My eating experience in Brisbane over the holiday period was a little minimalist, and it yielded some good and not so good food.
Genkotsu Ramen, Toowong
The Location: A small shopping arcade in Toowong.
The Rundown: Traditional Japanese ramen in an authentic ramen house setting.
Pork Gyoza – juicy, well-seasoned filling in thin, crispy skin. Not as good as the ones we had in Japan, but close enough!
Karaage Shoyu ramen
The broths – The miso was a little too salty (though eased by the sweet corn that came especially with it) and the shoyu was good, but the winner was plain old shio. The clarity of the broth was amazing considering the depth of tonkatsu flavour in it. It was rich without being overheavy.
Pork gyoza, Tsukemen (or anything) with a Shio-based broth.
The Location: Brisbane CBD
The Rundown: Bistro-style diner. Burgers and shakes are the go.
Get Clucked – Lemon pepper chicken breast, pineapple, guacamole, swiss cheese, lettuce, mayo and tomato. The chicken was nicely charred and the pineapple was sweet, but there was only a tiny smidge of guacamole and the chicken was a little dry.
Poutine burger – beef patty, bacon bit, halloumi, fries, gravy, pickle, lettuce and mayo. The 300 day Angus beef patty was deliciously juicy and the halloumi with maple bacon bits brought a chewy, sweet and salty textural contrast.
Ludakrisp – love the name of the burger. Crispy fried chicken, coleslaw, pickle, sweet BBQ sauce and mayo. A little too much coleslaw, but the chicken was crunchy and fried to perfection.
The fried chicken and any beef burger.
Viet de Lites
The Location: South Bank
The Rundown: Modern Vietnamese eatery
Lemongrass beef rice vermicelli – cucumber, lettuce, bean sprout, mint, pickled carrot, roasted peanut and fish sauce. Fresh and simple but tasty. The beef was a little overcooked and dry though.
Duck curry with eggplant – it was my fault for not looking at the photo on the menu to see that this dish was so dry (not what you’d expect from just the name). I was disappointed as that meant that there was no sauce for the rice we ordered on the side. Taste-wise it wasn’t great – there wasn’t much spice in the “curry”, only heat from the chillies, and the duck was cooked adequately, but tasteless. The eggplant was probably the nicest thing on the dish.
Braised prawn claypot in homemade sauce with fried tofu and vegetables. There were only 3 or 4 very small prawns in an almost tomatoey broth that was unmemorable. And there was a lot of onion. The plus side? At least there was a little sauce for the rice!
I struggled to find much if any. Overvalued and probably more of a tourist trap than a true reflection of what Brisbane has to offer on the culinary scene.
The Location: Indooroopilly Shopping Centre
The Rundown: Chinese self-serve or a la carte in a shopping centre food court. The owner is Singaporean so she knows her food!
We went for the buffet-style offering of chicken and corn soup, hokkien egg and vermicelli noodles, fried and steamed rice, curry chicken, vegetables, beef in black bean sauce, fried fish, and a variety of meat dishes including plum pork, chicken wings and honey chicken. It was $10.80 for a medium plate or a few dollars more for a large plate.
The food here won’t be earning a Heart Foundation Tick, but it’s certainly value for money. Don’t pass up the tasty meatballs, fried chicken wings (there’s a good reason why it’s limited to two per plate people!), the curry chicken (not for the watery sauce, but for the tender fall-apart chicken), the batter-fried fish and chicken and corn soup that’s thick and hearty, with lots of sweet corn and egg.