Mon Komo Hotel – Weekend Breakfast

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Last weekend, a no particular destination morning drive, saw us end up at Mon Komo Hotel. Located directly across the road from Suttons beach, the sea breeze is a refreshing change to the city air.

Water themes are continued, with gently cascading and pooling water, greeting you at this particular entry. Areas created around the hotel, flow into each other, almost like waves lapping gently at a beach. The big covered deck area, flows down into the main restaurant bar area on one side, as the other end of the deck flows into a huge outdoor seating area sprinkled with shade areas. Inside and outside, different areas merge seamlessly, leaving you with an impression of the sheer size of this hotel, but still a comfortable feeling, not lost at sea in amongst the vast areas surrounding you.

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The covered deck was a nice area to enjoy breakfast. Staff here were efficient and friendly. Orders were taken and drinks/food delivered in a timely manner, all with a smile an some light banter.

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Food was neatly presented, fresh and cooked to a high standard. Hubby enjoyed his Mon Komo big brekky. The bacon on this particular dish was among some of the nicest we have tasted. I followed with my theme of trying something a little different, this time round I opted for the corn cakes.

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These were beautifully soft, nicely cooked, maybe a little too oily for my taste, however that would be a preference as opposed to a criticism.

We took the time to enjoy breakfast and relax into the day. When you are presented with a venue which offers this opportunity, you grab it and enjoy.

This is a place we would like to return to, probably for a long lunch sometime. I could just picture myself here, glass in hand, a cooling sea breeze, kicking back over lunch and a quiet drink or two, watching the world go by. Stop in sometime, it’s definitely worth a look.

Yes we will be back…. . 😄

Scout Cafe

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Nestled among some older buildings on Petrie Terrace, you will find Scout Cafe. Across the road, rolling parkland blends into the cityscape with high rises peeking through the trees, as the Meriton building towers above everything. A nice setting with a pleasant vista.

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Here the furniture is mismatched, both inside and out lending to an eccentric, eclectic cultural feel. The local cat was busy desperately trying to nab one of the birds who were revelling in a game of dive bomb the cat from all angles. One very frustrated pussy cat later, along with a number of happily chirping birds, the game was over as the birds moved on to find a new target.

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The breakfast menu here is refreshingly different to the normal cafe breakfast menu. I have never come across a breakfast salad, however this one was beautifully presented, and I’m told, tasted superb.

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The shop is run by a couple of Kiwi ladies, who have done a fabulous job in providing you with the homemade, out on the farm experience blended with the ‘just like grandma’s ‘ and the eclectic feel alluded to earlier. Somehow it all works.

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It’s not often you are served tea in generously sized teapots allowing you more than just one cup of tea. The chai latte also served at our table, was declared the best yet. Green tea pictured above, was certainly a very nice drop too.

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All the meals, including the two bagels at the table were nicely oresented, cooked and were delicious. One has to mention the lovely friendly staff, always an integral part of the whole experience.

An interesting, popular little cafe. Certainly worth a look if you’re in the area.

Good Food & Wine Show – Brisbane

Designed to tempt everyone’s tastebuds, from those who eat and maybe enjoy a tipple or two, through to the food buff or wine connoisseur, the Good Food & Wine Show has it all. Purchasing tickets at a reasonably priced $26 each, whets your appetite with the anticipation of what these sought after entry tickets, will provide.

For three days, dedicated businesses manned and operated their stalls out of the Brisbane Convention Centre, all in aid of the promotion and marketing for their products. With a broad cross range including, large companies, family enterprises and Mum & Dad businesses represented, the variety of choice is simply impressive.

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Vibrant colours adorned food vans, stalls and food areas. More formal settings were a part of the different regions set up throughout the hall. Here, you could take your tastebuds and palate on a trip around Australia, or the world, without leaving the convention centre.

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If you have ever wondered what some of those different foods out there taste like, then this was the place to be. I would be very surprised to find anyone who couldn’t find something here to suit their tastes, or test a little something out of their comfort zone. The variety of tastings on trial is overwhelmingly mouthwatering, creating the initial first problem for the day – where to start??

Our group attended early in the morning which was definitely a good idea. At this time of day, there was plenty of room to move with the added plus of happy stall holders, refreshed and keen to talk to you about their products. As the morning progressed, alley ways started to fill with potential product testers, and some counters became a little harder to access.

Chatting with some fabulously interesting people from an assortment of areas, learning about their products, was both enlightening and a superb way to spend a weekend morning. I had a wonderful chat to a Father & Son about the family Lychee Farm in Hervey Bay, tasted a delightful probiotic gingerbeer, sampled organic melt in the mouth cheeses, oils, balsamic vinegars, yoghurts, chilli products, chocolate vodka and an array of wines. Helpful James at Wine Selectors, took us on a private tour of Australia, with his selection of wine tastings from different regions. Most enjoyable all round!

The majority of stall holders were happy to take treat you to tastings while taking the time to chat about their wares, without pushing their products. In fact, we only came across one young lady who was a little too insistent at trying to sell one of their product show bags. Everyone else was fantastic. The win for them was we did purchase their products after partaking of some interesting tastings.

As we progressed through the maze of alleyways, one did start to feel like a pack horse. Bag went into bag, which was usually already inside another bag. Yes great idea, less bags to carry but the couple you do have become progressively heavier. A neat little solution was raised, with stall holders offering to hold our bottles and purchases from their stall to one side, with us collecting them before we left the show. The only problem with this solution, remembering where you had left bags 😄. We did clear this hurdle though, with a well spent ten minutes at the end, collecting our shopping. It was about now, we realised how much we had brought!
(A very small selection only, in this next photo)!

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This time round, we simply wandered the walkways without any plan of attack, and did not partake in any of the classes, masterclasses and demonstrations on offer. We will keep that for next year!

This event occurs in different states throughout the year, be sure to keep an eye out for advertising. Most certainly worth a visit. See you there next year!

Carseldine Markets

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On a somewhat dreary overcast Saturday recently, I took the opportunity to visit the Carseldine Markets, located on what used to be the university campus.

This was to be merely a reconnaissance mission, I was not intending to buy but wanted to see what was available. Hence the fold up shopping bag, just in case👍.

Meandering around the markets, I was really impressed with the friendly, non pushy manner of the stall holders. Throughout my visit, I chatted to about ten of the stall holders, not buying anything but finding out information on their products. For me, I really did enjoy that no-one tried to force their wares on me, but they were more than happy to give out a business card and have a chat. This certainly makes for an awesome atmosphere!

The bonus for the stall holders here, is that I now know where to go when I need something they have, plus I’m happy to tell everyone else where to go and who to visit. Win, win all round😄.

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Talent abounds here. This isn’t a market full of stalls with cheap imported products. The variety of handcrafts is quite impressive.

Take a photo of your pet, and you can have Vicki personalise you a Pampered Pets Portrait painting. Or any photo to Lazy Larry and he will personalise you a wooden chopping board with your photo laser engraved. Or you can have that special occasion wine glass or bottle sandblasted at Blasted by Deb. if you love your honey, visit Karl at Queensland Pure Honey then take it home to enjoy whilst relaxing on the new pallet furniture you purchased at Pallet Shenanigans.

The list and the opportunities here are endless. The planning into the setup of these markets should also be commended. There’s a huge international food court area, an arts and crafts area, plus another separate area with your fresh foods.

My forward thinking in taking the foldup bag paid off. This assisted with the purchase of a couple of fresh foods, including 4 large strawberry punnets for $5. Still somewhat difficult to carry around, some strawberries did become a little squashed. Although I should mention, no strawberries were deliberately harmed in the making of this blog😄.

Others had mentioned that at times the areas can become busy and hard to navigate. On the day I went, it wasn’t a problem at all. Being an early riser probably helps too as I did notice it was starting to get busier when I left around 8am. Plenty of parking around and no entry fee….what more could you ask.

Take a visit sometime when you have a spare Saturday morning, it is definitely worth a look. I’m definitely going back, especially now I know what is there!

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Aarth Cafe Restaurant

A newbie to the Brisbane dining scene is this interesting little spot, in the new Taigum Village Shopping Centre. With the centre only being completed this year, everything is still neat, clean and tidy. The menu is an interesting mix of Indian & Western cuisine.

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A menu this reasonably priced, should have a wide ranging appeal. The lunch menu was also very reasonably priced with a good mix available.

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To be honest, I have not dabbled too much in the area of Indian cuisine. This unique little place has added the culture mix to their menu, thereby I feel, expanding their general public appeal.

Staff were all neatly presented, welcoming, helpful and friendly, whilst maintaining the professional touch. They are trying hard to please their customers, and I’m sure they will.

The food we ordered for breakfast was fresh, simply presented, and very nicely cooked. I tried the omelette today, the photo looks plain, however rolled into the middle was a mix of bacon, tomato, mushrooms and onions. One of the nicest omelettes I have had the pleasure of enjoying.

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The bacon and eggs meal, was as fresh and delicious as it looks.

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The only problem we did encounter was a long delay in the omelette meal being cooked and delivered to the table. This time, though I chalked this up to a little inexperience in this new venture. It is something I am sure the staff will endeavour to correct.

We were told by the staff, that this little northside niche is about to embark on a dinner service from 5pm Tuesday’s to Sunday’s. The dinner menu also looked enticing and again extremely reasonably priced.

If you are in the area, it just might be worth your while checking this place out. We will definitely revisit. Well done. 👍

Hangi Stylz

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Having tried the Hangi menu at another venue on the Southside and Gold Coast, one was left with no option but to visit the recently established Hangi Stylz on the Northside of Brisbane. I mean that, really, there was no option :).

Hangi food, raw fish, Kina, oysters, paua and of course the standard fish’n’chip shop options. This corner located shop, has plenty of parking available, a few tables outside for those wishing to eat on site, and plenty of menu choice.

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I trialled the Hangi meal, shown above without the generous chicken thigh which accompanied it. Hidden beneath the stuffing lay potato, kumera, pumpkin, cabbage, pork and a bacon bone. If you haven’t trialled the traditional Maori hangi food, then you should. It’s a back to the basics style, without all the added extras and tastes delicious. Somewhat refreshing for a change, to enjoy a simple meal, au naturale’ style.

Hubby has a palate which enjoys fried food, therefore his choice included battered oysters, cheese kransky and paua fritter. I was informed, after he had devoured as much as humanly possible, that it was definitely “up there” on the food scale. That is quite a high ranking accolade, 😄

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Now I should note, the generosity of the serves, kept hubby happy with his snacking for a couple of days.

With more to offer than the usual fish’n’chip shop, Hangistylz is definitely worth a visit. Check it out some time. 👍

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Mecca Bah, Broadbeach

Just prior to the time we were to head across for dinner, Broadbeach was battered with a most impressive storm. Throughout the latter course of the afternoon, the storm had announced its arrival, somewhat shyly at first, before bursting it’s restraints to pummel the whole area.

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Not long after this shot, the storm hit with a vengeance.

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Thunder lightening partnered with tropical rain to drench everything in its path. We delayed our trip to the restaurant, ringing through to ask the table to be held until we could brace the elements without becoming fully drenched.

After a brief dash between buildings and cutting through the shopping centres, we made it to the bustling Broadbeach vicinity surrounding Mecca Bah. Slightly wet, with an appetite worked up, we were seated in this Middle Eastern style Restaurant.

Baked Apple Pie. I haven’t yet looked at the menu, yet this was offered by one of our party. Somewhat surprised, I’m thinking I can’t eat pastry, when the Apple pie is ordered…at the start of the meal!

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When it arrives, I understand, and I’m hooked!! What an awesome cocktail! Cinnamon and sugar coat the top edge of the glass. Combined with the contents, I’m convinced this is an apple pie. Certainly this is one very tasty cocktail. Another one? Yes, well I should probably check the first one wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t :).

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Seafood, chicken kebabs, sides of rice or meals with couscous, there was a good variety.

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I chose to go with the beef and couscous, having been recommended by a couple on our table to try one of the couscous meals. The beef was deliciously tender, melting in the mouth. Combining well with the couscous, it was a nice meal. I did find the final gravy bit of the dish became a bit too sweet for my taste near the end, however no problems with the meat. I’m told the other meals were very tasty too.

The Turkish delight dessert was chosen by hubby, and following his recommendation, others on our table also partook of this genuine, sweet, lightly coated, confectionery.

Staff here were attentive and helpful, with Stan overseeing and directing proceedings like a finely tuned movie rehearsal. All the time with that lovely permanent smile never wavering from his face, seemingly oblivious to the hustle and bustle of this popular, busy restaurant.

Prices here are very, very reasonable, certainly not extravagant by any stretch of the imagination.

There are a lot of restaurants to choose from in this area, most were busy on this particular Saturday night. This one, did appear to be bursting at the seams as the night progressed, which was perhaps a good indicator of its popularity. Certainly worth a try if you’re in the Broadbeach area.

If you’re a cocktail buff, be sure to order a Baked Apple Pie!

Mecure Gold Coast Resort

An impromptu stay on the Gold Coast to meet visiting family, resulted in a frantic search for accommodation during the fully booked school holidays.

Broadbeach was where we needed to be, but there was nothing available for a night. Having stayed at the Mecure before , a quick phone call after checking Le Accor’s website, (which said they were fully booked), and we successfully secured a room.

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Located near Broadbeach, close to the Carrara Markets, this is a beautiful spot if you’re not after a beach high rise. The short drive into the Mecure takes you through towering palms, with rolling immaculate golf course, either side. Imagine driving down here in a Ferrari with the top down and the wind caressing your hair. This drive, gives you a brief feeling of driving into the grounds of a mansion, maybe in California. Already you are feeling relaxed.

This time round the staff were again fantastic. Valet parking is beyond awesome here, $5.50 for the duration of the stay and the wonderful friendly staff will happily park your vehicle in the undercover car park, retrieving it with a smile, whenever you require it back. Quite refreshing to have such awesome service at a very nominal fee. To be honest, it would be so easy to park your own vehicle, but when you have the opportunity to talk with the wonderful staff, why would you? Much more fun to valet park :).

The resort rooms are nicely equipped, roomy and come with either your own balcony or a little garden. One thing we have noticed here, the rooms are very quiet. This time round we were right next to the hotel entry. A steady stream of vehicles drove through, yet we never heard a sound all night. Nice! Another refreshing change, no mini bar!!! Bring your own fridge supplies, as the room fridge is empty, awesome!!

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Off to breakfast at 6.30 when the buffet opened, and we were met with two of these ballon baskets, returning to drop guests off after their pre breakfast flight.

A little hint with breakfast, book when you check in if your booking didn’t include this already, as you will save around $7 per person per day, rather than just turning up for brekky each morning. Hot & cold buffet, plus pastries, this is a very nice buffet.

I’ve checked out the gym area, very nice. Plenty of room, tidy, reasonable equipment. There’s a couple of pools, a nice spa with an extensive menu, a handy on site shop, plus a restaurant and bar area. The restaurant area is currently being renovated. Sure to be nice when it’s finished.

Keep this resort in mind, we have the enjoyed a couple of overnight stays, to be honest though, we would quite happily stay here for a few days. Perhaps sooner rather than later!

Only just over $20 for a cab through to Broadbeach, where you have an amazing array of restaurants, as well as the beach and plenty of shopping.