Saturday, 2 August 2014

Dell'ugo South Bank - another one bites the dust

I'm not really a sentimental guy.  In fact, I've pretty much been pragmatic about most things in my life and while I sometimes mourn the loss of a restaurant here and there, it's normally a case of the free market in action.  Where I start to feel a touch of outrage is when when my sense of fairness is triggered, which happened recently with the news that South Bank restaurant Dell'ugo would be forced out of its Grey Street home.  You can read the article here, but essentially the Italian fine diner is being moved on because it didn't meet the future mix of traders that South Bank see in the well known restaurant strip's future.  That's ten years of history to be wiped - sorry, you need to go.  Outrage!

While Dell'ugo is not one of my favourite restaurants around, I have been a few times, both to the South Bank restaurant and their older and slightly more traditional establishment over at New Farm (see post here).  Given the news that the restaurant would soon close it's doors, I thought that I'd better get back over to South Bank, check it out and hopefully have a great parting memory.  Oh, and also hopefully, spark just a little outrage about the injustice.

South Bank has not always been a 'happy hunting ground' when it comes to dining out, with about a fifty percent success rate. I've had some amazing meals (Stokehouse) but I've also had some terrible experiences (Fifth Element).  We'd arranged to have a Saturday night meal, which has been one of the common factors in not having a great experience, it seems as if the very high volume of diners pushing through South Bank really does effect the quality on the night.  It had been a cold and rainy Saturday, but the weather cleared enough for us to walk from the CBD to South Bank, a walk we always enjoy.  

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Festival Series - Gerard's Bar launch of the James Street Food and Wine Trail

There is so much cool stuff going on in Brisbane it really is hard to keep up with it all.  July has seen the fun that was the Good Food Month which included the Night Noodle Markets as well as the annual Regional Flavours festival at South Bank.  The fun and frivolity doesn't seem like ending anytime soon with the third annual James Street Food and Wine Trail kicking off from the 31st of July to the 3rd of August.

The James Street Food and Wine Trail is a way to share in the celebration of all that is food and wine from one of Brisbane's top food precincts.   There will be fresh produce stalls, cooking demonstrations from live pop up kitchens, tasting corners and family fun zones to tease and tantalise the tastebuds and excite the soul.  Run by the James Street collective of bars and restaurants, the Food and Wine Trail is an event not to be missed.

You can check out the details here

Monday, 28 July 2014

Mons Ban Sabai - reminded me of why I love Thai

Everyone has their favourite Thai place and usually it's quite local and within short walking distance. Living in the CBD has robbed me of a local Thai restaurant, although, believe it or not Jo Jo's in the CBD has a pretty mean Thai red curry beef that I indulge in from time to time (see post here). But when I think about our time in the 'burbs, we always had a great Thai restaurant within walking distance (although we'd normally drive, but that's another story).

In years gone by, I'd have ranked Thai as my favourite Asian cuisine but for some reason, I stopped eating Thai food, I think I'd just eaten too much of a good thing and went off it.  SC will tell a tale a little bit different, a story where I'd read an article that Thai food was the highest in calories.  Pffft, as if! Anyway, for what ever reason we stopped eating so much Thai food and Japanese became the preferred Asian cuisine (I mean gyoza and sashimi, right?!)

So I was intrigued when I was invited along to an Instagram event at one of Brisbane's best loved Thai restaurants, Mons Ban Sabai in Camp Hill.  Mons Ban Sabai, which is a mouthful of a name, is part of the Venzin Group, which runs a number of Asian inspired restaurants, most notably renowned breakfast spot Paw Paw Cafe (see post here).  I'd never been to Mons Ban Sabai before and a quick look online to see where exactly in Camp Hill I needed to go told me that it was definitely going to be a SatNav job in the car.  

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Festival Series - Night Noodle Markets

In a month that just kept getting better and better, for the first time Brisbane was host to the Night Noodle Market. As part of the Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Market pulled together a heap of Queensland and interstate eateries to South Bank for an Asian Inspire hawker style market.

Taking over the cultural forecourt at South Bank, the Night Noodle Markets has added a fresh new event on the annual calendar, which this year coincides with the annual Regional Flavours event (see post here).  Bringing together over two dozen food stalls and bars, the Night Noodle Market became a beacon of great food and fun drawing people from all around the South East.  

We decided that we would head over to join in with the festivities and check out some yummy Asian cuisine on a chilly Sunday afternoon.  Arriving a little before sunset, we were able to slowly wander around the markets and get a sense of the food available.  Near the entrance of the markets, we bumped into Jake Harris, formerly of My Kitchen Rules, running Chitty Banh Banh, who'd been surprised by the success of the markets.  Jake explained that on the previous day, they'd sold out of Banh Mi within the first two hours - thats over 900 Vietnamese rolls in short order.

As we slowly wandered around the market stalls and soaked up the atmosphere, the sun set and the Night Markets really came alive, with the lights of the stalls, the colourful lanterns and the various bars taking over from the natural sunlight.  It was quite spectacular to witness.  The only problem was with the departure of the sun came the drop in temperature!


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