Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Cinnabon - Toombul

With the year coming to a close, American chain store Cinnabon opened just before the Christmas rush at Toombul Shopping Centre, which meant that we could finally experience some of their infamous Cinnamon Rolls while we rush around with some last minute shopping.

Hitting it up on opening day with a friend meant that we had to brave the long queue to get to the goods. Although there were usually three flavours, original, chocolate and pecan, by the time we got to the front of the line, there was only chocolate remaining. Thankfully this would have been my first choice anyway.

We had one in standard size and one in mini size to go (obviously trying to mitigate the Christmas calories as much as I can). These were messy, doughy and as heartwarming as you would expect. It was inevitable that these would be quite dense and rich, so thankfully I had the mini one as finishing a full sized one would have been a bit much. Can't wait to come back to try their original flavour though!

Price Range: Under $10pp

Taste: 7/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10
Cinnabon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Sweets and Loaves Japanese Bakery - Sunnybank

Had heard a fair bit about the Japanese Bakery in the more obscure side of Sunnybank along Troughton road. I thought I would get to it earlier due to the proximity to my house, but the detour turned out to take longer than I thought it would, but I finally made it there.

The bakery was a lot smaller than I had anticipated, and rather than the self serve types of bakery like bread top, this was fully counter service. The selection was also more limited than I had anticipated, but I picked a few to go.

This was the Choco Custard Bun. The bun was fairly dense and heavy, the outside was smooth and overall it was a fairly decadent bun. It was filled with a small amount of dark chocolate and not a great deal of custard. 

We also had the Melon pan. This looked a lot like your traditional Hong Kong style polo bun, but again it was far more dense, and the top was caked with a crunchy sugar crust which I found a little on the sweeter side. 

Of course it would have been hard to resist the signature Turtle Melon Pan. With its matcha bun and chocolate filling, shaped adorably like a turtle, I found it almost too cute to eat. The taste however wasn't that spectacular, I found the bun to be definitely on the firmer side of the spectrum and again the sugar coating was excessively sweet. 

Price Range: Under $5 per bun

Taste: 5/10
Value: 5/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 5/10

Sweets & Loaves Japanese Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Gotcha - Sunnybank Hills

Belated post, but for the last couple of months, I've been a regular at Gotcha fresh tea, which had recently opened in Pinelands Centro, next to Ho Lin Wah, making direct competition with the nearby Excellent Cup (which I also really enjoy). 

Although the menu wasn't particularly long, it contained an extensive variety of drinks spanning dirty bobba, to fruit teas to cheese foams. 


Between my companion and I, she had the OG Pearl Milk Tea, whereas I had the Strawberry Macchiato. 

She mentioned that the pearl milk tea was very fragrant and refreshing, but not as creamy as other places. The pearls leaned towards the firmer side of the spectrum and had a strong flavour of brown surgar to it, which was very enjoyable.

I had the strawberry macchiato. This was insanely delicious. With fresh strawberries and strawberry puree blended into ice and topped with cheese foam, it stuck a perfect balance between being refreshing and decadent. The only improvement on this would be an ability to moderate sugar levels, which was apparently unavailable, nevertheless, it was an enjoyable drink.

Price Range: $5 - $8pp

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

Gotcha Fresh Tea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 22 December 2019

The Euro - Brisbane CBD

Have long had The Euro on my list of places to try, especially after eating at Urbane earlier in the year. Thinking that as such an established institution it would be around for years still, I kept it on the list for a later date, but only until I realised it would be permanently closing after Christmas this year. At which point I made immediate plans to go. My first reservation with Iron Fist was thwarted due to a storm the night before which meant they couldn't hold the next day's lunch service, luckily another companion of mine, ,the Enigmatic L, decided that it was time for us to go there for a cozy Saturday night dinner.

Arriving later in the evening, and there were several tables already enjoying their dinner. Water was provided as were menus. Having done a bit of reading beforehand, it wasn't hard to make our minds up as to what to get.

Starting off with some baked sourdough and smoked butter, The bread was wholesome and hearty, which I really enjoyed, but would have liked it better if it was served warm. The butter was fragrant and easy to spread.

Our starters came fairly quickly.


Between the two of us, we shared the Huon Salmon Gravlax with Citrus Emulsion and Compressed Apple as well as the Quail Special. The salmon  was light and refreshing, I loved the creamy sauce which contrasted the crisp sour apple. The quail was smokey and tender but a little on the salty side. 

Mains were served almost right after entrees were whisked away.

This was the ‘Cotoletta’, Crumbed Pork Fillet, Slaw Salad, Ponzu Sauce. The serve came with two very large pork fillets, one was enough to fill each of us up. We enjoyed the pork, it was crisp and hearty, but could have had a bit more seasoning. The slaw was crisp and balanced out the heavy pork really well.

Our second main was just as hearty, being the House Made Lasagne Served With Seasonal Green Salad. This was very decadent, rich and cheesy. The beef ragu was meaty and well textured throughout. Despite the portion not appearing to be all that big, it was extremely filling and the salad really helped cut through the heaviness of the lasagne.

Always tempted by fries, we couldnt resist ordering a bowl for our side. Shoestring cut is always my favourite, and this was lightly fried, crisp and served hot. Definitely a wonderful way to complement the meal, making for a memorable experience to round off an eventful year for us both.

Price Range: $70 - $100pp

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

The Euro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Black Hide - Brisbane CBD

End of the week and my friend lost a bet to me earlier, as a result, he had to take me out to dinner at the infamous Black Hide by Gambaro at the Treasury. Making a reservation earlier in the week, we made sure to book the Casino branch rather than Caxton Street (which he promised to take me for my birthday). 

Being seated at the window meant we had a fairly good view of the Brisbane River and Southbank.

The menu comprised of a few entrees, mains and sides, but of course our focus was on the steaks.

Starting off with complimentary bread, it was served hot and toasted with an option of both butter and balsamic with olive oil. I liked how dense and wholesome it was. Coupled with my choice of balsamic and olive oil, it made for a tasty appetizer.

Our shared entree was the Cured Ocean Trout with papaya. Thinly sliced and marinated to a point of ripe sweetness, this was definitely unusual to me but not an unwelcome change from our norm. The trout was thinly sliced and generous in portion. We really enjoyed it. 

It's hardly a proper steak dinner without a glass of red wine to go with the main course, and the two glasses of shiraz that we had complimented our steak wonderfully.

We had an assortment of sauces to go with the steak, it included red wine jus, peppercorn, bearnaise and mushroom sauce. He liked the creamy bearnaise sauce, whilst I preferred the zing of the spicy peppercorn sauce. 


So of course we ordered the Tomhawk to share. At 1.2kg, it was HUGE. So obviously I asked for it cooked rare. It was served with a small pile of wagyu fat roasted potatoes. The steak itself was wonderfully tender and juicy, it was cooked perfectly rare with a great meat texture. It was thick cut and moist with the juices soaking delightfully with the potatoes. Definitely the best steak I've had in 2019.

To balance out the meat, we obviously shared a Mixed Leaf Salad. Crunchy and lightly doused in vinaigrette, it made for a good companion for our meal and was a good portion for a side.

Price Range: $120 - $150 pp

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

Black Hide by Gambaro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato