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!

Smoked Paprika

Located on the busy Macgregor Terrace in Bardon, one of Brisbane’s, inner Northen Suburbs, the airy and bright Smoked Paorika Cafe was this weekends breakfast choice.

An intriguing all day breakfast menu, detailing some interesting sounding choices, which, make the final choice of meal all that more difficult.Friendly staff brought chilled water and glasses to the table taking an upfront drinks order, then leaving us to peruse the menu.Loose leaf tea on the menu here, which makes a nice change from teabags.   However the hot chocolate above is certainly an eye catching drink.  Wonderful chocolatey blissfulness, topped with cream and marshmallows, this hot drink was akin to sneaking in a dessert before your meal!

Simple surroundings, with a nice touch of hessian sacking and neatly written appealing blackboards adding to the friendly simple ambiance. 

With the appealing presentation of the hot chocolate raising the bar, one was left wondering what delights were to follow with the meals,  could they match or exceed the bar?   Suffice to say, we were not disappointed in any way.Omelettes come in a number of forms, this particular spinach, goat cheese & mushroom filled Omelette was divine, especially with the tantalising mix of macadamia pesto combined in the dish.  Blistered cherry tomatoes were an added extra of my choice.  

Two of the other meals at our table, included a special of zucchini fritter with an enticing beetroot lending not only a generous dash of colour and fragrance to the dish, but also providing a pleasant accompaniment to the meal.

Chorizo spiralled over the delicious ratatouille dish above.  Presentation topped off with smoked paprika drizzled around the plate, as in the other dishes.  A nice touch given the cafes name.

Now this mammoth looking meal was Hubby’s breakfast choice. A superb melt in the mouth slow cooked brisket, served with crispy Haloumi chips, and his additional choice of lamb sausage and chorizo.  

Dessert choice today, soft Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes, drizzled with maple syrup, hiding delightfully velevty caramelised banana, finished with honey macadamia mascarpone, and finally, dotted with mixed berries.  A truely heavenly dish.

With the menu choices being so enticing, we will return to taste more of the delights on offer. Drop by and check this cafe out.  I would highly recommend you do so!

Bar Pacino

Bar Pacino , cool but where’s Al😄?  Love the venue, hosting some of the best views in Brisbane of the Story Bridge.  Add to that an awesome staff & service, no kidding they were outstanding!Vistas, reflections, combine this with wine, cocktails and food.  Fabulous mix. I can see why this venue is popular.  Was this our first visit?  Yes, but it’s Eagle Street Pier area, the array of choice in this precinct is outstanding.  We’ve been to a few, still more to go. Secretly I love this area. Everywhere you go has a view. It’s like having a constantly moving and evolving movie, ever changing.

The food, yes menu choice is really good, but the platters, oh yes, the platters, are simply amazing.  We spent an afternoon, and, to be fair, that could have been a lot longer if not for a prior booking elsewhere.We’ve had platters, and, they are a favourite.  It’s not like having a full meal, here you get to pick and choose,in this case, an amazing array of hot and cold food This platter was for five, however even 6 of us just couldn’t quite do it.  Now you have seen what Hubby eats, it’s not small. Even he could not order anything over and above this platter. That’s saying something.

We loved this venue,  one big plus, no one bill per table, just go to the bar, order and pay, the wonderful staff will deliver directly to your table.Cocktails.  Whiskey Sour.  Ok, technically not on the menu, however, bar staff aren’t concerned.  No consulting books, just add the right ingredients, here you are Sir.  Well done!

However, Nutella shots are somewhat of an icon for this venue. Nothing like a round for the table.  After all, when in Rome…..You should visit. It’s a wonderful venue.    Looking forward to returning, as not many places you have quality service, food, venue and the opportunity for an awesome experience.. Try it👍

Kettle & Tin

Close to Brisbane CBD, whilst tucked away in one of Brisbanes earliest suburbs, lies Kettle & Tin.     Paddington was first settled in the 1860’s, which resulted in an array of workers cottages and Queenslanders.  One of these Queenslander style homes, has been converted into an inviting hub named Kettle & Tin.


Outside seating morphs easily into the large inside area, with a charming warmth of days gone by, retained.   Dotted throughout the area are reminders of a bygone era.  Here a kettle, there a minature, but useful, wooden crate, everywhere something to see.

As the chill of an early morning winter starts to bite, the inviting warmth of this cafe would be difficult to resist.  Couple this, with the genuine smiles from attentive staff, you now have a combination which tempts you in.

To the absolute delight of hubby, today’s breakfast menu was an all day menu, which could only mean one thing.  He was going to enjoy a burger, for breakfast, with fries or onion rings.   Why?  Because he could, it was that simple.

Burgers not being my breakfast of choice, I opted for banh xeo, otherwise known as a Vietnamese crepe.  Filled with pork prawns and herbs, this crepe sounded inviting.

Presented with the black ground, making the green and crepe colours pop from the plate, the banh xeo arrived at the table, along with my side choice of mushrooms.    I would have to say the crepe itself was one of the nicest I have tasted.  The filling was mainly bean sprouts with a few pork and prawns woven into the crepe.  Personally, I would have preferred more pork and prawns, however, overall this was an enjoyable dish.


Aah the burger.  With double patty plus a fried egg, Hubby was in raptures with his choice, drooling over ever mouthful.   His final choice of onion rings over fries was definitely a winner.  These lightly battered delights played music upon ones tastebuds.  I did manage to try one them sneak in another, however Hubby was not prepared to give up too many of these little wonders!

Check out the omelette!  Oozing Brie, partnered with a side of bacon, this dish was well enjoyed by a friend at our table who savoured every morsel.

For those who have followed earlier blogs, you would have picked up on Hubbys taste for caramel lattes.   Well he has a new quest now.  Recently introduced to chai latte, his mission is now to find the best.   Apparently the iced chai latte he tried here, was a very good start to his list of favourites.  

Take some time to linger at Kettle & Tin, there’s always something to see on Latrobe Terrace.  Including Locals popping in for takeaway coffees, which meant a ride to the shop for some lucky canines, eagerly watching for their masters whilst guarding the wheels outside.  

 Keep in mind with this one too, street parking can be limited, however followed the driveway down the side of the building to an expansive gravelled parking area.  

Next time round I’m trying that omelette……..

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. 👍

Summit Restaurant & Bar, Mt Cootha, Brisbane

Feast your eyes on the stunning vistas across Brisbane City.   

 

A view so breathtakingly beautiful, the chances of enjoying your dining experience here are already high.   An added bonus for this choice was an email I had received that morning with a $20 voucher to use at the restaurant on weekdays.  No need to print, just show it on your phone.   Decision made easy👍.

Within an easy drive of Brisbane City, Mt Cootha overlooks the Botanical Gardens,p, with continued views across the city to Moreton Bay.  A popular viewing destination for visitors and locals alike.  There is plenty to do on the mountain, with the added choice of two dining venues once the hunger pains set in.

 
On this occasion we took the opportunity of enjoying one of those rare week days off work, with a visit to the Summit Rstaurant.

Seated outside on an incredibly gorgeous winters day, the wonderful feeling of relaxation and being on top of the world set in.

Service here was impeccable from our arrival.   Friendly, very helpful, amusing yet still very professional.   These staff had it all.

There is a lunch set menu here if you prefer to stick to a budget.   Under $20 for one $30 for two or under $40 for a three course meal.   Or you can choose from the a la carte menu, which we did today.

 
I chose the entree size scallop meal pictured above  as my main.  Soft, melt in your mouth scallops, teamed perfectly with the green pea tapenade.   Hubby’s choice was the fabulously presented  Wagyu rump meal.   Cooked to his liking, with veges wound so easily into the meal, he pushed none to the side (a surprising change!).  Literally finishing the entire meal with only a sparkling clean plate left!   Now for a person who side steps the vegetables on every opportunity, that really did tell you how much he enjoyed this menu choice!

With that wonderful chilled out, full belly feeling setting in, nothing to do with the wine of the course😄, the decision was required on finishing with dessert.  We had taken our time, enjoyed good a lingering lunch, so why not finish with a sweet treat. 

 Apple blossom poached pear.  I was intrigued with name of this dessert already.   Time to give it a try.   My decision, especially as a person who doesn’t always finish with dessert, this dish was simply delightful.  Every spoonful was a taste adventure in itself.   Loved it!

  
Hubby chose the churros, or in his words, the healthy option.   Again the presentation did not disappoint, and neither I’m told did the dish itself, with hubby enjoying his ‘healthy option’ choice.

Next time you visit Mt Coorha, allow yourself some time to enjoy a lingering lunch.   Not only will it give you more time to enjoy the fabulous view, you will also give your tastebuds an awesome experience.  

Look forward to returning soon, hopefully at night when the city is lit up!