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. 👍

Vagelis Bar & Cafe – Racecourse Road, Hamilton, Brisbane


A recent week day off work, led to a relaxing breakfast at Vagelis Bar & Cafe, located on the busy Racecourse Road restaurant strip.  Here you are spoilt for choice.   Today we chose Vagelis to enjoy breakfast.

For such a busy road, the setting here was lovely and relaxing.   A mix of Bali/Asian style meets western style.  Quite a mixed feel cafe, yet somehow this all came together to make for a nice place to enjoy a chill out breakfast.


The Japan Sencha tea was presened on its own wooden board, and made for a very enjoyable accompaniment to the meal.


The salmon stack above was my choice today.  Simple presentation, fresh food, even with one of the eggs being stone cold, this was not enough to ruin the meal.  Still a very nice meal, I’m sure the cold egg was simply an oversight on this day.


With a breakfast menu giving you plenty of choice, there is bound to be something on here to meet your requirements.    Service was friendly with everything being delivered to the table in a timely manner.   One in our table tried the Turbo Burrito and declared this to be a really nice dish.   I’m not a burrito person, but if you, perhaps is is one to try.

Luke I said earlier, the choice of dining on Racecourse Road is huge, however, this place is worth checking out.  It had the look and feel of a lovely place to spend a lazy afternoon or morning.   Check it out sometime. 👍

Hatch & Co, Gasworks, Newstead

A pleasant atmosphere, with an upmarket, yet relaxed feel, enhanced by a view across to the old gasworks structure.

Hatch & Co sits on the corner of the Gasworks Shopping complex. A large sprawling open plan restaurant. Breakfast is served on the weekends in addition to lunch and dinner.

Politely greeted and seated by one of the waitstaff, we were offered a choice of water, and given menus to peruse. Our chosen water arrived quickly, prior to our drinks order being taken.

We were very impressed at the extra effort this staff member went to, after I enquired about a herbal tea. As the menu didn’t state the varieties, he disappeared with the drinks order, arriving back at the table shortly after,with a list of the tea selection he had written into his notebook. I think he was rather relieved we appreciated his effort!

This was their fruit melange iced tea. Very refreshing, with an interesting colour, completely different to the normal iced tea varieties

My choice for breakfast was the house cured salmon, scrambled eggs and chives, resting on a toasted brioche. A beautiful, nicely presented meal, with the light, fluffy scrambled eggs mixing well with the tasty salmon and a delightful flavoursome, brioche.

Hubby’s choice, was the poached eggs with a side of savoury mince. They were delivered with the mince in a side dish. The meal, I’m told, was a fantastic combination choice, all tasty and enjoyable. Savoury mince is one of Hubby’s favourites, meaning he is always delighted to find this on a menu.

Another meal choice was baked eggs,chorizo, gremolta and grilled sourdough. A definite winner too!

We checked out the lunch/dinner menus and cocktail list whilst there. Something about this restaurant, led to a feeling you could enjoy a long lingering lunch or dinner here. I think we will be back………. 👍😄👌

Belvedere Bar n Grill, Portside Brisbane

Seeking an venue, for some time out from the world, whilst enjoying a long lingering lunch, we chose Belvedere at Portside.

A beautiful sunny afternoon, we missed the lunch rush, which meant we could wile away some time watching the cruise ship depart Portside. A very relaxing way to wind up another busy week.

The menu included plenty of variety, including many dishes for two. which made for a difficult final decision. I chose the entree of rare seared beef, braised mushrooms, parmesan and truffle oil, partnered with a rocket pear and pecorino salad. Hubby choice was a mixed grill which included pork cutlets, pork sausages beef, and bacon.

These meals were superb. Meat melted in the mouth, everything was fresh, with just the right amount of flavouring. Very impressive.

Certainly no complaints with the service here, professional, yet still service with a smile. Chilled water was delivered to the table along with the arrival of the first friendly waiter. We did have a few different staff visit the table, which, in a way added to the relaxing afternoon and a bit of variety.

This restaurant set up with a bar area including a bar menu, which should appeal to most budgets. I could see this being a very tempting place to wile away an afternoon or evening. In particular, if you like to see what’s happening in the world, there’s always something to see here.

This is one of the variety of eateries in the Portside area, however it certainly is one worth a visit.