Friday, 23 May 2014

Tastilicious



About a month ago there was a Scoopon deal for $14 (lunch for two people including drinks). When I saw this great deal I bought it straight away!

The deal included any noodle (except duck and seafood) or any curry rice, plus a can of soft drink each. I thought, 'Wow, what a bargain!'

After I bought the Scoopon, I went online to do some research on the restaurant (I was able to find some information on Urbanspoon and they also had their own website).

Located in Circle on Cavill, Surfers Paradise, Tastilicious is a fairl new dine in/take away joint selling noodle soups and rice dishes predominantly served with HK style BBQ meats like BBQ pork, roast duck and soya chicken just to name a few.

When I arrived to use my Scoopon on a Saturday lunch time, I immediately recognised the owner as the previous owner of 'Noodles of Renaissance'. Due to all the road works and construction of the GLink Tram through Surfers Paradise Boulevard, business has been pretty bad for many of the shops along the glitter strip. I think maybe that's one reason why 'Noodles of Renaissance' decided to pack up and move to Circle on Cavill!

We looked at the menu and it was pretty much the same as before. So I ordered a curry beef noodle soup and S ordered the steamed chicken noodle soup.

Curry Beef Noodle Soup

Steamed Chicken Noodle Soup
The food arrived and looked like generous portions! Normal menu price is $10 for each.

The curry beef noodle soup was tasty! Full of flavour and the beef was very tender. The egg noodles weren't too soft or chewy.

The steamed chicken noodle soup was skinless chicken breast (which I guess is how most westerners like it). But for most asians, I think would prefer chicken thigh with skin on.

You can help yourself to chilli sauce/chilli oil, chopsticks, cutlery and serviettes, which are all placed on a small trolley in the middle of the seating area.

It's outdoor seating in Circle on Cavill, with a view of the big TV screen. Although it's undercover, it does get quite windy and cold there.

The owner was very friendly and even asked us how our meal was after we finished!

Tastilicious is a great spot for a casual and quick lunch for office workers closeby or travellers.

http://www.tastilicious.com.au/index.html

Tastilicious on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Mandala Organic Arts and Cafe

A couple of weeks ago, my vegetarian girlfriend purchased an online deal for lunch for 6 people at Mandala Organic Arts and Cafe. All menu items at this cafe are vegan, so it was perfect for her.  She made a reservation for Sunday lunch.

The cafe was buzzing with people and there was also a live band playing. It was quite noisy inside with the music and all the people talking. They also have an outdoor seating area, which would be quite nice on a sunny day.

As part of the deal, we were able to choose 3 pizzas and 3 salads from their menu to share between the 6 of us.

Don't remember the name of this salad......
 This salad had many ingredients: strawberries, persimon, carrot, avocado, beetroot, fancy lettuce, cherry tomatos, alfalfa sprouts.... (I think I haven't missed anything!) This was quite delicious, although the persimmon was a bit sour/bitter.
Raw pad thai
 The raw pad thai consisted of glass noddles, bean sprouts, carrot, coriander, peanuts, chilli and fresh corn. As the name of the dish suggest, all items are 'raw'. This salad was quite tasty and fresh. Very crunchy too!
Creamy mushroom pizza
 The creamy mushroom pizza...... it was just divine! Yes, very creamy in texture. Lots of mushrooms and also cashew puree as the sauce for the base.
Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa Salad
 This looked more like a garden salad to me. But hidden under all the fresh veggies was some quinoa. There were roast beetroot, roast pumpkin, roast sweet potato, cherry tomatos, mixed lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and orange pieces. The orange added sweetness to the salad, which was quite refreshing.
Margarita

 The margarita..... a simple and classic pizza. Pizza base was smothered with napoli sauce, then topped with fresh tomatos, olives and basil. Another tasty pizza! Could not fault this.

The Thai pizza was just OK. I don't think the flavours worked that well. On the pizza, there was marinated tofu, leafy greens, carrot, corn, broccoli and fresh herbs. It was a little bit spicy in my opinion. I think it would have been a lot tastier if they used a satay sauce
 
Thai pizza
Have you noticed that there isn't any cheese on any of the pizzas? Surprisingly, this hasn't made the pizzas less tasy. In fact, the pizzas are less oily without the cheese!

Being a vegan restaurant, all foods served are at their most natural state and contain no animal products at all. I guess this is pretty healthy huh? No wonder so many people come here for their pizzas and salads!

Overall, the food was good, service was quite slow (you order and pay at the counter and help yourself to water, plates and cutlery). There is probably one 2 people cooking in the kitchen, so the food arrived very late.

However, if you have a lot of time to chill with friends and just want to sit, relax, enjoy the music and chat, then this is the place for you.

Mandala Organic Arts Cafe Homepage


Mandala Organic Arts and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Glass Dining and Lounge


Located by the water at Marina Mirage, Glass Dining and Lounge is an upmarket restaurant serving a selection of tapas, entrees, mains and desserts.  You can choose to sit inside, which is lively  with loud music, or sit outside by the water, which has a quieter and more romantic setting.

We visited on a Thursday night for dinner and were seated outside right by the water. We had a view of the marina, looking out back to Australia Fair.

We decided to order 4 tapas and 2 sides to share between the two of us.
The tapas came in twos. First set were the spanner crab croquettes and the tempura zucchini flowers.

Tempura zucchini flowers and spanner crab croquettes
 The croquettes were crispy and golden on the outside with a smooth potato centre.  I think there was only one piece of spanner crab inside each croquette. Although small in portion, this dish was very delicious.

The zucchini flowers were a bit disappointing as they had removed the stem (which I think is the best part!). The cheese filling inside the flower was melting and oozing out as you bite into it.  I found the filling a bit too salty. Maybe it’s just the type of cheese they used? The batter was very crunchy though.
Honey glazed baby carrots
The side of honey glazed baby carrots was a huge disappointment. The carrots tasted quite bland, it seems like they were just boiled/steamed and then had honey drizzled over them. Some of the bigger pieces of carrot wasn’t even cooked properly, they were still hard. I could not cut it at all.

The next two tapas arrived shortly after we had finished our first two and the plates were cleared.

The Wagyu Carpaccio was TO DIE FOR! It was soooo delicious. The thin slices of wagyu was melt in your mouth! Yum yum yum!!!  But at $21 for 3 thin slices of meat…… it was a bit expensive. But well worth the money because it tasted so good!
Wagyu Carpaccio
The lavender cured trout with kipfler potatoes were a bit of a let down. I could not taste any lavender at all. It was still very fresh trout though.
Lavender cured trout
The truffled cauliflower puree side dish was OK. It appeared to be quite oily (I’m not sure if it’s from the butter or the cheese that was in it). It was quite heavy and not as smooth as I’d like it to be. The taste was alright, but nothing to rave on about.
Truffled cauliflower puree
Service from the staff was very professional and friendly. It wasn’t too intrusive,which is how I like it.

I think I will consider going back to this establishment to try some of the other items on the menu. But not anytime soon, as there are many other options in the same area.

Glass Dining and Lounge Website
 
Glass Dining and Lounge Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, 25 November 2013

Little Truffle

 Little Truffle has been on my wish list to try for a very long time now! Everytime I drive past it, I say to myself, I have to try this place! I've heard so many good comments about this restaurant.  FINALLY, I got to experience the food and atmosphere of this fine establishment!



The decor was lovely and had a very good atmosphere. There were 2 distinctly different dining areas. The upper level was dim and chic while the lower level was well lit and classy. I personally preferred the upper level dining room as it had a better vibe to it, being dimmer. BUT the low lighting didn't really help with taking photos of the food! I guess you can't have the best of both worlds!

I went on a Friday night with a girl friend. At first we were thinking of using the Entertainment book discount, but then decided to order the 3 course set menu (which we can't use the Entertainment gold card).  For $60, we were able to choose an entree, main and dessert from their set menu (there were 3-4 choices of each course to choose from).  We both got the same entree and dessert.

I was impressed with the portion of the meals! Very generous portions and very well presented as well! By the time I had finished the entree, I was already satisfied! It was very tasty indeed!  For mains, I ordered the beef cheeks, which was melt in your mouth tender and had so much flavour! The size of the main was huge! I almost couldn't finish it, but soldiered on, because it was so tasty!

My friend let me try one of her tortelinni. The sauce was light and creamy, the tortelini was huge, between the size of a golf ball and tennis ball. You can also order the tortelinni as an entree, where you are served 2. Main size has 4 tortellini.

When the dessert arrived at the table, we 'ooh'd and ahh'd' at how pretty it was!  Even the couple sitting at the table next to us looked approvingly at our lovely desserts!


Wines to compliment our meals

Braised pork belly, seared scallops, leek, creamed potato, pea & mint puree, red wine reduction

Moreton bay bug and prawn tortellini,
sweet mustard fruit beurre blanc

Braised beef cheeks, cauliflower & truffle puree, bacon, horseradish gremolata, jus

Vanilla bean panna cotta, raspberry and rose jelly, rose granita
I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience at Little Truffle and would definitely go back to try other menu items. Their menu is seasonal, so changes every month. Little Truffle is the perfect location for dates, celebrating anniversaries, birthdays etc.

Little Truffle Website


Little Truffle Dining Room & Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

KU-O Japanese Restaurant

Have finally got a chance to blog about this lovely little Japanese restaurant located in Market Square, Sunnybank!

KU-O Japanese restaurant is a smallish restaurant, with only a few booths and a couple of tables inside. When it had just opened, I looked at the menu outside and decided it was too expensive! Not even considering to try.

However, as the months went by, I noticed that some of my friends had been and saw some photos of their food on their facebook walls....... and wow, the food looks great! Although the portion looked quite small in the photos, the food looked tasty!

Whenever I go to Sunnybank for lunch/dinner, it is rare that we eat Japanese. Maybe because there are many good quality and well priced Japanese restaurants on the Gold Coast, so I tend to eat Chinese/Malaysian when I'm in Sunnybank, because this type of cuisine is cheaper and better in Sunnybank/Brisbane.

None the less, I wanted to try finally try KU-O for myself and see what it is like, after reading so many other reviews on Urbanspoon and seeing so many photos on facebook (yes, my friend did visit a fair few times!)

The restaurant was quite busy when we arrived for dinner, so we had to wait about 10-15mins for a table. We were then seated at a small wooden table inside the tiny restaurant. When you walk in, the counter/kitchen is on the left, there are booths/tables on the right and in the middle section there were 3-4 tables with chunky wooden stools.

The table was tiny! And the stools, being stools had no backs to them, so there wasn't really any room to put my bag. The waitress kindly pulled over a spare stool for me to put my bag on. ^_^

We studied the menu for a few minutes then decided on what to order.

Firstly, I ordered some lemon/lime green tea. This was very refreshing and was a great start to the meal. The tea was charged per pot and you can refill with hot water. We decided to try a variety of small dishes for entree and ordered 2 mains to share.

Lemon/Lime Sencha (green tea)
Side salad - part of the sashimi set
Chicken hearts
Scallops
Ox tongue
Chicken Teriyaki Don
Sashimi set (includes sides, rice and soup)









This was the first time I tried chicken hearts! I was a bit hesitant at first, but my partner insisted on ordering this, so I agreed. To my surprise, it was quite tasty! The texture of the meat was tender and firm. The sweetness of the teriyaki sauce was just right.

The scallops were cooked perfectly, still a bit raw inside, which is how I like it so it isn't overcooked. There was a lot of sauce though, but it was still yummy!

There was plenty of ox tongue in the dish! We were eating slice after slice of ox tongue as if there was an endless supply! But I did find that some pieces were a bit too dry.

By the time I finished all the entrees, I was already full! But then the mains came........  The teriyaki chicken don was delicious! Tender pieces of marinated chicken cooked to perfection, over plump japanese rice soaked in teriyaki sauce! There was also some chilli powder on the chicken, which added some bite!

I think the most disappointing part of the meal was the sashimi set. Although the sashimi was quite fresh, I think there wasn't enough of it. The sides that came with it was uneventful. I don't think I will order this one again.

Overall, the meal was quite enjoyable, with most dishes being very delicious! I will definitely return and try their other dishes. I don't remember the price of each individual dish, but the total bill came to about $60.

KU-O Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, 27 September 2013

42fifteen

 42fifteen is a busy little cafe located on Davenport Street in Southport.

It is open for breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday (7am to 4pm) and only for breakfast on Saturdays (8am to 12pm). If you have a big group, it is best to make a booking in advance.

There are tables inside and outside the cafe, but it's not too big. When I visited 42fifteen for lunch, it was packed! We had made a booking, but was running a bit late, so we lost our table to walk-ins. Fortunately, the owner was very accommodating and put together some tables for us outside.

We browsed the menus and then ordered. There was quite a wait before our food arrived (because it was so busy).

Banana Smoothie - $6

Pork Belly Taco - $15

Steak Sandwich - $16.50
These were the only photos I managed to capture. I was on a long table with my colleagues and everyone was sitting too far away. Other items ordered were B.L.A.T. -$18.50 and 'Franks & Beans' (Housemade baked beans, golden potato hash, grilled chorizo ssausage, a fried egg and toast) - $14

I ordered the pork belly taco, which was absolutely delicious! I thought the serving was a bit on the small side. It was just enough for me (being a girl). But I think the portion would be too small for a guy or any big eaters.  The pork belly taco was very tasty, but a bit messy. There was constantly sauce and coleslaw dripping down.

42fifteen is definitely worth a try, but better get in early or make a booking!

42fifteen website

42fifteen on Urbanspoon

Monday, 26 August 2013

Roasted Pumpkin & Carrot Soup



This pumpkin and carrot soup is perfect for winter! By roasting the pumpkin and carrots first, it really helped bring sweetness and flavour to the soup. This soup is super easy to make and requires little to no cooking at all!

For the recipe, please follow the link below:

Roasted Pumpkin & Carrot Soup