Norman Hotel, Woolloongabba

Amongst the throws of cricket fans, we sat down for a work lunch across the road at the Norman Hotel.

I followed suit with a midi eye rare steak with mushroom sauce. It was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy. Accompanied by a jacket potato with smoked bacon pieces (nom nom), a fresh bread roll and a garden salad. Can’t forget the jug of XXXX beer. I really am becoming a QLDer again!

Five hours later and I’m still full – didn’t even finish 3/4s of the plate!

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Cowch, South Brisbane

After having a great old time at Olรจ, Kim and I decided it would be a great idea to have dessert.

Cowch is really funky. There’s udders hangin’ around everywhere and their marketing is fun and witty.

We were seated outside after exploring the goodies inside. Damn are there some goodies! There’s ice creams which you can choose toppings for, pastries and sweets galore.

I went with a salted caramel tart and a side of strawberry beer sorbet. Yep strawberry beer. Ahhhmmazziinggg!
They even bought me over extra salt to curb my cravings.
Kim’s sticky date was bloody good too.

All round happiness!*

*We had drunk a bottle of red and were pretty merry already…

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Cowch Dessert and Cocktail Bar on Urbanspoon

Habitat, West End

I love a good brunch. Here’s a good place to find it.

Ka Lei, Kieran and I walked down to Habitat for brunch and although it should have been lunch, they luckily still allowed us to order from the brunch menu.

I can’t get enough of Moose & Gibson so no surprise really the West End addition to the portfolio of the same guys, Habiatat, was a winner for me.

I had the vegemite and cheddar loaf, smoked bacon, free range poached eggs, and rocket macerated tomatoes – it was perfect. I was wholly satisfied especially as I had an awesome juice with chlorophyll to wash it down.

Definitely keen to check out their lunch and dinner menus.

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Habitat Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Jamie’s Italian, Brisbane

If I’d known the night would end with Firemen I would have definitely urged for a booking. As it turned out we only had half an hour to wait in the bar before being called to a table.

Jamie’s Italian has a unique feel to it. The interior is a mish mash of industrial and market place with giant crystal chandeliers contrasting against the piping and brick work.

I ordered arancini balls and the polenta chips to start and the girls shared a bottle of house white. The polenta balls were soft inside with a crispy outside and hit the spot. They’re a favourite at all his restaurants. The arancini was nice but nothing to call home about.

At the table I ordered a glass of Jamie’s favourite red – it was delightful. I see why it’s his favourite and definitely recommend if you’re a red drinker.

The staff are quite attentive and they’re obviously trained to engage in conversation about the food. If my waitress said ‘it’s sooo delicious’ one more time with that big smile, I’m not sure what would have happened! Personally I don’t particularly enjoy engaging in convo when it’s interrupting the convo I’m already having with my friends at the table. Can’t say they weren’t polite though.

I hands down had the best main. Lauren went with the pasta of the day which was a fettuccine with salumi and lemon, I found it quite bland. Trish ordered the lamb and ricotta tortellini which was beautifully presented and tasted nice.. But shouldn’t something from Jamie’s taste better than nice? I had the beef carpaccio which again was nice but the star meal, even though they bought me the wrong one to begin, was the truffle tagliatelle. I’m a sucker for truffles but this was seriously, in the words of my waitress, sooo delicious!!

All the meals are very reasonably priced. Big portions of the pasta meals are only $25.

The fun and games started not long afterwards with a VERY loud siren sounding and some obviously untrained staff standing staring at each other. We were told to remain in our seats for a while. Eventually we saw and smelt smoke coming up from the lower level and were asked to evacuate.

Cue fire engines arriving at the door while we waited in the park.

Not the best look for a new restaurant.

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Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon

A Tinder-tastrophe

Or, a Tinder catastrophe.

Tonight I went on a Tinder date. I was all set for a lovely evening but instead it ended with a police statement.

Lets call him Joe.

I started talking to ‘Joe’ yesterday and he asked to take me to the movies and for dinner. I was really keen to see the Hunger Games and seeing as this was my only free night this week I agreed.

We met at South Bank cinema where the lovely Joe had already purchased our tickets, popcorn and drinks. Rather thoughtful.

In the cinema we chatted the whole time until the movie started. He was intelligent, witty, built like a brick shithouse and I was pleased I made the effort to meet him.

We had a couple of laughs during the movie and afterwards he invites me to choose somewhere to go for dinner.

We settled on Ahmets, ordered drinks and a bunch of plates to share. I had a delicious glass of red and warm, fresh bread with baba ganoush dip and was enjoying some great conversation with good ol’ Joe at the front of the outdoor dining section of the restaurant.

Next thing I know a lady taps me on the shoulder, I turn around and she asks ‘are you on a date?’ To which I replied yes. BAM!!! She punches him smack bang in the face then follows up with a strong slap before looking at me yelling ‘I’m his fiancรฉ!’ Then attacking him running down the street.

With about 30 pairs of eyes on me I just sat there dumbfounded. Absolutely gob smacked. Eventually all the patrons began asking if I was okay and the staff came over to take care of me. Embarrassed, I grabbed my bag and went inside.

The staff were so very kind to which I am thankful. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I had just paid the bill for both our dinners (with a heavy discount thanks to the considerate staff member) when security showed up.

Then the fiancรฉ came back to ask me about her partner.

How did I meet him? Tinder.
Did I know he was engaged? Of course not.
When did we start talking? Last night.
Were we going to have sex? No lady, it’s just dinner and a movie.

My heart went out to this poor woman who had just been going for a casual dessert with a friend when she stumbled across her fiancรฉ of three years, whom she shares a UK visa with, sitting having a date with me. Way to ruin your evening.

After giving my statement to the police who had joined the Tinder-tastrophe party and packing up my dinner to eat later (funnily enough I had lost my appetite) I walked back to my car only to find an $85 parking ticket. What a night!

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Work Do & an Evacuation

Another massive weekend down, it’s times like this I really appreciate my bed and beautiful new cushions to snuggle up to.

Friday I had my work do. I had a blast! I work with an amazing group of people and we partied the night away. I think everyone else had a great time too which is lucky as I organized it.

Saturday I woke up at the break of dawn – I can’t seem to sleep in anymore. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m back in QLD where it’s hot and sunny or if it’s because I’m getting old? Anyway I wasn’t particularly happy about after only going to bed at 2am the night before.

I encouraged Jay to come over and take me for brunch, we found a great place in Hawthorn and I’m sure if there was a game called ‘spot the hungover idiots’ everyone at the venue would have been a winner. We were giggling and drinking water like there was no tomorrow then all but fell asleep at the table waiting for our meals!

Back at home I tried to nap but had no luck before my lovely friend, Lauren, arrived for the weekend.

I took her to my fave sushi shop, kotobuki for lunch then a drive around Brisbane, stopping at South Bank for a wander. I forget how beautiful it is down there. I also forget how many people there are visiting on the weekend and how crap parking can be.

We met our school friend Trish at hers and the girls had some drinks. We wanted to check out Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant, Jamie’s Italian, which had recently opened in Brisbane city. Long story short is – we did, it was pretty good and then we got evacuated. Smoke, sirens, fire trucks, the lot. It was rather amusing.

The girls wanted some drinks so we kicked on to Black Bird & Alfred & Constance then McDonalds. I was exhausted and couldn’t wait to hit the sack as I knew we were getting up early for yoga at Limes.

7.30am we were up and off to a friend of Lauren’s in Kangaroo Point for fruit on the balcony. Yoga at Limes Hotel was lovely, we practiced in the rooftop then joined the girls for a coffee next door.

We went to Raw Paw Paw for lunch where I was quite disappointed to be honest. I was supposed to have a Sunday session afterwards with Jay but I was exhausted and cancelled.

My friend Kim called to say our friend Sophie had a little accident in Noosa and a ride in the ambulance after spraining a ligament so I went over and cooked them both dinner.

Sleep time! Night y’all!

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New Sing Sing, Woolloongabba

By now you should all know that I love pho. Out of coincidence, Jay and I found New Sing Sing in Woolloongabba last week and stopped for lunch.

Of course I ordered the pho, Jay did too. It came out with all the usual accompaniments and quite quickly but the staff seemed very disinterested.

The broth was lovely and it was a lovely soup for $9.90.

When we went to leave I paid cash and Jay went to pay by card however there was a minimum of $10. The waitress couldn’t add my bill to hers to give her my cash and wouldn’t just charge her 10c more to make the $10 so Jay had to buy a bottle of water. It was rather unnecessary!

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New Sing Sing Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Vietnamese Mint, Morningside

I’d heard it was some of the best pho in Brisbane so I had to check it out!

I had the beef pho, of course, and Jay had the lemongrass chicken salad.

Pho was delicious, a rich broth and all the usual fillings, beautiful in every way.

Jay’s salad was huge but she let me know it tasted great in between mouthfuls.

Unfortunately they were out of coconut juice so I just went with water

Best pho in Brisbane? Can’t say I’ve had enough back here yet to say yay or nay but I’d certainly go back any day!

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Vietnamese Mint on Urbanspoon

Mini Auckland break

The whole reason I initially booked flights back to NZ was to attend the Justin Timberlake concert with my brothers. I was lucky enough to extend my trip and fly home to the rest of my family as well as spend some time with friends along the way!

I spent the first time with Alescha, Laura & Mark and my God daughter, Cadence which was great as I don’t get to see them enough! I even went to Cadey’s swimming lesson where I was more than happy to stay and watch after seeing her gorgeous instructor. He was so sweet with the kids and his Tshirt was clinging in all the right places.

My brothers flew in and I’d tricked them saying that I’d booked a fancy hotel when I’d really booked the Skycity casino. They didn’t even believe me when I checked in and told them we had been upgraded!

Funniest part of the trip, hands down was Daniel attempting to eat chicken feet and gagging in the restaurant. Even the staff were having a giggle!

We had an amazing dessert at a Japanese restaurant and some umeshu wine to try shake off the horrible feeling Dan had from the chicken legs!

The next day we checked out Auckland Art gallery and their light exhibition. Was cool to see that they had some social interactions too. Worth a look if you’re in Auckland!

That night we stayed at the Pullman and walked to Vector Arena for JT. The DJ did a good job to hype the crowd up and everyone was amped. Of course, being NZ, I walked straight into a mate from home!

JT put on an awesome show. Dan, Luke and I danced and sang the whole time. He is an incredible performer and had amazing graphics and stage productions to go with it!

After the show the boys and I chilled back at the hotel and quickly realised the whole crew from the concert plus JT were staying at the same hotel! We spent ages watching crowds of them disappearing into the elevators with glasses and bottles of wine. Wish I got an invite!

Dan had a chat with one of the guys in the crew, he was saying they ha the next day off – hence the partying!

We flew back to welly the next day, some awesome memories made!

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