Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Bruno's Borgo Antico

Friday night was catch up night for myself and two of my good friends that I have known forever.

Being new to the Sunshine Coast, I have not yet had a chance to familiarise myself with the best local restaurants, so I was over the moon when Ms S recommended Bruno's Borgo Antico at Currimundi..

Apparently, this quaint Italian family owned business has been on the coast for ever and ever and reviews on the internet indicate why it's managed to stick around when other eateries are dropping like flies.

Upon entry, I get an immediate feeling of comfort and hominess. Only about 12 tables ensures an intimate evening.

BYO is always a great option to have, and I have with me a lovely Marlborough Sav Blanc.

Mr D orders a garlic pizza bread, and one of the daily specials of deep fried, crumbed avocado and prosciutto parcels for him and the missus to share, but they assure me I can also share. I order a half dozen oysters au naturale.

The pizza bread is garlicy, and fresh. A good size for 3 people to share.

My oysters are divine. Absolutely fresh. Oysters can be a risk when ordering from somewhere you have never eaten at before- but Bruno's have most certainly passed the lovely oyster test.

The remaining entree was the parcels. Not much to look at, but the flavour was so fresh, so simple. The crispy crumbed coating, warm, creamy perfectly ripe avocado, and salty cured pork.

Like in Italy, where simplicity has been perfected, this short list of simple ingredients, cooked just right has become just a perfect little dish.

Ms S, who has been eating here since childhood ordered a small ham pizza. It was a good size for a main for one, and I was really impressed with the amount of topping.

Despite being a very simple pizza, once again the quality of the ingredients and how well it has been cooked just made it really lovely and a divine smokey flavour really added an extra dimension. I will be ordering pizza next time I come.

 Mr D's ravioli. I didn't try this one, but it looked lovely.

Now we get to my main.

I was happy when researching this place, gluten-free options were available. The waitress had indicated that most of the mains were no-to-low gluten and I had made an early choce of steak with prawns and cream sauce.

As we were ordering, the waitress informed us that they did indeed have some gluten free pasta available, and just like that, steak was forgotten, Fusilli Marinara was coming.

I did think to myself that Fusilli was an unusual pasta to be hand-made in gluten free

Beautiful big prawns, it looked lovely.

But my heart sunk. It was packet pasta.

I enjoyed this meal, it had lovely flavour, just seafood, quality olive oil, garlic and seasoning, but packet pasta. Still now I just feel a twang of dsappointment.

Bruno's has that wonderful feeling of being served by close friends, with a lovely atmosphere and only about a km from my house.

Will I be back- hell yes. Everything was spot on... well almost everything.

Bruno's Borgo Antico

07 5493 1806

725 Nicklin Way



Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dominos Cheap Tuesday.

$5.90 Value range and $7.90 Traditional Range... It's cheap tuesday!

So we order our pizzas at 6.15 for a 6.45pm pickup, ordered online- a veg on thin $7.90, a ham and pineapple $5.90 on gluten free (plus $2.95) and a designa with prawns and double mozzarella $7.90 on gluten free (plus $2.95).

All my praises go to Dominos for introducing Gluten Free bases, even at $3extra, this is a dream for me.

We get to Dominos at 6.48 and I am told they are not ready yet, I wait about 2 mins then my name is called out across the counter, I pay my money and check the pizzas in the car. (You're crazy if you don't).

I can tell by the look of the cheese that these had been ready for quite a while, so my hypothesis is that although we ordered them for 6.45, they made them straight away and kept them til we arrived.

We get the pizzas home and tuck in.

Immediately, I am jealous of J's veg pizza, it looks and smells amazing.

 My ham and pineapple, a favorite classic, has plenty of ham and juicy pineapple. The gluten free base is slightly dryer than normal bases, but with the sauce and the pineapple, this pizza is balanced out nicely.

 So my $2 extra for my prawns got me 6 prawns. The cheese on this one was very plasticy and with the slight extra dryness of the base, it was a very mediocre pizza indeed.

So... as usual, you get what you pay for. We ate wayyyy to much, it tasted okay, and there's leftovers for next day lunch. It's no Italian pizza by a long sht- still.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Monday Night At Home Dinner

My housemate and I had no idea what to make for dinner.

We had some pumpkin and she had mentioned pumpkin soup. I love pumpkin soup.

When she got home from work, I was busy watching the food network, and we both very quickly started craving dinner.

Jaide started on her pumpkin soup, by boiling pumpkin, potato and onion.

I decided I wanted a burger. So I rumaged through the kitchen to see what I had to work with. 3 sausages, some gluten free bread and some salad items... hmmmmm.

I started my defrosting my butcher-bought sausages, and taking the sausage meat out of their skins and putting in into a bowl with a small handful of rice, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and some diced picked onions.

Having preheated the frypan (super frypan as we call it- everyone needs a perfect frypan) I sauteed some onions, then divided the sausage meat into two balls, in each ball i made a pocket and popped in a piece of cheddar cheese then fried.

After each side had been browned, I lowered the temperature then popped on a lid to allow the patties to broil. (Thanks Adam Richman and Man V Food- learning so much about burgers from your show).

While this was happening Ms J was creating a nifty dessert for us, she simply sliced some apple, wrapped in puff pastry and cinnamon sugar, basted on butter and baked. Like little apple tarte tartin-cross-apple dumplings.

To finish my burger, I glased the almost finished burgers in BBQ sauce (another MvF learnt skill), turned off the heat and let them sit on the still warm stove plate.

I toasted one piece of bread (for an open burger), spread on some sour cream, and avo, popped on the burger patty, the sauteed onion, some sliced cheddar and cucumber, plated up with salad leaves and topped with more BBQ sauce.

I'm just going to put it out there that this burger was amazing!

I think this recipe will be my new standard burger recipe for BBQs.

I had J's soup as an after-main-entree. She simple mashed the boiled veg, added stock cubes, seasoned and that was it. Topped with a blob a sour cream, some paprika and cracked pepper- it was stunning.

And the desserts, served simply with vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar were wonderful.

This three course meal took us under 30 mins and was amazing!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Burrow West End

After what was to be a day and night at the cricket, the abomination that was an almighty Australian defeat, left us without plans at 6:30 on a friday night.

My friends Ms C and her partner Cap'n J, who are fantastic recommendeurs of Brisbane culinary hotspots, suggested The Burrow at the West End.

We arrived between 6:30 and 7 hoping to get a table, but they were heavily booked. Fortunately for us, a 2 seater table was free, and all three of us could fit in.

The restaurant is a renovated Queenslander, with plenty of open space, breezy open windows and a casual indoor/outdoor feel.
photo courtesy of www.weekendnotes.com

The drinks menu is extraordinary, with craft beers I had never heard of, from all around the world. Check this out! I started out with a Hoppy Easter, a delicious, hoppy, fruity American style IPA from Denmark. $12.

We decided that we were going to get two pizzas to share between the three of us and an entree to share also.

Our orders were taken promptly and we drank and chatted as the restaurant filled with hungry patrons.

Our entree order was from the 'To Share' menu and was the 'Moons of Neptune', pork belly, scallops, celeriac puree and apple jelly. The words alone start me salivating.

The starter took around 30 minutes to arrive, which felt like a life-time without bread to sate our hunger. When it did arrive, it looked beautiful, actually top-tier restaurant beautiful. BUT... The scallops were tiny. Everything on the plate was luke warm, and between us we all felt like the dish lacked any actual flavour. Individually, the pork belly was lovey, and very delicately flavoured, but unfortunately- 4 very delicately flavoured ingredients do not made a full flavoured plate. Also, I'm not entirely sure the volume of this dish is adequate enough to give it place on a 'To Share' menu.

BUT we had the pizzas to come I had heard about the Big Voodoo Daddy, the pizza with pulled pork, jerk chicken, cajun sausage, red onion, bbq glaze and topped with coleslaw. Just think about that for a minute... yum. $22.

Our other pizza choice was the Barbarossa. Lamb, red onion, capsisum, mushroom, tabouleh and yoghurt. $24.

We ordered more drinks, this time I went for a 'Matsos' Mango Beer from Broome, Western Australia. It was fruity without being overly sweet, still tasted like beer. It was utterly delicious. And perfect for the balmy Brisbane evening. $8.

We waited for our pizzas, one time mentioning that we hadn't received them yet. We waited a little longer, and the mentioned it had now been almost an hour and a half since ordering out food. Our food arrived very shortly after this, and received and apology and offered a discount for our wait. So that was appreciated.

The pizzas were actually very beautiful , thin, crispy bases, wonderful colour, they looked a treat!

The Voodoo Daddy was a favourite amongst us all, meaty and cheesy, the spicy sausage would sneak up and surprise. The base was was thin and crispy and more than just a base, it added a flavour to the pizza. And the coleslaw was a revelation, a freshness at the last.

The Barbarossa was also really lovely, but a close second place we thought. The lamb was beautiful moist, tender and seasoned perfectly. The mushrooms were bursty and delicious and a great complimentary taste. And I am a big fan of yoghurt sauces on spicy pizzas. YUM.

For me, a big eater, and having only had a bite of an entree, one of these pizzas whole might be enough for me. But sharing two between three was not enough. I think one per person would usually be just about right.

Ms C and Cap'n J saw a friend of their after dinner, he mentioned that he frequented this place and said the food was amazing but the service was always sh**. This pains me. I noticed that the table beside us who only ordered hot chips, had their empty dishes sitting at their table for over an HOUR after they had finished.
Ms C said they had come when it wasn't busy and the service was to spot on. Even as the night went on, the service got better and better as it got quieter and quieter.

This leaves me uncomfortably confused, I hope the manager is aware of this and is currently amending, because it seems such a shame. A lovely atmosphere with a perfect drinks menu and wonderful pizza really needs good, even if it is casual service.

I think I would go back, at a quieter part of the day, and who knows, in time maybe again on a friday night.

DO go for the amazing beers and pizza.
DON'T go at a busy time.

Where it’s at

37 Mollison St, West End. QLD 

Open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Tue->Thurs: 8:30am till late
Fri->Sun: 7am – late.
Mon: Closed.

Phone: (07) 3846 0030
Email: info@theburrowwestend.com.au

Saturday, 5 January 2013

KFC Double

This, my friends, is the KFC Double, or Double Down as it is known in the States.

A controversial meatwich that called in Michael 'Slats' Slater (Australian Cricket legend) and the Good Chartlotte twins (apparently vegetarians and PETA activists, if Google can be believed) for a feel good summer campaign.

Controversy aside, since the moment I saw this (I was overseas the first time it came out) I have wanted to try it. So... I did.

At Caloundra KFC on Australia's Sunshine Coast I ordered my Double. I was given the option of Original or Zinger (spicy) and went for Original.

In KFC's never-let-me-down way, the chips were tasty but cold, and the gravy was scalding hot.

The Double: it was, well, it was really tasty. The Chicken was delicious, if anything maybe a tad too dry. there was bacon and BBQ sauce, and 2 slices of cheese, for a good meat-to-cheese ratio.

It was smaller than I thought it would be, but in saying that, I was full for the rest of the day.

Would I recommend it- yes. Would I have one again- yes. Is $8.25 wayyyy too much to pay for it- yes.

It should be noted this is most definitely a SOMETIMES food!

Mad for Salads

Hi readers. It's been some time since I have updated with my eatings, but Blogspot decided to start charging me for my account, and after some deep thought, I decided the joy I get out of this blog is worth the $3 a month.

I have been back in Australia for exactly two months now, and it has been a difficult return from the frosty grey land I fell in love with. But as I must stay here, I will enveavour to enjoy it as much as I can, and eat all the things I didn't whilst away.

I have been noticing as I swelter in 30+ degree heat that I continually crave fresh, cool foods. Salads top the list as my most eaten foods, (also an easy choice when avoiding gluten.)

Tonight's dinner was a sauteed potato, mushroom, chicken and almond salad.

I started by slicing and sauteing some new potatoes with salt, pepper, dried rosemary and olive oil.

This is the first time I have sauteed tatties, but not the first time I have eaten them. I have fallen in love with them over the last year and I really think that take tatties to a new dimension of flavour.

I had a couple of lads that were very interested in what was going on in the kitchen.

While the tatties were on, I shredded some chicken and grabbed a handful of roasted almonds, quartered some button mushrooms and the plate of leftover lettuce and tomato from last nights' tacos.

Then when the tatties were very close to being done, I threw the mushroom, chicken and almonds in the pan, made a nest with the lettuce, then assembled and topped with a dollop of sour cream.

It was such a beautiful and filling dinner.

I am slowly learning to forget everything I ever thought I knew about salads. I am adding everything I can find and it's a wonderfully exciting and feel-good way of eating.

I'm sure more salad posts will follow.

Also Happy New Year, let's seem what 2013 brings to my mouth and stomach.