Thursday, 30 January 2020

MenYaGo - Brisbane CBD

It was with a profound sense of shame that I realised that Men Ya Go had opened a new branch in Central Plaza One, a mere hundred or so metres away from my workplace for several months before I found out about their second store. It bothered me so much that I decided to forgo my mum's painstakingly made packed lunch and opt for ramen for lunch instead.

I thought that the restaurant would be situated inside the lobby, near where Eagle Lane Bistro was, but turns out that it was around the outside perimeter of the premises, which makes sense if they want to do after hours trading.

The menu had more variety than their other store, this time incorporating some donburi and teishoku for those partial to rice, but really there was no way I'd go to a ramen store and not order a steaming bowl of noodles.

Being one of the first customers of the day meant that my food was prepared fairly quickly.

As you would expect by now, I ordered the black garlic ramen with extra noodles in the bowl. I was a little disappointed to see that the egg was fairly overdone to the point where the edges of the yolk had solidified to a powdery texture. The noodles were definitely cooked al dente and a little firm for my preferences. The meat however was so soft that it melted in my mouth. I did enjoy the soup which had ample depth and porky goodness, but definitely think that for a black garlic ramen, it needed more black garlic flavours.

Although the ramen wasn't the best I've had, the gyoza was definitely top notch. The skin was super thin but elastic which ensured that the juices inside were retained. It was pan fried to a crispy bottom without being overdone. The meat filling inside was fresh and tasty. Absolutely loved this dish.

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

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

Men Ya Go Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 27 January 2020

Ripiena - Fortitude Valley

Have long wanted to check out Ripiena, the pasta lab which opened early last year in the new end of Fortitude Valley, so we headed over there for a quick mid week date night after work a short while ago to try it out.

Apparently the place gets fairly packed out at the end of the week, so it was quite lucky that we were able to get a table with relative ease without making a reservation. The menu was provided quickly and there were quite a selection of fresh pastas to choose from, along with some entrees and desserts.

We started off with two glasses of rose, these were crisp and dry, just the way we like it.

Ordering a starter to share, this was the Burrata, a Stretched Mozzarella filled with stracciatella, a mixture of mozzarella cheese and cream. The bread was fresh and crusty, the cheese was rich and stringy and we enjoyed the juicy cherry tomatoes. The only thing we would have liked was the option to add extra salt to our cheese, as the flavours were quite mild.

The first of our pastas was the Spatzl,  made from eggs, flour, spinach and milk with traditional Spatzlehobel, served with cream and speck. These were cooked softer than our usual al dente, the spinach was flavoursome and we loved the creaminess with salty speck. We just wish there was more.

Our second dish was the Tortelloni Verdi, a Free range egg and spinach pasta wrapped around a velvety filling of ricotta, parmigiano reggiano and nutmeg. Served with tomato sauce and grated parmigiano reggiano. Despite being a vegetarian dish, it was surprisingly filling. I thought there would have been a bit more tomato sauce, but it was just enough to provide a good balance of flavour to our dish. The parmigiano was sharp and the highlight of the dish. 

Loved the experience at Ripiena, can't wait to come back to try the other dishes.

Price Range: $20 - $30pp

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

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

Friday, 24 January 2020

Black Hide - Petrie Terrace

Third Birthday dinner from the end of last year. He decided to take me to Black Hide on Caxton Street, having really enjoyed our last dinner at the Casino and wanting to explore the other branch. 

With the extremely busy holiday season (and the curse of being born between Christmas and New Year), I was pleased that he remembered to make a reservation to ensure we could get a seating. In contrast to the refined elegance of the Treasury, this branch was a lot more rustic and relaxed. The menu was largely the same between stores.


Starting off with two glasses of pinot noir (an Iron Fist recommendation), our food started to arrive fairly quickly.

Starting with a bread roll, these were served at room temperature, as always, I prefer my bread rolls lightly toasted, but this was crusty and dense. The butter was lightly salted and spread well.


