Aarth Cafe, Taigum – New Menu Reviewed

This week we were privileged to attend Aarth Cafe for an early introduction to some of the new menu changes. Starting with entree, choices on tonight’s test menu were a couple of new bread, calamari, Haloumi, soft shell crab and pork belly.

Lets fade into these entrees as we begin our food journey ….

My choices this evening I decided, needed to be foods which can be overcooked easily. Tonight I chose to start with the Grilled Haloumi Salad which sat atop a delightful mixed salad accompanied by an interesting mix of pomegranate & date jam. This jam lifted the Haloumi with a flavour burst which brought the taste buds to life. The thinner slices of haloumi were that little bit crisper compared to larger pieces and were for me, my preferred choice of size. Interestingly the cold carrots on the salad provided a good partner for the jam and haloumi. Will also add here the Endless Pinot Grigio paired beautifully with this dish.

Hubbys choice was the Soft Shell crab with mascarpone and a green apple verjuice salad. We were both tasting the dishes and I did try this soft shell crab was beautifully crispy and again married well with the salad. In fact the selling point here is Hubby ate all his salad, nothing left on the plate. Now as someone who avoids salad whenever he can, that has to be a good advertising point!

Onto the mains. Tonight’s choice included a burger, chicken schnitzel, salmon, duck, steak, lamb, pork belly and pork ribs. Plenty of choice here. For me, it was to be the confit duck leg and candied orange salad. For hubby, grilled lamb with garlic reduction and a poppadum topped with sumac yoghurt salad.

Presentation of the dishes was certainly eyecatching. The poppadum filled with salad not only looked good, it gave the lamb a boost. As Hubby pointed out, the lamb itself was plain, very tender, and paired exceptionally well with the salad. Again, this salad plate was cleared by Hubby. That’s saying something! I did try this dish and in my opinion, felt the lamb should be plain and not flavoured as the yoghurt salad definitely added the flavour, whilst the poppadum gave you your crunch. Here’s a closer look below at the two dishes.

The duck where do I start. These were very large duck legs, and knowing how duck can be easily dried out during cooking, it was with some trepidation, I sliced into the leg. Juices flowed and the meat simply fell off the boat. Never, have I enjoyed such a beautifully tender duck with the slight crispness around the edges making this a superb dish. The salad also held its own surprise with small candied orange pieces popping up at random. These crunchy citrus delights added to this gastronomical delight, were a fantastic additional choice. I paired this one with a French FB Pinot Noir. Not too bad a match for this dish either.

All credit to Sunny and his team, they did do a fantastic job not only with the running the evening, but also with designing this new menu. I did talk to Robin the chef at the end and he told me the duck is slow cooked, well however its done, keep it up as it most certainly works.

To finish tonight was one dessert, a Belgian Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Bean Icecream, chocolate fudge and whipped cream.

The brownie simply melted in the mouth, a soft chocolate delight. Icecream, big tick, loved it!

Talking with Sunny, his intention was for everyone to give an honest opinion or suggest any changes on the dishes. My husband suggested perhaps a jus or sauce drizzled over the lamb, again this I think depends on your taste.

Sunny and his staff are interesting to talk to and happy to explain or answer questions. The reason behind using the pomegranate was nice to hear, especially how common it was for Sunny growing up to have this fruit which is now not as accessible.

We agree that this menu has upped the ante. These are dishes which need to be going out to the table as soon as they are prepared. The pressure is going to be on the kitchen to uphold the standards and front of house to ensure everything is delivered to diners as soon as it is ready.

Drop in and try for yourself. New menu launches fully on December 6. Check it out and remember Choose YOUR Mood!

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!

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 AlšŸ˜„?  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 itšŸ‘

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……..