Thursday, 28 February 2019

C'est Bon - Woolloongabba

Since my earliest memories of the Gabba, I could always remember my parents driving me past and being curious about the shop with the Eiffel tower decorating the outside of it. Having maintained my curiosity throughout the years, it's long been top of my list for date night spots. I can't believe it's taken me so long to make my way there, but I was super excited to go with Adam last week for our mid week date night.

Walking all the way from Eagle Street, we had worked up quite an appetite. We arrived at our 6pm reservation and were the first to arrive. The restaurant has apparently been renovated of late, but still had a classic rustic charm to it. Adam said it reminded him a bit of old Montrachet.

Being seated promptly by our friendly hostess, we had cheesy amuse bouche brought out to us along with the menu. It was almost like a cheesy choux pastry. I loved the biscuit crumble on top and the cheesy filling inside.


Being as excited as I was to try this place out, I had, of course read the menu well ahead of our attendance, and my mind was definitely made up long before I even opened it. With quite a few classic French dishes, I wish I could try everything. Lucky they have Chef's Degustation for both entrees and desserts (spoilers).

Complimentary bread came after we made our order. It was a slight letdown compared to our cheesy amuse bouche. The bread was served at room temperature looking pale and undertoasted while the butter was firm and difficult to spread.


Drinks came soon after though, I had the French Spritz and he the strawberry mocktail. His strawberry mocktail was made with delectable homemade strawberry puree, fresh and tart, it complimented well with the cream. Being a fan of all bubbly things, the spritz was enjoyed thoroughly. 

Kicking off, our entrees consisted of the chef's selection of entrees. Between the two of us, we had little bites of five different types of entree. A really good deal for the price of $39, essentially the price of two entrees anyway.

First up, I tried the French Onion Soup, rich and flavoursome, it had some soaked croutons for texture and melted cheese for extra stringy goodness. I would definitely get this in a full sized portion.

Next, we had one piece of escargot each to have on top of a slice of baguette. With a earthy mushroom taste but a chewy meaty texture, mixed with herb and garlic butter, it was a delectable morsel, but a little too rich for me to have in larger quantities. 

We also had duck liver parfait, this was served with parfait. I really enjoyed the smooth creamy texture, almost like a meaty cream cheese, brioche was also toasty and fresh.

Last of the entrees was the quail salad. Served with two pieces of quail breast and lettuce drizzled with vinegarette, it almost felt like two dishes, I feel that shredding the meat and mixing it through would have made it more enjoyable.

Finishing off our entrees, mains arrived fairly soon after.

Always keen to try the new and unusual, Adam had the special of the day, Venison served with apple crisp. He had it cooked medium rare. His dish was more rare than it was medium rare, with a deep pink centre. Served with quite a few vegetables as well as pumpkin puree, it was a very well balanced meal and he liked how the Venison was not overly chewy, but tender without too much gamey taste to it. Trying some myself, I also agreed with his assessment and quite liked it. 

As if in direct contrast, I never deviate far from my standard and ordered an Entrecote, cooked rare with pepper sauce and a side of potato gratin and rocket salad. Having ordered it rare, for once this was a little more undercooked than what I am used to. With a merely seared exterior, it was almost blue. I didn't mind this at all, It was perfectly lean and amazingly tender. Pepper sauce was creamy and rich, but could have been a little spicier for my liking. The rocket and parmesan was fresh and sharp but could have done with a little more vinegarette. Both of us enjoyed the delectable thinly layered potato gratin with its delicate slices to soak up the beef juices.


By now we all know, each date night is without a doubt rounded off with dessert and I have learned to leave room for it. 

Without wanting to decide too much, we shared a dessert degustation platter for two. With a selection including creme brulee, creme caramel, meringue, cheesecake and mango tartare, Adam was in heaven. Sampling a little of each, they were a little sweet for my tastes, but out of them all, I found the cheesecake to be the tastiest with a rich, creamy texture.

Price Range: $70 - $90pp

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

C'est Bon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 25 February 2019

Doughnut Time - Brisbane CBD

Nothing makes for a better bait for our resident dessert addict Adam, than fresh doughnuts. With the closure and reopening of Doughnut time at both Myer Centre and Southbank, there was little doubt that he would be a regular. Situated right at the Queen street entrance, the bright colours definitely grabs attention when walking by.

At $6 for an iced or filled, these were definitely priced to a premium, but you only live once right? So we got a box of six.

Channeling my inner child, I picked all three kinder surprise doughnuts. He wanted variety so he had nutella, golden gaytime and m&m. Sharing a few of them with friends, their appearance brought me a lot more joy than consumption. Consistent with the old recipe, the texture was far more bread-like than any other doughnuts on the market (including supermarket cinnamon doughnuts), and the icing was essentially solidified sugar paste. Nice to satisfy my curiosity, but would probably kill me if eaten in frequent doses.

Price Range: $6 each

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

Doughnut Time Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 22 February 2019

Spice Central - Novotel

Date night and we found ourselves at Novotel after work for a quick mid week dinner. I had tried to do some research on what options were available at Spice Central, but it would appear that there were no menus available online, so we went in without knowing what to expect, something I often tend to avoid, but he finds exhilarating. After a leisurely walk along Victoria Bridge, it was situated along Cordelia Street, just behind the Entertainment Centre. I can't believe I had never noticed it before. 

My curiosity was satisfied before long, the menu was concise with starters, mains and sides with a focus on meaty butchers cuts. Can't complain with that.


Drinks wise we had sparkling water and two glasses of sparkling to begin with, because bubbles always makes everything better. 

Second round drinks consisted of the sweet cosmo and the sour pina colada. Initially I had gone for the cosmo, and he the pina colada, but upon trying each other's we decided that swapping was the win win situation for all. Fruity and tangy, the pina colada was also very strong.

Kicking off, we had a surprise dish of complimentary salsa. Spicy and tomato-y, it really whet our appetites. I wish it came with bread or biscuit on which to eat it off.

First of our entrees, the black angus eye fillet tartare, which was served with crackers. The tartare was fresh and well seasoned with pepper and capers, but I miss the usual egg that usually comes with it. Crackers were also a less doughy option, but these left a chewy residue in my mouth after eating.

Balancing out our carnivorous diets, our second entree was the charred leek with potato cream, pickled shimeji, funghi and mascarpone. Without the heaviness of meat, the delicate flavours of shimeji and funghi were both accentuated by the creamy potato and mascarpone. It provided a good contrast to our tartare dish.

Eyeing the butchers cuts, we both wanted the Rib Eye, but at 400g it was a bit large for two portions, so we had one to share with added combination of both prawn and squid toppings. It came with creamy sauce, chimmichurri and a spicy hot sauce, served atop a bed of chips.The steak was cooked a little more than rare for a medium rare finish. It was unfortunately quite chewy for my liking, but the cut wasn't overly fatty and had a nice charred exterior. I liked the chips which soaked up considerable amounts of steak juice. Prawn and squid were also deliciously tender.

Balancing out with a side of salad, the leaves were fresh and the vinegarette was light.

Always one for desserts, we shared two. By sharing, I mean I had one bite of each and he finished off the rest. We had the chocolate tart, and the saffron creme brulee. The tart had a firm biscuit base which was hard to break into. It had a light vanilla ice cream, where I would have preferred a thicker richer one, but the dark chocolate filling was definitely strong and dense. Saffron creme brulee had a relatively thicker sugar coating but was rich with an earthy grassy flavour which made it quite unusual. 

Espresso and Matcha got to enjoy this complimentary meal by freeloading off FoodieAdam's invite. But as always, my opinions are solely my own. 

Price Range: $50 - $70pp

Taste: 6/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10
Spice Central Kitchen & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Coco Fresh Tea - Brisbane CBD

Following the opening of a Matcha store in the CBD, next thing off my wish list was Coco, my favourite bubble tea stores which I frequented quite a bit on my travels across Taiwan. Always making a point to visit their stores in Sydney and Melbourne when I'm down, I was super excited to see them open up along Elizabeth Street, a quick 15 min walk from work. Famous for their traditional style pearl milk teas and fresh teas (none of that new foamy cheesy tea yet), they have a considerable following. So of course, Adam and I went as soon as we knew. 

The shopfront was quite small with counter service and half a dozen seats inside. 


First time we went there, we stuck to the traditional options, he had the milk tea with three brothers, and I had their classic milk tea. Fragrant and creamy, this is one of the best milk teas in Brisbane, but still not as good as their overseas variants in terms of silkiness, nor generosity when it comes to toppings. 


Second time we went, he had the pearl milk tea and I the lemon yakult. Again, pearls could have been a bit more generous, but the texture was consistently delicious and the milk tea was very fragrant. Trying their lemon yakult, I found it very sharp tasting and tangy. Will definitely be back to try out more of their drinks.

Price Range: $5 - $10pp

Taste: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10
CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato