Thursday, December 14, 2017

Three Blue Ducks-Take 1 and 2

I was planning to go to this cafe and made a booking online (slowly accumulating those Dimmi points), and coincidentally a day later, this place was awarded 1 hat in the Good Food Guide. I think what really differs this cafe from others is the whole sustainability idea of food, and organic food whilst minimising waste. The whole farm to table thing would be amazing in an ideal world, but realistically, food does travel quite a bit before you even buy it in shops. I loved how they also try to plant stuff in their little garden out the back, even in an eastern suburbs area where land/property is expensive, and not many people even have yards (unless you live in those multi million dollar houses with beach front views). Sort of ironic how they don't serve any duck here though.

food spread


 
Dark chocolate, coconut & berry shake (diary free)-$8 
Sticky chai pot-$4.50

The shake tasted really healthy, especially because it was diary free so not creamy or heavy. So it was a bit watery when you drink it but the texture of it wasn't too thin. I liked how it wasn't sweet soyou could taste the subtle blend of the dark choc and berries. Probably the most opposite drink to a milkshake. 




Roast lamb rump: charred herb salsa, kasundi pumpkin, Dutch carrot & coriander-$32


This dish is small considering the price, but then it's really quality over quantity when you're eating 'healthy' food. Lamb was cooked medium rare, and you could really taste the lamb flavour. Even the pumpkin was small, but all the veggies went well with the rest. The flavour mainly came from the salsa, but in comparison to other dishes I've had, this one has flavours coming more from the ingredients rather than adding salt/butter.



Corn fritters: guacamole, fermented cabbage, jalapeno, herb salad, labneh & poached eggs-$22

#yolkporn

Even the yolk looks more organic. I don't know if it's a psychological thing but it also tasted more organic as well. The corn fritter were cooked very well without an oily residue, and tasted really healthy despite being fried. I could actually appreciate the little bit of a spicy kick from the jalapeƱo, and the labneh was a nice, healthier alternative as a sauce for the fritters. The avo helped bring some creaminess to the dish, and the salad and acidity from the cabbage helped keep this dish light. 



garden-they even have a few fat chickens




reminds me of those 'hipster' melbourne alleyways with a brick wall and graffiti

Came back here for dinner after our research presentations. Only one taking photos, but #noshame.

Bronte Beach

Tumeric and ginger kombucha-$8

I feel like Kombucha is one of those 'clean eats' type of drinks, and super healthy but only if you're more well off can you actually afford this sort of stuff. Decided to get this instead of any alcohol. It had a nice kick of both numeric and ginger without being overly too strong. It's definitely not sweet at all. I don't mind tumeric/ginger flavour drinks, but I think this is definitely an acquired taste.

Sweet potato hummus, charred onions, black sesame & sourdough-$14  

This hummus was so delicious, with a bit of sweetness from the sweet potato, and topped with onions and black sesame. Wish there was more bread to eat the hummus with, although I did end up finishing the plate without any bread.

Burrata, heirloom tomato, grilled veg & preserved lemon-$19 

Burrata is a funny cheese with a bit of a skin, so had to break it first to scoop and eat the cheese. Loved the variety of veggies in this entree and it went well with the fresh cheese.

Roast barramundi, pumpkin, kale & chickpea salad, harissa-$31 

I hardly order fish when I eat out, because there's always a nicer meat option available. Since I tried the lamb for lunch before, had steak for dinner the night before, and the chicken had a Thai sauce with some chilli, decided to go for the fish. The skin had a decent crisp but could be crispier. The seasoning was all on the skin, so best to eat the skin with some fish. The barra was relatively fresh, and paired well with the sauce, and I could actually appreciate the slight chilli kick to it. My pumpkin was the smallest piece compared to the other dishes though, I guess when they use locally sourced produce, stuff won't be the same size...At least it was plated on a white plate so made taking photos a bit easier compared to on a dark plate.

Lemon tart w/ coconut ice cream-$12

The coconut ice cream was really fragrant and went well with the lemon tart. The acidity balance well with the sweetness, and it wasn't overly sweet. The pastry was quite light and not very buttery, definitely healthier than your average pastry. Still haven't figured out how to make tart pastries/short crust bases without using tons of butter or even tasting the butter at all like this one. Something to figure out in my holidays, but I feel like my holidays are already ending with uni starting soon ish...guess baking adventures will have to wait, and in the meantime I'll keep going on more food adventures (even though they probably take the same amount of time...)

Three Blue Ducks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Where to Eat in Brisbane

What to eat in Brisbane CBD in a day. There's actually not a lot of selection, we are truly spoilt of choice in Sydney, and also why we go to Melbourne for food as well. Even when I search up fine dining stuff, the stuff that pops up doesn't really sound familiar, unlike Sydney and Melbs where there are more well known fine dining places. Actually, country Victoria actually have some top restaurants as well. Anyways, quick Google search and decided to try these places in a day trip/

Coffee Anthology

food spread

Capp-$4
Iced Latte-$4.50

Food is a bit cheaper in Brisbane, well the food here was all less than $20, but coffee for $4? Pricier than Sydney CBD average of $3.50. Love the coffee art here, especially when the barista puts some effort into latte art, cause I can tell you from experience, even doing a 'free hand pouring' heart isn't easy. The flavour of the coffee was more mild, less milky and could have a bit more froth on top. I guess if you're not a coffee drinker the flavour would suit you, but I think coffee lovers would find the flavour isn't strong at all. The iced latte wasn't every strong in flavour either. I like the colours of their coffee cups, even if Tiffany Blue colour is patented, this is close enough.

Coconut panna cotta w/ housemade granola, pineapple, kiwifruit, mango coulis 


Also had fresh raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and edible flowers

Lots of pretty panna cotta popping up in cafes since it's summer, and I love the colours in this one. This is a lot pretty and taste better than my homemade granola. They spelt panna cotta wrong on the menu though. The panna cotta had a nice wobble, but the texture would have been smoother/creamier. I think they used some coconut milk or cream since it was a bit grainy in texture compared to your normal panna cotta. The mango coulis gave it a nice sweetness and the berries balanced well with some acidity. Edible flowers just make any dish prettier.

Buddha bowl: housemade falafel, pickled carrot, spinach, black rice, avocado, cucumber, mint yoghurt-$14

This bowl is surprisingly filling especially with the black rice. The falafels were a bit dry and crumbly, luckily there was the mint yoghurt to go with it. The avo portion was decent, pickled carrot gave the whole dish some acidity. Definitely a healthier option compared to the eggs benedict.


Truffled eggs benedict w/ two 63 deg eggs, house hollandaise, toasted sourdough, snow pea tendrils, salsa verde w/ pork belly-$16

I thought this was a decent price for eggs benny with 2 pieces of pork belly. The pork could have a crunchier skin, but luckily it wasn't overly seasoned. You could definitely taste the truffle oil in the hollandaise, probably a bit too strong and overpowering the actual hollandaise sauce, but I love truffle flavoured stuff so it still works for me. Salsa verde had a slight minty taste, but this dish worked well together overall. I feel like in Sydney you would pay $20+ for this stuff, then again, house prices are also more in Sydney. 

#yolkporn


 
it's a half indoor and outdoor courtyard style cafe

menu


The Three Monkeys

This place is a nice place to just chill. It looks small from the outside, but as you walk in it has a lot of seating area. It has sort of Turkish theme and really lovely decor inside. Definitely different compared to other cafes I've been to.


Chai Tea-$4.95
Iced coffee-$6.25
Mango and passionfruit cheesecake w/ whipped cream-$7.95
Turkish delight-$1.20

The chai tea was served in a massive. They brew the tea leaves then add milk, so it's not sweet compared to your chai lattes where it's mainly in powder form with sugar included already. There was honey but I prefer it not as sweet. I was expecting a bigger hit of chai, but for people who don't really like their spices, this is probably a decent level of chai tea. The iced coffee had a decent hit of coffee in it. The cheesecake wasn't too heavy or dense. Loved how there were real bits of mango in it. Turkish delight tasted like normal, and the sugar in it was balanced with my chai tea.

cakes



courtyard/outdoor seating


Brew

This place definitely gives off Melbourne vibes, situated in an alleyway, plus basement, and graffiti like outwork. Price wise it is more expensive compared to other places.


Velvet Latte-$3.80

I thought it would be red velvet, but this latte had hints of beetroot in it, but sweet and just a little bit acidic but still milk. It was quite an interesting latte.

Signature Brew Burger: slow cooked beef brisket, double smoked bacon, American cheddar, house relish, dill pickle w/ shoestring fries and kewpie mayo-$17

It is on the small side for a burger, and I didn't really find anything special with this, so not really worth imo. It was a bit saucy and overly seasoned mainly from the bacon. The fries were mostly hollow and didn't have enough potato inside. Not worth the high-ish rating on Zomato tbh.


 




Mos Burger


Sushi burger w/ BBQ beef-$7.50

I didn't have time to have Mos Burger in Japan earlier this year, so I had it in Taiwan Airport and thought it was average. They don't have one in Sydney, well we have Gojima which is also pretty good. This one looks small but is surprisingly filling, mainly due to the condensed/packed in rice patty. Beef wasn't overly flavoured with marinade/sauce. It did take longer than I expected for them to make it.

I'm sure there's heaps more places in eat in Brissy, but these places for a day trip are decent.

Coffee Anthology Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato   The Three Monkeys Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Brew Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato   MOS Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Brisbane Day Trip ft Yayoi Kusama

This year has been a year of spontaneous trips, from less than a month planning Europe, less than a week to plan 10+ people to road trip Tassie, spontaneous trip to Japan, Melbourne road trip, now Brisbane day trip. I used to plan stuff at least 6mths-1yr before, so anything less than a month for overseas and a week for interstate is spontaneous for me. 

I really wanted to see Yayoi Kusama's Infinity room since I saw it beginning of last year. She's exhibited pretty much all around the world: LA, NYC, Seattle, Toronto, Atlanta, Copenhagen, Singapore and various cities in Japan. I didn't even know she was here in 2009 in Sydney until Dandelion mentioned it, then again, Instagram didn't exist back then...So when I heard her stuff was coming to Aus, but in Brisbane, I knew I really wanted to go see it.

So here's how to do Brisbane CBD in a day and just some pics of the exhibition. Didn't bother taking a photo of everything.

Infinity room! I wanted this pic to be my thumbnail 

Queensland-east coast

Day trip means catching the earliest and latest flight. Even at 4:30am, there were already cars on the M2, and slight traffic into the city and airport already. Those morning people who go work early, but then also can leave work early. Felt so weird no bringing any checked baggage or carry on, just literally my handbag. If you only count flying time, it's faster for me to fly to Brisbane than catch the bus to uni.

I've actually transited in Brisbane Domestic Airport before, around this time 5 years ago...

Can see the skyline from the Air Train

The train from the Airport isn't really that frequent, once every 30mins, and around 20mins to the CBD, bit longer than Sydney. Also a bit cheaper, but in terms of living standards (well house prices), everything is cheaper in Brisbane.

Breakfast at Coffee Anthology in the city. Even during peak hour 7.30-9.30am, there weren't many cars or even traffic in the city. Hardly any cars, and traffic just flowed well from what I could see. Compare that to Sydney and traffic is already building up before 5am.


Botanic Gardens

Victoria Bridge to South Bank

Construction so couldn't take photos of the 'Brisbane' sign

GOMA

There were quite a lot of people, considering it's been opened for 1 month, weekday Tuesday morning, and a school day. Most people were older or parents with children. They use a stopwatch to time people for 30 secs, and the line generally takes around 30mins. Ended up going in 4 times...Go first thing in the morning so at least you don't really have to wait. They also force you to go in groups of 4, so if you're lucky and there's a family before and after you, then you can sort of go separately in a pair, but can't go by yourself. If you're unlucky, then you go with the pair before or after you. Also wear black if you want to UV ping pong balls to 'glow' more, rather than your shirt standing out in the photos. Apart from this, everything else had minimal lines.

'Soul Under the Moon' This is what I came for

yaaay lights

water on the floor to continue the mirror effect

I think in other cities, they had different coloured balls, this one was more fluro/sort of Xmas coloured themed, others are more blue or yellow/pink hues. Still so cool.

'Diseased Pumpkins'


love how it's interactive


Already after 1 month, can only imagine what it would like after another 2 months. The walls already feel quite thick. The furniture, cutlery etc are made out of this white cardboard/plaster/foam material, the stuff designers use but I can't describe...There are still white spots in the walls around.


Piano with my 'sheet music'

You actually get sick of staring at it for a while


Some artworks

mirror and lights in a box

looking down

More dots

foyer

Kurilpa Bridge, reminds me of Millennium Bridge in London, just not as fancy

Coffee Break at The Three Monkeys.

Skyline, Sydney and Melbourne and still nicer

A lot of their CBD buildings are wavy/curvy, and not very sharp edged. Also not many of them have names on them and have a lot of 'mirror' finishes on the windows.

South Bank, didn't bother walking to Streets Beach

Queen St-Main shopping strip

Pitt St Mall equivalent, just wider, more spacious and less crowded. Obviously they couldn't make Pitt St too wide for pedestrian access since they need to maximise their rental profits and increase shop floor space.

Just like Strand Arcade


Apple Store


Out of all the cities I've been to, Brisbane CBD Apple store is definitely the oldest. Most are fancy with massive floor to ceiling glass windows, and even fancier stairs. This one here is in a super old heritage building, with old feels inside and out. Outside the store on the side is a photo/newspaper thing of what it sued to be. Didn't bother reading it, but still cool how they put something so innovative and new into something old.

Story Bridge

Afternoon Tea/Dinner at Brew Cafe and Wine Bar and Mos Burger (don't know why Sydney doesn't have one...)

Brisbane City Hall

The river running through Brisbane makes the CBD seem bigger. It's definitely not as packed as Sydney, less towers and most buildings are shorter. There's still a lot of new apartments building up around the city (I'm guessing knock down and rebuild). Whereas Sydney they are renovating a lot of old offices into apartments.

Pretty much did the CBD in less than a day. Didn't bother going to the other museums. If I were to come back to Queensland again, it would probs be for Cairns/adrenaline stuff or the islands out from the coast, plus going snorkelling before the Great Barrier Reef dies, or the fish go extinct or something and they won't let you go snorkelling.

Separate Brisbane food post coming soon. Pretty much using this time to watch all my tv shows and haven't been blogging or studying...