Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Blackstar Coffee @ West End

Currently my favourite coffee spot! The coffee here is just right for me - creamy, not too bitter, not too sweet, not too acidic!

They serve the best iced coffee as well (in beer bottles too!). They cater for the majority of the people, offering iced coffee with these options - black coffee, full cream coffee, soy, or skim milk.

Their food menu is quite limited so it's more suitable for just a coffee date with someone!

Blackstar Coffee on Urbanspoon

MIZU @ West ENd

I got really excited when I found out about MIZU's recent opening in West End. Though West End is known for many good food places, I've always thought it lacked an authentic Japanese restaurant and had always hoped for one to open up! Alas, my dream came true!

MIZU serves izakaya-style dishes during dinner where the concept is to order many sharing plates of food and they are served as they are made. For lunch, they offer an affordable price range of lunchboxes! I love traditional Japanese lunchboxes - obento!

I've been here for both dinner and lunch and both are just are delicious! For me though, lunch is definitely more worth it because you get to try many side dishes with the lunchboxes you order.

My sisters and I came here for lunch and all were very happy with our orders - chicken karaage, pork katsu and salmon teriyaki. The pork katsu had one of the best batters in Brisbane - very crispy on the outside whilst the pork remains juicy when you bite into it. This was similar with chicken karaage as well!

My salmon teriyaki lunchbox was the best in my opinion - you could tell that they used very good quality fish and was cooked very well!

On a separate occasion, we came for dinner and tried some different dishes!

The first dish that came out was the renkon chips wtih tofu and avo dip. The renkon chips were very crispy and went very well with the creamy yet refreshing dip!

One of our favourites of the night was the tofu and nasu dengaku which had battered tofu, eggplant and zucchini drizzled with miso sauce - perfecto!

The tuna tataki salad was very fresh as well and the citrus based sauce was also very refreshing!

We were a little disappointed that our sashimi came out last (almost as if they had forgotten our order)...but it was still fresh anyway.

For dessert, we ordered one of the dinner specials which was a pumpkin cheesecake!!!! I am a big fan of pumpkin desserts so was really excited when I saw it on the menu!
The pumpkin cheesecake was good overall - the base had a hint of sesame which paired really well with the actual cheesecake. The actual cheesecake was quite creamy and didn't have as much of a pumpkin aroma than I thought it would. However, the whole cheesecake flavour was enhanced by the strawberry sauce that was on the side!

Overall, I think MIZU is definitely worth a paying a visit to! I'd recommend you to go for lunch because that's where you get your biggest bang for your buck otherwise, dinner can end up being quite pricey!

Will definitely be back for lunch soon!

Mizu West End on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Sourced Grocer @ Teneriffe

I had heard many things about Sourced Grocer and wanted to check it out myself!

I've been here on two separate occasions now and have both loved it!

Sourced Grocer reminds me of cafes in Melbourne with its interior design!

The great thing about Sourced Grocer is that they sell the ingredients that they use to make the food as well! So, if you fancy something from the menu, just enquire at the cash register and they'll be able to help you out!

I ordered their Bircher Muesli which is currently No. 2 on my favourite cafes for Bircher Muesli (1st place is still Lake Cafe on the Gold Coast)

Their breakfast muesli options are all very yummy as well because they use Farmer Jo Muesli.

My friend ordered the brioche, which unfortunately, I didn't get to try - but, she said it was very nice!

On a separate occasion, I tried their falafel salad and Sourced Sandwich, which were even better than what I had the first time!

Coffee here is very good - I love their cappucinnos because it's only a hint of chocolate that balances out perfectly with the coffee! Plus, mint green coffee cups always make my day!

The reason why Sourced Grocer is good is because they use top quality produce to make the food and really focus on making good quality meals, even if they are simple to make.

Sourced Grocer is definitely on my list of cafes with both good coffee AND food!!

Sourced Grocer on Urbanspoon

Leaf Espresso Bar @ Tarragindi

My friends and I were searching for cafes to visit and decided on Leaf Espresso Bar because of it's interior design from photos we had seen on other food blogs!  We also saw some pictures of really delish food so definitely wanted to check this place out!

My verdict? 

The interior design definitely didn't disappoint - it had a very homey feel and eco-friendly atmosphere as the interior design used a lot of tree branches with hanging light bulbs and glass bowl terrariums in many corners of the cafe. 

The food? The food was average. Despite all the delicious-looking pictures on food blogs I had visited beforehand, taste wise, it was very average. I ordered the mushroom sautee which came with some spinach, poached eggs and sourdough. I love my sourdough and was a little disappointed when I realised that what they served wasn't sourdough. It was more like a white bread baguette. My mushrooms were quite bland as well.

My friend got the pulled pork burger with house made burger. That, however, tasted a lot better than my brunch dish! 

The coffee? Don't bother. The latte I ordered was mainly froth and my coffee was burnt. Nowadays, I think my palette has become very critical of coffees... not sure if this is a good thing or not if I'm this picky with my coffees...

Probably won't be back for another while... think I'll just be visiting my usual favourites if I have to drive all the way out of my suburb to get brunch. Maybe next time, Leaf Espresso!

Leaf Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

Primal Pantry @ Teneriffe

I had been wanting to try out Primal Pantry for a while now! It's the first 100% paleo cafe that has opened up in Brisbane!

My friends and I arrived at around lunch time however, were very disappointed by the service. The menu unfortunately, didn't appeal to us, so we just decided to get smoothies instead.

I tried their green smoothie which was too sour for my liking and our experience there was just ruined by how rude the staff were.

We left after we had the smoothies and headed to another cafe for lunch.

Despite my love for their concept of serving paleo food and the interior design, Primal Pantry greatly disappointed me and I won't be returning any time soon.

Primal Pantry on Urbanspoon

Merriweather @ South Brisbane

Merriweather serves coffee roasted by Cup and is located conveniently for many businessmen and businesswomen for a quick coffee. Whilst coffee is pretty up there, they have a limited menu for breakfast and lunch. However, they do bake daily muffins, cakes and assorted desserts which may be ideal for a quick morning tea or afternoon tea if you're in that area.

On one occasion, my friend and I landed at Merriweather for breakfast and both ordered the granola which came with milk, buffalo yoghurt and fresh strawberries. I think they use Farmer Jo muesli (but I may not be 100% correct). 

I ordered a latte, and like other Cup coffees, it didn't disappoint me. Cup coffee is more on the bitter side of aromas with tinges of butterscotch.

I have ordered cappucinnos from here before and there's is quite different - instead of sprinkling chocolate powder, they use Bahen & Co. chocolate. I found it to bit a bit overpowering with the coffee though. 

The interior of Merriweather is very clean, modern and minimalistic. The cafe is situated on an intersection between two streets and has both outdoor and indoor seating areas. 

I would definitely drop by more often if they do decide to expand their food menu, as coffee is great here! Again, I'm still on a mission to search for the perfect cafe with both amazing food AND coffee!!

Merriweather on Urbanspoon

Bass Espresso @ West End

West End is known for its restaurants, cafes and general vibe, and I always get excited when new places open up. Bass Espresso opened recently on Boundary St and is a small cafe filled with vintage vibe. Their house blend coffee is more on the fruity, acidic side of aroma and their current single origin (Rowanda) has more of a creamier aroma. Personally, I like the single origin better.

Because they have just started, they don't have a menu for food yet, but when I was chatting to the barista and the manager, they said they were looking to expand and hopefully have a menu for food in the near future. This is exciting as I always find it hard to go to places with both amazing coffee AND food!

The decor of this cafe is very vintage, and has many musical instruments lying around as part of the decoration (also very exciting for a muso like myself to visit!). Bass Espresso adds onto the unique layer of West End cafes as it has its own individual style that you can't find at other cafes in West End.

They also do live music on Saturdays from 1pm and invite musicians from all genres to perform! Great way to spend a relaxing Saturday afternoon sipping away and enjoying the live music, in my opinion!

Bass Espresso on Urbanspoon