Bribe Island – South East Queensland

Brisbane winter weather can be absolutely stunning.  Beautiful clear warm days without the summer humidity, lend themselves to exploring the great outdoors.

On this particular recent winter day, a visit to this interesting piece of beauty, seeped in history, was a most enjoyable experience. Here you could feel the light breeze, soak up the stunning scenery and explore the different areas dotted across the island. Since 1963, when the bridge was built to connect Bribie with the mainland, accessing the island became an easy drive for Brisbane and surrounding area residents.

We found a meandering little walkway. siting between some lucky residences and a bird sanctuary.   A couple of hides had been built along the way to enable you to spend sometime viewing the different bird species as they mingled near the waters edge.

At the end of the track lies a waterway giving local residents access to the bay.  Sun rays danced across the glistening blue water,, highlighting the moving reflections stretched across the mirroring water.

Explore the different areas across the island, there is plenty to see and do.  A number of  cafes and other venues, leave you plenty of choice to enjoy a relaxing bite to eat.

On this occasion, we stopped by the Blue Anchorage, situated near the jetty, for a pleasant lunch.

With a choice of inside, outside dining and table service, the venue was a lovely place to wile away some time,

Enjoy your visit to Bribie Island, its an easy drive from Brisbane.  In fact from Northside you will do this in well under an hour.  Always nice to visit on on a weekday as weekends can be busy out here, with everyone trying to enjoy a slice of heaven on earth.

Carseldine Roadhouse

An impromptu visit to the Carseldine Roadhouse recently, was in no way disappointing.  Part of the Caltex complex on Gympie Road, the final Brisbane service station stop on the main road out of the city heading north, 

Enjoy the Roadhouse restaurant atmosphere here, whilst you maintain expectancy to indulge in a good hearty meal.


Dropping in for breakfast, the simple all day menu still gave enough choice for us both to enjoy a meal.  Staff were friendly and efficient, with not too much of a wait before meals were delivered to the solid wooden table.  

Bursting with flavour, the Italian omelette was my choice today.  Certainly a bigger meal than expected and not one that would leave you hungry afterwards.   


Hubby’s choice was the Grill breakfast with an added extra or two.  The only problem he had was making his way to the end! 

All food was fresh and nicely cooked, without being overdone or tough.   It was a pleasant start to the day,  partaking of the good quality food at the Roadhouse.

Open 7 days with other meal choices available, and some specials available, stop in before you leave Brisbane, or just drop by if you’re in the area looking for a reasonably priced hearty meal.  We were told Thursdays have good specials šŸ‘.  We will have to check that out sometime.


And those large cups on the menu are exactly what they say!

Lakeview and Mandys on the Mountain Restaurants, Mecure Clear Mountain

Beautifully located on the side of Clear Mountain, with incredible vistas to the side and front, you will find the Mecure Clear Mountain Resort.   Two restaurants are onsite.  One being the general Lakeview restaurant boasting a wide wrap around verandah area giving you a choice of indoor or outdoor dining.

The second is the adults only dinner restaurant Mandy’s on the Moutain.  Menus are similar and simplistic, in a good way.  We enjoyed a lunch at Lakeview on a balmy weekend day, followed by an intimate dinner at Mandy’s, with a backdrop of wine, and nightcaps on the balcony overlooking the evertwinkling Brisbane & surounds lights.

This soft shell tempura crab lunch special, was incredibly soft, with the light tempura giving some crispness to the dish.  Presentation was superb.

Pairing well with the stuffed jalapeƱo dish and delightful platter, lunch was most enjoyable.


With lunch definitely not disappointing, we were left wondering what delights would be in store for this evenings meal at Mandy’s..  

We had a lovely conversation with new restaurant managerduring lunch.  Interesting  to see new staff learning the ropes.  Certainly no complaints from us regarding staff, everyone we came across was friendly and helpful.

Natural oysters displayed on a bed of salt with crisp lime slices,  provided that wonderful raw seafood flavour to the tastebuds.  They were also a perfect starter to our dinner at Mandy’s on the Mountain.Crispy duck was my dinner choice.  Never have I eaten such a delectably soft duck.  With a crunch on the outside, the inside meat simply fell apart and melted in the mouth.Hubby declared his bangers and mash to be superb.  Apparently a very enjoyable dish.Why not finish with a dessert?  This tiramisu with pistachio ice cream, finished off hubby’s meal with that taste of sweet, but not too sweet.  Again service here was superb.

There is no doubt we will be going back to either of these restaurants. To combine this wonderful food, with the atmosphere, views and service, why would we not return!  Look forward to our next visit.

Mecure Clear Mountain LodgeĀ 

Sometimes you need to relax, chillout, have some down time,  What better place than the stunning setting at Mecure Clear Mountain Lodge.   From the time you arrive to the time you reluctantly leave, this location embraces your being with a feeling of peace.  

Stunning vistas unfold in every direction.  The ceremony area frames a picturesque background, who wouldn’t want to tie the knot here.   To have such an incredible venue on the outskirts of Brisbane’s Northside, is a massive bonus in itself.  Couple this with the friendly, helpful staff and food to a high inner city quality, and you have an awesome combination.

Your own balcony, should you choose to take advantage of the onsite accomodations will most likely provide you with a very restful area to spend some time whilst watching the city of Brisbane and surrounds, going about their business.   Planes landing, taking off, cruise ships disappearing into the distance, and a city just doing what a city does.

Pastel hues gave way to the twinkling Brisbane lights as night fell on the area.  Sit back, relax and enjoy.  Maybe from your balcony, maybe from one of the restaurants on site.  Wth a choice of the spacious Lakeview or the more intimate adults only, Mandy’s on the Mountain, you are sure to find something to suit your taste.   To do these restaurants justice, a separate review will follow.  Keep an eye out for it.

On site gardens supply the chefs with fresh produce in the creation of their meals.  Even a small vineyard, supplies grapes which find their way from vineyard to plate.

To give you a taste of what is yet to come, lets tantiilise your tastebuds with this platter for two. Superb!After eating your and drinking your fill, take the time to linger on the deck with a nightcap and drink in the twinkling atmosphere laid out before you.  Eventually you will have to tear yourself away to head back to your  comfortable room, or home, whichever the case may be.  Should you be lucky enough to have decided to stay, see if you can rise in time to watch the sun dawn on a new day.   Our hope is that upon reading this review, you will check this venue out.  Perhaps a wedding venue is what you are after, maybe just somewhere for a relaxing meal, or perhaps you will visit here to enjoy the onsite spa facilities.   Whatever the reason, enjoy your visit.  Remember to take time to relax, its a feeling oozing around you here, which just shouldn’t be resisted.   If you take time to enjoy a restaurant balcony meal, watch out for the local bird life, they enjoy a meat treat, and may feel the need to remove their own meat from your plate if you linger in feeding them!  

One last word in closing, Relax!

Banter Coffee House – Manly, Brisbane

Inviting surroundings set under an elevated roof, looked appealing.   Friendly staff were on hand to show you to a seat and distribute menus.   Now when I say friendly staff, they were.  And relaxed.  There was nothing forced with their customer interaction at all.   Certainly making for an inviting atmosphere.

Menus were also inviviting,, not only on the food  side, as the drinks menu had some interesting combinations as well.


Choose your order, then lodge it at he counter along with your payment.  After that, sit back, relax and the staff will bring your meals out as well as clear the table.


Cold Drip Coffee was one of the drinks choices.  Not being a coffee drinker, I can only go by what I was told, which was that it was a nice strong coffee.   There is maple provided if you would like to sweeten it a little.    I will say, the aromatherapy tea though was simply superb.   

Meals arrived with a nice selection at our table.   The above Banter breakfast was a big plate, full, including thick cut bacon and large sausage topped with spinach and hollandaise..  By all accounts a challenge to eat the entire plateful, but hard to stop as every morsel was so enjoyable.

My choice today was the Grilled Haloumi Salad.  Sounded intriguing, I wonder what if this will live up to the description?

Wow!   Not only was the presentation fantastic, the flavours within this salad mixed to an intriguing combination.   Combine those flavours with wonderfully fresh ingredients, and this dish was simply delicious.   For a salad, it was also surprisingly filling.

Kimchi Pancakes, another well enjoyed dish at our table.  Savoury pancakes filled with pork mince and a peanut salsa.  Again lovely presentation as well as a fresh interesting mix of ingredients.


In keeping with  a desire this year to test dishes different to the norm.   Hubby chose the potato and feta hash with a fennel and garlic sauerkraut.  Certainly no disappointment with this dish, he was suitably impressed.

Everyone in our group agreed, overall this venue had surprised with upmarket meals , service and surroundings.   Keep up the fantastic work here.  There is a lot of potential and as a fairly new player on the Brisbane scene, you cetainly made an impact!

Thank you!   We look forward to returning at some point to try more of the delights on offer.

Whisky Business

You hear the stories, repeatedly, but is it real?  Are the thick shakes to absolutely die for??  Well hubby thought so.  As for me, I have to admit to not being a fan of smoothies, juices, shakes, soft drinks or coffee.  Yep pretty .much a bit boring, green or herbal teas, water or wine is all I drink.  

However, on this occasion it seemed appropriate. to test run a shake.   Decision made to do this, then comes the choice of which one to choose.  Quite a selection!  

 My decision was made, let’s test run the Lemon Meringue.    The entire shake tasted like the lemon filling you would find in a lemon meringue pie.   Thick meringue topped with cream, finished the shake.  Very indulgent.   Unable to  finish this delicious tasting treat, hubby came valiantly to my rescue, taking one for the team, and finishing the remainder. Not a small feat, given he had already indulged in a pineapple lump shake (below), which was full of crushed up pineapple lumps. 

 Enough with these decadent delights, time to try the brekky meals.   A couple of weeks previously, I really did think I had eaten one of the best omelettes I had ever tasted.  Today though, the omelette was even better, if that were possible.

My only disappointment was being unable to finish this golden, fluffy treat.    Serves me right for overindulging  with a shake!  

Bacon & eggs, simple yet I’m told a nice meal.

 
A lovely relaxed setting, which will probably see you staying longer .  Beware though, this could lead to overindulging!   Next time we visit, no shake for me, as I look to try some more from this tasty menu.  For a business which started with macarons, the owner has found the right mix for growth.  Definitely check this one outšŸ‘

Buzz Bistro – The Emporium

  
Candy cane cup & saucer was most definitely a point of difference at this busy city fringe cafe.  Cleverly matched to the awnings outside the cafe and above the bar, the bold red and white stripes caught everyone’s eye.

 Even though the cafe was busy, we were immediately greeted and seated upon entering.    Here you peruse the menu before heading to the counter  where you place and pay your order upfront.   After this, table service resumes with  your choices delivered to the table.  Surprisingly, for a busy cafe,  drinks and meals arrived quickly.     Delicious olive bread was toasted, partnered with bacon, haloumi, egg and rocket, on the breakfast board meal.  A popular choice judging by the number we saw delivered to various tables.  My choice was a simple avocado on toasted seeded bread.   Nicely presented as well as quite tasty.  Bacon & egg roll in a wonderfully soft roll, with a side of lambs fry & bacon, was hubbys choice.  Judging by the clean plates once he had finished, one could only assume he enjoyed very morsel.

There are a few dining choices in the Emprium, not many for breakfast though,  so check this one out, even if its only for a take away coffee.

Shucked Cafe, Newstead Brisbane

Unassuming from the road, this industrial style cafe is located on the outer fringe of central Brisbane, in the suburb of Newstead.

Near the kitchen area, there are some clever uses of old coppers, now masquerading as light shades. A huge oak, bar height table, is surrounded by coloured stools, inviting you to take a seat. Alternatively you have the choice of one of the table settings in the cafe.

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The simple single paper sheet menus for the food and drinks, fit the basic industrial style of this cafe.

Both menus for breakfast included some interesting items, however the drinks menu definitely won over with the creative combinations available. Espresso and condensed milk crush or peanut butter/banana smoothie. Perhaps you would prefer a Nutella latte or espresso with caramel shake. An interesting variety of teas and coffees are also available. I did enjoy the lemon myrtle tea, an uplifting tea making a refreshing change to my usual green tea choice.

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I savoured the watermelon berry crush too, with the watermelon gently neutralising what could have been a sharp berry taste. Other drinks enjoyed at our table, included the peanut butter/banana shake, lychee/mint/lemon crush, espresso/condensed milk crush, and Nutella latte. All were pronounced delicious. The only small problem was the size of the handle on the cappuccino cup, not being big enough to put the fingers through. Certainly this in no way affected the taste, which was of a very high standard!

Meals arrived to the table, accompanied by the clearing of empty drink receptacles.

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The above smashed avocado served with haloumi, a delightfully light mango salsa sided by my choice of poached eggs and mushrooms. Everything on the plate married together beautifully. Other meals included a wagyu burger served with thin potato chips,

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All of the meals were nicely presented, tasty and well enjoyed by all. To be fair, this cafe was not our original destination, however, luckily I’m guessing, the place we did pick had 7am advertised as opening in their website, but did not open until 8. A quick google for a breakfast venue in a nearby area was what brought us to Shucked. Perhaps a timely reminder to check websites are updated with correct opening times and general information.

The result though, was an enjoyable breakfast, with friendly helpful service, at Shucked Cafe. Certainly well worth the visit!

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…. . šŸ˜„