Starting with entrees, first to arrive was the Arancini filled with sweet corn, manchego and chilli. The corn gave it a different texture from the usual straight rice base. The manchego and chilli added a considerable bite to the taste and it was served freshly fried. We really enjoyed it.

Second entree was the Line Caught Reef Fish Crudo served with roast capsicum and capers. Compared to the arancini, we didn't like this as much. The reef fish was fresh and we would have really appreciated the seafood flavours, but it was unfortunately overpowered by the strong and pungent capsicum and capers, making for a fairly imbalanced dish.

Not wanting to overindulge like last time when we ordered the Tomahawk to share, this time we made a sensible decision and had a wagyu rib fillet each. He had it cooked medium rare with mushroom sauce.

I had mine, rare of course with my default of pepper sauce. As you can see, it was cooked perfectly rare with a warm red centre, just the way I like it. The meat texture was very smooth and decadent, almost like velvet. Added with the light zing of pepper sauce, it was one of the best steaks I've had this year. 

Always not to go without a bowl of greens, we had a side of leaf salad. This was crisp, tart and moreish, making a wonderful accompaniment for our meaty meal. We had a wonderful night at Black Hide, I can definitely see why it is so critically acclaimed. Can't wait to come back for another meal.

Price Range: $90 $120pp

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10
Black Hide Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Korilla - Brisbane CBD


Although a self professed KBBQ addict, readers may be surprised to know that I hadn't until recently, been to Korilla BBQ, situated conveniently upstairs on Queen Street.. The reason for this was largely because I had heard a fairly bad review of the food from a friend several years ago, so I didn't really prioritise trying it out. Having said that, I had since heard substantial amount of good feedback from other foodies, so we decided to finally go and check it out for a quick mid week dinner.

Heading upstairs, the restaurant was large, but nearly full. Despite not having a reservation, we were still able to secure a table. Menus were provided quickly, and as you would expect there were a considerable number of meat options and combos. We opted to order a la carte.


No KBBQ is ever complete without soju; that night we had grapefruit and blueberry. Neither of them tasted particularly like their respective fruit, but I'd have to say I liked the artificial blueberry flavour more.

Sides for the evening included kimchi, dried tofu, pickled onion, cognac noodle salad and lettuce salad. Usually a fan of the tofu, I found the cognac noodle salad to be the winner with its creamy but refreshing taste and crunchy texture almost like a coleslaw.

My companion wasn't one for rice, but we both agreed that lettuce would be a good accompaniment for our meaty dinner. This was fresh and ample, fairly good quantity for the price.


Our BBQ was set up quickly, egg was added to the side of the grill to cook with the heat from the charcoal. I found it odd that only one quarter segment of the grill was filled, given that other places I had been to added things like corn to the side. The egg was however fairly delicious albeit firmer than expected.

Our beef dishes came fairly quickly. We had one serve of sweet soy beef, one thick skirt and a dish of wagyu bulgogi.


The sweet soy beef and the wagyu bulgogi were essentially the same, other than the fact that the wagyu dish was cut a lot thicker than the alternative. Marinade was sticky and sweet with a delicious garlicy flavour to it. In contrast the thick skirt wasn't marinated, but it was thick and well marbled despite not being labeled on the menu as wagyu. It went well with the bbq sauce and lettuce. Favourite for the night would have to be bugogi wagyu for its meaty texture that melts in your mouth.

We also ordered a serve of 6 Flavour Pork Belly. It took a fairly long time to arrive and we had long finished our beef by then. The six flavours included original, spicy, curry, herb, miso and garlic. Being able to cook it ourselves, we tried each flavour separately. We were both thankful that the curry and spicy variations weren't too hot for our tastes and remained fairly enjoyable. Seasoning was milder than expected, but my favourite would have to be the pungent garlic (of course).

Definitely an enjoyable dinner and a solid contender for KBBQ given the other competition in the CBD. Will be back to try the other dishes.

Price Range: $45 - $55pp

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

Korilla BBQ Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato