Forty West Cafe – Ripley


Enticing comfortable couches overlook the even more enticing playground.   Sit back, chill and relax whilst the little ones release some of that seemingly endless supply of energy.

We recently stopped by here for breakfast and were impressed with the setting, food, plus very friendly staff.   If you’re not particularly child orientated, visit early in the morning, we were among the first for breakfast which gave us a very tranquil relaxed start to the day.


Its not a huge breakfast menu, but then I dont believe you need one if you can have something covering most tastes.  

Hubby was very keen on the bubble and squeak, adding a side of cheese kransky.  Hes still talking about this meal, so definitely this dish was a winner!   Food here was fresh and tasty.   Presentation of this dish had the bubble n squeak tucked underneath the juicy sausages and fresh eggs.


A reasonable selection of drinks too, the nice touch for me being the mint fusion tea which was tea leaves and not tea bags.    For later in the day, alcoholic drinks are on offer as well.


Avocado & feta smash with a side of deliciously juicy mushrooms made for a very pleasant start to the day.

Thank you to the friendly staff here,  Even a staff member coming in to start their shift, took the time to chat on the way past.    Turning on the outside heaters was no problem at all and offered to us as soon as we arrived.

Take the time to stop by, either with the children or just to kick back and relax.  Enjoy!

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.

Dragonfly Restaurant – Eden Gardens Carseldine

Situated on the busy corner intersection connecting Beams & Gympie Roads, lies the Eden Gardens. Browse the gardening, landscape and homewares or treat yourself to meal or drink break at the Dragonfly Restaurant.

Local wildlife enjoy the comfortable safe environment, which adds to your relaxing entertainment for the duration of your stay.

Today’s choice for lunch was two of the delectably described salads.   Once you have selected your meals and or drinks, head up to the counter for pay & order.     

The first meal delivered by a very pleasant staff member, was the Avocado Caesar which not only looked superb, but I’m told was most enjoyable.Choosing the Pork Belly salad I was not disappointed.  Juicy pork belly, married beautifully with the soft, slippery noodles and combination salad.   


A very enjoyable meal, nice fresh food and beautiful setting.  Certainly a lovely place to enjoy lunch.

With an intriguing selection of cakes and desserts as well as cold drinks and coffees, you are likely to find something nice here to treat yourself.   Enjoy!

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!

Garden Grille – The Glen Hotel

Time to kick off the new year with a visit to The Glen Hotel.   As Christmas and New Year have been family time, this breakfast was another catchup with family,  And to be fair, the buffet breakfast here proved to be, not only great value, good food, but an ideal location to catch up in a relaxed way.  No pressure, peruse the delights of the buffet as you feel like it, sit and chat in the interim, whilst enjoying the space and pleasant surroundings.

There’s plenty of room for groups and smaller numbers.   Dining settings allowed you enough area between yourselves and other patrons to ensure no-one felt like they were on top of each other, giving everyone room to move.

Buffet was split between two areas.   Cold buffet including cereals, fruit, tea coffee and juices, was in front of the bar.  Hot buffet had been set up in front of the kitchen area.  Here you could choose your toast, select hasbrowns, baked beans , eggs, and bacon to name a few.All food was nice and fresh.  We didn’t find anything dried or overcooked.  For the minimal cost of this buffet, $20 per adult, it was impressive.

To the delight of patrons, there was a corner near the hot buffet, dedicated to waffles, crepes, sweet delights and toppings including ice cream.  Dessert for breakfast, yum!

I would highly recommend a visit to this renovated hotel. With different areas throughout there is something for everyone, even a little bakery cafe outside.

Keep an eye out for the local visitors.  These little fellows were happily scuttling around the deck area outside. 

Definitely check this one out, well worth a visit.


The Rabbit Hole – Seven Hills, Brisbane

2016 draws to a close with many ‘last for the year’ things happening.   Today, was the last for this year, Sunday Brekky Challenge with our group.

Chosen venue, The Rabbit Hole, located on Brisbanes southside at Seven Hills.   Many areas to choose from with dining set up outside and inside.We had a nice outside table with friendly staff quick to show you to your seat and deliver water to the table.

Drinks and meals are ordered and paid for inside, other than that though, the rest is table service.   Everything is delivered to your table and cleared once finished.  Nice to see too the pepper grinder come out with a staff member once you have your meals served.

Some lovely sounding options on the all day brekky menu, now its just a matter of deciding what you want.   Hubbys choice today was to be the build your own breakfast, choosing bacon, haloumi and chipolatas to accompany his savoury mince.

Quite a substantial meal!   Potato hash cakes, also with a side of savoury mince, was  another meal enjoyed at our table.  Again quite a hearty meal in itself.    Those potato hash cakes look devine.


Based on the table recommendation, I opted for the omelette, with two of these chosen by our group.   Now I thought the other meals were generous, however these omelettes were packed.   With a side of smashed avocado making a nice cooling touch against the spicy homemade relish, my omelette was complete.  Here’s the initial presentation….Now check out what was inside!

Definitely an impressive omlette!   My touch was to spread some relish and avocado inside then fold it over again.   Yum!

Lovely looking cocktail list and lunch/dinner menus here too, making it worth a visit any time of the day.  To be honest, we say it would be a nice place to kick back on an afternoon over a meal and couple of quiet drinks.   Handy for those who live in the area too.

Check this one out, I don’t think you will be disappointed!   Oh and perhaps you can finish with a dessert brekky plate, like the guys did….would have loved to have tried these pancakes but just too full!

The Jetty Oxford – Bulimba

Immediately next to the Bulimba Ferry terminal, you will find The Jetty Oxford.  Enjoy the ferry ride across the Brisbane river, hop off and indulge in a meal at The Jetty, or visit via road access.

Today was a Sunday breakfast.   Time to taste something from the menu choices on offer.My choice for today’s email was the Mushroom Verge.   Presented with two appealing eggs, reealing a mere hint of the crispy bacon below, atop juicy mushrooms,  partnered with a delightfully tangy lime spinach, all resting on a sourdough slice.   The pop of lime set off the juicy mushrooms and crispy bacon nicely.   A most enjoyable dish.

Hubbys choice today was the scrambled chilli eggs, accompanied by pork sausage and a little extra in the two potato to herb cakes, which we were told were pretty awesome.  Hubby did not disagree.  Obviously quite enjoyable as the plate was very clean when it left the table!

 How appealing does this plate of tantilising ricotta pancakes look?   Judging by the way the dish quickly disappeared, one can only assume it hit the mark!   With a presentation which set the tastebuds salivating, these pancakes did not stand a chance!

A mention must go to the staff here, not only friendly, helpful but also with a sense of humour.  Something which always helps to enhance the dining experience.   

With some wonderful little areas, both outside and in, there is plenty of seating choice amongst the industrial mix style of this venue.   Stop by for a visit, it’s most definitely a fantastic place to wile away some time.   Those wonderful looking bar stools along the front of the open bar, looked most inviting!  

Shouk Cafe – Paddington

  Brisbane in the spring.  Who doesn’t love the fabulous jacaranda! This was part of our view from the balcony at Shouk cafe.  Fully enclosed, yet high enough to still offer a nice view  whilst you enjoy breakfast.  Relaxed and unrushed, as well as wry enjoyable. One could not enjoy this brekky setting.  This fabulous carrot/ginger/apple juice was very popular at our table and, I’m told was superb.. Now this wasn’t my choice today as I chose the Egyptian iced tea.  With a hint of what I suspect was rose water, the iced tea was most refreshing, a great kick start to the day. To say there is a relaxing atmosphere in a cafe, which is so obviously popular,sounds a little cliche.  However, even though there were numerous patrons, staff were relaxed, friendly, helpful, and most of all, appeared unrushed.  After many years spent in hospitality, I really do appreciate relaxed, yet efficient staff.  Well done to all the staff, impressive.  My choice today was avocado on toast with a side of smoked salmon.  Very happy I chose the half serve, this was more than enough for me!  Loved the meal, it was superb. ‘The Jackson’ is Shouk’s version of a big breakfast.  Now I’m told this was devine, every bite.  Other meals included the latke stack which was potato cakes pancake style, with cream cheese and a choice of bacon, salmon or haloumi. Around the Paddington area of Brisbane there are a number of cafes.  Many of which we are yet to visit.  There are a couple here which we enjoy revisiting , this cafe, could well  join the list. Take some time to check it out, I very much doubt you will be disappointed.šŸ‘

Willow & Spoon, Wilston, Brisbane

Nested in between residential, older style Queenslanders, Willow & Spoon is a unexpected surprise.   Eclectic, mismatched, relaxed and interesting, this cafe has it all.   

From the outhouse at the bottom of the garden to the choice of dining in either the intimate interior, or the more expansive outdoor seating at the rear of the building, this place does not disappoint.

Somehow the somewhat different mix of everything, works.   It really does.

Menus arrived attached to old LP’s, perhaps that’s why the meals arrived in record time…….šŸ˜ƒ. !
 What better way to start your day than with a refreshing juice.   The dull green hue of the Kiwifruit & Apple juice, was offset by the bright, sunshine look of the carrot juice.

 

The Tuscan was my menu choice today.  Homemade muffins were the base for the poached eggs and tomato relish, accompanied by my extra of mushrooms. A delightful dish, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  
Bright yellow cornbread was the added choice on The Willow meal of bacon & eggs.   I did have a taste of the cornbread which was wonderfully soft and tasty.
 
Hubby’s breakfast above, was Notorious.   A belly warming sirloin, onion gravy, mushrooms, eggs and Turkish toast.  This definitely hit the right spot too.

 

As explained in their brief history on the menus, the menu here changes frequently.   A plus which helps to keep everyone’s interest.  

 Themed dinners occur monthly here too.   You might want to check one out – I think we will be sometime soon.   After all, the Italian night which was drawing near, sounded good value at $45 per person for three courses.

Take a drive down Newmarket Roaf and visit this interesting cafe, with wonderful friendly service, which has just been voted best cafe in Brisbane!   

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