Sake – Eagle Street Pier Brisbane (Subarashi!)

Time to sit back relax, enjoy this first class experience.  Lets take a flight!  How about a degustation experience combined with a sake flight.  To experience the Japanese menu with service that went above and beyond, whilst seated in a beautiful expansive restaurant overlooking Eagle Street Pier and Brisbane River, is not only heartwarming, but extremely memorable.

Sake anyone?   This incredible wall of sake kegs is awe inspiring.   Are there really this many sakes?  Well lets take a flight and trial some these babies.

Three sakes start on the right with a lighter sweeter style sake, then work your way down.  The ever attentive staff even suggest to you which sake goes with which meal or dish.    Take your time with this, it may look small doses, but sake packs a heafty punch.

Today was a special birthday treat.  To be fair I wasn’t entirely sure of the menu so left that choice to my birthday treat host.  What better way to experience the delights on offer, than with a set menu.   Now normally you need a few people at your table for any restaurant to offer you the opportunity of a set menu, this menu though, only two.  Chefs New Classic Set Menu that was today’s choice.  What a great way to trial a number of dishes on the menu in one go!  So relax, let those taste buds salivate as we take a flight through the menu.   

First up, Norri crisps.  Delightful crispy seaweed, pairing fantastically with that little soft touch of tuna and seasame on top.  Devine.

With fabulous, yet simplistic presentation, Hiramasa Kingfish drizzled with housemad lime & jalapeño kosho, followed.  The Kingfish had been replaced with another fish, as there not was enough stock on this particular day.  However, this dish was soft, delectable and enjoyable.

Now I hear a few of you, going hmm not much.  But, this to me is the epitome of a degustation style meal. A wonderful opportunity to experience flavours, understanding what you eat and quite simply savouring for enjoyment.   

Grass fed Beef tatakai.   Staff were right, this one matched perfectly with one of the Sakes!  With a little bit of crunch, mixed with a light salad type topping, this rare beef was an absolute treat.

Coated in an incredibly light batter and even lighter mayonnaise, thevpopcorn shrimp dish was superb to say the least.  Totally different to the previous dishes, it was an enlivening dish, which woke not only only your tastebuds, but your whole being with the simple flavours and the pop of shrimp.

And the dishes kept on coming.   Next up this fabulously presented Bass Grouper.  Yum!

House salad topped up the vege intake, providing a refreshingly different taste sensation to the previous fish and beef dishes.   Also an excellent cleanser before the Cape Grim short rib bo ssam which followed.Combing light, crispy and hot, this was an intriguing, very tasty treat!   The pickles confit garlic and ssam sauce paired wonderfully well with the short rib.

What better way to cleanse the palate before finishing with than with traditional miso soup.  Tofu, spring onion and wakame filled this delightful miso was a sensational cleanser.   

Only one dish left to go on this set menu, the Chefs choice of dessert.Oh WOW!   This colourful eye popping delight was a lovely surprise, added to which the combinations of desserts on the plate were enough to give you a sweet taste experience which finished off this meal beautifully.

I cannot recommend this venue highly enough.   Every now and then we do need to treat ourselves.   This $98 per person sensational taste journey was worth every cent.

Thank you Sake!  Kanpai!

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 👍.  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 jalapeño 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 Lodge 

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!

The Crofthouse Town Kitchen & Bar

Situated on the ground floor of the Sebel Brisbane, the Crofthouse is a result of a restaurant makeover around a year ago.   With a choice of indooor and outdoor dining, as welll as a mix of dining suite styles, you will are sure to find something to suit your tastes and wile away some time.


The Crofthouse  opens from early to late, catering for all daily meals as well as bar, snack and chacutierie menus.   

Lunches are $16, with a choice of two types.   Choose a protein meal and match to the interesting mix of salads at the bar, or choose an a la carte meal.    Today we both chose an a la carte option.

Mine was the Mushroom Risotto which had a some juicy mushroom pieces scattered throughout.   A nice mild meal, which suited me perfectly.  No spices, just herbs and goats cheeese making for a very enjoyable lunch.


Hubby chose the Flathead meal today.  Accompanied by chunky chips, I’m told the meal was tasty and enjoyable. As far as $16 meals both of these represented very good value for their cost.  Keep in mind too, if you are an Accor plus member, this restaurant accepts the accorplus card giving you discounts on your meals.


Wile away some time here, you may even find free entertainment outside the window.   We were lucky enough to be treated to a reverse parking display which took close to ten minutes from beginning to end, quite entertaining!

Should you feel the need to stay in the city, the Sebel has apartments and rooms available.   

Check the menus here as you pass by, there might be something which will catch your attention and provide you with the opportunity to stop off and relax.

Catalina Bar & Restaurant, Novotel Brisbane Airport

Having been a few times to breakfast, I finally had the opportunity to visit this lovely venue for lunch recently..

The floor to ceiling windows accentuate the high ceiling above, giving you wonderful views over the beautifully maintained lawn outside.   

Pre lunch drinks arrived while we perused the menu.  This delightfully refreshing bubbles with citrus  added was superb!

The menu here has some tantalising lunch specials as well as full restaurant menu.  My choice today was to be the Ceaser Salad with added smoked salmon.

A filling lunch, with just the right amount of dressing mixed through the dish.  Crunchy croutons and crispy bacon mixed well with the softer salmon.  Egg presentation was certainly unexpected, adding to the initial visual appeal and colour.

This dish though completely stole the limelight with its gorgeous presentation.  Peppered seared yellow fin tuna nicoise, layered over potato, green beans, olives, tomatoes and a cute wee quail egg. Not only a delightfully visual dish, but I’m told also extremely tasty.

Service here never disappoints and this particular day was to be no exception.  Added bonus for me is the acceptance of the Accor Plus card which gives 50% off a meal for two.  Also the fact that lunch starts at eleven, was appealing on this occasion, fitting in well with other appointments.

Located át the DfO complex, this would be a wonderful place to take a break in your shopping or end your exhaustive shopping day with a bit of luxury.!

Darun Thai – Taigum

Only opened in the past few weeks, this brand new restaurant caters for both dine in and takeaway.   A lot of thought has gone into the setting inside the restaurant with a faux brick wall adorned with interesting  sculpture styled frames.  Spot lighting has been to set to highlight the images.

 BYO, with a $2 per head corkage surcharge, leaving you free to take along your favourite wine to accompany the meal.

 Prices are reasonable with a very large main plate from the bbq menu costing only $19.90.    A very extensive menu, which caters to many and varied tastes. 

 My choice was this delightful bbq beef meal, named the ‘Crying Tiger’. The beef plentiful, tasty as well as soft.  Very easy to eat.  A lot of effort had been put into the carrots alone, with spirals in the salad plus corrugated, chip style carrots in the vegetables.   Sauce was on the side,  and supposedly mild, but still a little to spicy for me.  However this tender, juicy beef, did not require any sauce, with plenty of flavoured juices coating your mouth upon every bite.  BBQ chicken was the other choice, which arrived looking tantalising juicy as well.   Huge meal too as this honestly seemed to be about half a chicken!   The photo does not depict the true size of these meals.

To finish, who can resist a little dessert.  Why not try the deep fried. Ice cream…😜 

 it doesn’t hurt to indulge every now and then!    And yes, this did taste as good as it looks!

Overall the setting, food quality and prices here are a winner for this new restaurant.   Front of house though still requires some work and co-ordination.  There appeared to be a lot of confusion with taking phone & walk in customer  orders,which left the few dine in guests, sitting waiting for sometimes long periods of non service.  Staff were friendly and I’m sure, given time combined with better planning, the front of house will improve. 

Will check this one out again further down the track.  In the meantime though, drop in when they’re quiet, I’m sure you will enjoy your meal!

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse, Eagle St Pier, Brisbane

With the winter wind biting, on what was otherwise a gorgeous winters day in Brisbabe, we were off to Kingsleys to celebrate a birthday with a long lunch. Seated outside, beneath the wonderfully warm umbrella heaters, we enjoyed a view of activities taking place on the Brisbane River.

Staff were friendly, very helpful, with a good sense of humour and more than willing to offer advice or information.  Changing the booking to suit the actual number of guests at the table, was not a problem at all.

The wine list here is extensive, with a very good selection of wine to tempt any wine conossiour, or simply those who enjoy a glass or two of wine, cocktails beer & spirits.    With crab & steak featuring for this restaurant, menu choices are tantalising.  After giving the menu due consideration, it was time to sit back relax and drink in the view.

 Complimentary bread was delivered to the table, prior to the arrival of the entrees.  Having chosen the Alaskan king crab oysters, we were interested to see how the dish presented.  It most certainly did not disappoint.  Not only were these oysters beautifully fresh, the king crab topping, delicately decorating each oyster, was devine.

In keeping with the seafood theme, I enjoyed some of the best mussels, I have ever eaten.   Now that is a compliment, given the amount of time spent around the Matlborough Sounds in previous years, which are dotted with neat rows of green lipped mussel farms.  Alaskan King Crab leg entrees were enjoyed as well.  Quite simply, the seafood was superb.

Taking our time to chat and enjoy the afternoon, we had a good break between entrees and mains.  Always nice to be able to savour meals, rather than feeling rushed through.

After choosing the Ribeye Scotch Fillet, (topped with Alaskan crab of course), my next question was which wine would pair with the main.

Following the staff’s selection, I requested a tasting sample of the Pepperjack Shiraz, which I was told had been specifically chosen to pair with this steak.  As for me personally, a limited number of Shiraz’s appeal to my palate, the opportunity to taste first, was definitely appreciated.  Thank you for granting this results, so quickly and easily.  Sides were more than sufficient to cover all guests.   My main choice, pictured above looked very tempting.  Those Alaskan crab pieces topping the steak, were a great accompaniment to the meal.  Whilst ordering the steak, I had taken up the staff suggestion for how the chefs preferred to cook the steak.  To be honest, for me the charred outside was fantastic, pairing beautifully with the Shiraz.  However, I think I would have preferred to stick with my usual choice of rare.  That however, is not a criticism, simply a personal preference.  This was overall a great meal choice.

How does one finish a meal on a beautiful day like today?  Why with dessert of course.   Pictured above is hubby’s choice.   This dish certainly delighted hubby, who would loves bread & butter pudding., especially dripping in white chocolate as this one was!  

 Two of the other desserts enjoyed were the vanilla bean brûlée above and the mixed berry frangipane (1st photo above).   Both an absolutely devine way to finish of a wonderful meal, paired with a enjoyable afternoon.

Looking forward to returning to Kingsleys sometime to explore more of the delights contained within the menu…..and enjoy the company of those friendly staff members. 👍