Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Doo Bop Jazz Bar - Brisbane CBD

Most of my readers by now would have realised my deep affection for video games, but another less known passion I have is for Jazz. Having been to the Brisbane Jazz Club at Kangaroo Point several times, I was quite pleased to hear that there would be a new Jazz Bar, Doo Bop opening in the CBD. Despite wanting to go to the opening night, tickets were sold out very quickly, and so I settled on going the second week. The pace consisted of two levels, a Jazz bar in the basement, and a Piano bar at ground level. We opted for the two course dinner and tickets to Mal Wood's performance on Saturday night at the basement.

Wanting to get good seats, we arrived a little early and were the first ones to arrive. Seats were already allocated, and we had the middle table in the second row which was ideal.


Having purchased the ticket with a two course dinner, we were able to choose a main and a dessert from their menu. Drinks are sold separately.


Drinks wise, we decided on a citrus mocktail, a watermelon chili cocktail and some white wine, all of which were thoroughly enjoyed that evening.

Being one of the earlier arrivals, our food came quickly and we were able to get a good look at it before the lights dimmed. As a jazz restaurant I liked that they made an effort to create a creole/new orleans themed menu to make our experience all the more authentic.

One companion ordered the Cajun Spiced Lamb Shoulder with Hoppin' John. For those who didn't know (myself included), Hoppin John is a South Carolina dish made with black eyed peas and rice, often eaten in on New Years Day for good luck. I tried the lamb which (although small four a shoulder), was very tender and I loved the strong cajun spices.

My other companion ordered the red mullet, prawn and scallop jambalaya, which was a Louisiana style dish similar to Paella. I also tried some of this dish, and found the prawn to be particularly satisfying with its char grilled exterior but still moist interior. 

My main was the Braised Rabbit Pappardelle, which stood out and piqued my curiosity. The pasta was fresh and quite dense, which made it very filling. I enjoyed the rabbit, which was similar to chicken, but with a more gamey texture. The mushroom sauce was strongly flavoured but not too heavy in texture.

The show started after our meals had arrived, and it was just spectacular. We all really appreciated the great music and the passion the performers had for their art.

Dessert though, came during the act, and I definitely struggled to take good pictures in the dim light. Special mention to Queen V who held the candle for me to take these shots. This was the pecan pie, which was supposed to come with a cinnamon milkshake. We didn't manage to identify the milkshake, but that may have been the cinnamon cream on top. The pecan pie was very crunchy, but with a very hard base that was difficult to break apart being the downside.

The highlight of our desserts was no doubt Queen V's key lime pie. With the strong tang of lime, coupled with lemon curd and the sweetness of vanilla ice cream, it made for a really strong tasting and memorable dessert.

My choice of dessert was the apple pie, which was served delightfully warmed and on a shortbread base. The apple was quite deliciously caramelised, and the texture contrasted well with the crumbly biscuit base. 

Price Range: $53pp

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

Doo-Bop Jazz Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Burger Project - Brisbane CBD

Having gone to the Burger Project at Southbank, readers would know that I wasn't overly impressed by the burgers there, but seeing as another one opened within 5 minutes of my work, I decided it would be worth a second try. Wanting to peruse the menu online, I found that they had facilities to preorder online and pickup. Those who are familiar with my blog will know that I am easily won over by convenience and efficiency, so naturally I ordered online.

I appreciated the broad range of burgers on the menu (with full options when it comes to alterations), and also liked that they also had a selection of "feasts" for large orders at a discount. 

So I put my order through for a 11.45am pickup, to avoid the lunch rush.

Arriving just before my order was ready, there was a small buildup of people who had come to get lunch.

Having pre ordered though, I was able to avoid the queue and just await my name to be called, during which, I took some time to appreciate some of the interior decoration.

Service was friendly, but still a little chaotic as the store had only been open for less than a week, but our order was still ready right on 11.45am, and we quickly took it back up to the office.

Between the two of us, we shared a Chicken Katsu Burger with Bacon, and a Double Burger along with a side of chips each.

The chicken katsu was a little squished by the time it got back, and wasn't very photogenic. Nevertheless, the chicken thigh fillet was one of the crunchiest I've had in a burger, despite the sauce. It was well seasoned and juicy, though I would have preferred the texture of breast fillet more than thigh fillet. Of interest, the burger came with both chopped up lettuce inside as well as the big lettuce leaf you can see in the picture, both were very fresh.

The double we had didn't get squished and as such was far more camera-ready. Both patties were deliciously crumbly and still pink on the inside. The cheese glued it together well and the salad was fresh. The only improvement I would have suggested was the bun, which was a little more sugary than I would have preferred. 

As for my sides, I had the chips with special sauce and some strawberry soda. The chips were amazingly crispy and crunchy to the last piece. The sauce was a combination of cream, bacon and chives, which proved to be quite tasty. I also quite enjoyed the soda which had real strawberry pieces in it.

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

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

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

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Bread For You - Eight Mile Plains

One evening, after a delicious meal at Cha Kee Too, we decided to take a quick after dinner stroll around Warrigal Square. Like an oasis in a desert, Bread for You, a popular Korean bakery and cake store, lit up the dark night as if beckoning me to them. As someone with very little self restraint when it comes to food (especially baked goods), I gave into the temptation.

Quite a few adorable cakes were on display. A friend had previously shared a matcha roll cake from their store with me, but it was disappointing due to its coarse texture and being sugary without much matcha taste, so tonight I didn't settle for cake, but instead decided on their bread selection.

Growing up on a staple of custard buns from Cheungs, I naturally gravitated to their custard bun option. Rather than being filled with custard, it was more clam shaped, and folded over with custard on the inside. The bun was quite smooth on the outside and had a soft interior. The custard was a little sweeter than what I am accustomed to, but was still very delicious, and for breakfast, it was quite enjoyable.

Price Range: Under $5 for their range of breads

Taste: 7/10
Value: 7/10 (a little more expensive than bread top)
Service: 7/10
Environment: 8/10

Bread for You Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 19 June 2017

Hey Sweets! - Sunnybank Hills

Going past Pinelands Centro daily on the bus means that I was one of the earlier ones to notice that Sweet Treats had closed down and reopened as Hey Sweets!. Coming to a total of four drink/dessert stores in the vicinity meant that we were spoilt for choice every time we decided to go for after dinner drinks. Wanting to try something new, we settled on Hey Sweets, which has not many reviews since their rebranding.

Stepping inside, decor has remained largely the same, with its largely orange theme, there were only minor adjustments to signage and items on display it was almost the same as the Sweet Treats store.

The display cabinet contained a number of cakes and slices. But we settled on something more warming that evening.

One companion got a warming tofu dessert, which she commented was smooth and silky, although there seemed to be a little less syrup to accompany the tofu, nevertheless my friend did enjoy it.

Feeling quite full after dinner, I decided to try their unique rose latte. It came topped with a few dried rose petal pieces, and was very fragrant. Unfortunately, I found the coffee too bitter for my liking, but without packing the usually strong caffeine hit. The milk was also not very rich either, but the drink itself was extremely hot when set down, definitely not the most enjoyable coffee I've had.

Price Range: $5 - $15pp

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

Hey,  Sweets! Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 16 June 2017

Little Dreamer - Calamvale

Having been converted to being a brunch fan since around two years ago, I've definitely gotten on board with the popularity of breakfast share boards which flood my instagram feed. Living on the southside, it would usually take me a substantial drive up to New Farm to find a decent one. That is until I learned that Little Dreamers, who opened its doors earlier in the year at Calamvale, a short 10 minute drive from home, had started serving up delicious breakfast boards as well, I was very interested to try it out, which is why I found myself there with two companions mid morning last Saturday. 

There were indoors as well as outdoor seating, but we opted for an indoor setting away from the glare of the sun.


Decor was simple but elegant, I thought those two vases of roses were quite pretty.


The menu had quite a few breakfast options, the owner Shawn explained to me that they had both traditional and contemporary options, but I already knew what I was there for, and there was no deliberation as to what our choice of breakfast would be.

Other than the options on the menu, there was also a delightful pastry cabinet with a selection of bread, slices and drinks. 


On the topic of drinks, ours came not long after ordering. My companions had a latte and a cappuccino, whereas I had the matcha latte. Both coffees had silky smooth milk, which my companions really enjoyed, although trying a sip, I would have preferred a stronger coffee. Perhaps next time I will get a double shot. As for my matcha latte, it was also smooth and rich, interestingly strong in match a taste without the usual bitterness, making it quite enjoyable.


Having ordered the family breakfast board, we were advised that there would be a slight wait due to the time taken to piece the board together, and I have to say, it was well worth the wait.

Coming out in two levels, the bottom level was filled with savory breakfast staples, whilst the top level was packed with sweet treats. It took quite a bit of work before I could find a good angle to fit the whole board onto one photo! Speaking to the owners, I was told that they drew much inspiration from the food photos all over the internet, combining the concept with their chef to create this masterpiece.

Starting from the bottom, there was sourdough toast, bacon, sausages, hash browns, haloumi, scrambled and fried eggs, avocado, mushrooms, tomato and spinach. The avocado was not as ripe as I would have liked it, but not overly hard. The egg had a crispy edge around a runny egg yolk, which was quite delicious, as for the scrambled eggs, it was extremely fluffy. I enjoyed the crunchy hash brown, which was freshly fried, and the portion of bacon was quite generous. The haloumi was also well fried without being overly toasted, and the mushrooms were seasoned well. I had some avocado on the toast, but found it slightly dry and lacking in jams or sauces, speaking to the owners afterwards, they advised that this could be requested separately. Next time I go, I will definitely ask for it.

The top layer comprised of pancakes, berry compote, some fruits, chocolate, popcorn, ice cream and fairy floss. Compared to the lower level, there was definitely enough condiment for this portion. By the time we started, the ice cream had melted a little and combined with the berry compote to make quite a delicious mixture to top the pancakes. Compared to other pancakes I've had in other establishments, these ones leaned towards the more heavy and dense side of the spectrum, which ensured it was quite filling, though I know that some people do like their pancakes fluffier. The fruits were fresh and sweet, which my companions appreciated, and the ice cream cone was very crunchy, allowing for a contrast in texture. 

We had a great time at Little Dreamer, and look forward to coming here again. Of course given the size of that breakfast the three of us did not have any room to fit in lunch that day.

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

Price Range: $55 for the family board

Taste: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10

Little Dreamer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato