Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Marchetti Cafe - Brisbane CBD

Being quite a fan of Dello Mano, I am often in Tatterstalls Arcade grabbing a sweet bite to eat. As mentioned, what I do find lacking in their City Menu is some savoury food options. Taking a peek around nearby lead me to the popular Marchetti Cafe, around the corner. Wanting a savoury lunch, I headed there after a particularly challenging day at work.

We were immediately greeted at the door by a small but quite full pastry cabinet. My companion was captivated by display, and grabbed one of the pastries.

I on the other hand, settled for a cooked lunch from their brief menu.

Being a counter service cafe, we ordered at the counter and were given a menu. We grabbed a bar seat which gave us good view of passers by outside. 

Our two coffees came quite promptly after ordering.

Whilst my companion's iced coffee wasn't on their regular menu, they made a special order and altered the iced latte to add in a scoop of ice cream. He really enjoyed this.

I had the cappuccino, it came in a little cup and looked rather quaint. Although I would have preferred a larger cup, it meant that the espresso to milk ratio was a little better, and the caffeine was a little more concentrated.

My companion picked a croissant from the pastry cabinet. Whilst he would have preferred it toasted, it was still sufficiently crispy and flaky for his tastes. Having said that, some sort of condiments would have been a nice addition.

Opting for a more hearty lunch, I had the ragu lasagne which came with a side salad and bread. I was surprised at the copious amount of soupy tomato in the dish, but this contrasted the ragu lasagne quite well, as it was quite dense with meat and pasta. Whilst I couldn't put my finger on it, it had quite a homey taste to it, which set it apart from other commercial lasagnes I've had in previous instances. The salad was lightly vinegared and quite tangy, whilst the bread was toasted and buttered but unfortunately cool, nevertheless, I quite enjoyed the meal.

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

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

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

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Campos - Fortitude Valley

With the continuing heatwave, one thing that I had serious trouble finding was a cafe which has air conditioning and indoor seating. After perusing numerous reviews and photos online, I finally decided that Campos in Fortitude Valley would be quite a safe bet. We arrived not too late in the morning, at around 9AM. 

Finding parking near the James Street Market, there was a little confusion as to how to find our way into the restaurant. Unfortunately for us, there was still a short wait involved to get into the restaurant. 

Walking in, I noted quite a few tasty treats on display, but that morning I opted for their cooked breakfast.

After around 15 minutes though, we were shown inside, and got a cool dim seat in the back of the cafe. Throughout the whole of our visit, staff were visibly busy and it took quite a lot of attempts for us to get their attention each time. After being shown to our seats, it was a further 10 mins before menus were provided to us.

After quite a bit of following up, two of our three coffees arrived after a further 20 minutes. I had the V60 pour over, whilst one of my companions had the cold drip. Having tasted a bit of both, I thoroughly enjoyed the cold drip coffee which was cool, refreshing and full of body. The V60 was also really strong and gave me the caffeine hit I needed so badly.

My other companion's iced coffee came around 10 minutes after our other coffees, and not without much prompting from us to chase the drink down. He loved the fact that it was quite strong and the milk was super fresh.

At least our food came all at once, even though it was half and hour after our coffees came, and an hour after we had ordered.

My companion ordered the Bubble and Squeak Hash, which came with cheddar, ham, kale and cashew pesto, topped with eggs. The eggs were relatively undercooked compared to other ones we've tried before. The pesto was very tasty and the whole dish was super strongly flavoured, but the hash was a little more floury than we would have liked.

My other companion ordered the Scallop linguine with capers, herbs and white anchovy. The pasta was cooked al dente. Like with the bubble and squeak, the flavours in this dish were also very strong, and my companion really enjoyed it. 

Opting for a more traditional breakfast, I had the Campos Fry Up. The portion was very generous despite the fact that it only had one slice of sourdough. The eggs were more well done than the bubble and squeak, which I appreciated, and the flavours were a lot more milder than the other two dishes, so I had a better appreciation of the base flavours of the ingredients. It also helps that I prefer milder tasting meals to start off my day. The haloumi was grilled quite nicely, but the bacon was a little underdone, The tomatos were fresh and juicy and the mushrooms were also fried very well.

As a side, we shared a bowl of chips with aioli (after spying other tables with it and getting food envy). They were very crunchy and freshly fried, which I really appreciated. The aioli was quite smooth and flavoursome too.

Price Range: $20 - $30pp

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Environment: 7/10

Campos Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Momo Chicken and Beer - Runcorn

Having most recently tried Momo Chicken in the City really convinced me that I ought to go give their original store in Runcorn a go. It is situated opposite Warrigal Square, right next to Genkotsu Ramen, another favourite of mine. So we headed there on a lazy Saturday afternoon to satisfy the fried chicken craving.

Before entering the door, we were already presented with a very large poster of their most popular dishes. I love being able to see these options as it often enables me to start thinking about what I will order before even sitting down.

On the topic of sitting down, we arrived to a restaurant half full, and were greeted and given a table immediately. Water was provided even before menus, which was quite considerate, given how hot it was outside.

Menus were provided right after the water. Service was via the bell on our table, which I always find very efficient. Being given the opportunity to peruse the menu beforehand, we ordered very quickly.

Our food also came out very quickly after ordering. My first companion ordered the stir fried udon. Whilst it alone looked quite small, it came with five little side dishes, which we could have unlimited refills of. The udon itself was quite saucy and slightly sweet. She liked the fact that it was the frozen variety of udon rather than the preserved, and found the topping to noodle ratio to be quite ample. The side dishes gave us all some much needed refreshment on such a hot day.

Like my last meal in the CBD, a friend ordered the half chicken in original flavour. This came with chips and dipping sauce. There was just about as much chicken as I had last time, however the chips were definitely a bit less and broken up into smaller pieces. The chicken was super crunchy and moist, but the mustard was a little sweet for my liking.

Being too lazy to deal with bones to order a half or whole chicken, I settled on the boneless three set. It came as a formidable mountain of chicken pieces, topped with potato chips and copious amounts of cheese, onion and chilli powder, and with the additional cheese, onion and chilli sauce on the side. I avoided all three sauces, which turned out to be very sweet, but I loved the chicken and the flavouring on top. As with the half fried chicken, each piece was freshly fried, moist and crunchy. The only downside to the dish would have been the fact that just eating fried chicken would get quite dry after a while, so we were lucky to have our companion's side dishes to much on throughout the meal. Given the price, we thought this was a two person meal, however in the end we had to take around a third of it home because we were extremely full.

Price Range: $10 - $20pp

Taste: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 7/10
Momo Chicken & Beer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Papas Pancakes - Sunnybank

Having gone to Hot Cake House this time last year, I was somewhat surprised to see that Papa's Pancakes, which sells essentially the same hot cakes at a similar price had opened within the same shopping complex. Having said that, having traveled around Asia, I did find it somewhat endearing to find the elderly Papa behind the hot cake grill.

Prices were quite reasonable, with hot cakes selling for a dollar each.

I settled on two different flavours, and the one that wasn't readily available was freshly made on order.


I had one green tea, and one original custard. The green tea was piping hot whilst the custard was still very warm. I loved the delicious hot cake batter which was light and fluffy, but the green tea one could have had a bit more green tea taste, and I would have liked it if there was a bit more custard in each of them.
Price Range: Under $5 pp

Taste: 7/10
Value: 9.5/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 7/10

Papa's Pancakes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 17 February 2017

Burger Project - South Bank

Long time readers of my blog will know that I have a sort of love hate relationship with newly opened restaurants. On one hand, I love going to satisfying my curiosity, but on the other hand, quite a few problems occur on the first day, that are eventually sorted out after running the restaurant for a few more days. However, when I heard that Neil Perry's largely popular Burger Project was coming to Brisbane, I had very little hesitation in trying it out on the first day.

One of the main reasons why my friend and I were so keen to go on the first day was because we had heard that the famous Neil Perry would be there himself. Whilst we didn't get to meet him, at least we got a picture of him making burgers in the kitchen.

We got there at around 6.30pm and there was a small lineup. Service was quite fast so we didn't wait long to order. They had quite a selection of burgers, chips as a side, some dessert options and drinks for us to choose from. We made our order at the counter, and were given a buzzer to collect our food when ready. We found a table without any difficulty and awaited our meal.

As it turns out, we didn't have to wait long for our food, which was ready within 10 minutes of ordering.

My companion ordered the Cheese Burger. She really liked the meat patty for its seasoning, but found the presentation a little underwhelming. 

I had the Bacon and Cheese Burger, which was essentially the same as the cheese burger, but with added bacon. Like my companion, I've grown accustomed to burgers bursting with ingredients (e.g. Charboys or Miel), so my first impression was that the patty was somewhat thinner than expected. Nevertheless, as mentioned, it was exceptionally well seasoned, tender, and it came with a hint of spiciness which really left an impression on me. The cheese was delicious and melty, whilst the bacon was juicy whilst crispy. The meat to vege ratio was quite good too, offering a balance of freshness for the burger. The bun was a soft white bun, considering the high standard the patty set, the bread itself felt like a bit of an afterthought.

As a side, we ordered the large chips with szechuan pepper. The chips were thick cut and very crunchy. I really enjoyed the pepper, which gave it quite a zing and definitely made it stand out compared to all the other chips out there.


As for our drinks, I had the home brewed passion pop, whilst my friend had a vanilla and strawberry thick shake. The drinks were quite the contrast, with mine being cool, refreshing and not very sweet, whilst my friend's was very sweet, but very delicious. She noted the ground vanilla seeds and whole strawberry seeds spread through the drink. We both agreed however that the choice of a paper straw wasn't ideal, as mine became soggy halfway through my drink, and she found it difficult to drink hers through such a narrow straw.

Price Range: $10 - $20pp

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

Burger Project Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato