit on the top of the boat where I felt I was at one with nature. Very, very relaxing.  As we sped into Ho Chi Minh City, the sun was also setting, turning the sky this beautiful display of pink and orange…absolutely blissful.

I would highly recommend it.

Tours was with Delta Adventures – www.deltaadventuretours.com

Hotel I stayed at was Bich Duyen Hotel – basic, the staff was wonderful and it was very central, within walking distance to Banh Thanh markets.

 

Augustin – French cuisine in Vietnam March 18, 2010

I’m in Vietnam.  A plethora of dining choices.  Hot bowls of pho, crusty breads – filled with pickled vegetables, pork and pate, freshly steamed rice noodles and I go to a French restaurant.  I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch, they have a huge french influence due to the French colonization…so why not have some French cuisine?

The restaurant we went to was listed in the Lonely Planet guide, so we thought it shouldn’t be too shabby.

We started the evening with some very pricey cocktails (about $13 including tax – which is very pricey considering you can buy a bowl of very delicious filling bowl of pho with meat balls and beef for $2) at the Sheraton sky bar.  The view from the hotel was absolutely magnificent, basically 270 degree view of the city.  Very formal though, people openned the doors for us, guided us to our seats and it was all very civilised.  I don’t think you’d see Speidi’s crew with the brosters downing shots here rowdily!  – Sorry about that…I’ve been totally addicted to the Hills recently…and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you haven’t lost that much, so just don’t worry.

After our pricey drinks, we hopped across the road, walked around the corner or two and ended up at Augustin.  It was a very small restaurant, with air-con, table linens and all the waitresses were wearing a uniform.  It was by no means elegant interior, if I were in Australia, I may consider it old fashioned…like I was in a granny’s sitting room.  All the same, I’d spent the last couple of days sitting on plastic stools, wiping all my cutlery before I eat, so this felt very luxe indeed.

The menu was extensive, they had a menu of local meats, and imported meats and everything was reasonably priced.

For entree, I ordered the crab gratin which came plated on a crab shell.  The plating was rather rudimentary, your basic tomatoes and cucumber laid out, I felt like I was at a Chinese chicken shop.  Regardless, the food was delicious, the crab was real crab, definitely NOT seafood extender and sweet, it wasn’t too heavily ladened with cream either.  KK, who is not a big foodie was even rolling her eyes in ecstasy.  COC’s entree of clam soup was rich and full of clams, delicious, but she couldn’t finish it, so I helped.

We had all chosen duck as our mains, cooked in various ways. KK had ordered duck with cream which was a simple duck breast, served with a cream sauce and fries – because they’re FRENCH fries.  I had been tossing up between ordering this instead of the duck I ended up with, and I am glad I went with my eventual choice.  The duck breast was fine, cooked well, not dry but the sauce was just strange.  It had the look of a creamy mushroom sauce, but even now, I can’t place the strange cream sauce that it was.  KK seemed to enjoy it though.

COC’s duck l’range was very sweet, certainly the sweetest duck l’range I’ve ever had, almost syrupy, but went nicely with the duck breast.

I’d ordered duck confit (which came oddly, with no sauce) but it was fall of the bone delicious.  The duck leg was tender and the skin crisp and full of fatty goodness, I definitely couldn’t complain.  I thought the mash potatoes were really strange though, they were very, very sweet and wasn’t buttery like the mash I was used to.  Having said that, I still finished off the plate…so I guess it couldn’t have been that bad.

We’d also ordered a rose between the three of us, and some mineral water and we ended up dropping about $20 each for the whole thing.  Not too bad considering I’d pay more than that for just an entree here!


Augustin |10 D Nguyen Thiep | Dong Khoi Area, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

 

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