Tag Archives: reviews

LADY MARMALADE

So in order to catch up with a friend before Christmas, I just HAD to go to Lady Marmalade at Stones Corner for lunch AND they just won map magazine’s best lunch 2013 award. Life is tough.

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The hardest part was deciding what to eat, as there were lots of vego options and even a vegan option with greens, sweet potato, black beans, tofu and dukkah. I ummed and ahhhed and went for the mushrooms with mojo verde (a tangy non-basil pesto?) on brioche with goats’ cheese. I ordered a potato and feta hash on the side. My friend was going to go for the haloumi (because obvious) but ended up having the herbed avo toast with tomato and a SIDE of haloumi. Genius. This is why I have such great friends. Because they piece together brilliant meals.

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The café was busy but not full and we got quick service and meals. My mushrooms were well cooked and came with spinach but didn’t appear to come with the goats’ cheese. Instead, there was a yoghurt looking but cheesy tasting sauce under my mushrooms. It was still delicious and as long as no one mayo-bombed me (I don’t like mayo [but like aioli]) I didn’t mind. The potato feta hash was really good- I find that sometimes the cheese taste gets lost but you could actually pick it as an ingredient and I didn’t want to add salt to it. My friend was really happy to discover her tomatoes were in a really nice dressing and although she couldn’t pick the herbs in her avo, I think there was mint, coriander and possibly basil.

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We paid less than $30 total for our brekkies including sides and my soy iced latte. I really liked the attention to the flavours in each item- whether it was a main or a side it worked well and didn’t need heaps of salt and pepper. We even got to see a guy ride past in a plastic canoe/bicycle thing. Value.

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Lady Marmalade Cafe on Urbanspoon

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LITTLE LARDER

So when my sister recommended The Little Larder recently I was taken back to stories from my last job where a colleague would Facebook photos of her all day breakfast with lewd tomato sauce messages written on her plate by her friend the waitress. The waitress and the colleague have moved on, but the story remains and makes me laugh.

Even though it was the weekend and busy, we were served promptly and our meals didn’t take too long. My sister ordered pesto scrambled eggs with salmon, so I didn’t photograph it, but I ordered the mushroom polenta with avo and poached eggs and a beetroot, carrot and orange juice.

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The poached eggs were a little undercooked in my fussy opinion but the polenta was superb and with the balsamic, cherry tomatoes and hot sauce, was truly interesting and yummy. You’re going to pay New Farm prices here with most hot brekkies over $15 each. We finished with a stroll around New Farm, acting like complete tossers and behaving in a way that only sisters could probably understand. If you and your sister swear a lot and talk about Brisbane gigs, architecture, libraries and boys.

So exactly like you and your sister.

Little Larder on Urbanspoon

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DES ALPES

So for Ben’s Big Family Pre-Christmas Dinner Instead of Doing Gifts Bash, we went to Des Alpes in Mitchelton.

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I used to live around the corner from here but NEVER ate here because I didn’t think they had any vego food judging by the walk-past menu. Turns out they have a vego AND a Gluten Free menu online AND can cater for vegans. Admittedly, that meant for three years we went to the awesome Mexican place across the road (which also happily caters for vegans) and Delicatezza next door which did a mean pot of soy chai and had the loveliest owner ever. Anyway, I digress.

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Nine adults and two kids turned up and, I have to say, I was impressed. Admittedly, they brought out a seafood pancake instead of a vego one and I had to wait for my meal to be cooked again, but they handled out big group well.

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Ben and I shared the cheese fondue for an entrée. Ok, it wasn’t the one we ate in Paris (at a place call Pain Vin Fromage if you ever want to go!) but it was pretty good and fun to eat. I had the vego pancake which came with ricotta, spinach and walnuts with a tomato sauce and cheese on top. It was ok, but I was blown away with the potato rosti that was served with it.

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Ben ordered the French Rosti that came with pear and blue cheese. Yum. He loved blue cheese and enjoyed his meal.

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This place is not cheap- I think the food and drinks Ben and I ordered came to $75ish (one entrée for two, two mains, a German beer and corkage for Ben’s local beers), I really liked the restaurant overall and would come back to try their creamy mushroom vego pasta, to eat more rosti and to umm and ahhh over their amazing sweets menu. Perhaps just with Ben for a romantic date?

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Des Alpes on Urbanspoon

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LUCKY DUCK- for drinks and nibbles. A follow up.

This is not my first Lucky Duck post. You can read about breakfast here (trust me, it’s amazing and super affordable).

So close to Christmas it can be nice to step away from the kitchen and escape on your own.

Ben and I chose to escape to Lucky Duck. The last few months has been good for Lucky Duck as there bar has become a quiet place for locals to drink and listen to live music.

Ben’s not a fan of their selection of tap beers, but tries some of the cider (apple and pear available) instead. He wants to acknowledge this is a completely him thing, not a fault with the bar. Last time we were there I ordered the house punch but they were out so I had a watermelon cocktail that was OK, but only because I don’t really like watermelon. We also ordered a cheese board and a serve of mushrooms with bread. The cheeses were excellent (and only $20) but the mushrooms were a little vinegary for me.

I love that there’s a few quiet locals in and around West End/Highgate Hill/Southbank now. I’ve never been a fan of the megapub and although I love bars that have full menus, having somewhere dedicated to drinks is pretty refreshing.

Damn, now I want cheese.
Lucky Duck Cafe & Bar on Urbanspoon

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PLOUGH INN

So I’ve been here years ago for an engagement party and for the odd drink, but never to seriously eat. A friend asked me along for a catch up with people and, I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. I’d looked at the menu and you could get breads, chips, a salad or two, vege lasagne and a vege platter for two. Not particularly inspiring, especially for the prices.

But I was surprised and really enjoyed my food.

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I only have the one picture that’s semi decent as we had to get tucked into this straight away, but for $34 we got crumbed brie (ermagerd), stuffed greed olives, field mushrooms with feta, bread, sweet corn, haloumi and spring onion fritters, and beer battered potato scallop with house made relish, avo salsa and chive creme fraiche.

Everything was delicious, surprisingly filling and we fought bitterly over the brie. Twas an epic battle.

Plough Inn on Urbanspoon

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AROMAS

So when you’re trekking through the city, either on a shopping expedition (I wish!) or for whatever reason brings you to the CBD, there can feel like limited places to go. There are lots of places that serve vegetarian food, but Ben and I are quiet people at heart and enjoy somewhere to sit and relax.

It’s a damn shame that the Regent Theatre was shut down, but I’m so glad the foyer has been saved and that Aromas is still there. It’s one of the few places that feels away from the hustle and bustle of the street, even though it’s on busy Queens Street Mall.

There’s a limited menu and a lot of it is made off-site, but it’s good for a toastie and a huge iced coffee. Seriously. Huge.

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Recently I wanted something substantial so I ordered the spinach and cheese roll with salad and relish. It’s not going to win awards, but it was hot and nice and served with fresh greens. It perked me up and was washed down nicely with a huge soy iced latte (although there chai is nice too, and made with real tea).

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There is NOT a trendy crowd here, but it’s cool and dark and if you’re really good, I’ll buy you a packet of afghans. Holy caramel latticed chocolate biscuits, Batman, they’re good.

Aromas on Urbanspoon

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SWAMPDOG FISH AND CHIPS

So fish and chip shops are not normally the most veg friendly places. Have you ever been to the typical FnC shop and seen the vegetarian fare? Potato cakes, pineapple fritters and, if you’re lucky, a sad vegetarian pattie passing for a burger. I was sitting with a friend who had ordered food at Swamp Dog and realised I had to go back.

A few days later I was sitting with Ben trying the fresh huge salads and yummy chips with housemade aioli.

We ordered the mixed salad- half Greek salad, half Asian salad. They were both delicious.

There was so much food we had to take some home.

Fresh food from a fish and chip shop? Hell yeah.

Swampdog Fish and Chips on Urbanspoon

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BONSAI BOTANIKA

It was a hot day and I was in the CBD and needed a cold drink. Bonsai Botanika lured us in with its beautiful decor. Unfortunately, there’s where the beauty ended. There was a very friendly greeter and we ordered a soy latte and a green iced tea and sat down. Shortly, the cafe began filling up and we waited. And waited. And waited. We realised the set up was not as functional as it was pretty- the cafe filled up quickly and everyone waiting formed a big messy queue that crushed up against the cafe tables. When our drinks arrived, Ben’s coffee was very average and my iced tea was unbearably sweet. I had one sip. Such a shame, because the piles of chocolate and cakes in the display cabinet would normally tempt me!

 

Bonsai Botanika on Urbanspoon

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DAKBLA

So I have no idea what “Dakbla” means, but in West End, it means nice Asian and Vietnamese food.

I first went to Dakbla with friend as a table of four and we had four meals and two entrees for less than $80. Impressive. Dinner also came with green tea from the manager, who was lovely.

Ben and I went back recently for lunch on a hot day. We felt like something light and full of veggies.

I immediately ordered a coconut water, as did Ben. These are the real deal and even come with young coconut pieces to fish out of your glass and chew on. So yum.

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Like many Asian cuisines, there are vegan options if you’re careful to avoid fish sauce.

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I ordered the Rice Paper Rolls with Tofu and Ben ordered the Temple Delight. Another vegan warning is that the tofu is made with egg, so vegetable dishes might be the way to go.

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Our meals arrived together, but the service was very slow. We think it was because it was lunchtime and only one other table had people at it, so by having us sit by the window for a long time, we looked good for business. This is a shame as we had very speedy service the first time we came here and the food really is lovely and affordable (most vego dishes hover around the $14 mark).

my Rice Paper Rolls were perfect: light and filling with a great dipping sauce. Ben’s dish was more filling and substantial and also delicious.

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My suggestion: If you don’t want a drawn out lunch (we were there for over an hour start to finish) eat here for dinner or at busier times.

Here’s another gratuitous coconut water shot, because it was a hot day and I was thankful for it:

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Dakbla Vietnamese and Asian Cusine on Urbanspoon

Enjoy.

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THE BURROW

So I love Alice in Wonderland. It was read to me often as a child and a beautiful full-coloured illutrated version was given to me by my nanna and pop for my 7th birthday (obviously Lew Carroll wrote it, but this version was illustrated by Greg Hildebrandt). I still have the book, the plastic cover that protects it and the caterpillar bookmark I made to use just for that book.

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When The Burrow opened up on Mollison Street in West End, I got it. Even if the rabbit’s feet on the logo has nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland, I don’t care. I pretend it does.

The location used to be a Turkish restaurant, but it really shines as a pizza and beer bar. The backyard, side yard, verandas and  upstairs space are well-utilised to create nice pockets to sit and eat and drink in.

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You have to love the pizza names. With titles like The Kracken and Snoochi Bootchies (Jay and Silent Bob fans much?) you’re gonna have fun just reading the menu. We ordered a Mama Said pizza (Char-grilled eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, feta, roast capsicum & mozzarella) and a bowl of chips with relish and aioli. They were out of aioli so we got tapenade instead. Ben ordered too many different beers to mention, but the list is extensive. They pride themselves on finding interesting local and international craft beers and have a regular rotation on tap.

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Our food was timely and delicious. The pizza crust is homemade and thinnish, but with good flavours. The chips were like pizza: Even when it’s bad it’s good. But these were really good. I wanted to take that tapenade home and bed it.

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Downstairs, large wooden communal tables are used and it’s kind of nice. During busy times, it’s a little awkward to be put next to a large group on a communal table if you’re just two, but considering big share tables seem the way to go in Brisbane these days, suck it up (Please).

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On their lunch menu, there’s a pizza called the Stephen Seagull, which is Napoli base, mozzarella, topped with hot chips and aioli. It’s only available during lunch and, if you’re like me and enjoy both hot chips AND pizza equally, life changing. Order this pizza. Or lie and tell me you did.

Not particularly vegan friendly (unless you’re happy to order a vego without cheese, as I would be), this is a great casual option for a birthday or dinner with friends.

My suggestion? Book ahead and don’t be in a rush. This place is hugely popular and this can mean slow (though always nice) service.

 

 

The Burrow on Urbanspoon

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