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 & jalapeƱo 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 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!

RSPCA – QLD

Today I was most fortunate to be part of a Worldwide Instameet at RSPCA Wacol.   Visit this complex, it is impressively designed and full of so many people, including many volunteers, giving up their time to assist these less fortunate animals.There’s  a shop, adoption facilities, op shop, animal hospital, even a cafe.   It was a privilege to meet those temporary residents today, no matter how great or small.From the reasonably sized Goofy with those melting pot eyes, to Cats with big bold eye colours

And the birds, this one quite chatty, happy to say hello to all the passersby.Then there were reptiles, a turtle, couple of snakes, yes it turns out everyone needs a loving home..The RSPCA provides hope to the temporary residents, as well as to those looking to add to their family.  Even if you cannot adopt, and trust me, I would have filled my car today, but, we have a couple of old dogs at home who wouldn’t take too kindly to the invasion on their space, so keep it sensible.  Only adopt if you know you will give one of these animals their fur ever home. 

Some are just waiting for you to pass byOthers welcome their staff visits and that precious one on one time, tails wagging, tongues licking.


You can see these animals love their human contact, so if there is nay way you can offer them a home, then please contact the RSPCA at Wacol, (for any of those pictured above), or one near you if you cannot get to this one.

These guys did nothing wrong, the circumstance which let to their temporary inhabitation of RSPCA, varies greatly but is usually out of their control.

If in your home and in your heart, you have a place for someone special, pay RSPCA a visit and adopt your fur ever family member.  Check the website or visit personally for details on all the residents who featured in this blog,   Until 31 March, there is a bull dog special price in place so a lot of these guys are under 200 to take home.  Small price to pay for the love and companionship you will receive in the years to come.


Make their day, they will love you unconditionally for it.šŸ’•šŸ’•šŸ¶šŸ’•

Mango Hill Tavern

When you reach that point on the weekend, where you realise you’re hungry, but time has slipped away, with most venues closed until dinner.   It can hard go find a place still serving.  Keep Mango Hill Tarvern in mind if you happen to be on Brisbane’s Northside.

Serving throughout the afternoon, with plenty of room, a variety of table settings, and extensive menu, they might just be the dining option you are seeking.


Today I chose from the classic lunch menu, opting for the Lunch Steak.  Sometimes you just feel the need for a simple steak meal.


Select your meals, take note of your table number, then order via the friendly staff at the counter.  Sit back and await the delivery of your meal.Overall, enjoyable, steak was cooked as requested which is always a bonus.

 Branching out a little from the usual, Hubby chose the Chicken & Prawn Mee Goreng. Spiced with ginger, garlic, chilli & soy sauce, he enjoyed every morsel.


Finishing with a sweet, Hubby enjoyed the moral sin cheesecake.  

Stop by for a visit if you are in the area, there’s something on the menu for everyone.  Enjoy!

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The Point Hotel – Kangaroo Point Brisbane

 
 We recently enjoyed a night at The Point Hotel, located near the Story Bridge, in Brisbane.   One of the bonuses here, is the very close location to the Brisbane River.  A mere few minutes walk to take the free ferry service, giving you the opportunity to hop across the river and check out the city or Southbank.

Rooms are very roomy, service was of a high standard and the added perks of a cheese platter with bottle of bubbly with the room, were a definite draw card.

 

The pool was popular with patrons, enjoying the private location, tucked away from prevailing winds.   Nearby the cosy bar offered bar meals as well as a cocktail list.  

  

Ok two drinks in a row, however you may be starting to get the point here.  We found this place very relaxing.  Yes I do admit, to preferring a nice balcony, however the atmosphere inside the hotel, helped one to chill out.  A definite bonus.  

The restaurant attached  was Lambets.  Plenty of space, nice vistas over the pool if you are seated on that side, with friendly helpful staff.   Meals were well presented.

 Now tell me these do not look appealing !!Cinnamon donuts with the softest inners, pork belly, figs and an awesome barramundi.   Presentation feeds the eyes which in turn encourages the stomach.  Not one of these dishes disappointed in any way.   

How can you top a night like this?   Go to your room, step upon the balcony and be met with what we considered to be an impromptu fireworks display.   Still not sure of the reason behind the explosions of colour, however, it was most enjoyed.


I would only offer  one fair criticism for the hotel and that is the time to return the credit card deposit.  We find most hotels to be prompt with the cancellation of bonds, however a few do straggle behind.    My tip, particularly if you are going to be staying at subsequent hotels, is to pay your room deposit via cash.     We are always told it is the bank holding the deposit which may be the case, however if it is, why do different hotels return the deposit from the same bank immediately, whilst our worst case scenario is two full weeks.    A small point which needs to be considered, particularly if you are on holiday and hotel hopping.   

If you are a visitor to Brisbane, this is a good choice of hotel, mainly give location, value and size of the rooms.  Check out Lambets too, those meals are fantastic !