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Brisbane Brunch & Breakfast: The Burrow October 23, 2012

The Burrow

37 Mollison Street | West End

The Burrow is in the old spot of the Ottomon (Turkish food) restaurant, a few steps up for the Gunshop Cafe and diagonally across from Three Monkeys. On walking in, it seemed pretty bohemian with Spanish/mexican music playing, long wooden shared tables and also smaller round tables scattered about.  There was an upstairs area, but I didn’t see it.  It was pretty much a seat yourself affair and orders at the counter.

The breakfast menu was awesome.  SO many things I wanted to try like ‘A bit Cheeky’ – beef cheeks with duxelle mushrooms, poached egg on rye toast with a red wine jus ($17) or ‘Little Pig, Little Pig’ – Cider braised pork belly with celeriac puree, fried egg, poached pear and apple jelly ($17).

I wanted to have A bit Cheeky, but it was sold out (excuse for another visit! YAY!) so ended up with my second choice of ‘El Desperado Taco’ – pulled pork in soft totilla, huevos rancheros, salsa, poached egg, sour cream and this awesome-though very hot-green chilli thing.

It was a hot day, so I ordered a soy ice coffee, made on real espresson, and came without cream.  The meals took slightly longer, but wasn’t a ridiculous wait and came on a huge round bread board.  It wasn’t really Huevos Rancheros (which is supposed to be corn tortilla topped with refried beans, guacomole, salsa, chilli and a fried egg) instead, it was like a housemade – tomato beans with chopped salad, salsa, sour cream and the green chili which I took to be avocado, but wasn’t. The pulled pork in the soft corn tortilla was BRILLIANT and absolutely delicious, so I didn’t mind that there weren’t refried or black beans. The poached egg oozed beautifully too…although there had to be some quick manuvering of food on the board so it didn’t ooze all the way onto the table.

Now, I pretty much ate everything, and was so full, and fulfilled I didn’ t even have lunch that day (a RARITY).  This could be my new favourite breakfast venue.  There were also lots of gluten free cakes, vegan cupcakes that looked devine.  I can’t wait to head back next time to see if the other breakfast items measure up.

The Burrow on Urbanspoon


Worse High Tea: Joseph Alexanders | Milton December 4, 2010

Filed under: desserts,Fine Dining,Food review — Dobsessed @ 4:38 pm
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So, went to Joseph Alexander’s for high tea for a friend’s Stepford Wives themed birthday today.

*SIGH* What can I say, Joseph Alexanders isn’t how it used to be. They used to be my favorite place for high tea, but I can now say that it’s probably the worse that I’ve been to.

Joseph Alexanders is housed in a pretty nice space, wooden floor boards, big windows that overlook the Brisbane River with bright sunlight streaming in. Linen tablecloths, with floral China (all mismatched)…that’s where all the nice things ended.

The table were lined with paper (…ok, I can overlook that) but they didn’t even give us linen napkins. We got paper napkins, not the nice thick ones, oh no…we got these flimsy, rough napkins that you would usually get from surbuban food courts.

I was very hungry (no breakfast) so I was excited when the three tiered plates came. I ordered the gluten free high tea and this is what I got for $36.90.

Not very pretty right, let me describe everything from the bottom plate up.

First tier Sandwiches (not finger sized):
Smoked Salmon with cucumber and tomatoes:
This was alright, the bread was pretty bad. I could tell that the bread were the ones you get in package and it’s very, very crumbly, like they’ve had it for three days. The bread actually completely fell apart and I couldn’t actually physically pick it up to eat. This sandwich was OK…I was hungry and I snaffled it up.
Chicken and Avocado:
Same stale, crumbly bread, but this time, the chicken tasted like cold rotisserie chicken and had absolutely no flavour at all. Not appetizing.

Second tier Almond cake and Macarons:
Once again, the cakes tasted like it has been sitting around for three days, the cake was very, very dry and very crumbly. Taste wise, it was OK, nothing spectacular, I would expect to buy an almond cake like this from the local coffee shop with my $3 coffee. You know those cakes that are pre-ordered from like a catering company. Once again, not very impressed.
Now the macarons. I know macarons ok, and these LOOKED nice…but macarons are made from almond meal and egg whites, they’re supposed to be light, airy and slightly chewy…these were as hard as rocks. Like the texture of Violet Crumble, but hard. The flavor was OK, nothing spectacular but once again, very disappointed.

Top tier, Petit Fours:
The chocolate mousse cups were nice. Just a thin chocolate casing with soft chocolate mousse inside. It tastes nice, like chocolate mousse, but it wasn’t really anything exciting or interesting. Probably one of the only faultless thing that I had on my plate though.
Now, I saved the creme brûlée for last because I looooove creme brûlée. When I went to eat it, I was very pleased that the top gave a resounding crack, but was very curious about the green.



Creme Brûlée.

You know what it was? Avocado.

Yes, Avocado flavored creme brûlée and it was disgusting. The texture was perfectly smooth actually, but I felt like I was eating sweet (too sweet) guacamole. It was gross, I felt like asking for some corn chips and salsa, didn’t even finish it. Seriously one of the worse creme brûlées I’ve ever had. But…good job for trying to be creative. Too bad it failed.

Now, with the tea, they didn’t bother asking for our tea orders until after about 30 minutes so half of us had finished nearly two of the tiers before the tea even came. We all got our own individual pot and the tea list was very small.

I ordered a Chai and it was pathetically weak.

They didn’t give us a tea strainer each, and because we all ordered different teas, we had to share tea strainers which is just wrong.

Milk that were provided was skim, (how thoughtful, is it because we were women?!) and when we added it to the tea, it gave this weak, palid colour. Not impressed.

So anyways, we had some good chats, and the service was fine…but overall, the food, the tea was just pathetic and all I can say is…I didn’t choose the spot.

I have to say though, everybody there looked LOVELY and I think the birthday girl had fun…but food wise…disappointing.

I guess I can’t talk for the normal high tea, but the gluten free one was just bad. I really can’t say much for restaurants that is OK with serving subpar, stale cakes even if it’s for their gluten free patrons.


Gluten Free butterscotch cake with butterscotch cream cheese frosting July 3, 2010

Filed under: desserts,Home Cookery — Dobsessed @ 2:20 pm
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Fresh from dieting failure, I thought I’d make a cake. I’d start a new diet except my mum makes the best lakes I’ve ever had in my life, and I’m not starting ANY diet before eating that, so I’m just going to start next week.

I decided to break out my sadly neglected Kitchenaid with my new beater blade that my brother had gotten me from the States. The beater blade is plastic and not metal like the blade the Kitchenaid usually has but it’s quite sturdy and did a top job of beating, and scraping the sides of the bowl at the same time. Very pleased.

Here’s a recipe for the butterscotch cake with butterscotch cream cheese, you can definitely use normal flour to make it, I’d actually adapted it from a normal recipe, so it probably works better.


225g of softened unsalted butter
125g of light brown sugar
80g of caster sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of gluten free self-raising flour, sifted three times (I used White Wings brand)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs milk
400g of cream cheese – use full fat, low fat is too runny

Butterscotch sauce
This butterscotch sauce is a lot sweeter and more honeyed than usual butterscotch that I usually make, this is because you actually use this butterscotch sauce to sweeten the cream cheese frosting.

60g t0 70g of butter
75g of light brown sugar
50g of caster sugar
40g of runny honey
2 tbls of golden syrup
150ml thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Preheat oven to 170C and line an 8 inch round cake pan.
2 Beat butter until soft, add sugar and beat until pale and creamy.
3 Beat in an egg at a time with a tablespoon of flour (make sure the flour is triple sifted!).
4 Beat in vanilla nd fold in the remaining flour and add the mill and mix.
5 Put it in the pan and bake for around 40 – 45 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean.
6 Divide the cake into two rounds.
7 For the sauce, melt everything together except for the cream. Once it starts to develop some bubbles, add in the milk and stir, take it off heat and cool.
8 Beat all the cream cheese until soft, add in most of the butterscotch sauce, save a couple or 3 of butterscotch sauce.
9 Fill the cooled cake with the frosting and top and drizzle butterscotch sauce on top.


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


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.


Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies December 8, 2009

I got this very easy and delicious recipe from D-Boy.  I don’t know where he got it from, but I love it and I will add it to my cooking/baking repitoire.  I promised I’d make these for him this weekend, and I’d say they went down very well.  The middle is gooey and soft, the cheesecake layer swirled through it stops it from being too coyingly sweet.  The top is slightly flakey and it is good.

It’s not the prettiest thing to look at, but trust me. It’s delicious.  My version is gluten free and it absolutely does not taste it, you can definitely just go with normal flour if that’s easier.

250g of Dark Chocolate

200g of butter, softened

1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar

4 eggs

1/2 cup of gluten free self-raising flour, sifted

1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa, sifted

250g of lite cream cheese

1/4 cup of caster sugar

125g of frozen raspberries – I don’t see why fresh ones wouldn’t work though

Preheat oven to 170C, line your brownie pan.

Melt your chocolate, I did mine in the microwave on medium in 30 second bursts.

Beat the butter and the brown sugar until creamy.  Add three of the eggs and beat well after each addition. Fold in the flour, the cocoa and the melted chocolate.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese and the caster sugar, add the egg and mix well.  Lite cream cheese is a lot softer than full fat ones, so it won’t take long.  Fold in the raspberries.

Put 2/3 of the chocolate batter on the bottom of the tin, and the put all the cream cheese mixture over it, top this off with the remaining chocolate batter and use a skewer and swirl it around.  Bake for 50 minutes.



I partake in High Tea because I’m a Lady! June 30, 2009

Filed under: Food,Food review — Dobsessed @ 5:41 pm
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I decided to be a lady last Saturday and went and had high tea at Tea and Niceties with one of my girlfriends.  This isn’t the first time I’ve ventured into the world of civility, I’m actually quite fond of high teas.  It’s even got me writing like some stuffy, old lady!  The two places I’ve previously been to are High Societea (nice play on words but nothing else) and Joseph Alexanders.

High Societea

High Societea in Clayfield is totally overrated and I would NOT recommend that anyone go there.  I’ve given them two chances and both times I’ve gone, the staff has been rude, abrupt and they are very stingy with their offerings.

The first time I went there, we were a group of 6.  I had my gluten free option and there were 5 normal ones.  I was extremely disappointed with mine, I had to pay the same as a Royal Ascot High Tea ($45), but theirs included Pimms, mine didn’t. I got a few – $1 a packet – rice crackers and a few leaves of salad, no real attempt at any savoury offerings other than a wedge of cheese and some smoked salmon.  The sweets weren’t memorable either.  There were 5 regular high teas and two tiers came and the tier for two people had four cakes and the tier for three people also had four! So my friends ended up having to cut up pastries so that each could have some!  EACH of them paid $45! Totally unacceptable in my opinion.

When we asked for our teas (this is thirty minutes after the tiers have arrived), we were met with, “Oh, do you want your tea now?” as if you don’t have tea with your sandwiches!  The second time I went, they forgot our Pimms despite us asking for it – twice, and at the end of the meal, we suggested they give us a discount as they never ended up delivering the Pimms, we were told that that wasn’t possible!  I guess the food weren’t bad, but let’s not kid ourselves, the food weren’t great either – certainly not good enough to justify the bad service and standards, which left a really sour taste in my mouth.

Joseph Alexanders

Joseph Alexanders were pretty good, I’ve been there a few times, and they do a great high tea, I get sandwiches each time and because I don’t get as many pastries, I always get a mini serve of their very tasty crème brulee.  All the sweet offerings are fine dining restaurant quality too. The service is impeccable, and you usually get a good seat that looks out onto the river.  The setting isn’t pink, floral or pretty, but the food, the bottomless pots of tea (I change my tea selection each time – they have a good range) more than makes up for it.

Tea and Niceties

Anyways, I digress, last Saturday, my friend and I made the drive to Mt Tamborine to Tea and Niceties.  The outside was completely unremarkable but the inside is extremely pink and pretty with plaster – real looking – roses everywhere.  The table is set with flowers, white table cloths, pink napkins, floral dishes and silverware.  Water glasses have their own rose petal and a sliver of orange, sugar cubes were topped with sugared flowers, even the sugar in the sugar bowls were pink!

The service was homely and friendly and we were seated and served quickly.  My friend ordered the elegant high tea with vanilla black tea, and me the gluten free option with Sydney special tea which is a combination of different types of teas and flowers (both $35).  The gluten free option was very similar to the elegant high tea, I didn’t get some of the savoury items that my friend had, but I got instead, an extra savoury muffin.  The number of food items were definitely the most generous compared to any other high tea places I’ve been to – there must’ve been at least 15 – 17 pieces of food items each.

The savouries were delicious; sandwich fillings of Salmon, cucumber and cream cheese, ham and pickles, curried egg and chicken and celery.  I got gluten free scones which looked like mini cauliflower heads – very cute with fresh cream and jam, a very special treat because I never usually get scones.  The scones were delicious, but I did notice it did seem to coat my mouth a bit, like corn flour would.  The sweets had a very homemade quality, not quite as high a standard as I would expect and were all very sweet, not overly imaginative, the mini pana cotta tasted like jellied sweetened condensed milk.

The ladies (owners) were welcoming and attentive, together with the pink décor (definitely one for ladies) made for a lovely, civilised outing.  Was it worth the drive? Let’s just say the drive back was hard given that I was in a sugar-induced coma.

Tea and Niceties | Shop 1, 21 Southport Ave, Eagle Heights, Mt Tamborine | 07 5545 3645 | Bookings essential