On my recent trip to Washington DC we visited &Pizza; a cool local pizza chain that constructs and cooks an oval shaped pizza in front of you with whatever you like on it. After my pizza was cooked I asked for ‘rocket’ to be sprinkled over it, as you do, only to be met with blank stares. My work colleague came to the rescue and told me it’s called arugula in the US. That was the first time I’d heard that name.
We’ve been experimenting with having special homemade desserts for various occasions throughout the year. So far we’ve had homemade pumpkin pie for thanksgiving and homemade baked cheesecake for New Year’s Eve. Today is Australia Day and Kitty had the brilliant idea of making homemade lamingtons for desert (which were delicious!)
There’s a funny story behind the origins of lamingtons about Lord Lamington:
There are various stories (probably apocryphal) about how the lamington was invented. However, it seems likely that it was devised by Armand Galland, the French chef to Lord Lamington, Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. Galland is said to have had a Tahitian wife – hence his use of coconut. There is debate about whether lamingtons were first served at Government House or, as the locals claim, at the governor’s country residence at Toowoomba. Lord Lamington reputedly referred to the cakes as “those bloody, poofy, woolly biscuits”.
The thing I love about lamingtons is the person who they were named after reputedly hated them! Imagine having something named after you that you hate; how Australian! 🤣
I often fluctuate between hope and despair for the human race.
I’ve always despised the concept of Nespresso: overpriced proprietary coffee pods for people too lazy to learn how to make themselves a real coffee. I always joked that if Nestle had invented the tea bag it would have been in the form of an expensive proprietary pod.
And then I saw this:
For fuck’s sake.
They cost $6 for 10 capsules. You can buy a couple of hundred Dilmah tea bags on special for the same price which will taste much better. Oh god.
After much encouragement from Kitty, some regular readers and friends, I have decided to let Juiced Pixels live a bit longer.
I thought I would resurrect it by writing about our current places we regularly eat. Our criteria is pretty straightforward: fresh, reasonably priced simple yet tasty food with no fuss.
1) Makanan Indonesia @ West End: a authentic Indonesian restaurant located in the strip of restaurants in Hardgrave Road. I love the Satay Set, and Kitty loves the Nasi Goreng and Fish pieces.
2) My Thai Kitchen in Milton: this is the more casual sister outlet of the popular My Thai Restaurant. Fast, fresh Thai food with excellent flavours. We usually get takeaway as they only have a few tables with paper plates.
3) Guzman Y Gomez in the Valley: it’s become our Sunday afternoon tradition to go to GYG in the Emporium for fresh tasting Mexican food. I usually have a steak burrito, Junior Pixels has a ‘little guy burrito’ of his own, and Kitty usually has a vegetarian Nachos. Yum!
4) Swamp Dog @ South Brisbane: just down the road recently opened a new fish n chips store with a difference. They only sell sustainably sourced seafood, and offer free homemade lemonade. We usually go for whatever fish is fresh and tasty, with an Asian salad.
5) Brown Dog Cafe @ The Gabba: Not where you’d expect to find a great breakfast, but we often frequent here on weekends for brekkie. Despite being located directly opposite a brothel, it’s a great little place for scrambled eggs on toast and tea. Kitty loves the pineapple and mint frappes.
Tonight’s dinner was salmon and veg. I baked the salmon in foil with fresh corriander and lime. The veg was fresh kai-lan (from our new favourite Asian grocery at West End), green beans and brocolli, all stir-fried with a little bit of light soy, kecap manis and lime juice. Served with jasmine tea on the balcony, it was yum yum.
Kitty makes the best egg and lettuce sandwiches. I like the way she boils the eggs very softly, slices them and puts them on the bread with fresh cos lettuce. Our bread of choice is Baker’s Delight wholemeal with sesame seeds. Yum.
On deciding where to go to dinner last week, we decided upon the new(ish) Crosstown Eating House at Woolloongabba because we have heard good things. It was actually one of the best meals I have had for quite a while in Brisbane. The actual building is very cool too, although my only complaint is that it is very noisy because of the raw surfaces (it used to be an antiques store), so I reckon some rugs on the floors would really help out.
All the meals are designed to be shared, which is a little hard cause Kitty’s a vegetarian, whilst I am not. I had the steak & horseradish, some potatoes & greens, and we shared a soup which was a corn chowder (yum!). We ordered the trio of tarts (mini) to share. The actual tarts change but ours included passionfruit cheesecake, a lemon tart and a caramel tart, all of which were delicious.
The bill came to $80, although we don’t drink so it didn’t include beer or wine, which could really add up. We felt like a pot of tea at the end but strangely they only serve a single type of hot drink: a short black, apparently you’re not cool if you drink anything else.
We still love going to Oliver and Co. at South Brisbane (Melbourne St: SW1 complex) for pizza. They open every day for lunch and Tuesday-Sat for dinner. The pizzas are still great, although there’s more choice now and they’re homemade and still $10 each.
We noticed that Oliver & Co. in SW1 at South Brisbane (used to be called Fresh on Melbourne) are now doing wood fired pizzas for lunch and dinner, Tues to Sat til 9pm.
We’ve been twice now and they’re really good, thin homemade crust and simple ingredients. My favourite is the salami, onion and rocket. Kit’s fave is the mushroom. The best thing is that they’re only a tenner for a large. Bargain.
I have been hearing for some time that inflation has been on the rise in Australia, but it wasn’t until this evening that it actually hit me.
You see, I’ve discovered a new favourite cheese snack in the last few months: Coles Brand Cheese Snacks®. And until very recently, my favourite cheese snack could be bought for a reasonable price of $0.99 cents. Tonight is stay at home movies night, so I was perusing Coles on my way home from work. You can imagine how shocked I was to discover that Coles Brand Cheese Snacks® are now $1.19: a 20% rise!
I sorta thought that inflation was bad, but only now do I realise how devastating it actually is. Three digit cheese snacks… get outta here!
As I explained in an earlier post, a few days ago I had my first ever breakfast curry. What I didn’t realise at the time was how easy it is to get curry for breakfast in Malaysia.The last two days I’ve had a hearty bowl of chicken and potato curry with two pieces of freshly made Indian roti canai. Talk about a good way to start the day.
Photo by Kitty of Beach Garden Resort’s Roti Canai
My brother opened the Illawong Food Room in Evans Head in Northern New South Wales, Australia, a few weeks ago.
Last weekend we left Brisbane to visit Evans Head and to sample the Food Room menu.The drive is about three hours long and particually pleasant around Newrybar. You can bypass Ballina via Tevan with the added advantage of a speed derestriction sign.
The Illawong Food Room is described as a ‘European style bistro’ and the menu features a variety of dishes including thin pizzas. There is a heavy focus on fresh, local seafood. They have fresh seafood on blackboard specials (depending on what is caught) so we had fresh local mackerel served with steamed vegetables, mashed potato and a lemon butter sauce. The mackeral was filleted and was very white, light, and very tasty. We also had a ‘local prawn + garlic’ pizza which was thin, crisp and had just enough topping for my liking.
The dessert menu is impressive too. The home made Portuguese custard tarts were incredible. They have a reasonably hard shell but the custard inside is delicious. They were served with King Island double cream and vanilla bean ice cream. Yum.
We’ll definitely need to make our Evans Head visits more frequent now that we have the Illawong Food Roommenu to get through.