I’ve been waiting to finish this post for a while, and now that I’m on holidays, I’ve had a moment to get the photos together and finally upload it. Over the last few months, Jas and I have had some delicious meals and I wanted to post some photos for those of you who are also on holidays or just looking for a good excuse to go out for dinner or lunch. We tend to do breakfast ourselves as it’s so easy and we’re never lacking inspiration for a delicious start to the day. Lunch and dinner are somewhat more difficult – particularly lunch!
Jas has been asking me to take her to Giri Kana cafe in Southport for a while now. We had good intentions of going a number of times but never got around to it. Finally, not long before exam week, we found the time to pop in for lunch. If you like a hearty curry, a full-flavoured salad or an amazing vege burger, I highly encourage you to head over to the cafe. They also do a wicked smoothie, and the coffee isn’t too bad too. Oh, did I mention that it’s all vego? They have a lot of vegan options too.
As we were in study week at the time, we took a coffee and layered vegan cake home. Even the coconut whipped cream was delish! We tried to pretend we weren’t in exam week by eating the cake outside… it still felt like we were in exam week though.
Jas and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary back in October. We were lucky enough to score some tickets to the dinner buffet at QT Bazaar from a lovely friend, so we pounced on the chance to get dressed up and indulge ourselves. We struggled to get a good selfie of us together before we left, so we snapped one of each other before preparing to take on the buffet. I was planning on doing a before and after… but then realised that no one wanted to see the after!
The selection of foods on offer at QT Bazaar is truly impressive. You can order a wide range of seafood, steaks and braised meats, explore the Thai dishes and steamed buns that get delivered to your table when they are ready, have a pizza custom made and treat yourself to the massive selection of desserts, pastries and Cold Rock-style ice cream bar. Obviously, Jas and I focused on the salads and desserts, but even as a vegetarian I was amazed with the number of choices we had to make. We loved so many of the salads and definitely ate more than we should have. We even made a little cheese and antipasto board to start the night off while we sipped our glass of red wine. I grabbed a few photos at the time, but unfortunately, my plating skills and food styling left the salads looking unimpressive – next time I’ll grab some shots to share. I did manage to get a photo of some of the desserts that we tasted though. One of the best things about a buffet is being able to try a little bit of everything and then going back to get more of what you love (I know, it is a bit wasteful).
Jas and I went out for meals quite a bit in study week this year – I think we used it as motivation to get work done; it made the lunches and dinner taste better too! We enjoyed a boozey dinner this year with some good friends of ours at Mandala, a local vegan pizza joint.
The double-date was a fun-filled blend of local vegetarians and veterinarians – a perfect distraction from the books. Jane and Sam had recently been to Mandala and really wanted to ‘take us there’… little did they know, Jas and I were already big fans of Mandala and were all too keen to return for some cashew-cheese and organic goodness. We shared a few pizzas and bottles of wine before settling on a tasty little dessert each. Vegan chocolate and mint slice is definitely a new favourite!
My elder brother Matt recently took my Mum, Mum’s partner and I to dinner at a cute little restaurant near his place in Annerley. Jas was off enjoying a Hens weekend on the Sunny-Coast so I headed up to Bris to have some fun myself. Matt took us to his favourite local, Azafran , a restaurant that his mother-in-law had also enjoyed and recommended. The restaurant sits in a quiet street and although it looks cute from outside, it is not until you sit down to receive your entrees that you are blown-away-impressed!
Azafran had a good selection of vego food and they update their menu to reflect seasonal changes. The food is obviously prepared and presented by some extremely talented chefs. I had the most enjoyable asparagus in my life at Azafran and I look forward to returning. They also have some tasty local and imported beers and a few pages of red and white wines to choose from – next time I will definitely be taking advantage of their hard work and I will match some wines to the meals instead of just enjoying my Asahi beer. If my little review of the food and wine hasn’t been enough to inspire you to go to Azafran, do yourself a solid and go and experience the service over dinner. Azafran is one of those places that gives you space to enjoy your meal, though never leaves you waiting for another beer or wine. The waiters stay close and are always ready to serve the table, however, they don’t staring at you while you eat. It’s quite hard to describe good service, yet so great to experience it!
Here’s some of the food that arrived at our table. I enjoyed the steamed new season asparagus, potato and rosemary tortellini, pine nut pudding and herb emulsion to start (top left image), and followed that up with the Potato and semolina gnocchi with hazelnuts, roast Jerusalem artichokes and mushrooms and butter sauce as a main (top right). The middle left was Matt’s main – Eye Fillet, Wagyu X Angus, pea puree, tempura asparagus, baked ricotta, roast chilli aioli. The image on the right was Garry’s main – Steak Fritesâ€ 250g Rib fillet with hand cut chips, mixed leaves, chervil butter and jus. Mum sat opposite me, so I didn’t grab a photo of her dinner, but it looked great too. The final images are the desserts that we shared among us all – Turkish Delight Pannacotta, saffron caramel, pistachio ice cream and fairy floss on the left, and Yuzu and Vanilla bean crÃ¨me brulee with lemon curd and madeleines on the right. If you are feeling like heading out to some fine dining, look no further – thank me later.
While I was up seeing Matt, I grabbed a photo of his cute little puppy, Oodle. It’s dogs like Oodle that make me want a puppy myself – look at that little under-bite.
Finally, I thought I’d post a few photos of a dinner that Jas and I made a few weeks ago. We saw Jamie Oliver make a tasty looking spinach and chickpea curry so we gave it a shot ourselves. I made the curry and paste from scratch while Jas twice-cooked some cauliflower and fried off some papadums as sides. I don’t remember how long it took, but it was one of the fastest curries I’ve ever made. It’s also really filling and tastes amazing. You could enjoy it with naan, but we were trying to keep the carbs to a minimum.
I hope this has inspired you to get out and try a new restaurant or make yourself something different while you’re on holidays. I’ll be sure to report back if I find anymore hidden gems!