Friday, 25 May 2018

Louisiana Redclaw - Fortitude Valley

Being a great lover of seafood, there is very little that is more satisfying than sitting in front of a large bowl of crab and slowly deshelling it to reach the treasures inside. Being used to the Asian flavours of garlic and shallot stir fried with my seafood, I always had an interest in trying out other cuisines and flavours, so having heard that a new seafood place opened in the valley, with a focus on spicy Louisiana Boil, I knew I had to check it out. Adding it onto my list of places to check out, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invite from the owner to try out their classic platter, so we headed off to try it out without further ado. Arriving at our booked time of 6pm, we were granted the option of inside or outside seating, of course we chose inside, where we could appreciate the seafood themed decor, especially the crab traps hanging from the ceiling. 

I quite liked the menu, which comprised of almost solely seafood and sides. Of note were the three options in tossing sauce, "mild", "hot", and "burn baby burn". Not wanting to go out of our depths, we settled on mild for our first try.


We were also provided with a drinks menu, and made a few selections off that. A handy toolbox was also placed on the table, containing all utensils that we would require that evening to enjoy our selection of seafood.

We were also provided with a bib to make sure that no matter how messy our meal was, it wouldn't get on our clothes. Being fully geared up, we were finally ready for our meal to begin.


First to arrive were our cocktails, the blu-hito, cosmo and my cotton candy. All were refreshing and sweet, but somewhat light on the alcohol content. I especially liked the warmth of the cotton candy as it went down.

Before long, our main event arrived, to much fanfare. This was the classic platter, in all its glory.

The platter consisted of diamond clams, green mussels, crawfish, crab and prawn, tossed in the signature red claw zing sauce, which is apparently the owner's secret recipe. Without disclosing too much to me, he told me that it is a long process of two four hour stages, that results in a very delicious, intense, spicy, garlic-y concoction that took our breath away. My companions and I enjoyed the sauces so much that we also dipped our tasty toasted cobb bread in the sauces after we finished with the seafood. Of the platter, highlights for me were without a doubt the crab claws (I don't think I've ever had that many in my life), and giant prawns, which were fresh and well cooked. I also really enjoyed crawfish, being the first time I've ever tried it in my life. Like their appearance, they tasted like a combination of prawns and lobsters, and it took a while to work out how to deshell one.

Polishing off the whole bowl of seafood, I rounded off the meal with a liquid dessert, in the form of an espresso martini, perfectly sweet and went down nice with some warmth.

Espresso and Matcha were invited guests of Louisiana Redclaw, but as always, our opinions are solely our own.
Price Range: $40 - $60pp

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Environment: 9/10

Louisiana Redclaw Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Todd and Pup - Moorooka

With the cool winter setting in, there is nothing better to start off a weekend than with a hearty brunch to warm us up before our busy schedules kick in. Having heard and seen much online about the recently renovated Todd and Pup, I was quite pleased to receive an invitation from the owner, Kate, to try out some of their brunch offerings. Taking a quick drive to the bustling shopping strip on Tarragindi Road, I was quite happy to secure the final inside table which had been reserved for us that morning. 

I really enjoyed the cozy relaxed atmosphere of the cafe, especially with the hanging plants, which brought a bit of nature indoors.

There was an all day brunch-y menu, which also comprised of not only breakfast options, but also more substantial things like ribs and burgers. My companions, ever decisive, made their minds up very quickly and we gave our order to our friendly waitress promptly.

Our coffees arrived very promptly afterwards. Both companions ordered lattes in a cup. I had a cappuccino in a bowl.


All three coffees were well received. They had a strong fragrance, a full body and weren't overly acidic. I liked the creamy milk and the fairly strong caffeine hit. I was particularly impressed with the size of my cappuccino in a bowl, which was easily double the size of my companions drinks.

Whilst our drinks were fast, our food took a little while longer to come out. Without a doubt this is because the cafe was unbelievably busy in the morning. I was lucky to get a seat with a good view of the kitchen, so I could spy on all the delicious food as it came out.

After around 20 mins or so, our food arrived, and it was definitely a sight to behold.

My first companion had the G & T salmon benedict. Consisting of gin cured salmon, poached eggs, cucumber, lime hollondaise, rye and finger limes, it made for a wonderfully colourful and aesthetically pleasing meal that captured a lot of glances from our neighbours as it came out from the kitchen. The dish itself was very fruity, with pieces of crunchy cucumber topped with a wonderuful citrus-y garnish, it made for a really light tangy zesty start to my companions meal. The cured salmon was also delightful with light delicate gin flavours atop the toasty rye. She only wishes that there were some bolder flavours to really contrast the softer flavours.

My other companion ordered the fried chicken benedict, which consisted of buttermilk fried chicken, smoked bacon, wilted spinach and chilli hollondaise served on a brioche bun (this was the double meat double brioche option). Compared to the salmon benedict, my companion was amazed at the strong flavours in the dish. The chicken was wonderfully seasoned, with a crispy batter and tender juicy insides. The bacon was really smoky and the spinach had a delightful garlicy taste to it. The bread was fluffy and soft too, and the eggs were done just right. The only improvement my companion could suggest was that the chicken was more on the burnt side and could have been a bit less toasted.

Having done considerable research before arriving, I opted for the sauteed mushroom madame, with garlic mushrooms, fried eggs, mascarpone, mozzarella, fried enoki with garlic yoghurt. Despite the fact that it was a vegetarian dish, and I am a self professed meat lover, it was an amazing dish. The garlic and mushroom puree sandwiched between the two pieces of sourdough were wonderfully fragrant with a strong truffle-y aroma. The fried enoki was definitely a highlight, with a crispy exterior and slightly chewy interior, which went very well with the garlic yoghurt. The eggs were also fried well, but I would have liked a crispy edge around the whites. 

To share, we also had two sides, avocado and bacon. The avocado was delightfully ripe, and the bacon was nice and crispy, and I really appreciated that it didn't have too much fat on it. They both made for wonderful compliments to our meals. 

Espresso and Matcha were invited guests of Todd and Pup, but as always, our opinions are solely our own.

Price Range: $20 - $30pp

Taste: 8/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10

Todd & Pup Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Fill the Bowl - Sunnybank

So despite the ongoing construction at Market Square, not only are all stores still open, but there are also a fair number of new openings in the area. A notable opening is Fill the Bowl, which took the space that used to hold Miel Container. Feeling the malatang itch once again, I decided to venture out and try this reasonably new restaurant.

As usual, we walked in and grabbed a plastic bowl and helped ourselves to the large variety of meats, vegetables, seafood and noodles. I noted the seafood looked quite fresh and captivating, there wasn't too many varieties of noodles to choose from, and the meat was definitely fattier than I would have liked. There were also a large amount of meatballs and fishballs to choose from though. As usual, we made our selection and put our order through at the counter. I note that compared to the Love Malatang at Runcorn, we could only choose between mild, regular and extra spicy soup. My companions who weren't very heat tolerant weren't too impressed at the lack of a non spicy option.

As usual, there was a DIY sauce counter. As usual, I went way overboard with the garlic and soy (which I'm sure my companions will no doubt appreciate later in the car).

Ordering three bowls, we had individual numbers as one does at malatang. Water was also obtained via self service.

Our food came quite promptly after. My companions both quite enjoyed their meals despite the initial spice, although they did comment that they prefer Love Malatang more. Personally, I found the ingredients to be well cooked, with a light spiciness. The crab meat was done well to be soft without disintegrating, the beef wasn't overdone, but still very fatty, the fish was flaky and crumbled well in my mouth. The tofu and mushrooms also had good texture, but the noodles were a little softer than I would have liked.

Price Range: $10 - $15pp

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

Fill the Bowl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Revisit: Sushi Kenzen - Fortitude Valley

Further to my experience with getting Sushi Kenzen via Foodora, I received a friendly invite from the owner of Sushi Kenzen to try out their customisable rice bowls. Being situated in Fortitude Valley, it made for a long brisk walk from the city, perfect for a Friday afternoon. Wanting to also bring a foodie friend with me to check out the restaurant, I asked Brisvegustation to come with me for to forage for lunch that afternoon.

Arriving at about midday, the restaurant was certainly busy. I noted that there really wasn't much by the way of inside seating, but most of the customers had their orders take away, but we both decided to have ours at the restaurant.

Having tried their sushi options in the past, our focus for the day was on the original bowl and the original 8" long roll, which they make for you on the spot. With choices between fillings, sauces, toppings and sides, the options for sides, this basically allows you to make the perfect bowl or sushi with everything you could want in it. Making our order at the counter, it did take a bit of deliberation, and the owner gave us quite a few ideas on what the more popular orders were before we made up our mind.

After a quick wait, our food was soon served.

The rice bowl contained a considerable amount of unagi and a large selection of pickles, including ginger, wakame, cucmber, lettuce and pickled radish. I found the rice quality to be top notch, with a smooth exterior and a soft fluffy interior.  The unagi was a bit chewy, but the sauce was quite yummy. Alone, the rice bowl wouldn't have been enough for a meal, I would recommend ordering it with a side.

We also had a tempura prawn roll to share. It came with prawn and avocado and lettuce, with kenzen sauce. The prawns were freshly fried and very crispy. The avocado was ripe, and the lettuce was fresh and crunchy. What I really enjoyed of the roll though, was the kenzen sauce, which had copious amounts of fish roe in it, which made for considerable popping joy in my mouth.

We also got two drinks to try, the pearl milk tea and the citrus ice. Both were refreshing and not very sweet, which Brisvegustation and I enjoyed. He did however note that the pearls were a little on the harder side. I liked the sour iciness of the citrus ice which was tangy and zesty.

Espresso and Matcha were invited guests of Sushi Kenzen, but as always, our opinions are solely our own.

Price Range: $10 - $15pp

Taste: 7.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 7/10

Sushi Kenzen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato