Bury Me In Food

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The Gallery Soho, Coorparoo August 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dobsessed @ 2:36 pm
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Back in Brisbane, and back into the breakfast scene…something that I didn’t really indulge in when I was in London…but something I just can’t seem to live without back here.

Last weekend, I decided to visit the Gallery Soho, in Coorparoo after driving past it numerous times.  It always looked inviting with green cushions with bench time seating with a wide window into the standing room only (orders only) interior.

The menu was extensive with the usual fare of eggs, toasts, sandwiches and burgers.

Having recently had brilliant avocado toasts at the Vintage Kitchen and Closet – across the road from the Gallery (post to come) I decided to order the same, cheaper than Vintage Kitchen and Closet at $8.50.  I also ordered an ice coffee (counter service).

Coffee was nothing remarkable…but arrived quickly.  Food also arrived quickly.  Excitement soon turned to disappointment when I was presented with buttered Turkish toast with anemic avocados, sans wedge of lemon.  I prodded the avocado a few times, and yep, definitely, they were so un-ripe as to be melon like. Completely inedible.  I ended up just eating the buttered toast, can’t say I’ve every paid that much for plain toast before. They do poached eggs, but I didn’t try any…but was told that they do their scrambled eggs in the microwave.

Other order of marinated steak sandwich ($12) looked apetizing enough, but again, same anaemic avocados were used and hardly any steak. 

I desperately wanted someone to ask me how my food was, but no service was forthcoming…and I won’t be forthcoming here anymore either.

The Gallery Soho | 07 3397 0020 | Shop 11, 342 Old Cleveland Road, Coorparoo
The Gallery Soho on Urbanspoon

 

 

Afternoon tea at Claridge’s Hotel, Mayfair October 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dobsessed @ 3:52 am
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I’ve now had a few ‘traditional’ afternoon teas now…I haven’t blogged about most of them.

I’ve had a few simple afternoon teas not at top London hotels so haven’t really blogged about them. Ones worth noting was at Dean Street Town House. It was cheap, £15.95, sandwiches were good, scones were good, and the top cakes tier were pretty good.

I recently went to Claridge’s for their afternoon tea…it was hard to get a table, I booked back in August, and couldn’t get a table until October.

This is a quick post as I didn’t take any pictures.

We were ushered into a beautiful room, with a huge fresh roses arrangement in the room. Somone playing a grand piano on one side and a celloist next to them.

The service there, absolutely incredible, if we so much as edge our hand towards the teapot, someone would magically appear to pour for us.

The sandwiches were very delicious, their flavours distinct and I would say that I had the best egg and cress sandwich there compared to anywhere else. The egg was boiled, but boiled to perfection – that state when the york is no longer runny, but bright orange, and not yellow.

The scones, an apple scone and a sultana scone were one of the best I’ve ever head. It beat Lanesborough. It was buttery and absolutely moorish and the Marco Polo house made jelly was light and not too sweet. The desserts were pretty good too…consisting of some varieties including a fig tart, a yoghurt, a lemon cheesecake.

Once we finished each tier, they would ask if we wanted more, as I’d starved myself all day (no breakfast, no lunch) for the 5pm sitting, I was famished and I got a second round of sandwiches AND a second round of scones. We also got another round of cakes, but not the full array. We were also given the option to change teas…and as our sitting came to an end, we were both given a small canister of their house blend.

What a nice touch, for £38.95 (they will also automatically add 12.5% gratiuity at the end, it was well worth it. It is without a doubt the best of the traditional teas I’ve had so far.

Afternoon Tea at Claridge's Hotel on Urbanspoon

 

Review: Lanesborough Afternoon Tea September 4, 2011

Filed under: Afternoon tea — Dobsessed @ 4:53 am

Since I’ve been in London, I’ve quickly become addicted to scones and clotted
cream. My perfect weekend afternoon these days would have to definitely include
an afternoon tea (high tea in the UK refers to an early dinner!).

I was very excited to go to Lanesborough for their traditional afternoon tea after I’d
visited the Berkeley Hotel for the more modern fashionista afternoon tea. I read
numerous reviews online, and my expectations were high.

My friend and I were ushered in straight away, afternoon tea at the Lanesborough
doesn’t start until 4pm. The tea was held in a atrium and was bright and airy, with
many tables. There was a grand piano in the corner and a gentleman tinkling away
on it, adding to the whole overall mood.

We both ordered the traditional tea and both ordered hot tea to start. We were
presented with a little starter. It was white chocolate and a berry dessert in a shot
glass. Delicious. Great start. Not too sweet, and definite white chocolate flavour.


The teas weren’t kept on our table, instead set aside about 2 metres away and not
easily reached. As the dining room filled up, my tea cup became empty. I wished it
was closer, so that I could refill it myself.

A traditional three tier was set before us, bottom layer of sandwiches, two of each.
The next two tiers were disappointing however. On the second their, there were
only 3 cakes, small, and all different flavours. Considering there were two of us,
I was disappointed that we’d have to cut into the cakes to allow us to each try a
flavour.

See the top andmiddle tier? so dissappointing

The top tier was the same, 4 or so different desserts, but as some of them were so
intricate, it was difficult to share.

A separate plate was brought over with one raisin scone, and one plain scone, and
two halves of an English muffin with cinnamon butter. Lemon curd butter, jam and
clotted cream accompanied these.

The sandwiches were fine, nothing mind blowing, but fine, soft bread and crust-less.
The warm cheese quiche had great, very short crust.

The second tier was just disappointing, as mentioned, having to share, and the cakes
were nice…abeit a bit dry.

The scones were absolutely delicious, cute little dumplings with a gold yellow top,
they were moreish and not dry or crumbly. The lemon curd butter delicious on the
muffin. We had to each choose a different scone as once again, they only provided
one of each. They did provide a second serving of scones after we asked.

My friend and I attempted to share the top tier of desserts but it was impossible as
the desserts were small and delicate.

My tea cup by this stage was empty and I wanted a different type of tea. This
wasn’t offered and it was actually hard to get the attention of the waiters.

When we did get their attention, I asked them if it would be possible to get more

cakes, I had seen other tables that had receive macarons on their tiers and we didn’t
receive any. They said they would bring more and I waited in anticipation.

After 30 minutes, it became quite apparent they were never going to replenish our
cakes. They even cleared away our plates.

Well then. I guess it’s time I asked for the bill. At around £38+ per person (no
alcohol), I found the offerings very stingy considering my friend and I had to share
most of it. I found it disappointing that despite asking for more, and being promised
that more cakes would be brought, we were basically just forgotten.

I was so excited to have a traditional afternoon tea at a 5-star luxury establishment
and I was so disappointed by the end of it.

Lanesborough Conservatory on Urbanspoon

 

Prêt-a-portea, afternoon tea at the Berkley Hotel August 24, 2011

I started the day shopping in Harvey Nicols, which was very appropriate for what I had planned in the afternoon.

Prêt-a-portea at the Berkley Hotel, which is a modern take on the traditional English afternoon tea.  Prêt-a-portea is supposed to be inspired from fashion trends and encompasses inspirations from Tom Ford, Victoria Beckham, Chloe, just to name a few.

It was a rainy, gloomy day so I arrived early to my 3:30pm reservation.  The hostess who met me was absolutely lovely, apologetic that my table wasn’t ready (at 3:10pm) and seating me in the foyer with a few magazines.

I wasn’t forgotten either, at 3:25, I was ushered (with the magazines – as I was dining alone) to my table.  There was a place card, with my name on it! Very nice touch!

Personalised Place setting

I was presented with the menus, and the hostess also gave me a copy of the menu and the postcard inspiration to keep.  I went for the standard prêt-a-portea without the champagne and started off with a beautifully scented caramel and pear tea. The teapots and plates were all Paul Smith, brightly coloured stripe.

Menu – I can’t seem to rotate it!

Not too long after, the first of the savouries arrived.  Sandwiches, egg in a sweet, soft bun, tuna in tomato seeded bread, smoke salmon and teriyaki chicken rolled in tortilla.  All the sandwiches were served without crust, the bread soft, and reasonably tasty. These all went very well with my hot tea.

Egg sandwich, tuna and tomato bread, salmon, cucumber, terriyaki chicken wrap

Pear Caramel Tea

Paul Smith Dinnerware

Next up were the savouries: along with the savouries came with a 3 tier stand with brightly coloured, beautifully presented cake, savouries and shot glasses of little desserts.

Top tier, that was like a mint and coconut, I wasn’t a big fan of the Yellow shot glass

The savouries: Potato salad in a crispy crust, lobster nori roll, artichoke (sour with a nice crunch), cold spicy melon soup (delicious!) and Beef tenderloin.  All tasty and when the waiter asked if I wanted some more, another plate of savouries (all of them!) were quickly brought to me.  As I finished those, with a nod of my head, another plate of sandwiches.

Bottom tier, Savouries

After the 2 rounds each of savouries, I was ready for the sweets.  They looked too pretty to eat! They were all delicious with very distinct flavours, my favourite being the Chocolate and hazelnut praline.  I also loved the cookies, simply because I loved how they were iced.  Many of the desserts were quite mousse-like so it was very light and none of them were too sweet.

One of the cookies

I was also asked if I wanted to tea change and this time I got amazing apple and amazing it was.  Real fruit pieces, that were seeped in hot water.  Delicious, it was something to drink and something to eat!

I didn’t like one of the desserts, which was mandarin flavoured, but the rest I quickly devoured.  With a smile, another lot of desserts was brought, but this time, I was so full I was taking small short breadths.

After I finished everything, I was asked if I enjoyed everything? When I confirmed that I did, they said, “Would you like us to pack some for you to take home?”…WOULD I?! YES! I WOULD!

I got given a cardboard printed box that was shaped as a pretty handbag in colours of pistachio and pink and it contained three other desserts.

Overall, the only criticism was one of the (many) desserts that wasn’t to my taste, and some of the fondant that was used in shaping of the desserts…other than that, the whole experience was perfection.

I would recommend it to anyone and never did they once make me feel uncomfortable for dining alone.  Pictures are allowed too, so feel free to snap away!

I’ll be going back in a few months time – the menu changes every six months.  So, so worth it.

http://www.the-berkeley.co.uk/fashionista_tea.aspx

Caramel Room (The Berkeley Hotel) on Urbanspoon

 

Gordon Ramsey at Claridge’s, Mayfair April 20, 2011

Filed under: Fine Dining,Food review — Dobsessed @ 6:05 am
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I went to Gordon Ramsey at Claridge’s at Mayfair for my birthday and I had high expectations.  It was my first Michelin Starred dining experience.  Because I’m poor, I decided to go for the lunch service which included a £30 three course set lunch.

I got very excited when I saw the building, and went to the bathroom pretty much straight away (I always think that’s an important part of the dining experience).  The building was old style and elegant and fresh flowers were everywhere.

This was in the bathroom

There was a bathroom attendant and when I came out of the toilet, she had turned on the tap for me, with a cloth ready for me to wipe my hands. Very impressive. I must admit I was a bit starry eyed.

We had booked for 4 but were one short.  A chair and the fourth place setting were quickly whipped away and replace with a flower. Nice tough.  We were led into a beautiful room, high ceiling. Even though it was a lunch, the room quickly filled up.

Water wasn’t free, we were only offered the choice of sparkling or still…could I really have said tap? It was Evian, and it came in a glass bottle. Posh.

Water even has a little ‘place mat’

We all went for the set menu, which had quite a few nice selections.

Complimentary Amuse Bouche

Our first course was a really lovely,  generously portioned Amuse Bouche which was a delightful green soup (can’t remember what vegetable) and had absolutely delicious tasty mushroomson the bottom. Was soooo delicious.

Complimentary bread

Yes…even the butter was worth a photo opportunity

Complimentary breads soon arrived, sour dough, onion and olive.  Two lots of butter was also provided, salted and unsalted.  I went for the onion and the olive bread.  The onion bread was not strong in onion, the olive one was crusty and soft in the middle, yummy.

Smoked Burford Brown egg, morel and leek ragoût, toasted focaccia

My entree was absolutely delicious.  I loved the strong taste of mushroom in the ragout and the egg was beautifully cooked, and deep orange yolk burst out when I cut into it.

Citrus-cured sea trout, cucumber sorbet

This was my friend’s favourite course (entree)…the cucumber sorbet really tasted like cucumber!!

Ceasar salad with maple bacon

This was a good Ceasar salad, and the egg was perfect but to me, it was just a Ceasar salad.

Fricassée of bass, sole and salmon, crab ravioli, shellfish bisque

This was my main, I was hoping that the shellfish bisque would be stronger in shellfish flavour, but it was quite light.  The salmon was cooked beautifully (medium rare) although the crab ravioli was a little tough (still yummy thouhg).

Braised shoulder of rose veal, roasted pear with a Fourme d’Ambert crumble

I had a bit of my friend’s veal and I was having major food envy.  The sauce was full of flavour.

Beef with Yorkshire pudding etc…

This wasn’t on the menu on the website so i can’t remeber the exact name of it.  Beef was cooked medium rare, and very melt in your mouth and tender.  The vegetables were really crisp and tender too.

Hot chocolate and pistachio fondant, rhubarb sorbet

I must admit the fondant was slightly dry and had a bit of a ginger taste but I really enjoyed the tart sorbet with it.

Passion fruit and coconut parfait, white chocolate ice cream

Another food envy…my friends’ dessert was really really yummy…they woudn’t stop going on about the coconut tuille.  Jealous.

Petit Fours

My friend had actually ordered a birthday cake for me but I won’t show it here…but it was like a delicious, delectable slab of ganache…

We also got a tour of the HUGE kitchen and then were shown to a table where petit fours were served.  Marshmellows and chocolates, yum, yum.

Would I go again? Definitely! I wanna try all his restaurants, I had such a good time!

It didn’t end up just being a cheap £30 lunch though, a 12.5% gratitudity was automatically added to the bill, the water wasn’t free, and we also ordered cocktails. I would say it was worth it though, you’d seriously get about less than that in Brisbane…and I must say the service was impeccable.

Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's on Urbanspoon

 

Review: Mud Dessert Bar February 22, 2011

Filed under: Casual Eats,desserts,Food review — Dobsessed @ 7:01 pm
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I was excited to hear that there was a new dessert cafe, and my expectations were high. There really isn’t many decent dessert cafes in Brisbane…and with Freestyle Tout at the top, many places are rushing to open but none has really measured up.

 

Mud Dessert Bar is located in Oxford Street in Bulimba…street of lots of cafes, pretty good location.

 

On entering, it was a little bit strange.  The cafe has been painted completely black, with black tables and black chairs, I guess to get that edgy look, but the red and white pendent lighting in the room had bright white fluorescent lights and it was really strange in a cafe environment in the black room.   Room had stainless steel fans and it did little to stop the mugginess that hung around.  Come on, really? No air conditioning? Brisbane is pretty hot MOST of the time, but it was so hot to the point with the tables being sticky.

 

They actually served normal food, not just desserts and a varied dessert menu ranging from make your own ice-cream sundaes (choosing from different ice-cream flavours) for $15, to different plated desserts, $16 – $19.

 

Quite pricey considering Bulimba is the burbs.

 

The menu was quite creative and I was excited.  I chose a Mars Bar Creme Brulee and my friend chose a Banoffee.

Mars Bar Creme Brulee, chocolate Churros, chocolate sauce, chocolate ice-cream and Mars Bar Creme Brulee

My Mars Bar Creme Brulee came on a wooden board, looks impressive.  The whole dessert was incredibly rich, I’ve been known to eat 300 gram blocks of chocolates in one sitting, so chocolate overload is not usually a problem for me, but I couldn’t eat all of it.

The Brulee was huge, and I could not taste any caramel associated with Mars Bar, it just tasted like chilled chocolate cream honestly.  Very, very rich.  The chocolate ice-cream in a Chinese soup spoon was just silly, a scoop of ice-cream is hardly a one bite deal, and it was just ridiculous to try to eat, I couldn’t scoop my ice-cream up with a teaspoon so I had no choice but to just eat the whole scoop in one go.  The churros were pretty good, coated with sugar but honestly, the whole dessert had no balance.  I would’ve love some vanilla ice-cream, or some pouring cream…something to counter all that chocolate.  I was disappointed.

Banoffee, pistacio ice-cream, pistacio crumble

My friend’s Banoffee was equally disappointed, not because it tasted bad, just totally unbalanced.  The plate was piled with a strange oat-like crumble, my friend described as like cornflakes crispiness and piles of cream.  A very small layer of sliced bananas, like 5 20 cent pieces worth and a very tiny amount of caramel.  She said the caramel was incredibly tasty…but you only got a bite full.

Again. Disappointing.

There’s so much potential in the cafe, have air-con, refine the menu, drop the prices so it actually reflects the locality …but overall, I doubt I’d be visiting again.

 

The Luther Burger February 18, 2011

Filed under: Casual Eats,Home Cookery — Dobsessed @ 6:15 am
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From what I’ve read, a Luther Burger is a bacon cheeseburger that Krispy Kremes original glazed donuts in place of the buns.  According to Wikipedia, these burgers run between 800 to 1,500 calories.

 

The one I made was a small one as I’d only use McDonald’s Cheeseburger patties rather than Quarter Pounder patties so I would say the one I made run between 650 and 800 calories.

 

It was pretty good, the sweet just went with the savoury and I had added bacon in mine (some Luther burger variations don’t have bacon) so it all went nice together.  I mean, it’s not the BEST thing I’ve ever had…but it’s not bad at all.

 

Next time, I want to make deep fried butter, what do you reckon?