Saturday, 20 September 2008

Atomica Eat Drink

I used to go to Atomica Eat Drink for breakfast all the time. But I haven't been there for about 3 or 4 years, after waiting more than an hour for breakfast on my last visit.

We were trying to find a breakfast spot before braving the crowds at Ikea. Our first choice was The Boys House of Coffee at Kelvin Grove, but that turned out to be shut on Sunday morning. Trying to think of somewhere vaguely on the way, we ended up in West End, at Atomica Eat Drink.

Every time I walk past Atomica I always remember having breakfast there one day and a guy at the table next to me complaining that the three breakfasts they had ordered were all too big. Who complains about their breakfast being too big? If you've got too much, then just don't eat it. Better to have too much than not enough. At least that's what I think.

So I decided to give Atomica another go. The first trick at Atomica is getting a seat. Luckily a lady at one of the tables on the footpath heard me talking about the gluten free bread on the menu. She had just finished breakfast and was just waiting for her bill. She jumped up, told me the gluten free toast was fantastic and then offered her table to us. It's days like this when you just know you're going to have a good breakfast.

A very friendly waitress came out not long after to clear the table and give us a couple of menus. Atomica's breakfast menu covers most bases - bircher museli, fruit toast with ricotta, pancakes, lamb & rosemary sausages, eggs benedict and a big breakfast for customers with nasty hangovers.

At the moment I'm finding it hard to go past plain old bacon & eggs for breakfast. I know it's a bit boring, but when you come across a plate of crunchy bacon and nice runny poached eggs, it's happy days (at least in my world). So I ordered the poached free range eggs with bacon and roast tomato jam. This is usually served with sourdough, but I had some gluten free toast instead. When it comes to gluten free toast, Atomica gets two thumbs up from me. This is the first place I've been to that actually had a selection of gluten free toast - pumpkin or multi-seed. I had the pumpkin toast, and it was delicious. Although I didn't ask, I'm pretty sure it was the pumpkin bread from Sol Breads.

Boring as they might be, the bacon and eggs were terrific. The eggs were perfectly cooked and the bacon was a little bit crispy. I found the roast tomato jam a bit sweet, but it was good to have another contrasting flavour on the plate. At $10.50 this was a great breakfast.

We also ordered one of the vegetarian breakfasts, which was a plate of Swiss brown mushrooms, tomatoes, bubble & squeak, spinach and sourdough ($10.50, extra with eggs). This was another winner. The Swiss brown mushrooms were the standout though - a lovely flavour, and cooked so they still had that distinctive mushroom squeakiness on your teeth, which I love. There's nothing worse than an overcooked, soggy mushroom if you ask me.

Atomica Eat Drink only uses free range eggs (I wish more places would) and Barambah Organics milk. After making plenty of coffees at home over the last few years, I'm convinced that Barambah milk makes such a difference.

After this breakfast, I'll definitely be back to Atomica Eat Drink on a more regular basis. The food was delicious, the service very friendly, and it's great value for money.

What does all this mean? A busy West End breakfast spot, serving delicious food with an extra attention to detail and topped off with friendly, attentive service.

food bling ratings
Food - Great
Service - Great
Ambience - Casual, modern cafe feel
Value for Money - Great
Vegetarian - Good
Gluten Free - Good

Atomica Eat Drink
Shop 3, 173 Boundary Street
West End 4101
P - 07 3844 0333

Atomica Eat Drink on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 11 September 2008

31 Days of Chocolate

If scary amounts of chocolate are your idea of (a) lunch, (b) dinner, or (c) both, then get yourself along to 31 Days of Chocolate.

31 Days of Chocolate is currently being held at Bistro Allure at the Sebel & Citigate King George Square. For $18 you get to graze on a chocolate buffet which includes white chocolate pudding, violet crumble cheesecake, chocolate obscenity gateaux (whatever that is) and chocolate praline. I haven't been, but it sounds like pretty good value to me. It sure beats having a food court lunch.

For those of you who don't plan your calendar by chocolate, the 31 Days of Chocolate started on 4 September 2008.

31 Days of Chocolate
Bistro Allure
The Sebel & Citigate King George Square
Corner Ann & Roma Streets
Brisbane 4000
P - 07 3222 1128
E -
W -

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Valley Fiesta

Ok, I am the first to admit that the Valley Fiesta isn't a food festival. But it's a great excuse to have a big night out the Valley. In between all the free music you just have to squeeze in a few cocktails and a cheap BYO dinner at your favourite Valley institution.

Last year we had a terrific Valley Fiesta night out. It all started with a few cocktails at The Bowery. Then it was down to the Chinatown Mall to see Silversun Pickups, who were fantastic live. As there wasn't a lot of room left in the mall when we got there, we ended up on the roof of one of the Valley's carparks, which turned out to be a great spot to watch the band. We stuck around to see Youth Group until the grumbling of our stomachs won out, at which time we headed off to Kim Lan for a tasty, cheap Vietnamese dinner.

I'm a bit annoyed this year because I was planning on seeing Operator Please on Friday night. But it turns out my indoor soccer game has been evilly scheduled for exactly the same time, so there won't be any Operator Please for me.

If you're any kind of music fan, make the most of the Valley this weekend. There are so many different bands playing, places to eat and bars to explore that it's hard not to have a great night out.

Valley Fiesta
12-14 September 2008

Monday, 8 September 2008

The Euro Cup and Plate

During Euro 2008, I put up a few posts about places in Brisbane where you could find food from each of the countries that were competing. I still haven't quite finished it, because I lost my internet access for more than a month just at the crucial time when Euro 2008 was coming to an end.

Anyway, I have been meaning to put a post up about The Euro Cup and Plate for ages. The team from Gustoso went to an amazing effort to post up recipes and drinks from all the countries that were competing. I can't even imagine how much time they must have put into it, but the end product is pretty amazing. Make sure you check out a few of the recipes.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Browns of Mooloolaba

I always love coming across new places that sell fresh seafood. Browns of Mooloolaba sell seafood that is about as fresh as you'll ever get. Their prawns, crabs and bugs are locally caught, which means they come straight off the boat to you.

I was lucky enough to have a feast of fresh prawns and Balmain bugs today for lunch, which were delicious. The best thing about really fresh prawns is that you just can't stop eating them. Luckily we only bought a kilo, so we had to stop eating eventually.

Browns of Mooloolaba also sell oysters, fish fillets and a variety of gourmet foods from the Spirit House, Tetsuya, Maggie Beer and Simon Johnson.

Browns of Mooloolaba
10 Parkyn Parade
Mooloolaba 4557
P - 07 5444 6422
E -
W -

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Louis Roederer Champagne Tasting

Stewarts Wine Co at Portside have been putting on monthly champagne tastings during the year. If you haven't been to the Stewarts store at Portside, it's definitely worth a visit. It's one of my favourite wine shops in Brisbane. Sure it's not the biggest, but Stewarts have plenty of wines that you just don't see in most bottle shops around town.

This Saturday the Louis Roederer Champagne tasting is on, which means you can try the Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV, Louis Roederer Brut Vintage 2002, Louis Roederer Vintage Rose 2003 and Louis Roederer Blanc de Blanc 2002. Best of all, it's free! And with father's day coming up on Sunday, it's the perfect place to pick up a good bottle for your dad. Not surprisingly, these tastings are pretty popular, so make sure you get there at 2pm, which is when the corks will be popped.

Louis Roederer Champagne Tasting
2pm, Saturday 6 September 2008
Stewarts Wine Co Portside Wharf
Shop 7, 39 Hercules Street
Hamilton 4007
P - 07 3216 4444

Monday, 1 September 2008

Ferran Adria

I know it's probably a bit late now, but The Weekend Australian Magazine had its yearly food issue last weekend. If you can still get your hands on one, it's worth tracking down. I think it's the only edition from the whole year that I (almost) read from cover to cover. It usually takes me a few weeks to get right through it, but I'll get there in the end.

Anyway at this early stage the only article I've read is the one about Ferran Adria on page 31. Ferran Adria is widely regarded as one of the best chefs in the world at the moment, if not the best. His restaurant in Spain, elBulli, is apparently impossibly difficult to get a table at. But every time I read about elBulli I want to jump on the next plane to Spain. Fancy a cherry dipped in Iberico ham and raw egg yolk wrapped in caramel or a parmesan and ice cream sandwich? Then try and get a reservation at elBulli.

Anyway we are in luck because the great chef is coming to Australia to promote his new book, A Day at elBulli. Unfortunately though he's not making it to Brisbane. But if you're looking for an excuse to get to Melbourne or Sydney, then I've found you a darn good one. Ferran Adria is in Sydney on 17 October 2008 and in Melbourne on 19 October 2008. You'll need to pre-book tickets through Ticketmaster. A copy of his new book and a ticket will set you back $75. He hasn't been to Australia since 2002, so I don't think tickets will last for long.