Sunday, 24 June 2018

Men Ya Go - Brisbane CBD



Without a doubt, one of the biggest things I've missed since my holiday in Japan a few months ago is without a doubt the food. With the cold winter having firmly set in, I am definitely craving a bowl of hot soupy ramen. Of course from my crash course in Japanese, I would have done my research in asking my sensei where to find the best ramen in Brisbane. Expecting her to say Taros, I was super surprised when she actually said it was Men Ya Go. So of course, I grabbed my two buddies and made the trek to Elizabeth Street for some investigation.


The menu itself was simple enough, with merely 8 noodle dishes and 2 rice dishes. We ordered at the counter and were given a number which was called when our food was ready.


Seating was sparse, consisting of two isles in the store which could probably hold 30 people at full capacity. Luckily the ramen came out quick and we were also fast eaters.


My companion ordered the shio ramen. It was topped with sprouts, bamboo shoots, two pieces of charsiu, spring onion, nori and half an egg and served in a bowl of thick porky salt based broth. It was reportedly very tasty and very salty. The noodles were tender and soup was rich and thick.


I ordered the black garlic ramen. It didn't contain sprouts, but had all the other elements of egg, nori, spring onion, shoots and charsiu. I also had an extra serve of noodles cos I was so hungry. I absolutely adored the fragrant black garlic taste. The noodles had a wonderful texture, smooth and soft without being overly mushy. The broth had a depth which I found to be on par with Taros, and I the charsiu melted in my mouth. My only suggestion would have been that the egg was a little overcooked for my liking, and could be a bit more runny.

Price Range: $10 - $15pp

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 9/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 7/10


Men Ya Go Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 21 June 2018

MajesTea - Sunnybank


On the subject of new openings in Market Square, I tried out the newly opened MajesTea after getting malatang from Fill the Bowl.


Situated next to half time tea bar, I really wondered when Sunnybank would reach maximum saturation for their bubble tea market. It seems though, that this hasn't really occurred yet though. Like most of the new openings, it was more focused upon the fruity tea and milk foam types which seem to be super popular at the moment. My two companions perused the menu, were quite unimpressed at the price points and opted to skip. 


I tried the combination fruit green tea with a third sugar. For $7.50 it was definitely a very expensive cup of tea. The green tea itself was quite refreshing, though I would have preferred a little more fragrance. The fruits added some light sourness to the drink, making it quite tasty, but for the price, I don't think it justifies a return.

Price Range: $4.80 - $7.50

Taste: 7/10
Value: 4/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 5/10
Majestea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 18 June 2018

Mariosarti - Toowong


Those who have read my blog for a while now would know of my good friend, Iron Fist's hedonistic taste in food (and lifestyle in general), and how going around with him has resulted in my having to eat numerous meals of cup noodles. On the point of fine dining though, it is rare to find a restaurant that does a high quality fine dining experience with good food for an exorbitant price, which is why Mariosarti in Toowong is such a rarity in the market. Being situated along the main hub of Toowong that is Sherwood Road, Iron Fist and I went out for an indulgent after work meal last Tuesday. Despite how busy Toowong usually is, we were lucky enough to score street parking just outside of the restaurant.




Arriving at our booked time of 6pm, we got to choose between indoor and outdoor seating. Of course I settled on the cozy inside seating, especially given it was so cold outside. We both really appreciated the classical yet ritzy decor inside which was formal but still warm.


 

Starting off with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon we were given menus to peruse.

 

I quite liked the menu, which comprised of quite a few delicious classical Italian dishes. Like all traditional Italian menus, it was sorted by entrees, first courses, pasta, second courses and sides. It took a little while, but Iron Fist and I were able to make a good selection amongst all the courses.



After making our selection, our friendly hostess took us around to view their private function room, which was as opulent as in the photos I had seen. Apparently there is a secret back entrance which means that high profile guests can come and go as they please.




Back at our table, our starter of house made garlic bread soon arrived. Apparently this toasted ciabatta is made on site every day, and it was topped with garlic and herb butter. We found the bread to be very rustic in the sense that it was quite heavy, dense and crumbly, making for a substantial and filling starter. I really quite enjoyed the fragrant garlic and her butter tastes as well.


Before long, the first two of our three entrees arrived, much to our excitement. 


First thing we tried was Iron Fist's most anticipated Pancetta di Maiale, being Mariosarti’s signature crispy skin pork belly accompanied with pumpkin and baby carrot puree, smashed peas and porcini jus. The pork belly had exceptionally crispy skin with a wonderfully crunchy crackling. The meat wasn't too fatty and had a wonderfully tender texture that melted in our mouth which we absolutely adored.


Next we had our most favourite entree Arancini, being crispy fried rice balls filled with smoked Mozzarella, Grana Padano, Gorgonzola served with garlic aioli. The arancini were deliciously crunchy with a batter that wasn't overly thick. The rice was tender and cheese-ily indulgent, which we really liked.


Our third and final entree was the Frutti di Mare Moreton Bay bug sauteed with chilli, garlic and ginger, finished in a light creamy tomato and cognac sauce served with crusty ciabatta. I loved the sauce in the cute little pot, being a marinara type of sauce with cream, making for a flavoursome but rich combination. The moreton bay bug was quite fresh and had a good bite to it. The ciabatta was the same from our garlic bread dish, rustic and wholesome. Needless to say we were quite full up even before the mains had arrived. 



Speaking of mains, they arrived quite quickly after our entrees were finished. As we were dining in an Italian restaurant, there was no way that I would not order pasta, so our two mains were pasta dishes.



First up was Iron Fist's dish of choice, the Spaghetti con Polpette with Black angus Wagyu meatballs filled with smoked white mozzarella, cooked in a rich Napoli sauce served with truffle infused ricotta and fresh herbs. Iron Fist and I both loved the meatballs which were bursting with flavour (and delicious mozzarella cheese). The sauce was sharp and rich with a fresh tomato taste, the pasta was cooked to a perfect al dente texture which meant it had considerable bite to it.


Our second pasta dish was the tortellini frutti di mare, handmade tortellini filled with blue swimmer crab and Mooloolaba prawn, Italian herbs in a light creamy tomato and white wine sauce. The dish was smaller than I had anticipated, given the portion of spaghetti we just had. Comprising of roughly 7 pieces of tortellini, it was more tender than the spaghetti and filled with an amazing crab and prawn concoction.

 

Although we were absolutely stuffed by then, there is no way that I could turn down dessert when the menu was presented, so of course we ordered some.


Both of them came quickly after ordering, and looked amazing.



First up was my all time favourite dessert, the tiramisu, a sweet Italian cream cheese with amaretto zabaglione between layers of espresso laced sponge fingers and whipped cream. The cream was delightfully light and creamy, the lady fingers soaked with espresso and chocolate sauce, making for probably the best commercial tiramisus I've ever had (only better is my home made one). 


 Our second dessert was the Fragole Grappa Vetri,  glazed strawberries topped with blood orange gelato, drizzled with brandy and basil reduction and toasted almonds. The strawberries were served warm and sweetened, contrasting the cold sour blood orange sorbet. I really enjoyed the crisp fruitiness of the dessert which cut through the very heavy and rich dinner we just had.


Finishing off, I had a glass of Italian hot chocolate infused with Baileys and Nocello. It was a very rich, thick, decadent and sweet concoction that made for a very wonderful ending for a brilliant meal


Price Range: $60 - $80pp

Taste: 9/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Environment: 9/10

Mariosarti Ristorante Italiano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 15 June 2018

Ouzeri - West End




Some of my older readers will recall that I am a big fan of Greek food. Having been busy with multiple overseas trips and interstate trips, it really took some recovery before I could get back into the swing of daily routine, to be then smashed by an influx of work. Thankfully, last friday I finally caught a break and could get together with my two besties to indulge ourselves in Greek food. Enjoying a short walk from the city to Ouzeri in West End, it provided a nice opportunity for me to wind down after a busy week. Having booked online, I was a little disappointed to be seated outside, but at least it was cool enough that we weren't bothered by the heat.

 


Taking a look at the menu, there was a very large variety of traditional Greek options including breads, dips, appetisers, mains and of course, their famous platters.

 

Kicking off our meals with drinks, I had a cosmo and Queen V had a lychee mojito. Both were sharp and tangy without excess sweetness, making for a refreshing start to the meal.


Our food came promptly and the spread was really quite impressive. Between the three of us, we shared an Ouzeri Platter and some lamb kleftiko. 


 

The Ouzeri Platter was very impressive. Consisting of dips, pita bread, haloumi, chicken, pork and lamb souvlaki, lemon potato, lamb sausages, meatballs, octopus, calamari, garlic prawns and Greek salad. The souvlaki was wonderfully seasoned and deliciously caramelised. Lemon potato was nice and sour and is always one of my favourites, whilst the haloumi was also wonderfully fried without being burnt. The calamari was not chewy, but the battery wasn't particularly crunchy. The salad was strong and sharp with feta and balsamic making it a nice contrast to cut through the heavy meaty flavours.



We also shared a dish of lamb kleftiko, a traditional dish of lamb cooked in parchment paper. Cooked with garlic, lemon and olive oil, apparently the name originated from the Klephts who stole lambs and sheep and cooked the meat in underground ovens in order to seal away the flavours and smells without being caught. The parchment paper works to seal all the flavours and juices in, and the waiter only unwrapped the paper for us once it was served at the table. I quite enjoyed the lamb, which was tender, tangy and melted in my mouth. It was particularly enjoyable as the strong flavours of garlic and lemon didn't overpower the tastes of the lamb.

Price Range: $30 - $45pp

Taste: 7/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 7/10

Ouzeri Mediterranean Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato