Thursday, October 17, 2013

I'm grateful for beautiful Brisbane eateries... but my waist isn't...

In recent weeks with my broken toe hindering my exercise routine (I haven’t been able to run since August23) I have gained weight. But as I was writing this, I came to realize it’s not just about my training, it’s about my eating! The rule is we need to expel more energy than we intake and I simply haven’t been doing that… as you’ll see! But boy have I had fun investing my newer, bigger girth J

Here’s just some of my favourite dining experiences of late, all places I recommend you try, some I have already been to many times.

Atmosphere, fab food and a great view at Popolo!

POPOLO: Given the number of times I’ve eaten at Popolo Kitchen and Bar   since arriving in April, it’s fairly obvious this Italian restaurant at River Quay is one of my favourite places in Brisbane. Most recently I was fortunate to get the last table available on the night of Riverfire. After struggling through what seemed like trillions of people – and why take kids in prams? – it was with sheer relief I sat down to the ultimate view of the action. It’s fair to say that my cousin Bernardine and I had the perfect view of the best fireworks Brisbane puts on. [I spent New Years Eve at Aquitaine and the fireworks were fairly underwhelming and no, that’s not my Sydney Harbor bias talking!).

 Perfect view for all the Riverfire action...
What I love about Popolos goes beyond the stunning view over the river to the city landscape; it’s the yummy cocktails, and the divine menu – I recommend the arrancini balls and the dessert platter with basil ice-cream. Added to this is the high quality but easy going personal service by the young, energetic, eager to please waitresses. I’d poach them for my own restaurant if I had one. So for a fab food, service, view and ambiance then head to Popolos. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic dinner, a girls night out, or if you want to impress an out-of-towner!

 Try to Cosmopolitan at Popolo - we did!

THE COVE: The Cove  is an oyster bar and I’m a big fan of the pre-dinner drink and love a glass or two of bubbles at The Cove where I can sip some sparkling and soak up the city skyline as well. The pic at the top of this blog was taken while perched on a stool, contemplating life while waiting for my friend to arrive. Not too shabby eh?

THE JETTY: The Jetty  sits between The Cove and Popolos and while I thought it slightly more pretentious and the delivery of our sides incredibly slow (were they peeling the potatoes for the fires?), the location and my cooked-to-order very well-done steak (read: cremated) made for an appreciative night out with friends Cathy Reid and Adela Blair whom have both blogged for me here recently.

GOMA CAFÉ: Possibly one of the most peaceful, breezy places to meet up with friends in Brisbane. Even when the cyclists are there early morning on the weekend the GOMA Café sits under a tree canopy near the Karilpa bridge. calm. I’ve had meetings, meltdowns and plenty of bowls of fries at this riverfront venue. It has a smaller menu (go the duck salad) but less people than the State Library Café and the waiter is as cheeky as the ibis that jump on the tables. It’s one of the places I’ll miss when I leave Brisbane shortly.

Sunday at Jade Buddha - the place to be!
JADE BUDDHA:  As I’ve been living a bit of a holiday lifestyle while here in Brisbane, Sunday means I’m usually looking for somewhere to chill out after Saturday night and catch up with the girls. One spot that I’ve found that is deceptive in terms of weather – that is you can’t feel the searing heat while there – is Jade Buddha at Eagle Street Pier. They have a great ala carte menu and cocktail specials – but I recommend the Sensual Sunday bbq between 2pm-5.30pm where $10 will buy you 1/2 Moreton Bay bug, prawns and fish skewer or $15 gets you the or surf’n’turf. Great meal, cheap price. Grab your girlfriends, like I did and sit, eat, be cool and merry!

A cool bubbly and a cooling breeze at the Powerhouse

THE POWERHOUSE: Similarly, head to the Powerhouse on Sunday, Grab a drink at Bar Alto and sit upstairs on the balcony. You may just feel a breeze you didn’t think possible, given the stifling heat you may have just left at the door. Yes I am speaking from experience. I was surprised the day we went, given we cursed the humidity on the way there. But, we grabbed a glass of bubbles and chilled alongside other patrons doing the same, and then headed downstairs to Watt, where unfortunately the restaurant service was confusing and questionable and didn’t match the friendly service of bar staff inside. Pity really, it’s a great spot to meet before or after a show, or just because.

Happy about a cool breeze on the deck at the Powerhouse...

EMPORIUM: I don’t mind a bit of Chinese and readers of this blog know that salt’n’pepper squid is on my ‘last supper’ menu. So I was pleased to venture to Emporium recently following my TEDx appearance. A busy restaurant in Stanley Street it’s advisable to book on a Saturday night, and as it was during Brisbane Festival there was atmosphere aplenty! Service friendly, but it’s fair to say much of dinner conversation was around the appalling planning done along both sides of the riverfront where patrons have to leave restaurants and use public toilets – and on the night we were there they were closed! No doubt a bloke did this planning!

SIAM SAMRAM: Siam Samram upmarket Thai restaurant is nestled into the front corner of the The Markets West End. Fairy lights give a romantic atmosphere, service is professional and unobtrusive and the food is quality – highlight for me the sesame and prawn toast, something I hadn’t indulged in for a very long time. Motto: Don’t be fooled by restaurants that are attached to shopping centres and face car parks, they could well be a gem like Siam. [My only gripe, as with most of dining out in Brisbane – there’s no loos in the restaurant, and one must go under into the car park and use public toilets.]

CHOP CHOP CHANG’s: One of the newest additions on Boundary Street, Chop Chop Chang’s  pan-Asian restaurant has a huge, bright yellow sign that captured my attention immediately, and I immediatwly want to go there. The perfect mid-week spot to dine after work, we were seated quickly, and aside from the waitress suggesting I choose my food before choosing my wine – listen lady, I know what I want to drink and I know what I want to eat so please just take the order – the dining experience was fantastic. Foods to die for include: salt’n’pepper cuttlefish, Chang Mai chicken curry and caramalised pork. The man in charge was friendly, the outfit new and roomy and our window seat gave us the chance to people watch as well. Definitely add it to your West End eating experience.

JAKARATA: WOW! One if the best dining experiences mid-week I’ve had in Brisbane. Jackarta  in Newfarm does a fantastic $22 banquet (loved the Balinese chicken, gado-gado and beef rending!). And we all left full. It’s licenced and BYO with a bottlo next door so you can expect a great night out for under $30. [Again, loos in the car park also!]

 Jakarta is the perfect setting for a birthday or book discussion!


Cathy said...

Wow - what a lot of eateries you've been taking advantage of Anita. You sure are making me hungry :-)

Annieb25 said...

Now that's a lot of dining miss! Did you see the sad news that Piaf has closed? No more spatch-cock for Loretta!!!

Dr Anita Heiss said...

Cathy - it really is the place to dine out along the river, such a beautiful landscape and alfresco the way to go :)

Annie - yes heard about PIAF, big pity, love it there. And no more spatch-cock that is true :)

Cathy said...

Finally had a chance to read this and you have made me very hungry. They all sound fabulous and I can see you are having a wonderful time in Brisbane. Cheers xo

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