Sunday, 29 October 2017

Comebuy - Brisbane CBD

As a traditional HongKonger, there is nothing that reminds me of home more than egg waffles (sometimes called eggettes or puffles).  Readers would have read of my struggles to find a store in Brisbane that sells authentic egg waffles. That is, until I stumbled on ComeBuy. Having been to their Sydney stores and always made a point to go get some and bring it home to Brisbane, I was really happy to see they finally expanded up here.


The menu was pretty much exactly the same as I remembered, with a large selection of teas, noticeably no coffees, as well as a small selection of original and flavoured eggettes.

Ordering at the counter, both drinks and snacks were freshly made. The wait for eggettes is a little longer as they needed to be made in the waffle iron.

The first time I went, I took them back to my office to sit down before savouring them.


The original eggettes tasted wonderful fresh. They had a yummy crispy exterior and a soft chewy interior that tastes just like home. I offered Iron Fist some and he said it reminded him of a waffle crossed with a crepe, which I guess is an adept description. The tea was fresh and lightly sweetened. Their menu only contained full, three quarters or half sweetness, but when asked, they gave me quarter sweetness, which I really appreciated. The tea was a little on the light side, but very refreshing.

Since I loved the experience so much, I took a friend to go with me the day after. This time we decided to grab a seat inside the store and munch on our snacks.

On top of the original eggettes, we also had a serve of the malteaser ones, which were essentially chocolate flavoured. I found the chocolate to be very strong and fragrant, without the excessive sweetness, but for malteasers, it was a little lacking in malt taste. Texture was again, spot on.


My companion settled on the brown sugar milk tea, which she had with half sugar. She found it to be refreshing, but not overly creamy though. The taste and fragrance were definite highlights for her, especially the molasses flavours in the milk tea which she quite liked.


Trying something new, I had the Orange Taiwan Oolong, unsweetened. It came with a huge hit of orange taste and smell (even small amounts of pulp), but was definitely not sweet at all. I liked how it combined with the tea to make a very fragrant combination, especially for a hot day.

Price Range: $4 - $10pp

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

Comebuy Tea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Nest - Brisbane CBD

Long term readers would remember that one of my earliest reviews was at Nest restaurant, situated conveniently at the Jen hotel near Roma Street Parklands. More than two years on, I've been invited back again along with the Tomcat family to try out their new food and cocktail menu designed by head chef Mark Young. 

Whilst the food had changed, the setting and decor was largely the same. We took the lift to level two of the restaurant where our table was already set for us. I loved the personalised touch of the named chalkboard which was very cute. With less crowds than the opening that we went to, we were able to better appreciate the decor without obstruction. I enjoyed the natural hues of the bamboo theme.  


Soon after arriving, our drinks that night were prepared by the delightful bartender Simo. Our first round of cocktails included the Brisbane Mule, a delightfully fruity concoction with mango juice, vodka and Bundaberg Ginger beer, bringing out to essence of Queensland. The green drink was the Nest Garden Martini, containing gin, lychee, cucumber, mint and lime for a really refreshing hit. Third in that round was the Blushing Geisha, with vodka, liqueur 43, vanilla, lime and strawberry. Despite tasting quite mild, it packed the biggest hit in terms of alcohol. 


Second round cocktails include the Nest in the City, a raspberry vodka, Cointreau, rum, cranberry and lime drink which was inspired by the infamous sex in the city. We also had the Honey Collins, containing, whiskey, lemon, apple and honey. This drink was particularly impressive for us as the honey was sourced from their garden on the roof of the hotel. Last but not least, no cocktails would be complete without my standard espresso martini, which was both smooth and strong. 


Other than the cocktails, for our non drinkers, two mocktails were provided that evening. Both were exceptionally well received. 

As we started on our drinks, baby Tomcat was provided with a children's kit as well as a dish of spaghetti bolognaise which she finished quite quickly before resuming her colouring. 

Our entrees were served really promptly and individually introduced by our super friendly waitress Ayoko as we were still savouring the drinks.

This was the sticky beef Wanton. It came with a super crispy deep fried pastry outside and a soft sticky beef filling. The beef was extremely tender and melted in my mouth and was seasoned with a delicious sweet soy taste. Served with mayonnaise gave the dish an extra smooth texture. 

Next we had the prawn toast. Whilst fundamentally similar to this standard toast with prawn mince on top, it was executed quite well with really crunchy bread and flavoursome fresh prawns. It was topped with yuzu mayonnaise and fresh herbs, giving the standard dish a slight fusion twist. 

These were the satay chicken skewers. They were nicely charred on the edges, but was also quite dry on the inside. This was redeemed in part by the nutty satay sauce served on the side that was sweet without being overly so. 

Our last entree was the crowd favourite double cooked lamb ribs. It came with a sweet and sour sauce along with chilli, lime and mint. The meat was so tender it fell off the bone for us and the flesh retained its delicious meaty texture. The sauce was also really strong and overcame any gamey taste that lamb would have had. This was Mrs Tomcats favourite lamb dish of all time. 

Soon after our entrees were cleared, our mains were brought by the delightful Ayoko. 

First off we have the stir fried morning glory with garlic, chilli and yellow bean. To me, this is quite a homey dish which my mum makes quite often. I found it to be fresh and well executed. 

We also had a large bowl of jasmine rice to share. It was very fragrant and topped with crispy fried onion which added more fragrance to the bowl.

 This was the crispy tea smoked duck with caramelised mandarin sauce. Whilst I did find the duck to be quite smokey, but not quite crispy. The mandarin sauce was quite sweet and tangy was though which was well liked by the table. 

The beef cheek curry came with green beans and peanuts. It was exceptionally smooth and creamy, but also really quite spicy. My companions really enjoyed the tender beef cheeks which were very fresh and the beans and peanuts really balanced the dish out well. 

My favourite for the night was the broken chicken and prawn salad served with coconut, lime and macadamia. The whole dish was very fresh and healthy. I loved the light and delicate taste of the prawns and chicken coupled with the crunch of macadamia and zest if lime. It really freshened up my palate. 

Tomcats favourite dish of the night was none other than his beloved five spiced pork belly. Each giant cube was perfectly seasoned with a salty and peppery taste which I love. The meat wasn’t chewy or overly fatty and melted right in my mouth. I really enjoyed it. 

Third and final course that night was dessert. This was served with much grace and hospitality from our waitress. 

First dessert was the deep fried peanut butter ice cream with a salted caramel sauce. I really enjoyed the contrasting temperatures of the fried exterior and icy cold interior, but found the ice cream to be lacking in peanut taste, largely because it was overwhelmed by the sweet and salty caramel. 

Our final dessert was the coconut tapioca with caramel, passion fruit sorbet and puffed rice. This was gonna favourite dessert as the caramel wasn’t too strong and I was able to sample the delicate coconut flavours along with the sour passion fruit. Puffed rice also gave it an exciting crunch which we liked.

From when I reviewed Nest last time, there has definitely been a marked improvement in the quality of their food, which is very impressive.

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 9.5/10
Environment: 9/10

Espresso & Matcha were invited guests of Nest, but as always our opinions are solely our own.

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

Monday, 23 October 2017

Gong Cha - Sunnybank

Being a regular at Sunnybank, I haven't failed to notice the long overdue closure of  Easyway and the flashy new opening of Gong Cha in its place. Quite a few close companions of mine swear by the tea at Gong Cha, but my personal preference would still be for Coco which has opened its doors in Sydney but not yet come to Brisbane. Arriving a little early for an appointment last Saturday, we noticed that the line wasn't as long at Gong Cha as it we were now used to expecting, so my companion convinced me to go grab a drink with her.

Finding a table to sit down, my companion was gone for about 20 mins getting the drinks, which is considerably longer than Chatime, but still within reason.


She ordered an Earl Grey Milk Tea half sugar no ice, whereas I had a Green Tea with no sugar no ice. The first thing we noticed was that neither of the drinks were remotely cold at all. Whilst we did order it without ice, other tea bars usually shake it up enough to reasonably chill the drinks, whereas these two came lukewarm. My companion found her milk tea to be extremely rich and creamy though lacking in the fragrance department. My tea though was very strong and bitter which I did appreciate, though would rather it have been better chilled.

Price Range: $4 - $7pp

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

Gong Cha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato