Feb 28, 2013

Jakarta - Probably The Finest Indonesian Cuisines in Brisbane

Again, it's another gem in New Farm!

For those of you who doesn't know me, I was brought up in a multicultural environment which led me exposed to all sort of different culture and customs. One of it, being peculiarly craving for authentic Asian cuisines. My worst nightmare in Brisbane was running into so-called-Chinese/ Japanese/ Malaysian/ Taiwanese/ Singaporean-restaurant but not getting authentic food out of it. That's disappointing most of the time. May be because there have been so many overseas student flocking into Brisbane in recent years and the food industry just happens to think that fusion would be the right perspective to earn all the big bucks! A BIG NO WAY - you are so wrong! I want authentic cuisines with authentic flavors!!! (I apologized for being demanding! LOL)

Apparently, JAKARTA - an authentic Indonesian restaurant has long existed in Brisbane. But sadly, no one told me 'bout it all this while. Lucky me, I have a boyfriend (who constantly crave for Curry, Rendang and all sorts of Asian delicacies) insisted to try this restaurant when we passed by. 

We actually waited for half an hour that day but it's definitely worth waiting. If you really don't want to stand there looking like an idiot waiting, go next door and get some gelato while waiting. Hahaha 'cuz I did that! =p

By the time we saw the menu, we wanted everything on it. Most of the dishes sounded so familar and we can't wait to taste all of them. Plus, we were super-dooper hungry and decided to get the Banquet deal instead! 

Here are some Foodgasm Snapshots...

8 Things You Need To Know About Jakarta

What was included in the Banquet?
Prawn Crackers, Serundeng Kentang, Spring Roll, Pangsit Goreng, Chicken Satay, Lamb Gulai, Beef Rendang, Gado-gado, Balinese Chicken, Grilled Prawn, Rica-rica Fish, steamed rice and 2x Your choice of dessert.

For how much?
$32 per person. Pricey? May be, but I am happy to pay that price for what I have eaten! Oh my~ craving for it already. *gulp* If you do not want to go for the banquets, try their ala-carte menu, the price for the individual dishes is very reasonable. Range from $11.90 - $20.90 per dish.

How was the portion?
Although all of them comes in a fairly small portion but its more than enough for both of us because of the variety. The best part is you get to taste the varieties. 

Did it take a long time for the food to be served?
Not really. I think the waiting time was standard, approx 15 mins excluding the waiting time to get a seat!

My Top 3 favourite dish...
Lamb Gulai, Balinese Chicken & Rica-rica Fish

What did you had for dessert?
Cendol, of course! I hardly get any in Brisbane! Though not the same as Malaysia ones but the brown sugar with the coconut milk and the cendol jelly was just the best combination! *tears* 

The environment...
Something like a modern setting vs Balinese decor. 

3 words to describe Jakarta...
Divine, Authentic, Savoury

The 3 words would sums up my authentic Indonesian dining experience! Anyone who is planning to go there for dinner, please bring me along~ =D 

Overall Rating for Jakarta is 9/ 10.
Food Quality: 9.5/ 10 - I can still remember every taste of it even till now.
Service: 8.5/ 10 - Staffs were very friendly and helpful.
Ambiance: 8/ 10 - Spacious and clean. 
Price: $$ - Worth for money!

Click HERE for more information about the restaurant. Unfortunately, they don't really have a facebook page setup but you can click HERE for its facebook check-in location.

Lots of Love,

Feb 26, 2013

Gusto da Gianni - My Italian Casual Dining Experience

A 20-minute drive from Brisbane city, bring you to one of Brisbane's most desirable hotspot; from fusion eateries, boutique retailers to modern designed living. Gusto da Gianni - a fine casual Italiano dining, situated at Portside Wharf, Hamilton Harbour.

There are many other dining choices within the precinct. What makes Gusto da Gianni stands out from the other ones is definitely its environment at first sight. A very romantic environment with different spaces; from waterfront view seats with a touch of casual and cozinesss, to proper function rooms setup and pizzaria or a romantic private corner. Its a place suitable for family, couples or corporate. Whether is a family gathering night or a romantic dinner-for-two, you name it! They have it all - the perfect space for your needs.


They have a menu right before its entrance and a cute lil' Vespa parked outside; making you feel as if you're not in Brisbane at all.

I started of with a Roselle Lychee Margaritta. Its definitely for ladies with a sweet tooth yet a tint of the margarita taste but not too strong. Definitely, recommend this!

My partner's attention were quickly drawn towards its Italian Thick Hot Chocolate. It was indeed very very very chocolaty and which in fact was not as sweet as we expected. A good choice for chocolate lover. The chocolate felts like its melting within your taste bud and would stay there forever. Yum~ Yum~ Yum~

Here's what we have ordered for the night.

ALLA BRESAOLA - Mozzarella, Air Dried Beef, Rocket & Shaving of Reggiano Cheese
The thin crust pizza was really crispy yet each bite was fill with cheese, rockets and the beef slices. The portion was very generous. I think if you are not really hungry, it can be served for 2-3 person.

MEZZE MANICHE ALLA CREMA DI SALMONE - Short Pasta with Smoked Salmon, Vodka and Green Peppercorns
The salmon chunks taste great with the tint of vodka in the white creamy sauce. The dish look very simple yet taste superb. Love the idea of vodka in the dish! 

We had Tiramisu for dessert later that night. Unfortunately, my phone was out of battery and I couldn't snapshot a picture of it. Well, i was not a big fan of their Tiramisu though. It tastes normal, nothing surprising nor spectacular. I would suggest you to save your tummy for other desserts if you really need some sugar rush after a filling dinner.

Overall Rating for Gusto da Gianni is 7.5/ 10.
Food Quality: 8/ 10 - My dishes were great! 
Service: 7.5/ 10 - Helpful staff, service can be improved.
Ambiance: 9/ 10 - Personally, love the atmosphere.
Price: $$$ - A bit too pricey for pizza and pasta! 

Overall, my dining experience at Gusto da Gianni was great. I would definitely suggest this place for couples on special environment if you would like something fancy and would not mind paying for the ambiance and environment. The staff were quite helpful, one of the waiter taught me how to pronounced my dish in a proper way. Hehe^^ One thing was when we need to order, it took us quite a while to be attended. After dinner, you could also take a stroll along the Portside Wharf. Not-a-bad-idea for a date! 

Click HERE for more information from their official website. We were lucky not have to wait too long for a table without a reservation because I reckon it was on weekday. But, if you are planning to have your dinner there on weekends or special occasions, please be sure to call or make an online reservation through their website. Check out their FACEBOOK page for more updates as well.
Also, check out the PORTSIDE WHARF at Hamilton Harbour for more information on their dining, shopping and living.
"Hanno un grande girono!" means have a great day in Itallian. 

Feb 5, 2013

Let's Try, New Shanghai!

I should have written this post few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I was tied up by piles of assignments. So before my finals is coming in two weeks time, I need to get all these posts I intended to share out a.s.a.p. =)

Let's start with the location of the shop. It is actually situated in Queens Plaza Lower Ground Food Court, next to Coles.  

This is how it looks from the exterior. There is a see through window with some seats outside where customers are allowed to look at how the famous Chinese dumplings and pork buns are made. There is also an open area seating outside as well.


Here are some of the pictures of the interior. I only manage to capture some pictures when they are about to closed. So, most of the pictures of the interior are with the chairs up on the table. but I must say, the interior design looks like traditional Chinese street stalls with some modern touch ups. 


The design of the menu looks like a simple version of a Chinese edict.  Simple yet has its Chinese element on it.

We started our dinner with some hot Chinese tea. Of course, not to missed out a snapshot of  myself and my friend, Lorie.

We've ordered so  many dishes. Here are some which I have tried.

Sweet and Sour Pork Rib with Dark Vinegar Sauce - (Rating: 6.5/ 10)
Each of the small bites are covered with the sweet sauce and vinegar sauce  which compliments really well with the ribs. The portion is actually fairly small, more likely to served as appetizer.

Braised Pork Belly with Sweet Soy Sauce - (Rating: 7/ 10)
This dish is definitely for pork lovers. The portion of fat and lean meat is just nice. Not too fat, not too lean. The moment you take a bite, the juicy part of the fat meat would just melt in your mouth.

Stir Fried String Beans with Dried Shrimps and Soy Sauce -  (Rating: 5/ 10)
It is actually quite a normal vegetable dish. Personally, I love it but it actually taste similar in most of the Chinese restaurant. If you have never tried this dish, I would recommend but if you've tried it somewhere else. May be you should try something else this time!

Stir Fried Chinese Rice Cake with X.O. Sauce and Shredded Pork -  (Rating: 8/ 10)
This is highly recommended. The Chinese rice cake is chewy and not too soft; compliments well with the savory X.O. sauce. The shredded pork in it gives the dish a different texture as to the soft chewy rice cake.

Xiao Long Bao - Steamed Mini Pork Bun - (Rating: 8.5/ 10)
A good steamed mini pork bun depends very much on the skin - it either makes or breaks the whole dish. The skin was not too thick and yet it holds the meat and soup in it nicely. The first sip of the soup was amazingly delicious. For those of you who have never tried this before, just try to remember try picking up the Xiao Long Bao from the top and sip it through the top if possible. Be careful of the hot juicy soup and not let it spill after your first bite!  

Pan Fried Pork Bun - (Rating: 7/ 10)
This is a pan fried pork bun with juicy meat in it. The texture is very different from the steam pork bun. It has to be consumed while it's still hot. If not, the pan fried layer would soften and soggy when it's cold. Look at the juice dripping off from the bun! Yum yum yum~

Overall, we are pretty happy with all the dishes. See our happy faces! =) Everyone leaving with a big smile on their face!

Here's an overall rating for New Shanghai Queens Plaza, Brisbane City - 7/ 10

Food Quality: 7.5/10 (Recommended to try!)
Service: 6/ 10 (Service should be improved. Waiters and waitresses wasn't very pleasant.)
Ambiance: 8/ 10 (Awesome design with great space and environment. Cleanliness is good.)

Click HERE for more information about New Shanghai. Enjoy!

With Love,

Jan 12, 2013

Buy 1 Free 1 - Noggi Frozen Yogurt is in town!

It's finally open! And yay! Its gonna be great 'cuz i get to indulge myself with Noggi's Frozen Yogurt.

They are actually situated at several places in Brisbane city. The Queen St Myer Centre branch is now officially open. And guess what?

They are doing a Grand Opening Weekend Special - Buy 1 get 1 free for the regular size frozen yogurt. Awesome! I think its a pretty great deal! You'll get yourself 2 regular-sized frozen yogurt on this hot sumer day for only $5.50 and you get to choose 3 of your own topping from their wide variety; from fresh strawberries to Tim Tams and even cocopops! Yum yum yum~

I've actually went there twice today! Oh gosh~ very guilty... Lols... Had the green tea and original flavours! Its such an indulge on a hot summer day! I've tried the mango flavor as well. Not too bad but I definitely recommend the green tea flavor ones. The second time I went, green tea flavor sold out!!! So those of you who are green tea fans, you need to hurry go get some!

The whole decor of the shop was simplistic and natural. The interior was amazingly different; they have these section where you can sit on the grass area with pillows and side tables. It's pretty relaxing sitting there, chit-chatting and enjoying a cup of frozen yogurt. Although I do think that it would be much comfortable to sit on the pillow rather than the grass itself. =)

So those of you who are in Brisbane or will be coming to Brisbane today or tomorrow, just drop by and enjoy some frozen yogurt while they are having this awesome Grand Opening Weekend Special! Enjoy your weekend people!!