Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Dello Mano - Brisbane CBD

Having been to Dello Mano in Teneriffe a week or so ago and forgone the opportunity to try out their decadent desserts, their cakes and brownies have been on my mind ever since. When a friend and I decided to do some night shopping in the CBD last Friday, I was keenly reminded that there was another branch of Dello Mano situated in Tatterstalls arcade in Queen Street Mall, so we headed there for some dessert before rounding off our evening.

Upon entry to the store, we were immediately drawn to the large array of cakes and brownies on display (like all the other customers were).

They had a short but consise drink menu covering coffees, milkshakes, teas and juices to compliment the desserts.

We ordered at the counter, and the waitress was super friendly and chatty, which made the whole transaction far more personable and enjoyable. 

Our coffees were soon brought out, we both opted for a cappuccino, and were delighted to see they each came with a large chunk of brownie. The coffee was fairly strong, and had a good rich foamy milk, which combined to give quite an enjoyable coffee.

Shortly after the arrival of our drinks, our two cakes came. We ordered the black forest, and a lemon meringue to balance out some of the richness with some light fruitness.

The lemon meringue, as expected, was very refreshing, with a citrus lemon tart topped with some caramelized meringue swirls. The biscuit base was crunchy without being overly hard, the lemony custard was quite smooth and creamy with a super strong lemon hit which we really appreciated. At this point I have to make a special mention to the swirl of cream to the top of the plate, which was the smoothest and richest cream that I've had in a long time.

Our black forest cake also came with said cream (*^▽^*). The chocolatey sponge cake which sandwiched raspberry coulis and vanilla mousse was then coated with chocolate. I found it stuck a good balance between the decadence of rich luxurious chocolate and light fluffy sponge cake. Whilst the cakes were definitely on the expensive side of the spectrum, I could definitely appreciate that you do get what you pay for, and Dello Mano is a nice place to enjoy an occasional treat.

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

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

Dello Mano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sri Mahkota - Sunnybank Hills

Living near Sunnybank Hills means that I drive past the main foodie district in the Sunnybank area on a daily basis. A couple weeks ago, I noticed a sign for a new restaurant, Sri Mahkota go up. With the recommendation of a Malaysian friend, I finally relented and went to try it out last week. 


We arrived just before 12pm, and it was really lucky that we did. Whilst it was only half full when we arrived, the 12pm rush resulted in a small crowd waiting outside for a table. Water and menus were brought out very quickly, and we made our selection from the large array of traditional Malaysian meals on offer.

One of my companions ordered the Hainan Chicken Rice, which came with a chicken broth. I was immediately impressed by the chicken broth, which wasn't as clear as the other ones I'd tried before. Whilst to some, this may be not as aesthetically pleasing, it provides me a bit of assurance that the soup was actually made of real ingredients (as opposed to just msg soup base). The chicken rice itself was quite delicious, being fragrant and tasty. The chicken was served warm (a nice addition), but was somewhat small in proportion to the rice and soup provided. 

My other companion had the seafood laksa. Considering the other alternatives in Brisbane, this was probably the one with the largest serving size we had ever seen. It came with both rice noodle and hokkien noodle, topped with fish cake, fish balls, calamari, prawns and some dried tofu puff. My companion found the soup to be nice and spicy, the portions to be generous, but the tastes were quite generic and not too different from what you could get from Little Singapore.

Wanting to try something different (for once), I settled with the herbal duck mixed noodles. Expecting a piece of roast duck, I was quite surprised to be given a slow cooked duck maryland instead. To my delight, it was quite delicious, and the meat easily fell off the bone (friends will attest to my dislike of meat which clings to cartilage at joints). The noodles were nice and springy without being too salty from the sauce, and the soup was definitely herbal (but not bitter). The large portions of this meal were also very commendable.

Price Range: $12 - $20pp

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

Sri Mahkota Malaysian Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 23 September 2016

Espresso & Matcha's Second Anniversary

Dear Readers,

Today marks the second anniversary of the establishment of Espresso and Matcha's Food Blog.

In celebration of such a significant milestone, Starbucks decided to release their new Espresso & Matcha drink in my honour(⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄).

Jokes aside, it has been a very enjoyable two years, filled with moments of inspiration as well as moments of writer's block (♡˙︶˙♡). 

Throughout the two years, I've learned that there is nothing more important to me than being true to myself and writing an impartial review that is able to give you, dear reader, the ability to make the best decisions for all your foodie related needs٩(๑・ิᴗ・ิ)۶٩(・ิᴗ・ิ๑)۶. 

With that in mind, I thank you for your two years of support and I will continue my quest to deliver my regular objective reviews, and hope that you will continue to join me on this journey.(´。• ω •。`) ♡


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Hometown - Sunnybank

With the closing down of Elizabeth Arcade, and only source of Taiwanese food in the CBD, Re PIT, it means that I must soley rely on Sunnybank and Sunnybank Hills to get my regular dosage of Taiwanese food. Of the large variety of options available there, one of my regular picks is the local favourite, Hometown Cafe, situated in the Car Park of Sunnybank Plaza, opposite Welcome Fresh.

Decor is nothing extravagant, but it has a very homey feel about it, especially with all the photographs of Taiwan on the walls.

We were promptly seated, and menus were provided. Other than the specials board, there were the usual options of rice dishes, noodle dishes, sides and vegetarian options. 

My companion had a combination seafood fried noodle, which was served with a deliciously light and appetising broth. Compared to the Cantonese style stir fries that we are used to, it was far more saucy and less caramelised than what we are used to, and it was cooked with a Hokkein noodle base, rather than rice noodle or egg noodle. My companion found it to be quite healthy, considering the number of greens in the dish, comforting and very homey.

With my craving for beef noodle soup, there was never a second guess as to what my order would have been. The noodles were the usual wheat based, thick cut Yang Chun noodles, and it was served with a super flavoursome beef broth, slow cooked beef and chopped Chinese veges which I really enjoyed. The strong soup was a definite highlight, and the meat melted in my mouth. 

Not for the squeemish, we ordered a serve of deep fried intestines as a snack to share. The intestines were freshly fried and had a hot crunchy exterior, but a soft, elastic-y interior. It was seasoned with spiced salt, and had some fresh spring onions inside of it to give the dish a bit more dimension. We really liked it.

Price Range: $10 - $20

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

Hometown Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 19 September 2016

Dello Mano - Teneriffe

Last time when I was eating at At Sixes and Sevens, we ended up parking so far away, we ended up in Teneriffe. We parked along a little hill, and my attention was captivated by a quaint little cafe on the hill with vines all around the outside. Keeping it in my mind for another week or so, I did a bit of research and found that it did brunch on the weekend, so we headed there to try it out.

Whilst most people know that Dello Mano is famous for its brownies, cakes and other sweet treats, we headed there for breakfast.

Compared to the other brunch places I've been to. Their menu was very succinct and brief, but covered a surprisingly large variety of foods.

Under any other circumstances, I would have opted for the sweets on offer, but for the fact that it was breakfast, and I am one of those people who cannot stand to have an un-savoury breakfast.

Despite our initial impression that a table would have been hard to come by, there were actually quite a few vacant seats at the back of the restaurant, that were thankfully indoors.

The whole place was decked out with a very homey type of feel, and we could literally spend hours appreciating all the little trinkets and displays they had.

We ordered at the counter and were soon given a number. 

My very courageous companion ordered a Belgian hot chocolate, which was very rich and luxurious, but not too sweet for his taste. It was served in quite a large mug.


As usual, I got myself a cappuccino, and my companion, an iced latte. My cappuccino was generous in portion, and had rich and creamy milk, but could have been a bit stronger. The iced latte, could also be stronger, and was refreshingly chilled and quite milky in texture.

After quite a bit of a wait (and a bit of confusion when our food was served to another table), our food came. 

My brave companion ordered a very sweet breakfast, specifically the Belgian Pancake. Expecting a stack of pancakes, we were surprised to receive one albeit very very large pancake, topped with berry compote, fresh berries and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It turned out to be a very substantial meal, with the pancake being very puffy and fluffy on the inside, very strong flavoured jam and a reasonably generous amount of berries. Whilst my friend enjoyed it, he was unable to finish it in its entirety. 

My other companion and I ordered similar dishes. He ordered the basic "eggs your way".

I, on the other hand had the "eggs your way" with a side serve of avocado. Whilst it appeared toward the basic side, it was executed extremely well. The eggs leaned toward the raw side for sunny side up, but had a sufficiently crispy base. The bacon was super tasty, with a good 20-80 fat ratio, and caramelised to near perfection.  The sourdough slices were a bit smaller than what we were used to from Double Shot, but they were ample, and nicely toasted. The avocado was nice and ripe, but I think their presentation could have been a bit better, as quite a few of the black bits were still stuck to it and could have been cut off prior to serving.

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

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

Dello Mano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 16 September 2016

Cafe S152 - Sunnybank

Having been a relatively very busy week for the both of us, I caught up with a friend on Friday and opted for a quiet dinner and a drink after. Not wanting to line up at the bustling Sonder, or Sweet Treats, we opted for the quieter Cafe S152, situated along Turton Street near cafe 7-8 and Seoul Bistro.

Whilst we had expected it to be relatively quiet, we were surprised to be the only table there at around 8.30pm on a Saturday night. With a wide range of coffees, such as Siphon, Cold Brew, Aeropress, on top of the usual range of Cappuccinos, Lattes and Flat Whites.

Having only ever tried Siphon Coffee in my travels in Asia in a maid cafe, I jumped at the opportunity to have it again in Brisbane.

Unfortunately for us though, the coffee wasn't brewed on our table, but rather from the counter, which we could appreciate from afar.

The finished siphon coffee was then served to us on a stand. I requested some milk on the side and this was promptly provided. 

The coffee itself was very strong, which I really enjoyed, but the milk provided wasn't rich enough to provide a better balance to the cup. Portion wise, the amount of coffee provided gave us two cups, which was quite reasonable, given that the cup was quite small. 

My companion, again, had the iced coffee, which came in a tall glass with ice. The trend of late has been to serve iced coffee without the usual ice cream/cream, and this was the same. Regardless, it was still very refreshing, but like the other coffee, it erred on the watery side more than creamy.

Price Range: $5 - $15pp

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

Cafe S152 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato