Friday, 31 December 2010

More Coffee! Mount Tamborine Coffee Plantation, Gold Coast, Australia

Mount Tamborine Coffee Plantation is yet another delicious reason to visit Mt. Tamborine when on the Gold Coast. Coffee beans are grown organically on a small plantation just out the back of the Cafe Gallery. The owners do it all - from growing, to harvesting and roasting the beans on the weekend to running the cafe during the week. It is truly a pleasurable experience to see the whole process from field to table and know that the delicious brew you're drinking has no chemicals and is friendly to the environment. The coffee is GREAT too. From what I understand about the process, because there are no chemicals, the beans are softer and retain more of their natural oils making for a sweeter cup of coffee. If you're lucky enough to live in Australia you can arrange to have coffee mailed to you. I'm waiting for them to set up the Malaysian connection (please).

Mount Tamborine Coffee Plantation
Boutique Coffee Estate
64 Alpine Tce,
Mt. Tamborine
Ph: 07 5545 3856

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Pizza Capers, Gold Coast, Australia

Best pizza on the coast! Gourmet pizza with loads of healthy options too. The Thai prawn and barramundi pizza is divine - succulent prawns and generous chunks of fish drizzled with sweet chili sauce. Mmmm.

Pizza Capers
Located all over Australia
134 74992

Friday, 24 December 2010

Coffee, coffee, coffee! The Gold Coast, Australia

There are many things that Australians don't appreciate about how lucky they are to live where they do. The amazing standard and availability of great coffee is one of them. I haven't travelled anywhere else in the world, apart from Italy, where you can get a decent cup of coffee on just about any street corner in the city personalized to exactly the way you like it. Every cafe and restaurant have their own espresso machine and you better be a trained barista or you won't be allowed near it.

Zarraffas is one such place. Beans are sourced from around the world but blended and roasted on the Gold Coast. This place really takes coffee seriously. They even have a coffee fridge - much like a wine fridge, but with coffee beans instead! My pick of the beans is the Midnight Cafe blend - bursting with flavour and best made with the moka pot/ stove top espresso maker.

There are over 40 outlets around South East Queensland. To find the one closest to you visit their website:

As I said earlier, you can get great coffee all over the place. Even at the airport. Velluto serves a large cup of coffee and the beans are roasted locally too.

Velluto Espresso Bar
Gold Coast Airport and all around Australia

Merlo Coffee is yet another Queensland coffee company who takes their bean selection and roasting seriously. This label can be found in many cafes along the coast.

And another... found all over the Gold Coast. Crema Espresso.

Crema Espresso

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Tanzini, G Tower, Kuala Lumpur

I have a new favourite place in KL! Tanzini - located on top of the G Tower in Tun Razak, is part of KL's first green hotel. The hotel itself is green and smart designed to conserve energy and reduce impact on the environment while maintaining a high level of comfort. Tanzini offers home style Italian food with a high focus on fresh organic produce. With that being said it's not your typical pizza and pasta KL style Italian fare. There is a lovely selection of dishes consisting of fresh whole foods. It's rare to come across a restaurant in KL where every dish you try is awesome, but I think I've finally found it in Tanzini. Personally, I think a great restaurant can be predicted even before the first dish has been served. If the bread on the table is something special, it suggests attention to detail and I have great expectations for what is to come. Tanzini did not let me down in this aspect. We were served three different types of breads with three dips to go with them. The mushroom and cheese mini focaccia rounds were so tasty I had a hard time controlling myself to not eat them all before the rest of the meal had even begun. Loved the organic omega 3 pan fried barramundi, the mushroom steak and lightly grilled veges. Desserts were hard to choose from so we ended up having three! Cheesecake and passionfruit sorbet were both delish. As if amazing food wasn't enough, Tanzini also offers great open views of the city. I can't wait to go back and try their lunch sets. Price wise, the costs are quite reasonable considering the quality of the food and the lovely atmosphere.

Level 28, G Tower
Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
03 2168 1899

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Bar Italia, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Malaysia

Bar Italia is a great little restaurant, bar and roof top lounge one street off the main drag of Changkat Bukit Bintang. Although I think it's a bit pricey for KL, it's worth a visit for the quality of the food, the roof top ambience and the gelato. I'm yet to have something that I didn't like from the menu, but the linguine vongole (clams) sauteed with zucchini & cherry tomatoes is particularly memorable. On occasion there is live music on the roof top which can really lead to a fun night. Call them to find out what events are coming up.

Bar Italia
Bar, Restaurant & Roof Lounge
29 Jalan Berangan,
Changkat Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur
Tel +603 2144 4499

Pacific Gourmet, Mid Levels, Hong Kong

Fresh, fine food and fun! The team at Pacific Gourmet certainly make you feel welcome when you walk in. Offering a high quality range of super fresh seafoods, meats, gourmet deli products and wines, they are very knowledgeable about their products and offer the freshest and finest of ingredients - guaranteed. My mouth is still watering thinking about the Tasmanian oysters I devoured, the marinated olives I consumed, the dips and cheeses I tasted and the wine and champagne I quaffed. If only I lived in Hong Kong, I would visit this place every week knowing that I whatever I purchased was top of the line. I'm sure I'd also be a regular to their Gourmet Ed classes where they teach a range of skills such as "how to shuck an oyster." Don't have time for a class? The in house butcher, all the way from Oz, is very happy to help you select the best cuts of meat for your dishes and to give you tips on how to best cook your selection.

Pacific Gourmet
Purveyors of Fine Foods
53 Caine Road,
Mid Levels,
Hong Kong
(852) 2898 9000

Epoch Coffee Bar and Desserterie, Star Street, Hong Kong

Yummy desserts, coffee and wine. Marble cheesecake...mmmm. A great place to hang out for an afternoon piece of pleasure.

Coffee Bar and Desserterie
Star Street Outlet
12-14 Wing Fung St.
Star Street Precint
Hong Kong
(852) 3525 1570

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Life Organic Restaurant and Bar, Soho, Hong Kong

I have a new favourite place! Life Organic Restaurant and Bar in Hong Kong rocks! Their menu is super healthy and creative and the setting is funky and fresh. The restaurant spreads over three levels with great seating on the top floor in their rooftop garden and attractive tables at street level for people watching. I can highly recommend the African Sweet Potato Stew made with organic quinoa, smoked tofu, coconut, sweet potato, tomato, organic beer, fresh herb, roasted peanuts and Pilli Pilli sauce, and the Layers of Vegetables consisting of marinated and roasted eggplant, red pepper, zucchini, yellow pepper, sweet potato, artichoke hearts, basil pesto and a tomato cashew cream sauce. Organic beer and wine is also on offer although I didn't find my samplings anything to rave about. What does need raving about though is the variety and deliciousness of the sweets and savouries available for take-away. I couldn't resist my all time favourite dessert of carrot cake and, although not what I'd ordinarily expect, Life does a pretty good version with organic whole grains and a deliciously sweet topping of mixed seeds. Both the Organic Flapjack Slice and Organic Apple Bread both deserve a thumbs up. A variety of sugar free, vegan and gluten free options are also available. There is a small selection of organic products such as nuts and grains in a small market area at the front of the premises. I can't wait to get back to Hong Kong to sample their brunch menu. This place is definitely yum!!!

Organic Restaurant and Bar
10 Shelley Street,
Hong Kong