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New Guide

Probably Entree and Main

What can I wear to lunch at Flower Drum

I'm going to lunch at flower drum on the weekend and want to know if it's okay to wear jeans or chinos? Would rather not have to get too dressed up on a weekend for lunch.

Reservation at Alan Wong's


I'm travelling to Hawaii in September this year and will be visiting Oauhu, Kauai, and Maui.

I've done a bit of research through reading this board etc and have decided I would start looking at making a reservation at a few places.

Firstly I thought I would make a reservation at Alan Wong's as it seems to get generally positive reviews across the board. I've currently locked in a reservation for Monday night however Open Table only had slots available at 5pm (far too early) or 9pm (which I took)

Ideally I'd prefer to eat around 7:30 or 8 however no matter what day I looked, and even tested dates in October just to see what availability was out of interest, Open Table still showed no availability at this time.

Did I leave it too late and would be this be the same for other restaurants, or do they only make limited places available on Open Table?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Jul 14, 2012
ausrules85 in Hawaii

Australia/NZ/Solomon Islands/Fiji - want to base travel around food!

Be careful not to confuse Margaret River with the Murray River. By no means is the Murray River a food or wine destination. As mentioned above, if time is an issue then I would bypass Hervey Bay for some time in the Whitsundays. Noosa is really quite good for food. Tasmania, however, is definitely great for food.

The Agrarian Kitchen in Tasmania is worth investigating for a unique experience. Garagistes in Hobart is also meant to be fantastic.

OZ - Cairns, Sydney and NZ - Queenstown, Rotorua, Auckland - Suggestions?

I think what PhilD was getting at is that it is a shame that you were unable to try some of the offerings Sydney has to offer, especially since some of it is so good. Given that your reviews of the places you went to weren't glowing I'm sure you'd agree. As you say, when away from home and with other people it often means you go with the flow. I've not heard of this gelato bar at bondi. I shall have to check it out.

Sydney Good Food Guide winners and losers

Always interesting to hear everyone's opinion when such food guides are released. Has anyone dined at Rockpool recently? There was talk in The Australian last week that they thought it would be bumped back up to 3 hats but failed to happen. I really enjoyed the food there a few months ago, service off to a bad start with my cocktail dropped on my foot and a menu folder handed to me without a menu inside, but was better thereafter.

That restaurants come and go from being seen by a few as being at the top (or not) is no suprise. Nobody will ever agree as to what is best, so with that in mind I always look forward to having a read of such guides to get varying perspectives.

Melbourne in September

Not sure if this is necessarily cheap but Ezzard I think has a 3 course lunch for $50 which is considerably less than dinner. I like Hutong in Market lane for dumplings. Cafe Vue have lunch boxes which are quite nice. Even if you don't have lunch there, the macaroons are still great. Cafe Di Stasio is good value at lunch time as well but it is in St Kilda. Yu-u is pretty good as well, a little tricky to find though so have a look before you go. I think they have lunch for less than $20

Brisbane (Inner City) - Restaurant with a View

Indeed it does. Have not eaten there in quite a while so not too sure about the food at present.

Brisbane (Inner City) - Restaurant with a View

Try Aria along the Eagle St Pier. Alto at the powerhouse in New Farm can be good too espeically if sitting outside. You can even catch a ferry to get there.

Where Oh Where is There An Authentic French Patisserie on the Gold Coast

Try absynthe bakery at circle on cavill unless it is the bakery which shall remain nameless. I am assuming it is still there. I did not pay attention to the nationality of the baker though the chef at absynthe restaurant is belgian, which is close to france at least.

Chinese in Sydney

Spice temple is really a lot of fun and the food is great too. Has been a while since eating there but i remember the tea smoked chicken with vinegar was fantastic as was the pork with 3 flavours, including eggplant and two others i cant remember. Quite sure the menu has changed a bit since then but if mindful of price when ordering then it doesnt have to be a complete blow-out


In terms for good coffee and bakery etc it is hard to go past new farm. Campos on wondoo st, behind the james st markets is great as is di bella mentioned by mr gimlet. Jocelyns provisions which is just beside the james st markets has the best baked goods by far however there is nowhere to sit. There are also numerous places to eat with china town walking distance and many other good cheap eating options. South bank is an area also worth considering given it is close to the galleries as well as cafe's, many of which are not really worth mentioning. Garage has good coffee though and for good cheap food it is hard to beat sardine tin and piaf, all the same owner and very close to each other.
However, to stay in either of these locations you are limited in accomodation options. limes hotel and emporium are two options in the fortitude valley/new farm area while the mantra is decent in south bank. It may not be a bad idea to stay in the city which is in the middle of south bank and new farm and a short taxi, train, or citycat ride will take you where you want to go and with a few good bars opening recently with cheap food as well. Both south bank and the city i feel are pretty weak on the cuisines you mentioned.

Buffalo Club Review

The Buffalo Club is possibly the most radical restaurant to ever open in Brisbane and i had been looking forward to trying it out since it opened earlier this year. There are only about 10 tables in the venue which sits atop a bottle shop and under a bar in Fortitude Valley. Having read a few critics rave reviews and Ryan Squires being awarded in this years gourmet traveller awards I cant think of a restaurant I was this eager to try out. I will type a full copy of the menu I was given if anybody would be interested.

There were two choices with regards to the menu and I went for the whole deg which ended up being around 16 courses. This was accompanied with drinks for an extra $100 which took the total to about $250 a person so def not cheap. Given the number of courses im struggling to remember those which were not on the menu which included the very first bite. I think oit was something deep fried with a shot of vermouth. This was followed by two fish dishes, the first of Slimey Mackeral and the second of crisp whiting. Both being quite nice with some good flavours however not being a huge fish lover, the texture of the mackeral was literally slimey so it was quite unusual and something that i perhaps wouldnt be so eager to try again.

Next was a play on a Big Mac in terms of the smell which was rather incredible given the dish was hickory smoked ice cream with rice puffs and a few other flavours. The hickory flavour being rather strong but it really was like nothing i had eaten before. Beef Jerky wtih varied puree atop was next and was a standout. The mexican flavours were fantastic and the contrast in texture and colour was amazing. A crab salad followed which was also very beautiful to look at and really accentuated the delicate flavour of the crab well. The next dish was essentially fish and chips using the kettle potato, again this was a lot of fun to eat. Iranaian osietra followed which to be honest i can barely even remember eating, perhaps a result of too much drinking!

Foie gras with marshmallows, limoncello, tamari and almonds was next and this dish was outstanding. The presentation was fantastic with a caramel looking strip of foie gras surrounded by limoncello jam with marshmallow and tamari coated almods. The crunch of the almonds gave crucnch the the smoothness of the other ingredients while the limoncello, which came from the gold coast hinterland and the waitress mentioned had just won an award as being the best in the world, cut through the richness. It was perhaps the best thing i've ever eaten and worth a repeat visit alone.Next was a Duck dish with citrus flavours and again incredible while the Beef that followed was up there with the Foie Gras, The chef, back fron japan the day before, had an amazing cut of beef so perfectly cooked, charred on the outside with melt in your mouth flesh inside accompanied by spinach, eggplant, perilla, shitake and oragne. Easily the best Beef i've eaten.

Goats curd with beetroot sorbet, olives and watercress was perhaps my least fave dish with the cold sorbet seeming to dominate too much. The next few dishes are all a blur and ranged from cheese to sweets. The buffalo yoghurt with candied fruits, carrots and seeds was brilliant as was te coconut with chcocolate, caramel and custard. Slated caramel seems to be everywhere these days but it's hard to complain when it tastes this good. A campari sherbet in a paper sachet and chocolates was a great finish, the sachet of sherbet which can all be eaten, disolving to then give way to the sherbet was great fun.

Not all accompanying drinks were wine which can make things a bit more interesting but there did seem to be an abundance of drinks which left me feeling considerably drunk by the end of the meal and i couldnt even finish each drink by the time the next was on it's way. Perhaps i would have preferred the dishes a bit futher apart however it was pushing 4 hours by the time i left.

Service was good, however the head waiter had the annoying habbit of turning to walk away while still talking which seemed a bit rude and odd. The other waitress was great however and incredibly unpretentious and insightful. Being able to see the kitchen staff at work was also great and added to what was a great experience which for me has been in my top few if not the best dinning experience i've had, if also one of the most expensive.

dining alone in Sydney

Try Bentley Restaurant and Bar in Surry Hills. You can sit at the bar and have a drink and have some great and original small plates of food as well as the full menu. A great wine and cocktail list makes it as much about the drinking. Has a pretty noisey vibe and atmosphere so much better for dinning alone.

The Buffalo Club

I'll post my full review of The Buffalo Club in a few days however I can say that it is perhaps the best experience i have had. Had the deg. menu which is arond 14 courses plus a few extra thrown in not on the menu. With matching wines it comes to around 250 a head so it doesnt come cheap. Left feeling very drunk as I dont think i could keep up with the endless supply of alcohol but also very content. There were a few standout dishes including the foie gras with limoncello, marshmallow and almost like a miso substance coated almonds . Most dishes were extremely creative with perhaps only one or two that i felt could be improved. Def an experience that is a lot of fun with a lot of flavours presented in very different ways, such as hickory ice cream. Reminds me a lot of Bentley in a lot of ways but i think Ryan Squires has taken such cooking to a new level in terms of experimentation. I took the menu home with me too so i can post it in full in the next few days.

The Buffalo Club

Has anyone on this board been toThe Buffalo Club? The chef, Ryan Squires, has an amazing resume including stints at The French Laundry and El Bulli. I think if this restaurant were in Sydney or Melbourne it would take a booking made a month in advance to even get a table. Will be going this week so hope to report back good things. There is also a Bar on the floor above which has an amazing fit out and a great cocktail list.

Another new bar in brisbane which is again one of the best around is La Ruche which has a really tasty menu and great drinks list. It does seem brisbane is starting to have quite a range of good quality bars that really do appear to be at the head of the pack in Australia.

Chermside, QLD dining options

I think you will find it tough to find anything that really stands out to eat in Chermside.

Looking for great food Sydney & Melbourne but . . .

try sailors thai if you are still in sydney, it is aroungd the rocks area. Alternatively oceanic thai in the eastern suburbs at clovelly is great too!