Monday, 19 March 2018

Miki Beautiful Sushi - Brisbane CBD

Second Japanese lesson, and in spirit of the class, we opted for Miki sushi along Adelaide street for take out that evening. Having tried it before, my main complaint was the fact that the sushi was cold as if it had come straight from the fridge. This time, I picked it up at lunch and kept it till dinner, so the temperature would no longer be an issue. Arriving at the store at 11am, I was a little disappointed at the brisk and short attitude I received despite there being no line all. 

What stood out to me about Miki was the brown and black rice options in most rolls. Although I didn't order any (friends would know that it would take a miracle to make me eat non white rice), it forms a nice healthy option for those who are health conscious.

Further to being health conscious, I found Miki to be quite environmentally friendly too, with sushi packaged in paper bags rather than the plastic boxes that other chains use. Having to carry it around with me to UQ though, I was a bit concerned with squishing the rolls. 

Thankfully, with enough love and affection, they arrived unscathed. 

Each roll was wrapped in plastic which was perforated in the middle, allowing for us to eat them without chopsticks and without getting our hands dirty. 


Between the two of us, we had five rolls (unfortunately nothing raw as it wouldn't last half a day in the Brisbane summer). At room temperature, I found the sushi to be far more palatable, with the rice having a good consistency without the frozen hard centre. It was amply seasoned with vinegar and sugar too. The toppings tasted alright, except for the crumbed prawn which I found to be quite bland. For the slightly higher than average prices, the sushi rolls weren't as large as other stores that I've been to which was a little disappointing.

Price Range: $3+ per roll

Taste: 6/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 5/10
Environment: 7/10

Miki Beautiful Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 16 March 2018

The Roll Shop - Brisbane CBD

One of the things on my longstanding bucket list has been to learn Japanese, and with an upcoming trip there was really no better opportunity for me to do so than here and now. But alas, how does a girl holding down a full time job with gaming and blogging commitments find time to go to class? Enter UQ with its institute of modern languages courses, which allowed Queen V and I to go after work hours. With that sorted, all we needed was dinner during the class. Of course I volunteered to grab us take out. Which is why I found myself loitering around Gresham Lane pondering dinner options when I spied the Roll Shop. 

The signboard up top showcased their simple selection of Vietnamese fare, including rolls, salads and bread rolls. The staff behind the counter were also busy making the rolls, so I was quite assured of their freshness. 

With a considerable gap between lunchtime and our intended consumption at dinner, I queried their ability to keep without refrigeration, to which I was advised by the friendly staff that it would be no issue at all, so I placed my order and got takeaway. 

Queen V had the lemongrass chicken salad, in regular. For $7 it was excellent value, having generous chunks of shredded lemongrass chicken, lettuce and cucumber on top of a bed of rice noodles. It proved to keep well, with the greens still maintaining some crunch while the chicken was very tasty. 


My dinner was also $7, comprising of three rice paper rolls, two BBQ pork and one chicken. Whilst the rolls were really heavy and packed with lots of lettuce and rice noodles, I couldn't help but have food envy as Queen Vs had a lot more toppings than mine. Nevertheless the rolls were fresh, the rice paper very soft and elastic, and it went well with the complimentary hoi sin sauce. 

Price Range: $5 - $15pp

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

The Roll Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

La Macelleria - West End

After a wonderful meal at Original Dave's Meatballs and Beef Cheeks, Joe K and I decided to top it all off with a second round of desserts, this time at the secondary branch of the much acclaimed La Macelleria at West End. Having been to their Teneriffe store and thoroughly enjoyed myself, I was very glad to accept an invitation from Mr Meatballs to experience owner Matteo's hospitality. Being within one km away from our dinner, it made for a very quick drive, and parking was easy to come by.

The store was more or less the same size as the Tenerrife one, with similar signage. Gelato flavours were posted upon the wall, as they were stored in metal canisters and we weren't able to see them from a glance.

Other than flavours, other signs on the wall showed the variations of coffee available to be ordered, in addition to the size options for gelato.

Whilst we were there, we got to watch Owner Matteo as he showed off his new gelato machine to us. There was also a display cabinet which exhibited a selection of iced goodies for purchase.

What I always enjoy about invitations is the opportunity to get insider knowledge. Which is why I was so thrilled to get to try some of their in house roasted pistachio paste and hazlenut paste. Both were quite liquid in texture, and extremely strong in taste. Tasting both, I loved the rich creaminess of both purees which were smooth and luscious. Between the two, my favourite would have been the hazelnut, which reminded me of my beloved nutella without the sweetness.


Before making my decision, I also got to try some of the flavours. I tried the special Mimosa Cake gelato and Bo and Bo (mmmm nutella), both of which I enjoyed greatly. 

Upon coming to our decision, we were served by the wonderfully gracious Mikaela.

Both Meatballs and Joe's selections were appetising and well received (I forgot to take a pic of Ronnie's gelato).

I had a selection of four flavours, caffe, tiramisu, bo and bo and stracciatella in a medium cup. All flavours were remarkably smooth, and not overly sweet. I really appreciated the chocolatey tones in the tiramisu, which contrasted the strong coffee tastes in the caffe. The Bo and Bo was wonderfully smooth and topped with sweet nutella made for a treat that made my inner child very happy indeed, whilst the stracciatella gave the cup a bit of crunch with the dark chocolate chips.

Not wanting to miss the opportunity for after dinner coffee, I had a small cappuccino. It was very strong and picked me up after such a long day and rounded of an excellent experience.

Further to this meal, I also got a small tub to take home to my family, opting for rum and rasin, hazelnut and pistachio, these were also really well received. My parents really enjoyed the wonderfully luxurious texture and intense flavours if the gelato. Their favourite was also the pistachio, which I definitely snuck a few more bites of.

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

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

La Macelleria Gelateria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Original Dave's Low and Slow BBQ - West End

Other than the unrelenting heat in Brisbane summers, another common natural occurrence around this time is the rainy storm season. Brisbane locals would have noted that the rain and storms seem to have really come through lately, and what better is there to have on a cool rainy day than some hearty American fare. Which is exactly what Meatballs and Beef Cheeks, Joe K, RonnieLui and I did last Tuesday after receiving a gracious invitation from Original Dave's Low and Slow BBQ.

Situated along Hardgrave road in West End, it proved a considerable hike from my jail work along Eagle Street, but this was still not enough to balance out the gluttonous self indulgence I was about to find myself partaking in.

Arriving a little earlier than the others, I asked for a table inside, away from the humidity and rain. The shopfront was quite cozy, with half the tables outside, half inside, and a large bar dominating the inside area.


With the dominance of the bar, it was no surprise that there were three drinks menus and one food menu. Speaking to the owner, Dave, we learn that he originated from not America but Canada, specifically Calgary, but the smoker they have was imported straight from Texas.

We got a good look at their large selection of spirits at the bar, notably a considerable amount are of American origin. 


I had two drinks that night, first of which was Jim's jungle juice, which contained safari exotic fruit liqueur, peach liqueur, blue curacao and pineapple juice. I found it to be fruity, sweet and very refreshing with strong citrus notes and subtle peachy tones. My second drink was the Patreon XO Cafe Tequila, a favourite of Iron Fist. Compared to other coffee liqueurs I've had in the past, this was definitely more dry and less sweet, and went down very smoothly with ice.

Like with a few of the invited places lately, we let the chef decide what we were going to eat, omakase style ;). First to arrive was the appetisers, Frickles and Wild wings.

The Frickles (deep fried pickles) were well received all around the table. Using Meatball's favourite Vlasic Pickles, a popular American brand, it made for an authentic snack. The batter was light and crispy, almost tempura like. The pickles were crunchy and struck a good balance of salty and sour.

Next we had a plate of Wild Wings, which can come in a selection of flavours. we opted for half and half Buffalo and Salt & Pepper. Both were exceptionally smoky in flavour which permeated deep into the meat of each piece. Between the buffalo and salt and pepper, I found the buffalo more enjoyable as it had the extra zing of spice, that was strong enough but not so much as to overpower the chicken taste.

After a brief interlude, our mains were soon served much to our excitement.

The first platter we shared was the Giant BBQ Beef Short Ribs, which were both Joe and my faovurite of the night. This came with a side of coleslaw, chilli and some cornbread. The beef was very tender and fell off the bone even as we were cutting it up to share. Like the wings, they were deeply infused with a smokey fragrance throughout the meat. The coleslaw was fresh and crunchy with a delicious creamy sauce, whereas the chilli had a good amount of spice and tender beans. I also quite liked the corn bread which was soft and almost cake like with a slight sweetness.

We also had a Three's a Crowd platter to share, containing half rack pork ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, chicken maryland and Italian sausage as well as some sides of corn bread, it was definitely very impressive. The pork ribs that we had here were definitely on the meatier side of the spectrum compared to some ribs we had previously shared. I quite enjoyed the Italian sausage, which was firmer and had a meatier texture than other local sausages, and I really appreciated how the pulled pork was topped with sauce to give it more flavour throughout. Whilst the brisket also had sauce on it, I found it as well as the pork ribs to have drier meat when compared to the beef ribs. 

In addition to the meatier platters, we also had two serves of fries and two serves of mac and cheese. I liked how the fries were fried with skin on, giving it extra texture and extra crunch, but I definitely enjoyed the mac and cheese even more for its comforting and creamy texture. 

Rounding off our meal, we shared two slices of pie. The first one I tried was the Pecan Pie. The pie had a reasonably crunchy base, but the highlight was definitely the crunchy pecans mixed within the sweetness of caramelised brown sugar. A favourite for our favourite American Meatballs.

My preferred slice of pie was the classical apple pie. It had a deliciously crumbly biscuit top, with a sharp but sweet apple filling that was lightly seasoned with cinnamon to give a warm sensation. This was of course contrasted (in texture and in temperature( by the scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side making it quite a wonderful dessert.

Espresso and Matcha were invited guests of Original Dave's Low and Slow, but our opinions, as always, are solely our own.

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

Original Dave's Low & Slow BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato