Monday, 31 December 2007

New Blog Features

Just a quick post to let you know about a couple of features that have been added to food bling, Brisbane.

First of all, I have added a contact form, which you will find at the bottom of the home page, under the current posts. Please let me know of any comments that you have about posts, food in Brisbane or the blog generally.

I've also added a poll. To get things started, we'll see what Brisbane's best restaurant is.

Happy eating!

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Mitchelton Farmers Markets

Just a quick update about the Mitchelton Farmers' Markers. During 2007, they have been held on the last Sunday in every month. In 2008, they are switching to the first Sunday of the month. The first markets for 2008 will be held on Sunday 6 January 2008.

For more information, read my earlier post or check out their website here -


Finding ourselves at Chermside after a long Sunday afternoon of shopping and movies, and not being bothered to cook anything when we got home, we wandered into Wagamama in the newish food court.

Having eaten in Wagamama restaurants around Australia and in London, I was pretty familiar with the drill. If you haven't eaten at Wagamama before, it's an international chain, serving Japanese food. There is a pretty standard menu, you sit at communal tables and the prices are generally reasonable. The staff take your orders with little hand held PDA type devices and also write bits and pieces on your placemat (so other staff know what you have ordered).

I've found Wagamama a bit hit and miss in the past. Last time we ate at Wagamama in Sydney one of our meals come with a rubber band hidden in the dish, which was an unexpected surprise. The staff there dealt with it really well, to their credit.

The menu is modelled on Japanese ramen bars. It covers ramen (noodles in soup), kare lomen (noodles in a coconut based soup), teppan (noodles cooked on a griddle), teriyaki, rice dishes, salads and side dishes.

I'm a big fan of their edamame ($4.50), which are incredibly addictive. We were shown to our seats, only to be quickly warned that quite a number of dishes were not available tonight, including the edamame and both the main course specials. So there was to be no edamame tonight.

Instead we ordered the sweet potato kusabi ($6). These were described on the menu as hand-cut chips served with basil and wasabi mayonnaise. We saw them sitting on the pass for about 5 minutes before they came to our table. Unfortunately they were terrible. First of all they were cold, and out of the 30 or so chips, about 5 of them were actually crunchy, the rest being soggy and just not cooked enough. As half cooked slices of sweet potato, with the mayonnaise, they tasted pretty good. But they weren't chips by any stretch of the imagination. At the end of the meal we asked the waitress if they were supposed to be served cold, and were told that they are cooked, but get cold very quickly. Next time we will definitely stick with the edamame, if its available.

Luckily, both our mains were very tasty. My chilli chicken ramen ($15.50) came in an enormous bowl, with loads of soup. The soup contained a big chunk of grilled chicken, fresh chillies, sliced red onions, beansprouts, coriander, spring onions and a wedge of lime. It was spicy, tasty, fresh and had plenty of heat. It was also very filling, and I almost got through the whole bowl.

We also had the yasai cha han ($11.50), described as stir-fried rice with egg, snow peas, mushrooms, butternut pumpkin, sweetcorn, fried tofu and spring onion accompanied with a bowl of vegetarian miso soup and pickles. Again, it was a big serving. Once you poured the miso onto the rice, this was a really tasty dish. There was a good mix of flavours, with the crispy snow peas, mushrooms, plenty of corn and small pieces of pumpkin.

So once again, Wagamama was a bit up and down. The chips were terrible, but our mains were great.

Service is friendly and fairly informal. Most of the wait staff sit down at your table with you to take your order and answer any questions you might have about the menu.

Wagamama also has a small drinks menu. I had a glass of the home made lemon iced tea ($2.50) which was good. We also had one of the shikoku island iced tea ($5.60) which is basically iced tea with vodka. Be warned, these taste great and you can gulp them down very easily. Otherwise, you can order wine (sparkling, red and white), beer (including Asahi), soft drinks, juice, sake and plum wine. Green tea is free with a main course if you ask for it.

All up, Wagamama is an ok place for a quick Asian dinner. I would prefer to head into the Valley for an Asian restaurant with a bit more character, but that's just a personal preference. If you find yourself a long way from the Valley or your local Asian restaurant, as we did, then there is always Wagamama.

Although I've only supplied the details of the Chermside restaurant below, you can also find Wagamama at Emporium in the Valley and in the Wintergarden in the city.

What does all this mean? Well priced Japanese food from an international chain, served at communal tables.

food bling ratings
Food - OK
Service - OK
Ambience - modern design, with communal tables
Value for Money - Good
Wine - OK
Vegetarian - OK

Parkland Pavillion
Westfield Chermside
Corner of Gympie & Hamilton Roads
Chermside 4032
P - 07 3350 3034
W -

wagamama (Westfield Shopping Centre) on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Thanh Ha

I know this is supposed to be a Brisbane food blog, but I've now been to Thanh Ha in Melbourne twice and the food is so good, it's more than worthy of a mention.

Thanh Ha is on Victoria Street in Richmond, along with another 20 or so Vietnamese restaurants. You can stroll along Victoria Street until one takes your fancy. Most of them are BYO and extremely well priced.

The ambience here isn't anything to write home about. It's no nonsense, with the tables crammed in. But you're here for the food, not for fancy surroundings. Don't come here if you are planning on lingering for hours over a slow dinner, because it isn't going to happen.

Menus are provided as soon as you sit down, as is a thermos full of jasmine tea. There is a good range of Vietnamese food to choose from. On this visit I had the Pho as an entree, which was very tasty. I am a big fan of Pho as a starter, and this one didn't disappoint. If you find it's not hot enough for your taste, you can throw a chilli or two into it to spice things up.

Although I was thinking my Pho was pretty special, I eventually tried one of the vegetarian rice paper rolls that we had also ordered to kick off the night. They were pre-made, but they were without a doubt the tastiest rice paper rolls I have ever had the fortune to try. They were delicious. The difference seemed to be the inclusion of a very tasty mushroom in the roll. Make sure you give them a try, as they were excellent.

On to main course. Like last time I was here, I went for the crispy chicken with 5 spice sauce. Although there are some great sounding dishes on the menu, this one was so good last time, I just had to have it again. And it didn't disappoint - the crispiness of the chicken, which was tender underneath the skin, coupled with the terrific flavour of the sauce makes this dish a winner. I could eat this all night. Luckily I was getting fairly full by that stage, so I didn't need to.

We also had a vegetable rice noodle soup for main, which comes with bean sprouts and chopped fresh chilli. Again, this was clean, tasty and disappeared pretty quickly.

We couldn't help but notice that the omelettes are very popular at Thanh Ha. They come out looking like a massive pancake, but they must be good, as most other diners had at least one on their table. I'll have to try one next time.

Service here is adequate and not fussy. Last time we ate at Thanh Ha our entrees and mains came out in no particular order until we had 4 dishes plus rice on the table all at one time (just for 2 people). We didn't care as the food was so good.

I haven't yet mentioned the prices. They are fantastic. Our bill for 2 entrees and 2 main courses was $31. No more really needs to be said there.

Thanh Ha is BYO. There is a pub right across the road, otherwise there are a number of Asian grocery stores along Victoria Street where you can pick up a good bottle of white on your way.

Finally, if Thanh Ha is full, try Thanh Ha II, which is also on Victoria Street, slightly closer to the city.

If you find yourself in Melbourne looking for a fix of Vietnamese food, jump on a tram to Richmond and treat your tastebuds to a fine night out at Thanh Ha. You won't be disappointed.

What does all this mean? Excellent, tasty Vietnamese food at crazy prices.

food bling ratings
Food - Great
Service - OK
Ambience - not a lot, but you won't be here long enough to worry about it
Value for money - Top Shelf
Wine - BYO
Vegetarian - Great

Thanh Ha
172 Victoria Street
Richmond VIC 3121
P - 03 9429 8130

Thanh Ha on Urbanspoon

Monday, 24 December 2007

Eves on the Park

Eves on the Park is the new, Roma Street Parkland "Eves" eatery, to join the well established Eves on the River.

Although I've eaten a number of times at Eves on the River over the years, I didn't know Eves on the Park had opened until being invited there for breakfast recently. Eves on the Park is on the ground floor of a new apartment building in the Parklands.

Whilst it's in the Parklands, don't be expecting to be eating surrounded by a garden. Given the location though, Eves on the Park is fairly quiet and doesn't suffer from too much traffic noise. We arrived at about 9am on a Sunday, and the place was pretty quiet. According to the website, there are 100 seats, so there was plenty of room to spread out away from other guests and have a quiet Sunday breakfast.

My first look through their breakfast menu was very encouraging. Quite a few dishes sounded delicious, which I always think is a good sign. And the servings being brought out to the other tables looked very generous. Things were looking good so far.

Anyway, back to the menu. You can start off with a juice (orange/pineapple/apple/banana & mango/tomato or cranberry) for $3.50 or go for one of the nudie juices ($5) if you'd prefer something a bit different.

A flat white will set you back $3.30. We found the coffees a bit weak and milky, but we'll have to go back to see if they are better next time. There is also a decent selection of teas, ranging from $3.30 to $3.50.

It was time to decide what to eat. Decisions, decisions. I was tossing up between the corn & zucchini cakes with bacon and tomato relish ($14), the eggs benedict with shaved ham and buttered spinach ($13), the prosciutto, pumpkin, & goats cheese omelette ($13) and the grilled halloumi, field mushrooms & poached eggs with spinach ($12). They all sounded like a great way to kick off a Sunday morning.

It was a tough choice, but I went for the omelette, which turned out to be excellent. It was perfectly cooked, still quite moist, creamy and very rich. It was also an enormous serving, which I only just managed to finish off.

Most of the other meals that our table ordered were met with a similar stamp of approval. Some found the halloumi dish a bit oily, but I suppose that is always a risk with cooked halloumi.

Eves on the Park offers the option of having any of the breakfast meals served with gluten free toast for an additional $1. This means all the coeliacs of the world can pick almost anything off the breakfast menu. I've thought for years that this is a pretty easy option for most cafes to offer, and its good to see that its catching on around Brisbane now.

If you aren't after anything cooked or heavy, go for the fresh seasonal fruit salad
served with vanilla yoghurt & almonds ($9) or the bircher museli with grape, apple & yoghurt ($7).

Service throughout the meal was ok, but friendly. One of our meals didn't show up at all, and was eventually brought out after most of us had finished our breakfasts. However, the waitress, recognising the mixup, quickly offered not to charge for the meal, which was a more than reasonable response.

I will definitely be back to try out some of the other great breakfasts. It's really good to see places like Eves on the Park offering alternatives to the fairly standard bacon and eggs, pancakes with maple syrup etc etc. While Eves on the Park will accommodate anyone in need of some bacon & eggs (which we all need from time to time), it also shows imagination with its breakfast menu. Hopefully it will be rewarded with a loyal breakfast following.

Eves on the Park is also open for lunch and dinner. At the moment it's operating as a BYO, until the liquor licence comes through. The lack of a liquor licence shouldn't trouble most breakfast punters though.

Finally, the map on the website isn't particularly helpful to anyone trying to find the place. However it's not very far from Melange, so if you keep walking down Parkland Boulevard, you'll find it fairly quickly.

What does all this mean? Tasty, inventive breakfasts served in generous proportions.

food bling ratings
Food - Great
Service - OK
Ambience - Modern, quiet surroundings across from the parklands
Value for Money - Good
Vegetarian - Good
Gluten Free - Great

Eves on the Park
3 Parkland Boulevard
Brisbane 4000
P - 07 3236 4066
E -
W -

Monday, 17 December 2007


I thought I'd just do a quick blurb for David's, an upmarket Chinese restaurant in the city.

I must have walked past David's hundreds of times over the years, but had never actually ventured up the stairs and inside until just recently, with a group of work friends.

We were only there for a quick lunch, but David's has a great menu, with plenty of house specialties that you don't see everywhere, like abalone with Chinese mushroom deluxe ($58) or wok tossed king prawns with quail eggs and Chinese herbal salad ($28). So if you want to be adventurous, you can knock yourself out here.

The main reason David's gets this post is because its also gluten-free friendly. On calling ahead, we were given a good range of dishes that could be prepared gluten free. I went for the fish fillet in XO sauce ($24), which was fresh, tasty and delicious. Another coeliac friend went with the wok tossed coral trout fillet with seasonal Chinese vegetables ($24). I didn't get to taste any of the other dishes on our table, so I'll be back another time to do a more detailed review.

There are also plenty of the Chinese "staples" like Mongolian lamb ($18), sweet & sour pork ($18) or crispy lemon chicken ($18.90). So the menu should please just about everyone, including vegetarians, who are also well catered for.

Service was friendly, yet understated and professional. The decor was fairly traditional Chinese, right down to the lazy Susan in the middle of the table.

Next time you are looking for a special lunch in the city, give David's a try, particularly if you're a fan of Chinese food.

David's Chinese Restaurant
157 Elizabeth Street,
Brisbane 4000
P - 07 3229 9033
W -

David's on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Cafe Fuscia

Cafe Fuscia is the local eatery that every suburb needs. It serves up a wide range of good, tasty food, is BYO and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We have eaten here a few times over the last 3 years or so. The main attraction for me is that Cafe Fuscia serves good gluten free pizzas, is BYO and within walking distance of our place. So when you've hard a long day, couldn't be bothered of thinking of where to go to dinner, don't want to drive anywhere, but still want to have great food, then Cafe Fuscia hits the spot.

Sure you won't remember what you ate here for the rest of your life, but neither will you be disappointed. Cafe Fuscia has a wide ranging dinner menu, from antipasto and oysters through to pasta, pizza and modern Australian options. Its pretty hard not to find something you like.

The menu had changed a little since our last visit. One of my favourite starters, the haloumi salad, was gone, so we opted for the Italian tasting plate. On asking the waitress what exactly was in the tasting plate (because my dining guest was vegetarian) we were met with the response that it was "a traditional Italian antipasto selection". We decided to order it anyway, which was a good thing. The plate had plenty of ham, prosciutto, salmon, marinated feta, grilled eggplant, olives, tortellini (which seemed a bit strange), zucchini, thinly sliced olive bread, a miniature apple and pear, and snow pea tendrills. This was pretty much the perfect starter when you can't really decide what you want to eat. We grazed on this great plate of tasty treats until it was pretty much demolished. It was also good value at $22 for the plate. The ham and prosciutto, in particular, were very good.

Then it was onto main course. For me, that was pizza. I only go here for pizza. Cafe Fuscia is one of the few places in Brisbane where you can get a good gluten free pizza. Cafe Fuscia has won a "best pizza" award, so you would expect them to be generally good. They have some interesting pizza options (like the wagyu rump which I've enjoyed before) but I went for the prosciutto one this time. It came out with thickly sliced prosciutto, tomato, mozzarella and a bit of parmesan. It was so tasty I almost ate the whole thing.

We also had a cauliflower risotto ($22) for main. It was described on the menu as having crispy sage leaves, Gorgonzola and cauliflower puree. Although the crispy sage leaves were mysteriously missing from the actual plate, replaced with not so crispy spinach, this was a seriously good risotto. The cauliflower still had a slight crunch to it, and there was just enough, but not too much, Gorgonzola to give the risotto a great flavour. Even without the crispy sage, this was a terrific dish.

By this time, we were completely full. The portion of risotto was enormous, and even between the two of us we couldn't finish it. Although some of the desserts looked very tempting, we just couldn't eat anymore.

Service at Cafe Fuscia is a bit hit and miss. But even when its not the best, it's still friendly. The quality of the food speaks for itself.

For coeliacs and others looking for gluten free options, Cafe Fuscia is a winner. They have gluten free pizza bases, and can make the pasta options gluten free as well.

Finally, Cafe Fuscia is BYO, with corkage charged at $2.20 per person. It's very popular on weekends, so it's a good idea to book. There is seating both inside and out.

Cafe Fuscia is not the kind of place you are likely to travel across Brisbane to dine at. But if you live within walking distance, then you really should give it a try. The food here is above average, well presented and very reasonably priced. It's the type of reliable cafe/restaurant that is deservedly popular. What sets it apart from the myriad of mediocre Brisbane restaurants is that its menu offerings are different, without being too adventurous, but very well executed. Its the kind of place that knows its limits, but what it does, it does well.

What does all this mean? A tasty, reliable, BYO suburban eatery that every Brisbane suburb needs.

food bling ratings
Food - Good
Service - OK
Ambience - Casual suburban dining
Value for Money - Good
Wine - BYO
Vegetarian - Good
Gluten Free - Great

Cafe Fuscia
Corner of Audrey & Wardell Streets
Enoggera 4051
P - 3355 9800
E -
W -

Cafe Fuscia on Urbanspoon

Christmas Supplies

Looking for something different to eat or drink at Christmas this year? Good cheese, a great bottle of Champagne or antipasto to remember? Here are some of my favourite food and wine stores to stock up on Christmas goodies.

If you are looking for good cheese, cold meats or other tasty nibbles, then try Togninis. It's one of the best delis in Brisbane, with a particularly great range of cheese. The staff are friendly, but be warned it can get very busy here. So get in early. Togninis delis are at Toowong (Baroona Road) and Spring Hill (Corner of Turbot and Boundary Street).

Other delis worth a visit are Rosalie Gourmet Market (Corner Nash Street & Baroona Road, Rosalie) and the New Farm Deli (900 Brunswick Street, New Farm). And of course don't forget the Jan Power's Farmers Market (New Farm and Mitchelton) which are on this coming weekend, 22 and 23 December 2007.

If you are looking for fresh fruit and vegetables, then try Zone Fresh at Windsor, Cannon Hill, Hamilton, The Gap and Strathpine. Zone Fresh also have a great selection of cheese, fresh meat and loads of deli lines. Again, Zone Fresh can get really really busy, so get there early. Another local favourite of mine is Charlie's Fruit Market at Everton Park. Charlie's has a great range of fresh fruit and vegetables and is deservedly popular thanks to their great prices and friendly staff.

For fresh meat, other than your local butchers, you can give Sirianni's in the Valley at Emporium and also at Ascot. I've bought a few steaks there recently and they have been fantastic. Sirianni's also have plenty of deli lines to keep you occupied.

Looking for chocolate? If you really want to go for broke, head in to Hot Chocolate, Cool Coffee at 102 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington. They have the best chocolates, if you want to indulge yourself and family at Christmas.

Finally, no Christmas is complete without a good bottle of wine or six. If you are looking for a special bottle, then head into The Wine Emporium in the Valley. Although their prices aren't necessarily the greatest, they have a fantastic range with knowledgeable staff. You'll be hard pressed to find a better range of premium wine in Brisbane. The Wine Emporium's Champagne selection is particularly impressive, and its hard not to walk out of here without a few bottles. Other wine shops worth a mention are Stewarts (stores at Ascot, Hamilton and the City), era wine store (South Brisbane) or any of the Dan Murphy's stores which are now all over Brisbane.

Hopefully you can track down a Christmas feast with a visit to a couple of these great stores.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Kathmandu Newa Chhe'n

Ever found yourself sitting at home, wanting to go out for dinner to somewhere new, to eat something different? That's exactly where we found ourselves before heading out to dinner at Kathmandu Newa Chhe'n at Paddington.

I knew there was a Nepalese restaurant in the building (which used to house Casa Mia) but hadn't managed to get there for dinner. We were met with a friendly face at the door and quickly shown to our table, which was in a pretty busy walkway for the restaurant. But we weren't there for anything special, nor were we expecting silver service, so it was fine.

Kathmandu Newa Chhe'n is obviously popular with groups, and has a number of private rooms that you can book. One in particular was right next to our table, with a low floor and cushions to sit on. The group in that room were having a great night.

It's BYO, with a $2 per person corkage charge, which probably explains the attraction for big groups. Within a couple of minutes of sitting down, out came a bottle of cold water, glasses were poured, and an ice-bucket for our bottle of white. So far, so good.

Anyway, we had come here to eat something different. So what food do they serve? The short answer is Nepalese & Himalayan.

We started off with a choila poleko ($7) - "grilled beef marinated with garlic, ginger & spices turned in mustard oil, served on a bed of lettuce, shallots & Spanish onion, with lemon dressing." I wasn't sure from the description if I should be expecting a salad or some kind of Nepalese san choy bau. It came out on a long plate, and was basically served as a salad with plenty of chunks of grilled beef. It is one of the tastiest salads I have eaten for a long, long time. I will definitely be back for another one. The meat had obviously been marinated, there was a good, but not overwhelming chilli kick and the dressing had a fantastic citrus tang. It was the perfect salad for a Brisbane summer night, washed down with a glass of white wine.

We also had a serve of the vegetable pakoras ($7). The pakoras were tasty, but not in the same league as the choila poleko. They also could have been cooked a tad longer for more crunchiness. Maybe I was just being overly harsh on them because my salad was so good.

Other starters include samosas, spring rolls (vegetable or meat), momas (steamed dumplings) and dhal soup. All the starters are $7. At that price, you might as well order a few.

Once we had finished our starters, the wait staff were very keen to bring out our mains. We were even asked before finishing our starters if we wanted the mains to be cooked "now". They eventually got the hint that we weren't in a hurry, but the mains came out without much delay.

I went for the phari masu - diced goat cooked with pumpkin, garlic, ginger, cumin and fenugreek seed ($14). After my tangy, clean entree, this was at the other end of the food spectrum - rich goat meat served in a thick sauce with pumpkin and spices. Again, it was very tasty. I don't often get the chance to eat goat in Brisbane, so its always worth a try when it does pop up on the menu. I think if you do order this dish, make sure you also order something a bit lighter, like some vegetables. The richness of the dish makes it a struggle to eat it all yourself.

We also tried the aloo kofta - mashed potato & vegetable balls cooked with vegetables & coriander seeds, served with a tomato sauce. This dish was a hit, and the perfect accompaniment to my goat. Although the koftas were fairly filling, the dish itself was very fragrant and had a real clean texture to it. It was delicious.

There are plenty of mains to choose from. Vegetarians are well catered for, with kauli mattar (cauliflower, potatoes & peas), channa ko tarkari (chickpeas & potatoes) and rajma ko tarkari (kidney beans, potatoes & mushrooms) some of the dishes on offer (all $11).

The menu also covers a good range of fish (like the jhol machaa tareko - simmered in tomato sauce with mustard seeds - $17), chicken (sherpa chicken - cooked in a creamy sauce with coriander, lime leaf and lemon - $14), lamb and beef (goru ko masu - slowly cooked in cardamom, cumin, coriander & cinnamon with tomato gravy - $14).

You also have the option of banquets or platters (which appear to be terrific value) if you want to get a good cross section of the menu. Kathmandu Newa Chhe'n does a small range of desserts if you still have room for more at the end of the meal.

The restaurant is sparsely decorated with traditional ornaments, which gives it a bit of a rustic feel. However, given its popularity with groups, Kathmandu Newa Chhe'n is not the place you would be heading for a romantic night out. On the other hand, its perfect for a group of friends, or a tasty dinner when you are looking for something other than your local Thai, Chinese or Indian.

Finally, you've probably noticed already, but the prices are fantastic. Not only are the prices great, but the servings are more than generous. Our dinner for two was $43 including corkage, and we didn't finish our starters or mains.

I will definitely be going back, next time with a group of friends into one of the private rooms. With food like this, and its BYO appeal, Kathmandu Newa Chhe'n is the perfect place for a great night out.

What does all this mean? Very tasty Nepalese & Himalayan food at rock-bottom prices.

food bling ratings
Food - Great
Service - Good
Ambience - some traditional Nepalese ornaments
Value for Money - Top shelf
Wine - BYO
Vegetarian - Great
Gluten Free - Good

Kathmandu Newa Chhe'n
72 Latrobe Terrace
Paddington 4064
P - 07 3369 7272
E -

Kathmandu Newa Chhe'n on Urbanspoon

Christmas Markets

Jan Power's Farmers Markets will be on at both venues just before Christmas, so you can stock up on plenty of great food. But be early, as everyone else is going to have the same idea.

The Powerhouse markets (119 Lamington Street, New Farm) will be held on Saturday 22 December.

The Mitchelton markets (Blackwood Street) will be on Sunday 23 December 2007.

If you have never been along, they are great places to pick up all kinds of delicious treats for Christmas - seafood, cheese, fresh vegetables, cakes, dips, meat, coffee, chocolate, herbs etc etc etc.

For more information, check out the website -

Sunday, 2 December 2007


Timmy's is in a fairly quiet spot at Southbank, away from the traffic which can be a bit noisy at some of the eateries along Little Stanley Street.

It is one of my favourite breakfast spots in Brisbane. The breakfast menu is fairly compact, but everything we have tried has been great. Today I had the eggs on toast and added some bacon ($15 with gluten free bread). The poached eggs were beautifully cooked, spilling all over my plate once they were broken. I thought it was a bit stingy to only serve one piece of toast, but they soon brought out another piece at my request.

Our table also had the ricotta & blueberry crepes, served with lemon sauce and ice cream ($12). I didn't get to try any, but they looked delicious and quickly disappeared off the plate.

We also had a "made up" vegetarian breakfast of toast with grilled tomato, sauteed field mushrooms and baked beans ($9.50). Again, it was delicious. The menu is set up so that you can add things to your breakfast, including an Irish potato cake, bratwurst or smoked salmon. So that should keep even the fussiest diner happy.

In the past we've also had the fruit plate with natural yoghurt and honey. At $5 it must be one of the best value fruit dishes on any breakfast menu in Brisbane. And if you are after something a bit different for breakfast, give the coconut crumpets with lemon curd a try ($6) - you won't be disappointed.

The coffee is Merlo, and made with Barambah organics milk. To be honest, that is my favourite coffee combination, and you can taste the difference when good coffee is made with Barambah milk. A flat white will set you back $3.50.

There seems to be a bit of a trend in Brisbane cafes now to serve toast without any butter. I find it odd. Who eats dry toast without butter? Timmy's was another example, with our meals coming with dry toast. A serve of butter only came out when we asked for some. If cafes are trying to appease people who do like dry toast, then surely it can't be too hard to bring out a small side serve of butter? At some places (not Timmy's) by the time you track down a waiter, ask for some butter, and then wait for it to arrive, you might as well have just eaten your breakfast in the meantime. Anyway that's enough ranting about butter.

Whilst we haven't had a problem with service in the past, this morning it was a bit slow. There were only 5 or so tables of diners, but even with 4 floor staff and a barista, our coffees hadn't arrived by the time we'd finished our breakfasts, and we had to ask where they were. They came out eventually, but we couldn't see how they had taken so long, nor was an explanation offered. Perhaps they just forgot. Anyway the coffee was good, and we weren't in a hurry.

Timmy's can get busy for weekend breakfasts, so if you are going in a group, it's a good idea to book ahead. They also do lunch and dinner, which I am yet to try, but if those meals are up to the standard of our breakfast, it will be worth the trip.

Next time you are at Southbank for breakfast, make sure to drop by Timmy's for their great breakfast offerings. They serve gluten-free toast, so its also a great spot for Coeliacs.

What does all this mean? Tasty, inventive breakfasts served with good coffee.

food bling ratings
Food - Great
Service - OK
Ambience - Clean, modern lines, with outdoor seating on the deck
Value for Money - Good
Wine - Licenced if you really need a stiff drink at breakfast
Vegetarian - Good
Gluten Free - Good

Shop 4B, Galleria Complex
240 Grey Street
Southbank 4101
P - 07 3846 0322
E -
W -

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Kim Lan

Looking for a quick, tasty meal in the Valley? Then look no further than Kim Lan.

Kim Lan is on the Chinatown Mall, towards the Wickham Street end. Its nothing fancy, but the food is tasty and fresh. There is an extensive menu, covering both Vietnamese and Chinese.

I've eaten here many times over the years. Its not exactly the place for a romantic night out, but if you are looking for a quick dinner, a snack before a concert or just couldn't be bothered cooking, then give it a try.

We usually go for the Vietnamese dishes, particularly the salads, which are great value at $8-$9.

I couldn't find a take away menu, so I can't give you a run down on the whole menu, but even if you are looking for something a bit different, the menu will accomodate you.

And at Kim Lan, if you order a lemon iced tea, what you get is real tea, cold, with a slice of lemon and a bit of sugar. It tastes much better than the stuff straight out of a bottle. If iced tea isn't your thing, then its BYO. There is a bottle shop on the other side of Wickham Street at the bottom of the mall.

There are seats inside and a few outside. Be warned though, inside can get a bit noisy with groups on Friday and Saturday nights, as its not a particularly big room.

Finally, the staff are friendly, food comes out fast and the prices are extremely good.

What does all this mean? No-nonsense Vietnamese & Chinese BYO at great prices.

food bling ratings
Food - Good
Service - Good
Ambience - Not much
Value for Money - Top Shelf
Wine - BYO
Vegetarian - Good

Kim Lan
Shop 5, 12 Duncan Street
Chinatown Mall, Brisbane
P - 07 3852 1878

Kim Lan on Urbanspoon