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 👍.  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!

Cafe Nui – Toowong

Stopped in here for a weekend breakfast recently.  Plenty of room at this venue, with big solid wooden tables, huge verandah area, good service and what could probably be best described as solid hearty meals.

Situated at the end of long ramp, overlooking a car parking area, the general vibe was quite pleasant.   Look for the umbrellas outside, framing the Cafe Nui sign.Menu choices had interesting names with various choices.  With a solid drink selection to pair with your meal, there shouldn’t be too much problem finding a beverage to suit your taste.  Maybe a Chanel Juice (watermelon, pineapple & mint), or perhaps The Hottie (carrot, ginger & pineapple).


Time to choose breakfast.   Today I thought I’d give the McKay a try.   Advertised as Haloumi, onion rings, avocado, poached eggs on Turkish bread, it certainly sounded appealing.

Not only did this sound appealing, it looked appealing and definitely provided a good solid food base to the stomach,  The Haloumi was nicely grilled, not tough, stringy, in fact one of the better grilled haloumi’s I have had.

Savoury mince on toast was Hubbys choice today.   A breakfast which he did enjoy, stating everything was fresh, and nicely cooked.

Corey was the name of the Potato Rossi dish,   A simple meal overall, I’m told was nice but not completely to the taste of the person consuming.   Presentation was simple, with meals still looking appealing.   The only issue we had was the delay in one of the meals, arriving when the rest of the party had finished around half of their meals.  Apart from this, service was fine.

Why not finish breakfast with a dessert?   This one might be becoming a habit, however the Canadian style Oliver pancakes were most definitely worth tasting.

WIth alcoholic beverages available, this venue would make a nice lunch venue or somewhere to wile away some time.   By the reviews on their page, this one looks to be a popular local hangout.   If you’re not a local though, head past and stop in for visit.   

Kith ‘n’ Chow

Returning to our Sunday Beeakfast outings, the choice today was the quirky food van Kith ‘n’ Chow, located in Mount Gravatt.  Quite an electic choice of seating including this van complete with stools inside and out.  A novel table for customers and one which, I have no doubt, is a hit with many.Today was a somewhat moody, wet, Brisbane day, which had us wondering what would happen, given the table settings are outside. We soon discovered there was no problem at all.  Why you may ask?   Simply because this food van operates in conjunction with a florist next door.   The florist shop provides the coffees to accompany the gastronomic delights of the food van.    

Seated under shelter, we perused the menu to decide upon breakfast choices.   Having seen some photos of the breakfast platters, Hubby was in no doubt what his choice would be- you guessed it a platter.

What a simply delightful  spread, not only the display, but for the taste sensations contained within.  Those cherry tomatoes pan seared in a herb vinaigrette were sensational.   Eggs and bacon I’m told were fresh, and the haloumi was a definite favourite of Hubbys.   His first time trialling this particular cheese.

More of those superb cherry tomatoes and grilled haloumi on this tomato bruschetta dish, with an added side of bacon.

Frozen  yoghurt topped with a bright pansy, contained crunchy roasted granola which mixed well with frozen creamy yoghurt and strawberries.Juices and Smoothies are offered on the drinks menu.  The choice, like the food menus, has been keep to a small yet varied number of choices.

Sunrise Juice, P nutter Smoothie, Green Glory and Pinkle.  My choice was the Pinkle, a very refreshing light, tasty juice where the watermelon apple and lemon mixed nicely to gently tease the tastebuds. 

Take the time to visit this interesting cafe.  The idea of incorporating a quaint food van into the area looks to have paid off, It certainly creates a talking point, and they have in no way skimped on the quality and presentation of their food.

Check this one out!

Gianni’s Kitchen – Newstead Brisbane

 

Buongiorno!  Time to visit Italy without leaving Brisbane.  Gianni’s Kitchen is a full restaurant, however, breakfast is in the deli area rather than the restaurant itself.   Here you can choose to sit outside underneath the huge umbrellas or, inside, surrounded by jars and bottles of Italian delicacies.  Various cured meats and cheeses, beckon you from their chillers, encased behind sparkling glass.

 

Friendly Italian staff added to the relaxed atmosphere.  Tea and coffee arrived, accompanied by thick pieces of tantalising biscotti.  Definitely a nice touch.    As customers started to arrive, many greeted staff in Italian, inciting excited chatter.

Here, there was no rush to push patrons through.  We were more than happy to catch up with our group over tea and coffee, and drink in the atmosphere.  Everywhere the eye wandered there was something else to look at.   To be fair, it would have been very easy to walk out with a bag of purchases including wine, cheese, fresh cakes, olive oils, the list is endless.   Restraint was most definitely a requirement today.   ( Although, obviously some of us didn’t have enough of that ..!)

 Plenty of choice on the breakfast menu, with our choices including Eggs with Sicilian sausage and the Box of Pan Brioche,, amongst others.  Adore the gorgeous little packets delivered go the table, holding your knife, fork and napkin.  Awesome👍

The Box of  Pan Brioche above, was my choice.  The brioche in the centre, was filled with honey spinach, topped with a poached egg.  Resting upon a bed of smoked salmon, avocado & ricotta mousse, this dish was a delight to eat.  The salmon, avocado & riccotta mousse paired beautifully with the spinach brioche.   A very tasty dish.

This was another venue which looked like the ideal place for a long lunch.  Arrivederci Giannis, see you soon!    In the meantime here’s a dish of the eggs and Sicilian sausage to tempt your tastebuds.

  

Scout Cafe

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Nestled among some older buildings on Petrie Terrace, you will find Scout Cafe. Across the road, rolling parkland blends into the cityscape with high rises peeking through the trees, as the Meriton building towers above everything. A nice setting with a pleasant vista.

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Here the furniture is mismatched, both inside and out lending to an eccentric, eclectic cultural feel. The local cat was busy desperately trying to nab one of the birds who were revelling in a game of dive bomb the cat from all angles. One very frustrated pussy cat later, along with a number of happily chirping birds, the game was over as the birds moved on to find a new target.

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The breakfast menu here is refreshingly different to the normal cafe breakfast menu. I have never come across a breakfast salad, however this one was beautifully presented, and I’m told, tasted superb.

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The shop is run by a couple of Kiwi ladies, who have done a fabulous job in providing you with the homemade, out on the farm experience blended with the ‘just like grandma’s ‘ and the eclectic feel alluded to earlier. Somehow it all works.

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It’s not often you are served tea in generously sized teapots allowing you more than just one cup of tea. The chai latte also served at our table, was declared the best yet. Green tea pictured above, was certainly a very nice drop too.

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All the meals, including the two bagels at the table were nicely oresented, cooked and were delicious. One has to mention the lovely friendly staff, always an integral part of the whole experience.

An interesting, popular little cafe. Certainly worth a look if you’re in the area.

Northshore Riverside Cafe -Sunday Breakfast

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Rolling fog hugging the ground on the drive to breakfast gave an eerie magical feel to the morning. No hooded horsemen loomed out of the fog, although somehow the expectation was there!

This restaurant was well worth the early morning drive, and very impressive on a number of counts. Firstly the setting, nestled next to the edge of the Brisbane river, alongside a city cat terminal, with the gateway bridges nearby. Secondly the interesting way the area has been set out. Once you take in the overall view, enjoy a short stroll, stopping to read the pavers, with many interesting little stories engraved on them.

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The restaurant is spacious with room between tables and large glass panels which looked set up to slide back and take advantage of the awesome setting when the weather was warm. On the other side of the restaurant is a little nook style area, near one of the entrances.

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Service was good with no problems experienced for our group, although we were the only table sitting most of the time. By the look of the reserved signs on other tables, they were expecting more customers later in the morning.

Meals were beautifully presented, fresh and cooked to perfection. Extremely impressive on all counts. For me, it was refreshing to find a smoked salmon which was real piece of juicy salmon with crispy skin as opposed to the usual rolled slices of supermarket packet salmon. We all did add a couple of extras to our meals, my choice being wilted spinach which teamed well with the salmon meal.

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The pulled pork breakfast was a hit with hubby, including his extra of cheese kransky.

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Another meal at our table was eggs benedict with a couple of extras too.

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And finally a pan roasted mushroom breakfast with an extra side of real hollandise sauce.

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If you’re near portside sometime, drive a little further down the road past Eat Street Markets, until you reach the Northshore Development. I must admit a little envy for those living in the apartments in this area, how wonderful to have all this at your doorstep.

Be sure to order a juice or milkshake, they arrive in these novel glasses!

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Now we have the challenge of finding somewhere else to match this standard……