Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Lost Bean - Southbank

Had a full day work seminar at Southbank last week, and decided to motivate myself to stay awake the full day by making sure I had a good breakfast before going in. Not really being familiar with the brunch scene along Southbank, I did a bit of research and decided to try out Lost Bean, situated along Grey Street, near where Chester Street used to be. 

The menu comprised of fairly standard cafe fare, with coffees and breakfast food. It was fairly busy in the morning. I lined up and ordered at the counter.

Grabbing a number, I got a table at the bar and watched as people walked by whilst awaiting my meal.

After a relatively long wait (whereby I saw quite a few people who ordered takeaway before me get theirs after I did. When my large cappuccino did arrive, I noted the froth had gone a bit flat from sitting on the counter for too long, and the coffee was barely lukewarm. There was also a noticeable lack of cocoa on my cappuccino, making for a fairly disappointing cup of coffee.

My food came several minutes after the coffee.

This was the breakfast board. I chose the sourdough toast option, but I don't think I was given sourdough. The toast I had tasted a lot more like rye bread and came out cold and hard, so the butter wasn't able to melt on top of course. The mushrooms were reasonably seasoned at least and tasted fine, but the bacon was one of the worst I've ever had. Despite being quite oily, there were some parts of it that were so dry and hard it was almost like a piece of jerky. It was also overwhelmingly salty and I had to leave most of it, which is quite unheard of when it comes to me and bacon. At least they managed to do poached eggs well enough though.

Wanting to also have a side of avocado to go with my toast, I was somewhat dismayed to see that my $3 side amounted to just less than one quarter of an avocado. Given the prices of avocados lately, I was very disappointed indeed.

Price Range: $10 - $25pp

Taste: 2/10
Value: 3/10
Service: 5/10
Environment: 5/10

Lost Bean Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Mocha Monkees - Fortitude Valley

I received a very gracious invite last week from Patrick, the manager of Mocha Monkees, situated along Wickham Street of Fortitude Valley. Being within walking distance to work, I took the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing weekday lunch with my colleague Spiderman, whilst Iron Fist was away. The brisk walk was very enjoyable, and we reached our destination at our agreed time of 11.45am, as usual, before the lunch rush.

The cafe was small and cosy, very well lit with large windows. We found a comfy corner seat. Patrick came to greet us and advised that they had recently transitioned from being a branch of Stellarossa last April.



The menu was provided to us, and comprised of fairly standard cafe fare. We were particularly interested in the all day breakfast, but other than this, there were also a selection of hot subs, soups, burgers and pizza. Compared to the prices of cafes in the city though, these were exceptionally good value.

Of course the pastry cabinet added to our list of temptations, but we stuck to our decision and settled for the all day breakfast options.

Ordering at the counter, we got a number and awaited our meals.

Having successfully beaten the lunch rush, our meals came fairly quickly, just as the cafe started to get very busy.

Our drinks were the Berry Smoothie and the Mango Smoothie. Both were very smooth, creamy and had a strong yoghurt taste without being too icy and significant hints of fruitiness. With their large portion sizes, these were definitely very good value.

For food, Spiderman ordered the Verdura Benedict, comprising of poached eggs, spinach and mushroom on sourdough with hollandaise, and a side of chorizo. Again, we found it to be very good value and portion for the price. Although the eggs weren't completely runny, they were fairly gelatinous on the inside, and the hollondaise gave it considerable moisture. The chorizo was very meaty and the faint spice added considerable depth to the meal.

I opted for the Mediterrani, which contained Fried eggs, bacon, haloumi, tomato, red onion and avocado on sourdough with a balsamic vinegarette with an add on side of hash brown. The breakfast was massive. I found the sourdough to be quite dense and filling, the bacon was fairly thin cut but could have been a little crispier and the eggs had a nice crispy exterior. The avocado was ripe and delicious and the tomatoes were well caramelised. I especially liked the fact that the dish had just the right amount of balsamic, generous without drowning the plate. 

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

Price Range: $ 15 - $25pp

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

Mocha Monkees Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Excellent Cup - Underwood

With the growing popularity of Underwood Marketplace, it was inevitable that with that many eateries opening, a bubble tea shop was bound to follow. I had initially expected one of the larger chains to snap up a shopfront, or maybe another one of those cheese foam places, instead I was quite pleased to see that Excellent Cup, with only one other store along Pinelands Centro opened there. 

Compared to the more contemporary stores, the menu was quite traditional, with the standard bubble tea options with standard type toppings. Prices were also comparatively very reasonable. I've recently become quite a fan of their strawberry milk and was pleased to also see it on the menu. 

The setup was really adorable, and we ordered via counter service. As usual, ice and sugar levels were adjustable. I note that they have also gotten onboard the rewardle loyalty card system as opposed to holding (yet another) paper card. 

Despite there being only one guy making drinks in store, and a massive lineup, our drinks were prepared very quickly, also conveniently split between two bags, one for hot and one for cold drinks.


Both of my companions ordered Coconut Jelly milk tea, one hot and one cold. They both found the tea to be reasonably fragrant and the fresh milk to be smooth and creamy. For some reason there was a slight sour taste to the jelly though. 


Wanting to try something different, I tried the Matcha Latte with matcha pudding. Turns out you can't really see it because its all the same colour. Of note, the pudding is cut into large cubes which weren't easy to suck up the straw. The matcha latte was quite strong, which I liked and not overpowered by sugar. The pudding also had a delicious smooth texture and inconvenience to finish it aside (having to rip open the cup and pour it into my mouth whilst in public), I found it quite tasty.

Price Range: $4 - $7pp

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

Excellent Cup Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 20 August 2018

John Mills Himself - Brisbane CBD

All good food bloggers know, often the best food and drink can be found at the end of dark alleyways. That, or an axe murderer. But with a love of food that is so great that I risk my life on a regular basis, I found myself walking down a no so dark alleyway to the infamous cafe, John Mills Himself, situated behind Jia Ba Way. 

Inside was a sanctuary for coffee lovers of all kinds. With a warm but rustic setup, a buzzing vibe the scent of coffee wafting through my nostrils, it was very inviting indeed. Service was, of course via the counter and I opted for a seat rather than getting to go.

I opted for a batch brew coffee, with a side of skim milk (served without the judgment that some pourover coffee purists often look at me with). Blend of the day was Dark Horse by Five senses. Taste wise it was decidedly fruity, with a strong blackcurrant taste, hints of plum and syrup. This finished off with some chocolatey undertones and was thoroughly enjoyable for me. Definitely worth the walk, I will be back soon for another cup.

Price Range: Under $10pp

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

John Mills Himself Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 17 August 2018

Jia Ba Way - Brisbane CBD

For those who know me personally, my second favourite cuisine of choice (after Japanese) would undoubtedly be Taiwanese. Having traveled extensively throughout the country, I can truly say that whilst my physical form has returned to Australia, my heart will forever remain in Taiwan (munching fried chicken in the night markets of Shilin). Sadly, there is a defined shortage of Taiwanese food (read as NONE AT ALL) in the Brisbane CBD area. With the closure of Re PIT in Elizabeth Arcade a few years back, I've been constantly left with unsatisfied cravings that have had to wait for my weekend trips to Sunnybank, so when I heard about the opening of Jia Ba Way, literally, are you full yet? from the highly respected Brisvegustation, I ran, not walked, all the way over to their lodgings on Elizabeth Street to get my fix.

As the name and signage suggests, they serve authentic Taiwanese food and drink. I was getting super hyped.

Heading in, it was order via counter service. The menu comprised of some classic traditional rice and noodle options, with my favourite deep fried side dishes.

Getting a number, I headed inside. The shop was surprisingly big, but filled up extremely fast, being full by the time I finished my meal.

My meal came out fairly quickly after. Yes, I ate this all by myself, because I couldn't bare to share it with anyone.

First up was the watermelon juice. As the drink to accompany my meal, it was sweet, refreshing and delicious. Having suffered the misfortune before of drinking watered down watermelon juice, I was thankful that this drink was 100% the real thing.

As a side, I ordered the deep fried king oyster mushrooms. These were lightly battered in tempura coating, and fried to a golden brown. Mushrooms inside remained juicy whilst the coating was wonderfully crisp. Portion size was also good value.

Last was my fried chicken noodle.

Compared to the mushroom as a side portion, the chicken was unquestionably small. WIth only four strips to the piece, it was a far cry from my beloved Hot Star. As with most Taiwanese Chicken, it was coated with potato starch before frying, resulting in a piece of fried chicken that tastes like its coated in potato chips, all the while retaining a juicy interior. Despite the size, I found the chicken to be very tasty, but would have preferred it larger.

When ordering noodles, I was expecting soup noodles, but they were actually dry noodles topped with pork mince, fresh veges, pickled veges and a tea egg. The noodles were tender, and mixed thoroughly with a soy based sauce which was highly enjoyable. The egg was thoroughly marinated with even the yolk infused with flavour and the vegies were also fresh. I really enjoyed the meal and will need to calm myself down from this hype and come back again with friends.

Price Range: $10 - $20pp

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

Jia Ba Way Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato