Sunday, 29 May 2016

Miel Container - Sunnybank

Without a doubt, most of my readers are avid foodies, and most of you would have heard that a new Miel Container had opened at Sunnybank's Market Square, between BBQ tempt and Little Singapore. Whilst it wasn't a shipping container like the original, it's decor is set up like we were in a shipping container.

Again, it's counter service, and I note that the menu is largely the same, with a few extra additions of snacks and drinks.

So we ordered, and were given a number. Despite the large amounts of tables and chairs available, we still had difficulty getting a seat due to its popularity. I note the cutlery on the table was exactly the same as the city.

What was evidently an improvement from the city store though, was the availability of water, as well as hand washing facilities within the restaurant, which is a great relief when you have burger juices running down your arm.

Our food came out soon after, which was quite quick considering how many people there were. 

My companion and I both ordered the same burger, being a make your own beef patty burger with a brioche bun, with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion and aioli. 

Whilst I would have liked to come here with Burger Connoisseur to get his professional opinion, he's recently found true love and left me on my own to explore these new burger joints (if you're reading this, you better stop scuba diving!). Back to the burger, the bun was really fresh, with a crispy hot toasted exterior and a fluffy warm interior. The patty was flavoursome, but evidently thinner than the patties in the cbd store, which meant that it wasn't able to be cooked to medium rare as my preference. The salads were also fresh and generous in portion, and I loved how it mixed with the melty cheese. I also really liked how they were much more generous with the chips than the CBD store, and it was seasoned with quite a few more herbs. 

We also shared a portion of chicken and chips, which I believe was not available at the CBD store. Unfortunately we didn't like it as much as the burger. The portion was definitely generous, being more main size than entree size. The chicken though, tasted more like the frozen store bought variety than anything else, with its very thick very hard batter, and the lack of proper meat texture, it reminded me quite strongly of highschool canteen chicken patties in the sense that I could find more meaty sinews in a McNugget. It was topped with finely grated cheese, and some tangy dark bbq sauce, which I liked, and came with a very large portion of chips.

Price Range: $10 - $20pp

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

Miel Container Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Fen Ku Guilin Rice Noodle - Sunnybank

With the ongoing popularity of ramen stores, a recent trend I have noticed is the gradual uprise of Chinese Rice Noodle Bars, which have slowly gained traction in Sunnybank. One of the first stores which I saw go up was Fen Ku Guilin Rice Noodle, situated at Market Square. 

During the main meal times, the restaurant is quite popular and we waited in line a while to get in. The operation is akin to a ramen bar, with a simple and limited menu filled with popular staple dishes.  

Akin to Hakataya, we order at the counter and are given a number.

This was the Beef Brisket rice noodle. The soup was mild but quite nourishing, and the noodles were soft and delicious. On the other hand though, having gotten so used to semi done ramen eggs, I was suddenly caught off guard with this well cooked egg, the beef was a bit too tough still, and the dish was garnished with fried peanuts. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it more than my companion enjoyed his Buddy Rice Noodle.

This was the Buddy Rice Noodle. It was a very spicy but sour concoction of pork mince, chilli and preserved and fresh veges, also garnished with egg and peanuts. He found it very very spicy and sour, to the extent where he had to drink copious amounts of water during the meal, but he did really appreciate the soft texture of the noodles. Whilst the meal didn't really suit our palate, we do appreciate that it was very authentic due to the popularity with the Chinese population. 

Price Range: $10 - $15pp

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

Fen Ku Guilin Rice Noodle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 23 May 2016

Five Thirty on Brunswick - New Farm

Having been to quite a few of the brunch places in New Farm, one that has really caught my eye was Five Thirty on Brunswick, which patrons have posted quite a number of highly captivating foodie photos online. Being situated along Brunswick Street, we had a bit of trouble finding parking, and  had to walk a fair while until we arrived at the restaurant.

Both the outside and inside of the restaurant reminded me quiet strongly of a refurbished residential property, and we were given a table in one of the rooms. I really liked how they had renovated the walls, which now had chalkboards with cute designs on its walls.

We were given a copy of the menu, which contained quite a number of tasty breakfast options.

Our drinks came quite soon afterwards.

My cappuccino came with copious amounts of cocoa on top of it. Whilst I would have preferred the cocoa to have been more dissolved, the coffee was strong but also the froth was very rich, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

My companion had an iced coffee, which was served in a very tall glass. The portion was very large, and it contained both ice cream and cream, which he enjoyed, but I considered it a bit too early in the morning for. 

We shared two mains, this was the very popular Mixed Berry Pancakes, which have long been the focus of quite a few reviewers photos. The pancakes were a little too thick for my linking, but the berry maple syrup was very sweet and tasty. I gave my companion most of the ice cream, which he said was quite rich and delicious. I note the absence of cottage cheese in the dish though despite being mentioned in the menu, which would have been quite a nice addition to balance the dish.

My choice of the day was the avocado salmon stack with added bacon. Whilst it had quite a generous portion of toppings, I definitely would have liked it more if there was one more slice of bread. The eggs were poached, but slightly overcooked. The avocado could have been a little more ripe, but the salmon was fresh and the bacon not too fatty. The added Worcestershire sauce gave it an added tang which we enjoyed. The cream cheese on the toast was a nice change too. 

Price Range: $15 - $20pp

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

Five Thirty Brunswick Espresso Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 20 May 2016

Buffalo Bar - Brisbane CBD

Keen to try out new places to grab lunch near work, a friend suggested that we try out Buffalo Bar, along Mary Street, which was famous for its American fare. Having recently been watching quite a bit of American Dramas lately, I was definitely keen. Being a brisk five minute stroll from my office, I got there at 11.30 to avoid the lunch rush.

Despite a bit of confusion between our entrance at the bar and getting a table at the restaurant, we were soon seated in the very classically themed dining area, and realised we were the first ones there.

The menu consisted of hotdogs, sandwiches, sides, salads and desserts. Water was also provided very promptly.

Between the two of us, we shared a basket of wings, a smoked brisket hoagie, and a buffalo cheeseburger.

Our basket of wings contained eight pieces of bacon, cheese and chive wings served with blue cheese sauce. I really enjoyed the fried wings, which were moist and juicy, having soaked a lot of the cheesey and bacon essences. The blue cheese sauce wasn't too strong, and offered a more smooth milky taste to the wings. The only thing was that I felt them a little overly salted for my tastes.

This was the Smoked Brisket Hoagie, which was a long bread roll filled with brisket, onion, pickles, red cheddar and bbq sauce. The beef was very strongly flavoured and slow cooked to be quite soft and tender. I would have liked the roll to be toasted to provide a crunchy contrast to the beef, but overall the burger was very comforting and again, strong in flavour.

I had the Buffalo Cheeseburger, with a side of shoestring fries.  The burger contained a patty, bacon, tomato, lettuce, pickles and ketchup on a sesame bun. Whilst the fact that the burger was on a sesame bun was a little disappointing for me, what I found most striking was the fact that the bacon in the burger was chopped up like what we had on our wings, which greatly reduced our enjoyment. The patty though was generous in size, and cooked medium rare, with good flavours to it. My companion particularly liked the paprika on the fries, which he said gave it an interesting new twist.

Price Range: $20 - $30pp

Taste: 7/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 8/10

Buffalo Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Chester Street Express - Southbank

Having come back from a holiday, one of the hardest things was without a doubt going back to work. After surviving the first week back, my confidante thought that cake would be in order. Having heard that Mr Fitz, Doughnut time and Chester Street opened on Grey Street, we had quite a difficult time making our choice on what to have. Having a very small selection of outside seating between the three stores meant we also had a very difficult time finding seating.

In the end, my love for cake won out. With a couple of the more popular options from their main store on option, we opted for two slices of cake for afternoon tea.

We shared the rainbow cake, as well as raspberries and cream.

Despite how they look, neither of them were overly sugary, except for the meringue on top of the raspberry cake. Despite how colourful the cakes were, I appreciated the lightness of the cake, which was nowhere near as heavy as I expected, and the strong milky taste of the cream. I note however that the only other drinks I could see available were milk shakes or similar sweet drinks. I think that my experience would have been quite better with the option of tea or coffee (which I would have opted to have sugar free), to accompany the cake.

Price Range: $10 - $20pp

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

Chester Street Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 16 May 2016

Espresso and Matcha's Foodie Odyessy - Melbourne Day 10 Dinner : HeyDay Hong Kong Cafe

By the end of day 10 it is given without saying that we were feeling pretty homesick. Missing my own bed and blankets we could do very little but to seek out some homey comfort food on the eve of our return. Having heard that there was an authentic Hong Kong Style Cha Chaan Teng at the end of Celestial Lane, that's where we headed for our last meal in Melbourne.

 Heyday Hong Kong Cafe gives off quite a retro 90s feel to it, and the storefront (which we didn't take a picture of), was very small. With the menu already on the wall, we were able to make our selection quickly.

Tea was provided complimentary, and was similar to what we have at Coffee Square.

Even though we enjoyed the tea, our choice of set meals meant that we had complimentary hot drinks. My companion opted for the Hong Kong Style Milk Tea, and I had the Hong Kong Style White Coffee. Both were very strong, and made with evaporated milk rather than fresh milk to balance out the flavours. 

My companion had the satay beef with instant noodle combination, which is quite a traditional favourite in Hong Kong. It was served with sides of buttered toast and sausage omelette. The satay beef was quite tender and tasty, with a strong peanuty taste to the sauce. The noodles were a little harder than my companion's preference, but not by much. The toast was only slightly done, but my companion prefers his toast a bit more coloured. He really enjoyed the omelette though, which had bits of sausage mixed into it, because of the nice crunchy edges.

Even though it was dinner, I opted for a more breakfast like meal. Comprising of sausages soup macaroni, toast, and a fried egg with ham, it really reminded me of home. Again the macaroni could have been softer, but the portion size and nourishing soup made up for it. The sausage was pan fried before being put on top, so the outer layers were nicely caramelised. The ham and egg was also pan fried so that it also had a nice crispy edge to it. For our last meal of our trip, Heyday was efficient, homey and exactly what we needed to round off a wonderful holiday to Melbourne.

Price Range: $10 - $20pp

Taste: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 7/10

Heyday Hong Kong Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Espresso and Matcha's Foodie Odyessy - Melbourne Day 10 Lunch : Sugar Bun

With all the delicious European food (and disappointing Japanese food) I experienced during my stay in Melbourne, I realised on my last day of my trip that I had still not accomplished one of my original goals I had planned for the trip – to try Bak Kuh Teh in Melbourne. 

For a little bit of context the story starts out with my fascination with Bak Kuh Teh. The strong smells of herbs and seasoning, the fresh ingredients, the homely soup all combine to make one feel as though they are well taken care of, it is something I’d like to eat at home but have neither the effort or the time to source and prepare such an epic dish. So it was by chance a friend of mine who had earlier in the year gone down to Melbourne on a working trip,when wandering the streets of Melbourne spotted a rather quaint sign proudly advertising “Bak Kuh Teh". A little bit of research on my part revealed the establishment to be SugarBun on Russell Street. And so I found myself in Melbourne determined to continue my quest of enjoying Bak Kuh Teh. For those who are into a bit of culture and history NanYang is the Chinese characters for “Southern Expanse” a traditional reference to Malaysia.

The decor is clean and simple straight to the point – something easily taken for granted but often overlooked. Water was self service as we noted the place was rather popular with the locals. 


For drinks I ordered a Tenom Coffee, unable to resist the urge of a good milk tea my friend ordered a Three Layered Tea.  My friend’s three layer tea arrived. Unfortunately for me my friend was over eager to try and mixed the layers before I could snap a photo. Nevertheless you can still see there’s some layers visible. My friend liked the smoothness of the tea, the distinct flavour of the tea was very similar if not the same as a HK styled Milk Tea something my friend enjoyed very much. With my friend busily enjoying the three layered tea, my Tenom Coffee arrived. For me, I found the coffee strong which was provided a good kick from all the walking I was doing that day. Though I like strong coffees, I noted it was overly sweet, perhaps an option to determine how sweet the drink should be would be in order. 

Back to the food and as you can see without hesitation I ordered the Classic Bak Kut Teh Soup whilst my friend ordered a side of Broasted Chicken, both of which arrived after a short while.

At long last I was able to sample Melbourne's Bak Kuh Teh! \(^ .^\). As you can see there were plenty of sides to enjoy the dish with, including a side of crispy Chinese doughnut. I was pleasantly surprised at the additional sides and really enjoyed the doughnut which was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. As for the Bak Kuh Teh it was a very appealing herbal soup complete with pork ribs and belly, special meat balls, tofu and mushrooms. Mixed wholegrain and white rice was provided ensuring we would be very full after the meal. The meats were soft and thankfully not very bony. As you can see the soup had a herbal mix alongside the pork and meatballs. I found the herbal to soup erred on the light side and I would have preferred if it had a stronger herbal fragrance as I had expected from a Bak Kuh Teh. Nevertheless I found the combination of sides, pork and the soup and condiments a very comforting homey dish. 

My friend’s side of broasted chicken arrived with a side of sweet chilli sauce. Needless to say he found the broasted chicken delicious, with its crispy skin and tender meats. Being someone who prefers not to use sauce except for very occasional dishes (Hainan Chicken being an exception) he was pleasantly surprised at the how the sweet chilli sauce complimented the chicken. Overall I enjoyed SugarBun’s homey rendition of Bak Kuh Teh very much and felt our timing for it couldn’t have been better.

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

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

SugarBun Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato