Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Billykart, West End

The new kid on the block at West End. Billykart West End, sibling to the Ben O'Donoghue establishment over in Annerley, is located on Edmondstone Road at the city end of the suburb. It manages to be both open and cosy at once, with wooden walls, brickwork, and high ceilings. We loved the little details, like the bright blue cart welcoming diners into the cafè, and the bright, modern kitchen with chefs on full display.

The menu is, by Brisbane standards, quite unique. With an extensive list of choices (remember to turn to the second page!) it made early morning decisions difficult for our caffeine deprived brains.

We ended up with the following:

slow cooked lamb, flat bread, fried egg, baba gnash, tahini kefir, pomegranate

house cured ocean trout, roasted beets, dill, kefir sour cream

aussie asian eggs, skull island tiger prawn, bacon, deep fried egg, oyster sauce, chilli, shizu cress
All of our party were happy with the offerings at Billykart. The Aussie asian eggs were certainly unlike anything we've seen in Brisbane, with very punchy savoury flavours, perhaps verging on the overly salty due to the oyster sauce and bacon. The ocean trout was beautifully cured with vanilla and vodka, and proved delightfully fresh.

I'd love to return to Billykart to try out a few other menu highlights, including the eggs bender with crispy potato waffles, hot smoked salmon, poached eggs, and horseradish hollandaise and the spanner crab & scallop congee with pickled ginger with crispy shallots.

Overall, Billykart is a strong new contender in the ever evolving world of Brisbane breakfasts. Prices are relatively high but reflect the quality of the food - definitely swing by if you're into breakfast a little out of the ordinary!

Billykart Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Famished on Frasers, Ashgrove

Long time no blog, folks. This morning my family and I popped over to Ashgrove, Entertainment Book in hand, to use up the coupon (2 for 1) at Famished on Frasers. I had previously been for lunch and had to pretend I wasn't sad their breakfast menu ended at 11.30! It's a bustling corner cafe housed in a converted house, with seating inside and outside on the verandah. The service was great despite some troubles with communication due to how loud it was in the cafe. 

We had the pork belly eggs benny, mushroom ragout (with fetta instead of brie) and the coconut black rice and oat porridge. I rated all of them - excellent serving sizes with some unique flavours. I thought the mushroom ragout was the standout - the bowl was chock full of various mushrooms including enoki and oyster varieties, with a rich sauce. I think it was their winter menu still, so better hurry in before these options are replaced by less hearty fare!

Famished on Frasers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Elk Espresso, Broadbeach

The lovely folks at Elk Espresso on the Gold Coast treated us to some of their beautiful breakfast options on the weekend! It's no wonder they are super popular, so be prepared to wait at peak times.

The new autumn menu features something to please everyone, from the classics to healthy options like the very green salad. French toast appeals to the sweet tooths amongst us!
A great, hole in the wall atmosphere. 

Try it out next time you head off to the beach!
Dimly lit but atmospheric, garage style.

Autumn menu.
Lindt mocha, coffee and DIY juice.

Potato hash with bacon, eggs, avocado and hollandaise.

French toast, vanilla mascarpone, caramel, dehydrated berries, poached pear.
Very green salad.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Elk for breakfast. All opinions are our own.

Elk Espresso on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 24, 2015

IndiMex, Greenslopes

Time for an Indian fiesta with your best amigos.

WHERE // IndiMex, 401 Logan Rd, Greenslopes

As the name suggests, IndiMex is a restaurant serving up the unique fusion of Indian and Mexican cuisine. Having visited once previously, we were invited back to sample some more of their tasty dishes. The atmosphere of IndiMex leans towards the Mexican side, with brightly coloured murals and canvases adorning the walls. It has a really great vibe with an open kitchen that sporadically lights up with flames, releasing unmistakbly Indian spiced aromas.

WHAT // We got to sample quite a few dishes from IndiMex - as follows!

Chimosa - little deep fried bundles of goodness, filled with beans and potatoes. These were crunchy and flavoursome.

The Three Amigos - Mexican salsa, guacamole, and daal makhani. The salsa definitely had a kick to it! In the background are a frozen strawberry margarita and sangria, which were both very sweet.

Filete con Mariscos en Salsa de Ajo Pimienta Crema - put more simply, surf and turf. This dish didn't stand out to me as particularly Mexican or Indian, but that didn't stop it from being delicious. The steak was cooked beautifully and was very juicy. I particularly enjoyed the tender white fish in the seafood mix. The garlic cream sauce was scrumptious - I was using the fries to scrape up every last drop!

Chimichanga (beef) - You can choose what meat goes in your chimichanga. They certainly don't scrimp on the meat in these golden parcels, and it was incredibly filling. My friend commented that the rice was a bit looser and drier than what suited her.

Gulab jamun - This Indian dessert is made of milk proteins baked into a cake-like consistency, soaked in a sugar syrup flavoured with rosewater and cardamom. I was surprised to enjoy these as I'm not usually one for spices in desserts, but the flavour was very pleasant and not too strong.

Brownie - This looked amazing on the plate and was huge (about 10x10cm), but proved to be the only unfinished dish of the night. It wasn't as dense as brownies should be, with the taste and consistency of packet mix cake.

Beef enchilada - Again, huge serving. No complaints about this one!

VERDICT // IndiMex is a great local restaurant with a great vibe, tasty food and a range of drinks. The portions are generous as well. Both the Mexican and Indian food are done well, so I can definitely see myself returning.

INFO // www.indimex.com.au

Disclaimer: BNE Cafés was an invited guest of IndiMex. All views expressed are the author's own.

Indimex Cafe Bar Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 14, 2014

Made in Africa, Moorooka

A great place for something a little different.

WHERE // Made in Africa, 197-201 Beaudesert Road, Moorooka

We were invited along to Made in Africa, which is tucked inside a small suburban complex of shops along Beaudesert Road, Moorooka. The manager, Tesfaye, was a lovely man who was passionate about Ethiopian cuisine. We were treated to traditional handwashing prior to the meal and between courses, with water poured from a gilded teapot over our hands into a similarly adorned basin. The brightly coloured tables are known as mesobs, adding to the atmosphere.

WHAT // We tried one of the platters for two, which included a range of meat and vegetarian curries. The food was certainly different from anything we'd tried before, especially the bread (a sourdough known as injera) which had a stretchy texture that made picking up the curry quite easy. Tesfaye encouraged us to try eating with our hands, as is the local custom - it may have gotten a bit messy! We ended the meal with Ethiopian coffee, served up with beautiful crockery.

VERDICT // Made in Africa is a friendly, well priced little restaurant that definitely serves up something a little out of the ordinary. If you're looking for some spice that isn't your usual Indian or Thai, give this traditional Ethiopian restaurant a go!

INFO // Made in Africa

Disclaimer: BNE Cafés was an invited guest of Made in Africa. All views expressed are the author's own.

Made in Africa Ethiopian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Spring Hill Deli & Produce, Spring Hill

Great food in a cosy environment makes this Spring Hill joint a success.

WHERE // Spring Hill Deli & Produce, 2/537 Boundary St, Spring Hill

I last visited this cosy inner city café a couple of years ago, but was drawn back by the numerous bloggers who had visited more recently and posted rave reviews. The red shop front is eye-catching and enticing, drawing you into an airy set of rooms. Staff were friendly, despite one of my friends remarking that the girl at the front counter seemed to be, how shall we say... a bit high. The menu hadn't changed much from my previous visit - if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

WHAT // All day brekky, as follows. I had a spiced chai coffee (sorry, the actual menu name slips my mind) as per the first picture. This blew my mind - please try it!

Avo on house made bread, with feta and chilli jam (15). We were off to a rocky start with this - definitely expected two pieces for the price. Since we commented on this to the café via Instagram, they've changed it to two pieces - great to see them listening to our feedback. However, it was quite disappointing on the day.

Israeli Shakshuka with poached eggs, feta & parsley and toasted sourdough (17). Huge serve, would have fed two if you were looking to eat more moderately. It had a generous amount of feta and a nice amount of spice to it.

Eggs benny with bacon (18). A good rendition of the breakfast classic, although one of the eggs was a bit over. The smoked salmon version must have magical powers for it to cost $23 vs the bacon at $18 though!

Banana bread with raspberry coulis and mascarpone (15). We saw this go by to another table and couldn't resist that incredibly glossy coulis. It was huge and delicious - recommend sharing as a 'breakfast dessert'.

VERDICT // Aside from the little avo on toast blip, we enjoyed all our meals at the café. They were flavourful and well executed. I didn't see much of a deli element - a few organic veggies and groceries occupying a small part of the side room. I'd definitely return for the shakshuka.

INFO // facebook

Spring Hill Deli and Produce on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Jo-Jo's Restaurant, CBD

Unexpectedly good food from this 1980 Brisbane classic.

WHERE // Jo-Jo's Restaurant, Queen St Mall, Brisbane CBD

Jo-Jo's is, quite frankly, a Brisbane institution. If you haven't been at some point over the last thirty years, you can hardly call yourself a Brisbane native. To be perfectly honest, I always tend to bypass Jo-Jo's in favour of the more boutique cafés that populate the CBD these days, with my last visit being around four years ago for a friend's birthday. I was excited to re-evaluate my opinion when invited along to sample some of their menu, which is filled with options from no less than 4 separate kitchens. These include a grill, Thai, Mediterranean and a dessert bar. On a Friday lunchtime, the place was full and buzzing. It had a great airy feel - perfect for the upcoming summer.

WHAT // We tried out a few of their starters, mains and desserts. Overall impressions - huge portions, and the quality was definitely high - much more than I was expecting from what I'd misjudged as a glorified canteen. Although the prices are fairly high, they are fair enough for the CBD and the portions you get. The drinks we had (pictured above) were probably the most disappointing thing, with my green 'smoothie' coming out as a very foamy juice.

Salt and pepper calamari (17), with beautifully crisp batter. Well seasoned and very tender, these went down very well.

Black angus rump skewers (18), lots of meat here. Tender and we loved the accompanying tomato-based sauce.

 Moreton bay bag risotto (27), peas and braised leek with soft goats cheese and crispy speck. I'm a bit of a risotto nut, always ordering it when it's available. I was extremely surprised with this one, which successfully avoided being gluggy and too salty as risottos often are. Polished off the whole thing - no mean feat, if I do say so myself.

Vietnamese salmon fillet salad (27), aromatic herbs with rice stick noodles and tangy dressing. Nicely cooked salmon with crisp skin, which is all you really need. The salad underneath was very light, but fresh. It may have been a little bland for some, but definitely good if you're watching out for heavy dressings.

Belgian waffles (15), with vanilla ice-cream, berries and chocolate. Gorgeous to look at and to eat. The berries were plump and tangy, offsetting the sweetness of the dish.

VERDICT // I had reservations before going, but they've been overturned. Recommend this place for a long lazy lunch or large groups, as it's easy to pay separately and provides a huge variety of choice - you'll definitely find something you like. The Thai food is apparently very good - will return to try it out! 

INFO // 10.30am til late, 7 days.

LINKS // Jo-Jo's

Disclaimer: BNE Cafés was an invited guest of Jo-Jo's. All views expressed are the author's own.

Jo Jo's on Urbanspoon