Saturday, 29 April 2017

51st Street - Brisbane CBD

Last week I met a sorely missed friend for a long overdue catch up. At the recommendation of Mr Burger Connoisseur who has long been scubadiving, we went to 51st Street to try out their burgers. Being situated on George Street means its on the other side of town for me, and would take me at least 20min to walk there and a further 20min to get back, which would make it impossible for me to finish in the lunch, so we made plans for dinner.

Arriving a little early meant I got time to peruse the massive menu 

We got a table behind the mesh wire, away from the bar.

Water was served quite promptly, chilled too. 

We were also provided with a menu. We were here for the burgers, obviously, but they had quite a large selection of non burger options such as sandwiches, bowls and sides to choose from. Having been acquainted with the menu at the entrance, it didn't take long for us to put our order down at the counter.

Our food arrived not long after. My companion and I both ordered the Streets Classic Cheeseburger and had a cheese and bacon loaded fries to share.

Whilst the burger looked really appealing, with its puffy shiny bun, it was in actual fact quite disappointing. The bun wasn't warm at all, with a room temperature exterior and a slightly chilled centre. The bun wasn't the only thing that wasn't warm enough, as the patty was room temperature at best, which is why you can see the cheese in the photo was not melted at all. As for sauces, not much was apparent, but after biting into our burgers, water (or some kind of lukewarm meat juices) started dripping out of it, which was quite unappealing. As for taste, the patty was quite bland, and the lack of sauces made for a somewhat tasteless burger.

The cheese and bacon loaded fries really weren't much better than the burger. The chips were freshly fried, but not overly crunchy, the bacon was salty but a tad too oily, but the most disappointing was the cheese, which was extremely plastic-y and not very hot (so not very melty).

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

Taste: 4/10
Value: 5/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 7/10
51st Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Hot Cake House - Brisbane CBD

Walking to the bus stop after work one day, I couldn't help but notice that Hot Cake House from Sunnybank Plaza had opened up a branch in the CBD, opposite Krispy Kreme. With prices still under $2.50 a piece, it made for a cheap afternoon snack, so I grabbed two to eat on the way home.

Ordering at the counter, I noticed that they had a lot more control over their stock levels. When I go to their Sunnybank store, usually half or all of the flavours I pick are sold out, and I have to wait around to have some freshly made. They seemed to have at least a few of each flavour in the CBD though.


Despite being already made by the time I picked them up, my hot cakes were still quite warm. Both the coffee and matcha flavours were very strong, but not overbearing, and had a mild sweetness that didn't overcome the main flavours. The custard inside was smooth and comforting and the pastry wasn't overly thick. It made for a fast and delicious afternoon treat.

Price Range: Under $2.50 per piece

Taste: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 7/10
Hot Cake House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Madame Rouge - Fortitude Valley

On the Thursday before the long long weekend, a friend and I decided to go somewhere nice for dinner to unwind before the much deserved break. Having long been on my go to list, I took the opportunity to book one of the last tables at Madame Rouge for the evening.

From the outside, the restaurant was quite secluded, with heavy curtains on all windows, I was a little surprised not to be able to peer inside. Upon entering though, the reasoning was evident. It was as if we had been transported back to the Paris of old, with its strong noir theme. The whole place was quite dimly lit by candles and lamps which really added to the atmosphere. 

Booking somewhat late, I only had a choice between a shared long table, or a place at the bar, as individual tables had been fully reserved. Naturally, I opted for the bar option so I could watch some of the bartender's performance through the evening.

Water was provided almost immediately by our friendly and attentive waiter, Tony.


The menu was provided on one double sided sheet, with food on one side and drinks on the other side. Whilst the menu wasn't long, it contained all the essential french fare.


Our cocktails arrived quite quickly after ordering. My companion had a French Martini and I had the Southside. With the pineapple juice and raspberry liqueur in hers, she found it quite sweet and delightful. Mine was very sharp with a strong lime flavour and mint, which made for a very appetizing drink.

Our entrees came not long after. My companion ordered the Souffle. I stole a bite before she began, and loved it. It was super rich and had the cheese would string a little as I scooped into it.  I loved the super strong flavour of the goats cheese, but my companion who ate the rest of it said it really filled her up before her main.

My entree was without a doubt the Tartare de Boeuf. The tartare was delightfully well seasoned with a strong vinegarette and pepper, topped with an egg yolk. The beef was deliciously fresh and I loved the texture. It was served with a portion of potato lattices, which tasted like potato chips but a little less oily and a little lighter. It complemented the tartare well.

For our mains, my companion had the Agneau, which was a lamb rump with dried cured sausage and truffled white beans. I also got to try a piece before she started, and found the lamb to be very tender and slightly pink on the inside. The sauce was very strong, and she felt it a little on the salty side. 

Although a little repetitive when considering my entree, I had the Steak Frites (I just really like my steak and potatoes, especially when fried (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧). Tonight the cut of steak was the Sirloin, and I had it rare. My initial impression was that the steak was a smaller than others I've had. It was indeed cooked rare, but for some reason it was very chewy and had quite a few tendons in it which were difficult to cut up. The pepper sauce was a definite highlight, and it gave the dish a lot of flavour. The portion of chips was quite big, so big that I didn't have enough sauce for all of it. Although I had no doubt they were freshly made, it had a taste more like long pieces of roasted potatoes than fries, in the sense that they weren't that crispy, but had a tougher chewier skin akin to roast potatoes.

Being quite full after our meal, we still shared a dessert. The special that evening was the Peach Tart with Rose Ice Cream. The peach tart was very tasty with a crumbly biscuit base and topped with sweet caramelised peach. The rose ice cream was equally fragrant as it was refreshing and rounded off the meal quite well.
Price Range: $60 - $80pp

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10

Madame Rouge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Kinn Imm - Brisbane CBD

After a very trying day at work, I was grateful to have a lunch meetup with BrisvEGustation to try out Kinn Imm at situated opposite New Shanghai at Queens Plaza. Having been open for a little while now, I was surprised to arrive to a bit of a line. 

With the menu situated outside, I liked the ability to peruse my options before getting a seat.

Despite the line, we were able to get a table very quickly, within 5 minutes. Service was very fast throughout, with customers coming and going at quite a fast pace.

We were given two menus, one lunch special menu with relatively simpler and cheaper dishes, and one a la carte menu.

Our drinks came quite promptly, BrisvEGustation had the Thai Milk Tea, whilst I had the Thai Iced Coffee. Quite a few of my readers would know, I like to have my drinks with reduced sugar, so I can have a better appreciation of the other flavours in the drink without the sweetness overload. Unfortunately, the drinks were premade, so I didn't have this option. My coffee, apart from being very very sweet, did have some relatively strong coffee, although it really wasn't that fragrant.

For my main, I ordered a Stewed Beef Soup, and got the extra rice noodles. The noodles were thin and rather tender, I really enjoyed them and only wish they had a bit more. The beef was strongly flavoured, although parts were a little more fatty than I would have liked. The meatballs were also quite delicious, and the soup had a herbal homey flavour to it.

To share, we got a portion of garlic and chive dumplings, which were served piping hot fresh from the frier. Although I liked how crunchy it was, I found the outside batter to be very very thick, to the point where the interior was soft and doughy. There was quite a bit of chives inside, but the garlic was somewhat lost on me. We both agreed that it was quite bland and would have been rather tasteless had it not been for the sauce provided on the side. I was also a little surprised at the complete lack of meat on the inside.

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

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

Kinn Imm Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 17 April 2017

Taros Ramen - Brisbane CBD

Last week, my colleague and I had a booking for Otto. Fortunately (or unfortunately), he was struck down by the flu. Unfortunately, we both agreed that it would be a shame for him to eat at Otto whilst sick, so we cancelled the reservation. Fortunately, I convinced him that Ramen was the best cure for a cold. So we opted to go to Taros, which was conveniently situated right downstairs. Arriving just before 12, the restaurant was relatively empty, and we promptly ordered at the counter.


Aside from their full menu, they also had the monthly special, Iekei Ramen, which consists of the regular Tonkotsu soup with some added chicken oil to give it more stickiness, coupled with thick straight noodles. Obviously, I settled for that one.

We were given a number upon ordering. As usual, water and sauces were available on a self serve basis.

Our ramen arrived very soon after. My companion opted for the shio ramen. With its sea salt soup base, it was quite clear had a very strong chicken taste to it. It was served with curly egg noodles. My sickly companion enjoyed how nourishing it was and felt significantly better afterwards.

As mentioned, I had the monthly special, Iekei Ramen. Compared to the Shio Ramen, the soup was definitely far more thicker and creamier. The added oils on top ensured that the soup clung to the noodles with every bite. The charsiu was very tender, and almost broke apart as I lifted it from the bowl. I also enjoyed the egg, which was perfectly cooked with a half runny yolk and a well seasoned egg white.

We had two sides to share, the Karaage Chicken, and Gyoza. Whilst the ramen was as up to its usual brilliant standard, the sides disappointed us a little. The chicken was a quite soggy and dripping in oil, although well seasoned. The dumpling skin was a little thicker than it sued to be, and the base was more hard than crispy. 

Price Range: $10 - $20 pp

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

Taro's Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 14 April 2017

Brown Dog Cafe - Woolloongabba

Last weekend, we decided to search for somewhere new to scratch the brunch itch. Living in the southside, we decided not to venture north of the river that morning. After doing some shopping at the nearby FujiMart, my companions and I headed to Brown Dog Cafe in Woollonggabba for a bite to eat. With the weather considerably cooling, we were glad to have come at this time of the year, as they didn't have air conditioning.

The menu was short, but concise, and contained quite a few traditional breakfast staples. 

We ordered via counter service, and got a table inside. The setup was quite rustic with its mismatched wooden tables and chairs. 


Our drinks came soon after ordering, with my two companions ordering a Banana Smoothie and Iced Coffee respectively. Both relished in their cool refreshing drinks. On the other hand, I opted for the cappuccino, which was quite strong, even at a single shot, although the milk wasn't overly rich. 

Whislt the food did take a little long to arrive, we didn't mind too much as we were soon preoccupied with the jenga they provided to patrons.

My companion ordered the dog's breakfast, with an added serve of beans on the side. Whilst the haloumi was a little over done, she did find the dish to be quite filling. The beans were also very well seasoned. 

I ordered the big dog's breakfast, which was all of the dogs breakfast with added bacon and scrambled eggs. The scrambled eggs were very much fluffy and perforated, tasting a little bit like an egg cake or an egg souffle rather than scrambled eggs.  The portion of bacon was very generous, and done quite well with only little bits toasted, unlike the haloumi which was quite covered in overly toasted bits. The avocado was deliciously ripe, and the toast was quite filling. The only thing I would have preferred would have been the option for poached or sunny side up eggs instead.

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

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

Brown Dog Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato