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Friday, September 18, 2015

A surprise celebration cake by Michel’s Patisserie

Last week, we celebrated a tremendous career milestone for the other travel bunnie. After work on Tuesday, I brought a surprise cake home to have for dessert. The cake was specially made by Michel’s Patisserie according to my instructions. Sounds fancy, right? Launched just recently, Michel’s Patisserie is now offering the opportunity to their customers to design their own surprise cakes. I jumped at the review opportunity.

Having tasted the Mortal Sin cake by Michel’s Patisserie, I had quite high expectations for this surprise cake, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn't amazed when I was presented with the finished product. With just five simple steps, my specially made cake looked just like it was straight out of a Gourmet Traveller photo shoot. The ordering process was a breeze. Starting off with choosing the base size, I ordered a small ($24.90) with chocolate sponge, however you have the option to choose a tiered cake if that tickles your fancy (trust me, I thought about it, but then remembered that my personal trainer might not be pleased). I think the hardest part of the whole ordering process was deciding on what topping to have. When you have options like rocky road, chocolate delight, chocolate malt, choc sparkle, and the list goes on, you can understand my dilemma. I settled for a berry topping ($10 extra), and they were so generous with the berries! Do you know how expensive they are these days? The cake was then finished with chocolate plaques neatly placed on the side and wrapped with a perfectly tied purple bow.

The cake tasted so good. The sponge was airy and chocolaty without being too sweet. The layers of chocolate sponge were separated by vanilla cream and just a thin layer of strawberry jam, which added freshness to the rich texture of the cake. I know this sounds really bad, but we managed to smash the entire cake that night. It was a guilty pleasure that we simply couldn’t resist.

Disclaimer: the cake was provided to the bunnies free of charge courtesy of Michel’s Patisserie, however my opinion is as always, my own. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Nest | 159 Roma Street, BRISBANE QLD 4000

After a few hours spent at DFO on a recent Saturday morning, we decided to go to Nest for lunch before heading over to South Bank for the cruise expo.

I received a gift voucher a while ago for a weekend brunch at Nest, but as I had recently found out that they no longer offer weekend brunches, I made an enquiry to see if we could use it for breakfast or lunch instead. I waited two days for a response but no one got back to me with a clear answer despite a number of phone calls.

Upon arrival at Hotel Jen’s reception where we enquired about having our parking ticket validated as patrons of Nest, the gentleman at the counter responded “I think so, but I don’t know”. I cringed at the answer as I knew that we were not off to a good start. 

The restaurant, located on the second level of the hotel, was quiet. Having been to the previous outlet when the hotel was still Traders Hotel, Hotel Jen has done a wonderful job transforming this space into something contemporary, relaxing but fun. The Asian fusion menu includes dishes that are inspired by Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines ranging from small bites such as Malaysian satay beef skewers ($7.50) and barbeque Beijing duck rolls ($9) to more substantial dishes such as honey sesame chicken ($25) and crispy skin barramundi with spiced pumpkin, green beans, sweet potato crisps ($29), which were the two dishes that we ordered for lunch. The food took a little while to come out, given that there were only five customers in the restaurant. The crispy skin barramundi was nicely plated and the serving was generous. The skin was exactly how I wanted it; crispy and salty. The steamy hot flesh was tender and I found the whole dish very pleasant. Those sweet potato crisps were quite addictive. The honey sesame chicken was served with steamed jasmine rice and broccolini, and the thickly sliced chicken pieces had a golden layer of crispy coating drizzled with honey and sprinkled with sesame. Both were delicious.

The food was a lot better than we had hoped for given our bad start to the experience.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: NIL as we used a gift voucher.

Nest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lindt Chocolate Shop opens at DFO Brisbane | Brisbane Airport QLD 4007

If your heart hasn’t skipped a beat after reading the title of this post, you are either allergic to chocolate or something’s the matter with you. I’m sorry but I love chocolate and when I was made aware of the news that Lindt & Sprüngli Australia was about to open Queensland’s first ever Lindt Chocolate Shop at DFO Brisbane, I was ecstatic. I was more excited when I found out that they were giving away one-hundred Lindor balls to the first one-hundred customers.

Last Saturday, I made sure that the family all got up early and that Minibun George was fed. Then, off we went to DFO. It was approximately an hour before the opening time so I can get myself a nice spot at the front (at least that was what I thought). My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw the queue that extended all the way to the back of the shop. People literally started queuing at 7 am. Hundreds of people were there. I suddenly realised that I wasn’t the only one with an addictive chocolate obsession.

The shop offers a vast range of premium chocolate products, the widest range available under one roof in Australia, with many exclusive lines appealing to Lindt chocolate lovers. Warning, you might feel dizzy with the all the colourful looking Lindor balls in the shop and that may result in you going crazy, running from wall to wall buying all of the amazing flavors (or again, maybe that was just me).

And yes, I had to have a signature hot chocolate from the shop before I left (I left unwillingly of course, but someone had to make room for the rest of the people that were still in the queue). The hot chocolate was the bomb. It was sweet and creamy, and extremely chocolaty without being sickeningly rich.

Not that you ever need an excuse to go shopping, but I think I just found the perfect reason to go to DFO a little more often.

Disclaimer: DolceBunnie received the signature hot chocolate on the house.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Gauge | 77 Grey Street, SOUTH BRISBANE QLD 4101

Although located on a busy street, for those who don’t know what they are looking for, Gauge can be easily missed. There is an easing presence about the simple, sleek, almost industrial design of this space that caters for twenty-something diners.  We found out that the Head Chef, Ollie Hansford whom was awarded the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide 2016 Young Chef of the Year, has been hunted and is moving to Stokehouse Melbourne. Gauge was immediately placed on the priority list.

Stepping inside this café, the first thing that you will notice is the airy, open-plan kitchen. Minibun George got a friendly wave from the chef which made us free extremely welcome. We found a table at the corner of the café that’s a little more ‘tucked away’ and ordered our morning necessity: caffeine. The cups of coffee arrived with skillfully executed coffee art; I almost didn't want to sprinkle any sugar on top to ruin the pattern. Underneath the thick, creamy froth, was solid, strong coffee supplied by Coffee Supreme. That’ll wake you up!

If there is only one thing that you can order from Gauge, make it the black garlic bread, brown butter & burnt vanilla ($8). This amazing modified creation of bread and butter is absolutely mind blowing. It’s the sweet, rich butter, it’s the garlic taste, it’s the soft yet crumbly texture of the bread and it’s the fact that I just couldn't stop shoving it down my throat. It’s so good.

You will also find creative items that are not on a regular breakfast menu – items like warm brioche pudding, date milk, poached pear & olive ($15) and ash sourdough, almond cream, raw beef w’ XO style sauce, soft egg & pickled green tomato ($19).  Both wonderfully presented dishes were as tasty as they looked, especially the raw beef with XO style sauce. Covered with bright yellow runny egg yolk, the already soft and tender beef was graced by the delightful balance of sweet and salty flavours from the XO style sauce.

Wanna hashtag #finedining with your breakfast experience? Think Gauge.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $50.50

Click to add a blog post for Gauge on Zomato

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Paddington Deli & Epicerie | 153-155 Latrobe Terrace, PADDINGTON QLD 4064

We were at the Paddington Antique Centre recently looking for some unique pieces for our new home when I discovered the Paddington Deli & Epicerie a few doors down. I was instantly attracted to the old world charm and décor of this place.

The following weekend, we took mum and minibun George there for breakfast.

It was a chilly morning despite the beautiful sun and cloudless blue sky. Luckily the café was warm. We found a table nestled in the corner of the dainty eatery and I immediately sank into the comfy brown studded leather couch against the window.  It was a fantastic position for people watching. I love places like this - old gilded mirrors hanging on red-hued brick walls, vintage chandeliers sparkling away above your head, a room filled with aromatic smell of grounded coffee beans and freshly baked pastries, teas that are served in pretty floral cups and saucers.

On a blackboard a few meters away, were the specials of the day and they all sounded irresistibly delicious in a rustic, humble kind of way. Our waitress promptly took our orders for breakfast and it didn’t take long before we were impressed with the look of our dishes. The serving portions of the dishes alone justified a big tick from me.

I absolutely loved my dish – bubble & squeak: double smoked pork belly, garlic aioli and roasted veg ($16). What’s not to like when you get the sweetness of sweet potato, the fragrant roasted aroma of garlic without any of its raw sharpness and the slightly salty and smoky taste of pork belly rendered to just the right amount of fat. All these things were found on one plate and in every mouthful and the flavours provided my palate so much excitement. My hand kept putting food into my mouth and that robot movement only happens when I eat something extraordinarily delicious.

The other travel bunnie watched with envy as I devoured my dish, but he could hardly complain as his hash browns crispy corned beef, herb mayo and egg ($14) looked very enticing and tasted equally as good. Mum’s zucchini fritter w’ haloumi, poached eggs and avocado ($17) was thoroughly enjoyed too.

I couldn't fault the experience. It was a perfect breakfast, and perhaps my favourite one in a long time.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $65

Click to add a blog post for Paddington Deli & Epicerie on Zomato
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