I started messing around with mirin a while ago, but now that I have my own brand new shit-hot BBQ I can really start teppanyaking like a king. The corn came out the best. Slightly charred on the char-grill, I basted the kernels with sweet sweet mirin, finely diced garlic and melted butter. I had a series of small (chef-like) oil-fires on my hands and the neighbours upstairs poked their heads out the window looking slightly concerend with all the smoke, but the results were outstanding. The lamb steaks were basted in mirin, garlic and rosemary. Bambino Bocconcini and basil made an appearance in the salad, along with some super-finely diced red cabbage for colour.
You have to love Matt Moran’s work. Its the law, but scallops with pan fried with sweet corn puree, cauliflower beignet (essentially deep-fried caulifower in dough) and a caper and sultana dressing? I just saw that on the Aria Brisbane lunch menu. Not sure how I feel about that.
I must be having a menu fetish this week. Campos in James Street just won an award for best cafe in Brisbane so I thought I’d check it out. I didn’t have time to stop and eat or get a coffee, but they gave me a copy of the menu. They change it every couple of weeks, obviously. Which is always a good sign.
I’m starting a wrap tour of Brisbane in order to find the best tortilla-based sandwich in town. This may take a while. Today I went to Quench at The James St Markets. I had the lamb wrap with rocket, lots of rocket, some rocket, rocket, rocket leaves, rocket stems, rocket and I think there was some lamb and some goats cheese in there somewhere. Oh, and some rocket.
Pros: Cheese was bold and gourmet
Cons: I like rocket, but this wrap could launch a space shuttle
Verdict: Would make sense if you didn’t have to travel any more than 2 mins to get it, otherwise; meh.
For a pub on the fringe of the CBD the grub is absolutely divine, at least on paper. I don’t know who they hired to create the à la carte menu, but it’s clearly not the same person doing the cooking! This isn’t a restaurant reviews blog so I won’t chastise, just make sure you order the steak blue if you want it medium rare. That being said, I’ve had most of the meals on this list and they’re all, for the most part, delicious. Exactly what you want on a mid-week trivia night (my team won, of course). There’s some great ideas here, so kudos to them. It’s not fine dining, but it’s easily the best pub menu in Brisbane.
Hotel Orient À La Carte Menu
- Flash fried calamari with cumin salt and harissa, quinoa salad and fresh lemon | $16.90
- Orient chicken caesar, poached egg, fresh cos, crisp prosciutto, garlic croutons and whole egg dressing |$16.90
- Zesty beer battered white fish with chips and salad, lemon and tartare | $18.90
- Asparagus and sweetcorn risotto with toasted walnuts and goats cheese (v) | $16.90
- Pasta of the day, please check specials board for details | $15.90
- Whole breast parmigana with shaved leg ham, roast tomato relish and mozzarella, fresh garden salad and beer battered fries | $18.90
- Fragrant red curry of duck breast and caramelised pineapple with coconut rice, fried shallot and asian greens | $21.90
- Wagyu and honey sausages on crushed potato, savoy cabbage, speck and balsamic onion glaze (gf) | $19.90
- Braised lamb shank pie with roast pumpkin, mint pea puree and smoked garlic jus | $23.90
- Baked Tasmanian salmon with preserved lemon and black olive crust, sweet potato mash, warm green bean and chorizo salad | $24.90
- 350g black angus rump with creamy seeded mustard mash and steamed greens, your choice of brandy pepper or porcini mushroom sauce (gf) | $26.90
- 200g grain fed eye fillet wrapped in prosciutto with creamy potato and gorgonzola gratin, roast fi eld mushroom and cabernet jus | $26.90
- Grilled fish of the day, please check the specials board for details | P.O.A
Anna was eating this and I asked her what it was because it looked great. She said it was a BBQ chicken torn into pieces with some roasted pumpkin, lettuce, capsicum and Paul Newman’s Classic Caesar Dressing. Three bucks a serve, if that. Looks better than my Cannelloni (although the iPhone camera could make Scarlett Johannsen look like a dog). Classic. I should get a better camera and spend more time on my photos like Heather does.
If I had a signature dish it would be this. Perhaps it’s the songwriter in me, but I just love food that rhymes. ‘Kangaroo ragout’ has the cutest ring to it. I cooked it for my Dad’s birthday yesterday and he didn’t know what a ragout was, so he christened it ‘Skippy Stew’ instead. That wasn’t half bad, but it’s not really a stew. I served this with some freshly shaved parmesan, torn basil leaves and my own ‘signature’ insalata caprese on the side, made with bambini bocconcini instead of mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and rocket as well as the traditional basil. I’m not giving away the recipe because a) it’s a secret, and b) I change it slightly every time. The ricotta/roo combo means you can drink it with a white or red, but I poured a Granite Belt Verdehlo and was pretty happy. It actually looked amazing, I blame the iPhone camera for the crap photo (that, and dad thought I was being a tosser wanting to photograph the table before we ate, so I had to be quick).
I’d heard of Edible Blooms but didn’t realise how cool they were. A client left them in the office as a thanks to us for doing something good. Delicious, and sexy looking too!
I’m moving house today, which means a new kitchen (a pretty good one at that), but no Internets at home for a while. There’ll be a week or so of takeaway as I unpack pots and pans and knives and things. We’ll return to your regularly scheduled broadcast shortly. Stay tuned.
This is my pet monkey at the banana stand at the Ekka. They weren’t as big as I thought they’d be, and much greener. The metamorphosis from green through yellow to brown decay is amazing.