I sucked at ballet as a child. Clumsy, short-sighted, and in no way flexible…it was a short-lived life as a ballerina. Recently ballet-style fitness has resurged as the hottest new fitness trend with numerous celebrities touting it as responsible for their toned, slim physiques. It has finally made its way to Brisbane and after hearing about it, I was intrigued so jumped on the opportunity to check out the new Barre Body Brisbane studio in the CBD!
Do you like tasty eats, delicious drinks, guaranteed fun and a chance to win some sweet prizes? Trivia nights are where it’s at, people, and we’ve done the legwork to find out where you can head for trivia in Brisbane when the urge is strong.
Popular with the Paddington-ers and surrounds, Kettle & Tin’s regular Tuesday Trivia is a barrel of laughs with the Man Vs Bear crew taking you through the rounds for the chance to win their weekly jackpot. Paired with weekly meal specials and a tipple, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to trivia at the K-Tin*
Archive at West End also serves up some trivia fun on Tuesday evenings to go with their delightful brews so take a break from that pool game to spend that gold coin on a few rounds of trivia instead. Plus you can totally order one of their tasty meals to chow down on while racking your brain.
Or if you’re more geographically oriented towards the Valley, The Flying Cock have you sorted with their Tuesday Trivia & Tacos. That’s right, fuel yourself with $25 DIY tacos and fight for the right to their sweet jackpot….currently up to over $2000. Think about how many tacos you could eat with THAT.
On Hump Day, dead down to Escobar for some trivia that is guaranteed to give you something to look forward to for those first two painful days of the week…or perhaps that’s their infamous bathtub gin. Either way, you can get both on Wednesday evenings from 7pm. Or if evenings are less do-able, Pig n Whistle Riverside do a speedy lunchtime trivia so grab your workmates for a pub lunch and impress them with your superstar knowledge.
If beer and burgers are your fuel of choice, hit up Grill’d Emporium for a juicy burger before getting down to business. Or if you’re hanging Southside, the Quiz Meisters crew are rocking The Fox with their hilarious special brand of pub trivia or join Man Vs Bear at Shady Palms for some top trivia and tipples.
For some special themed trivia, check out the Embassy to see when their next monthly trivia event is on. I’m still bummed that I missed their Fast and the Furious one…oh Vin!
Moose & Gibson are making Thursday Trivia happen along with beer and burgers on the first Thursday evenings of the month with five rounds of brain-teasing fun.
So there you go trivia aficionados and potential trivia-addicts. Go forth and trivia and make use of those countless hours trawling Wikipedia and random websites, learning what some might call useless fact. Now, you can claim them as the key to trivia glory.
* Bonus points if you know where this reference stemmed from.
Do you know a great, regular night of trivia in Brisbane? Hit us up in the comments below, we know there’s more out there!
With Christmas in July done and dusted, it’s time to turn our thoughts to the real deal. But wait, I hear you cry, Christmas is forever away! True that and okay, you probably don’t have to start the present list just yet, but if it’s your turn to plan the office/family Christmas party then it’s time to get cracking!
Getting Started – First up, work out the basics: how many people, potential dates and time of day, budget, event type. These are the details you will need when working out a location and getting quotes. Very important.Venue – Once you’ve sorted out the basics, start thinking about where you would like to hold your event. Location is a key consideration and something central, convenient and easy to get to is usually preferable, especially when guests are coming from all over the city. When it comes to choosing a venue for work functions in Brisbane, you’re spoilt for choice.
Restaurants and bars can generally be hired out for private functions so if you have a favourite spot, it’s worth inquiring to find out what they can do. One of my favourite finds is Statler & Waldorf on Caxton St who can serve up an epic BBQ feast of suckling pig to chow down on in their beer garden while playing ping pong. Private dining rooms are a nice option for a small group and several restaurants offer these like Public, Enoteca 1889, The Servery, or for something a little different, Scrumptious Reads on James St. For a cocktail event, go glamorous at Cloudland or enjoy rooftop views from Up on Constance or Elixir Rooftop Bar. For a larger function, hotels can be the way to go. Most have dedicated function rooms with dance floors and set food and drink packages, which make party planning super easy. If the Hilton or Stamford Plaza are not your thing, consider 5-star boutique hotel Gambaro Hotel for an elegant space with fabulous food. Otherwise there are some dedicated function centres like The Landing at Dockside,Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, and Riverside Receptions who have similar options.
If you’re looking for more flexibility, consider hiring a venue and organising your own catering, drinks and furniture. Light Space offer a range of options, GOMA for stunning indoor or outdoorspaces, or you can hire an outdoor area near the Brisbane Powerhouse. Another great option is Wandering Cooks – I’ve been to a party here last year where local food trucks served up tasty meals and we could order a great range of beer and wine too. They also have a giant Jenga if that sways your decision (it should).
After you’ve narrowed down your options, contact the venues with your requirements. Once you have a range of quotes available, compare the options and choose a place. The earlier you can do this the better because if it’s a popular time (e.g December for Christmas), then you run the risk of losing it. Some places will allow you to place a short hold until you can pay a deposit, which allows for time to get any permission and confirmations that you may need.
Entertainment – Live music is a great form of entertainment and you can find a band or musician whose music will suit the theme of your party quite easily. For example, a string quartet would be lovely for background music for an elegant sit down dinner or cocktail event or else a swing band would liven up a large party who like to dance. If you are interested in having musicians, remember to check with the venue about what sound equipment they have on hand and make sure there is enough space for setup and performance. When looking for a band, Google is your friend. Otherwise consider hitting up friends and even colleagues for recommendations or check out the Con for budding musicians in training who might perform for a lower rate than more established musicians. Alternatively you could hire a DJ or simply put together your own playlist for the entire night, or for breaks in the live entertainment schedule.Food – My primary focus when planning a party because I really like to eat, and I know I’m not the only one. Not providing enough food, or a good variety of food, is a surefire way to hit party disaster status, so you want plenty of good food to feed the souls of your partygoers, especially if they are drinking. No one wants to be the person (or look after the person) who wakes up with a wild hangover with vague recollections of conversations with the boss and inappropriate dance styles, so ensure there is more than a few miniscule bites per person. And it’s always a good idea to check if your guests have any dietary requirements and be sure to include options for vegetarians and those with food intolerances.
Providing drinks is somewhat standard at an event but it can be difficult to judge how much everyone will drink. Most venues offer a standard drinks package at a cost per person, usually with unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks. This is a good option if you have no idea how much will be required. However, if you are catering for a smaller group or light drinkers, a bar tab charged on consumption may be a more economical decision. You will be able to choose your amount and generally have more flexibility than with a drinks package. To stretch the tab further, you can opt to restrict the selection made available.
Extras – Now that you’ve organised the venue, food and drinks, consider the extra things you could do to make the party extra special. A popular theme is a good idea if you’re crew likes to have a laugh and you have the ability to decorate the function space according to the theme. If costumes are not your thing, perhaps an activity-based theme, such as a Casino Night, would be fun. In terms of party decor, a photo booth is always popular, especially if it is connected to an Instagram hashtag. Lolly tables are also a great attraction and always get people coming back for more, so stock up on sweets from Ebay and confectionary warehouses. Decorations will make the atmosphere of your party and, while they are not absolutely necessary, they will liven up your party and they’re also fun to organise! Pintrest is your friend-slash-time-wasting enemy in this instance.
Then what? Send out an invite to all staff and request an RSVP response prior to the deadline which the venue has given you for final numbers. Also request any dietary requirements so that they can be catered for. Try to include as much detail in the invitation as possible to avoid receiving a slew of questions straight afterwards. Apart from the standard date and location details, consider mentioning the theme (if any), dress code and transport options.
In the lead up to the event, keep in contact with the venue, caterers and suppliers to nail down the details and coordinate. On the day, make sure you have time to set up for the event and have everything confirmed. Then grab the first glass of Champagne, enjoy yourself and congratulate yourself on a fabulous party! Cheers!
It seems like every week there are new restaurants and cafes opening in Brisbane and they all sound AMAZING. Photos flood our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds and we struggle to keep up with them all. Unfortunately this means sometimes we forget about the older, more established places; the restaurants which have been around for years and have earned their stripes time and time again for providing Brisbane diners with consistently great food, impeccable service and overall, a fabulous dining experience. Gambaro on Caxton St falls into this category for me and I was reminded of it recently when I had the opportunity to try their new Winter Menu.
For some, gluten is the enemy and for those diagnosed with coeliac disease, it can cause serious damage to the body and serious amounts of pain and suffering. Once diagnosed, it’s farewell to pasta, pizza, jaffles, burgers, cakes, scone, biscuits and oh, about a thousand other kinds of deliciousness. However over the past few years, the range of gluten-free options in Brisbane has significantly increased and the majority of restaurants and cafes now cater for gluten intolerances, some better than others. So whether you eat gluten-free by choice or necessity, here’s a round up of the best GF in Brisbane.
Ah bread, we once shared such a beautiful relationship but then you started to cause me so much pain and we eventually had to part ways. It was an upsetting time and I’d resigned myself to a life without bread altogether until I discovered a pain-free, gluten-free version at Sol Breads! Sol make three delicious types and it’s none of that ‘tastes like cardboard, disintegrates immediately’ white bread that you commonly find. Choose from rice & pumpkin, brown rice & chia or megagrain and it comes pre-sliced which is perfect for freezing. They’ll even replace the regular bread with it at any of their cafes without additional charges – WIN!
Botanica’s healthy and delicious take-away breakfasts, salads and baked goods have become somewhat iconic around Brisbane. Apart from being vegetarian, the majority of their menu is also gluten-free and all of those sweet cupcakes and slices are coeliac-friendly! Also great for vegans and lactose intolerant folks.
A bit pricier than the others but that is due to the high quality, locally sourced organic produce that Mondo use and the care and execution put into each of the meals they plate up. The seasonally changing menu will always feature several vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options, all very clearly marked on the menu. This means that there is none of that awkward calling a waiter over in front of everyone to ask what you can and cannot eat.
When you think Chinese food, you think rice and might assume gluten-free. However soy sauce, a common base ingredient, is not gluten-free meaning that the majority of those tasty Chinese dishes aren’t either. Sadface for you gluten-intolerant Chinese fans out there. Luckily Happy Boy cares and offers several of its dishes gluten-free on request so you can still enjoy your fried rice, ho fun and crispy skin chicken!
Going out for a nice dinner can be tough if you are gluten intolerant and there’s often only one or two options available, and they tend to be the most expensive ones. It’s the complete opposite at Teneriffe wine bar Claret House where, after a quick scan of the menu, it’s evident that it’s harder to work out what’s not gluten-free than what is. Substitutions can be made to make items lactose-free too.
This CBD eatery is all about health, goodness and vegetables. Everything dish that comes out of this kitchen is free of meat, yet is so damn tasty that even meat-lovers flock to it at lunch time. Kitchen feels for the poor, deprived gluten-intolerant so they strive to offer gluten-free bread and dairy-free milk substitutions at no extra cost! The menu clearly notes the items which are nut-free, vegan and optionally gluten-free. They also do a seriously good Bircher muesli at breakfast and recently began offering a gluten-free version using Weetbix.
Initially a vegetarian food court outlet, there are now three Vegerama stores (Myer Centre, Post Office Square, West End) with the West End outlet providing a sit-down restaurant. Each location features a completely vegetarian menu with a strong Indian influence including many vegan and gluten-free options, all very clearly marked on the menu. And anyone can try their flavoursome pizzas at the West End restaurant with gluten-free bases and vegan cheese as optional replacements. The bonus is that it’s all reasonably priced, fresh and delicious!
This unassuming cafe at the bottom of an office building near Post Office Square offers simple fare featuring organic ingredients and healthy, wholesome options which are gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free, paleo and vegetarian. Now I know that you are cocking an eyebrow at me right now, skeptical that anything coming out of this place is edible but let me assure you that it’s very much so and not only that, it all tastes so good. Daily specials feature a range of salads, wraps (all using a house gluten-free crepe) and sandwiches, which can be on gluten-free bread at no extra cost. Pando also do a mean breakfast including grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free (whew!) pancakes and bake a daily GF, SF, LF muffin for a quick take-away option too. While you’re there, you can have your coffee made with Toby’s Estate organic beans on Barambah Organics Lactose-Free milk at NO extra cost.
Local Instagram followers of The Bun Mobile are known to drool and salivate at the sight of the food trucks popular buns. Fear not, you gluten intolerant folk, because these delicious, pillowy white buns are not your Kryptonite; you can enjoy them too! The Bun Mobile will wrap up all of the deliciousness in a large lettuce leaf for to substitute the GF bun and free your meal from nasty gluten. They have vegan and vegetarian options too, so everyone is happy!
The warm, fluffy but slightly chewy bread used for the wraps at this West End hideaway cafe are a carb-lovers dream, however they are entirely full of gluten (can you picture me crying when I realised this?!). But after a closer peek at the menu, the tears disappeared and for an extra dollar, you can get the gluten-free version which is magically just as good. I can feel your disbelief but seriously, so you’ll just have to try it for yourself (and then come back and tell us how it is!).
Organic fully prepared wholefoods and complete meals to help you get through the week. Wholesomeness are online and have a newly launched cafe at The Grange. There you will find a fresh daily range of organic fully-prepared meals or cooked to order paleo inspired meals, All Day Breakfast, snacks, cold pressed juices, raw protein smoothies and Acai bowls and great coffee. All of their meals are gluten-free, locally sourced and organic where possible, chef prepared and portioned providing a healthy diet base for the week. The focus is on whole foods and there isn’t a preservative in sight. It must be love.
There we have it – our top picks for dinner if you, or someone in your crew, needs to avoid gluten at all costs. What is your favourite Brisbane GF meal in Brisbane? We’d love you to tell us in the comments below so we can add them to the list!
As the temperature drops, we tend to choose lattes over coldpress and porridge over granola and fruit salad on menus around Brisbane. But Brisbanites have a long-term love affair with Bircher and luckily there are still plenty of places in town to find a tasty bowl. Birchermüesli was invented by Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner, a Swiss physician, as a healthy breakfast alternative for his patients which combined oats (soaked overnight in water), condensed milk, lemon juice, freshly grated apple and ground nuts. Today the term is used more liberally, generally involving soaking a grain for an extended period of time until edible without having to cook it and mixing it up with something creamy, something sweet, something crunchy and usually served with fruit. For me, it’s all about getting the perfect balance of texture, flavour, crunch, sweetness and freshness. Here’s a round up of our favourites on the Brisbane bircher scene!
Celebrity schlebrity. Chef Ben O’Donoghue is one of Australia’s best known celebrity chefs but a visit to his Annerley cafe Billykart Kitchen shows that it’s not just built on hype. The date, apple and quinoa bircher muesli has been a stalwart on the breakfast menu and we can see why! Oats and quinoa are soaked in apple juice and mixed with chunks of lightly poached apple, dates, sultanas and seeds and then served with creamy yoghurt plus shredded green apple plus the crunchiest granola of coconut, hazelnut and pecans roasted with honey to sweet golden perfection. A bite of this sweet concoction is like an apple-infused dance party in the mouth with ticks for creaminess, texture, crunch, fruitiness, sweetness and bonus points for superfood inclusion, this one definitely gets our vote!
Gramercy Espresso & Eats
The tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe in the Wintergarden pays homage to the classic with the rolled oats soaked in milk and yoghurt to form a thick consistency which is then mixed with chopped dates and macadamia nuts and served with yoghurt, perfectly julienned green apple, fresh blueberries and strawberries, pepitas and a good drizzle of local honey. It’s sweet without being cavity-inducing and the fresh fruit adds a refreshing lightness to the dish. What makes this version a classic for me is the macadamias (best nut ever) and use of julienned instead of grated apple, which intensifies the crunch factor. May Gramercy never change this recipe because it is perfection bircher-fied – if Goldilocks stumbled upon this Bircher, she would have gobbled it up. Oh and did I mention that you can get this anytime of the day? There is NOTHING wrong with having Bircher for lunch…right?
The Bircher at Chow House is the (coconut) cream of the crop. Oats, grated apple and thick coconut shreds are soaked in berry juice and milk to give it a vibrant berry hue and zingy flavour. Pepitas, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds and toasted coconut add crunch to each mouthful. Stewed rhubarb and a berry coulis intensify the fruit flavours and fresh berries lightly sweeten the muesli. The slightly tart house-made coconut yoghurt softens the fruitiness while adding a rich creaminess to the dish. This is one seriously epic Bircher and there’s no wonder it has somewhat of a cult following amongst the James St crew. Every bite is a total explosion in the mouth.
A newcomer to the Brisbane breakfast scene but with hints of familiarity as it’s the sister cafe to local Teneriffe favourite Sourced Grocer. The Gauge version of bircher features organic oats which were milled in-house (yes, they’re all about making it from scratch here) and then soaked with sultanas and nuts in orange juice and yoghurt for a thick creamy consistency. It’s served with yoghurt, seasonal fruits, lemon myrtle and fresh honeycomb to complement the quality of the oats that shine in flavour and texture. This dish may also win ‘Best Looking Bircher’ of the year with a consistently artistic presentation. If I hadn’t been hungry, I may have hesitated about ruining such beauty, however my stomach overruled my brain’s aesthetic desires and good thing it did, because this was definitely a case of it tastes as good as it looks. And if that doesn’t sell you, can I highlight that this is served with a chunk of honeycomb? HONEYCOMB. It’s one of the lighter versions of Bircher around which makes you feel good and wholesome.
This all-vegetarian cafe is popular with the Eagle St crowd, even the devoted carnivores. Associated with the brand Sanitarium (of the Weet-Bix variety), this health-focussed cafe serves up breakfast and lunch on weekdays. Although the menu changes seasonally, their Bircher muesli has remained a constant on their breakfast menu and is available for take-away as well as dine-in. Their version of the classic uses soaked oats, grated apple, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, cream, natural yoghurt with hints of vanilla, honey and cinnamon to make the most incredibly moreish sweet concoction around. A mixed berry coulis, fresh strawberries and super crunchy chia granola takes the delicious factor through the roof! You can opt to grab a tinier version to take-away (perfect for busy Riverside workers) and for the coeliacs out there, Kitchen now do a gluten-free version using Gluten-Free Weet-Bix…intriguing!
The House Bircher is a thick blend of rolled oats and chia seeds soaked in almond milk with coconut flakes, sultanas, dried cranberries, seeds and crushed almonds. The use of almond milk keeps it light but also creamier than if juice had been used, and the chia seeds add an interesting textural element. Topped with a dollop of sweetened yoghurt which contrasts with the tarter flavour pops of fresh raspberries, green apple slices and passionfruit, Honor have created a simple muesli which deviates from the traditional with more than hono(u)rable results.
A happy place for vegetarians, vegans, gluten and dairy intolerant folk, Botanica Real Food are known for their healthy and delicious take-away salads and sweet treats. What some may not also know is that from 6-9am on weekdays, they serve a delicious array of breakfast options including overnight oats, or Bircher. For just $10, you can select a mix of your choice and have it packed up in a biodegradable box and, let me tell you, this generous size can sustain me for the entire day (breakfast, brunch & brinner). With the menu changing regularly and featuring carrot cake, overnight oats and fig, almond and honey Bircher (figs!), there is reason to drop in regularly without feeling like you’re eating the same thing all the time! And don’t worry if you can’t make it in before 9 – Botanica kindly make up pre-packaged boxes that you can find in their fridge throughout the day.
The menu at Strauss changes seasonally however they regularly feature a Bircher that highlights the fruits of the season. The current offering is a pear and almond Bircher using a combination of rolled oats, barley, and rye mixed with flaked almonds, thickly julienned pear and topped with a scattering of cocoa nibs, a light drizzle of honey and locally grown My Berries raspberries. The result is a very milky Bircher which is only lightly sweetened by the fruit and honey. The whole grains give the muesli a chewier texture to plain oats and the almonds and pear strips add crunch and the cocoa nibs add a burst of chocolatey goodness. But what really stands out in this dish is the array of fresh, juicy raspberries which explode with flavour in each bite. De-freaking-licious.
Super hip cafe/bar Remy’s at Paddington does a mean Bircher for under a tenner. Apple and coconut flavours are infused into the creamy overnight oats with dried cranberries and sultanas added for pops of sweetness and chew factor. It’s a relatively wet muesli so no need for additional milk and is topped with yoghurt, roasted in-season fruit and sweet macadamia nut crumble. Overall a wholesome and plain good breakfast to kickstart your day!
Our lactose intolerant pals and vegans can rejoice! Reverend’s Fine Coffee on Brunswick St in the Valley have you sorted with their delicious vegan Bircher. Rolled oats are soaked in pineapple juice with shredded coconut for a distinctly tropical flavour, with chopped almonds and pepitas added for crunch. A generous scoop of CoYo amps up the coconut flavour, while raspberries and slices of tart green apple keep it fresh. A sprinkle of chia seeds finishes it off with a superfood element in this healthy, energy-packed Bircher.
Other noteworthy mentions go to…
The Bircher at Mondo uses gluten-free brown rice flakes instead of the traditional oats which gives this version a slightly nutty and chewy texture. Different but no less delicious. Served with lightly sweetened chia pudding, tart Barambah Organics natural yoghurt and the freshest seasonal local fruit, this beauty of a dish is a wholesome bowl of yum. I question whether it can really call itself ‘Bircher’ but it’s so good I had to include it anyway!
Similarly to Mondo, it’s debatable whether the Chia and Apple Bircher at Habitat can really be called ‘Bircher’. It has fresh julienne strips of tart green apple, linseed and cashews for crunch, cranberries for sweet chews pops and is topped with a gingernut crumble and labna. What is questionable is the use of chia seeds soaked in apple juice instead of the traditional rolled oats. It’s just like Bircher…but not quite. However once you accept the unfamiliar difference, you’ll realise it’s got all of the other components in spades to make up a fresh, lighter version which is equally delicious.
So, there you have it, our round up of the best Bircher is Brisbane. Did we miss any, or is there one that you think reigns supreme? Let us know in the comments below!