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Gabi Tang

Barre Body Brisbane | Brisbane Threads
Featured SliderLifestyle

Barre Body Comes To Brisbane

posted by Gabi Tang April 2, 2016 1 Comment

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!

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Cocktails at Sake | Brisbane Threads
Featured SliderFood

Grab The Girls For Cocktails At Sake

posted by Gabi Tang March 10, 2016 0 comments
Jealous of those photos infiltrating your social media feeds of friends slurping copious amounts of ramen, sipping on sake with gyoza and chasing whisky highballs with delicious yakitori and karaage? Don’t go chasing those cherry blossoms just yet…you can get a taste of Japan right here in Brisbane at Sake Restaurant & Bar, known for its fresh and contemporary Japanese eats and exemplary drinks list.

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Valentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane Threads
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Valentine’s Day With Hotel Jen

posted by Gabi Tang February 9, 2016 0 comments
When I was asked if I would like to enjoy a staycation at Hotel Jen Brisbane for a sneak preview of their upcoming Valentine’s Day packages, I couldn’t say YES fast enough! A night in hotel luxury with a three-course meal and breakfast in bed? Yes please! Excitement ensued and then came the thought – but who would I share my lovers experience with? As a single gal, I don’t have a partner to share it with so, I invited my best friend to join me instead!
Hotel Jen is a relative newbie on the inner-city hotel scene, taking over a year ago from where Traders Hotel used to be. Part of the Shangri-La hotel family, the hotel has a contemporary design and fit-out, complete with friendly staff and a great central location. After checking in easily and quickly on Saturday afternoon, we eagerly took the elevator up to our Deluxe Room on the 8th level. It was a corner room, with large windows overlooking King George Square and allowing glimpses of the Brisbane River, only slightly dulled by the gloomy rainy weather. We were impressed by the large space which housed a chaise, dining table and chairs, a large screen television, ample storage and, of course, a giant bed! The bathroom was also large and had all of the basic amenities included – handy as I hadn’t packed any in my rush to get ready!
Valentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane Threads
Upon check-in, we were told about their rooftop beehives and chef’s garden so we decided to take Scott up on his invitation to be shown them. We were taken up to the rooftop balcony on Level 6 and shown the adorable pastel beehives, set up by Jack Stone of Bee One Third, from which honey is regularly collected and served at the breakfast buffet and in several of the lunch and dinner dishes. Alongside the buzzing bees is a large rooftop garden with impressive plants growing eggplants, limes, tomatoes, an array of herbs and more.
Afterwards, we quickly got ready for our three-course dinner at Nest Restaurant, the Asian restaurant connected to Hotel Jen. We were shown to our reserved table and told we could order any three dishes off the menu; with delicious sounding options like Pork and Coriander Dumplings, Nest’s House Honey Peppered Beef and Nest’s House Creme Brulee, we had a tough time deciding! To help our decision making, we kicked off our meal with some amazing cocktails, expertly made by the in-house bartender.
Valentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane Threads
After some serious consideration, we opted to share the Deconstructed Barbeque Beijing Duck Rolls, Thai Beef Salad, Pad Thai and Malaysian Vegetable Coconut Curry. The duck rolls were fun to make ourselves so I highly recommend them but it was all delicious and so generous that our stretched stomachs were aching by the end. However, space for dessert can always be found, so we capped off our evening with the Apple Rhubarb Crumble and Warm Chocolate Fondant – to say we were stuffed is an understatement! Somehow we rolled ourselves up to our room where we fell into the deepest sleep.Valentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane Threads
The next morning we woke and made ourselves coffee using the automatic pod machine alongside thoughtfully supply takeaway cups for those on the run. Luckily we had the luxury of staying in as breakfast was being delivered to us! A knock on the door saw the arrival of our special breakfast – Smoked Salmon Benedict, a cheese platter and apple juice plus a special gift from Love Lockets. What an amazing start to the morning!
Alas checkout time rolled around and we returned to reality, but what a wonderful way to spend the weekend!
Check out our image diary of the 24 glorious hours we spent at Hotel Jen:
Valentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane Threads
Valentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane Threads
Valentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane ThreadsValentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane Threads
Valentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane ThreadsValentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane ThreadsValentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane ThreadsValentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane ThreadsValentine's Day With Hotel Jen | Brisbane Threads
Trivia In Brisbane | Brisbane Threads
Featured SliderLifestyle

Do You Even Trivia? Where It’s At For Trivia In Brisbane

posted by Gabi Tang December 4, 2015 0 comments

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! 

What You Need To Know About Party Planning In Brisbane | Brisbane Threads
Lifestyle

Everything You Need To Know Work Functions In Brisbane

posted by Gabi Tang August 28, 2015 0 comments

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.What You Need To Know About Party Planning In Brisbane | Brisbane ThreadsVenue – 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 PublicEnoteca 1889The 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.What You Need To Know About Party Planning In Brisbane | Brisbane ThreadsFood – 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!

(Cover Image supplied by Gambaro, Venue image supplied by Up on Constance).

Gambaros | Brisbane Threads
Food

Gambaro: My dining experience at the Brisbane Icon

posted by Gabi Tang June 7, 2015 0 comments

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.

The Gambaro name is synonymous with quality seafood in Brisbane and the first Gambaro establishment, a fish and chip shop, opened on Caxton St in 1953. Today, the Gambaro family have expanded their focus to providing five star hospitality in the award winning Black Hide Steakhouse and the luxury 5 star Gambaro Hotel, one of only two 5 star hotels in Brisbane. The restaurant has a warm and glamourous feel to it and from the moment you step inside you are made to feel special.
After beginning the night with a glass of classic Moet & Chandon champagne, I was seated at the round table with a group of fellow foodies to begin a five course meal featuring some of the highlights of the new menu. Before eating, we were introduced to John Gambaro himself, who welcomed us to his family’s restaurant and introduced us to the history the Brisbane icon we have come to know and love. He then went on to describe that while Gambaro was known for its traditional seafood menu, such as the classic Lobster Mornay, they also introduce new dishes seasonally.
Gambaros | Brisbane Threads
Our first course of the night was calamari served with radicchio, zucchini, chilli and aioli. The lightly battered Mediterranean style local whole baby squid was incredibly tender as it was flash fried. The shredded radicchio and zucchini ribbons were crisp and fresh additions to the light dish and the aioli was the perfect accompaniment. Appreciative murmurs were audible around the otherwise silent table as we savoured each bite. Alongside the calamari, we were served a glass of Cloudy Bay Pinot Gris which was a perfect citrusy match for the seafood.
After the empty plates were cleared, it wasn’t long before the next course arrived. Showcasing iconic local Hervey Bay Scallops, this dish served the scallops as half shells with a zesty lemon-herb butter and crunchy pangrattato. The fried crumb added texture to the perfectly cooked fresh scallops and the simple sauce allowed the scallop flavour to shine. A simple dish but executed so well – it was the stand out for me!
Following the scallops, we were treated to roasted split king prawns served with a harissa, herb and pomegranate salad. The prawns were giant and served split but with their heads intact. Juicy and flavoursome with a lightly charred flavour, they were delicious by themselves but the salad was the perfect fresh and zingy partner.
After finishing my glass of white wine, I was offered a glass of the Mitolo 2008 Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale in South Australia, where John had recently visited. John described how he was always looking for new wines to bring back for the restaurant cellar for their guests and that this was a new favourite of his. The wine was perfectly matched to the fourth course, a pasta dish featuring the narrow twisted tubular casarecce pasta served with nudja, a spicy spreadable pork salami originating from Calabria in Southern Italy, tomato and oregano. The spicy nudja contained so much flavour which the pasta just soaked up. By this point, we were all feeling extremely sated and full. But wait, there was still dessert to come!
 Gambaros | Brisbane Threads
The final dessert course was simply described as Raspberry, Chocolate, Almond Milk Bombe with raspberry sorbet. The French style set parfait was creamy but lighter than I expected and after spooning in, I discovered a tart raspberry centre which was amazing. The parfait was beautifully plated alongside a scoop of raspberry sorbet, chocolate shavings, a few fresh raspberries and my favourite touch – dried raspberry dust. Despite the relative lightness of the dessert, I was feeling beyond full by this point.
Earlier in the night John regaled us with stories including that of the classic Gambaro dessert – Crepes Suzette. So after our intended final course, John decided that we absolutely must try the crepes and out came John the Crepe Specialist (not to be confused with John Gambaro), wheeling a trolley setup with two burners. Nonchalantly, he flicked them on and began to prepare the crepes while describing the crepe making method as we all watched in amazement. He deftly chopped up fresh banana and strawberries and began to caramelise them in separate pans, all while warming the crepes.
Then, after dousing the crepes in syrup and a glug of Grand Marnier, he flambeed them in front of us and trust me, the cameras were out for this spectacle! The crepes were then plated alongside ice cream and John walked around to serve us the caramelised fruit. All of our stomachs were beyond stretched at this point of the night, however we all managed to find room for those crepes and I think we can all see why they are still such a classic. A fabulous, interactive dessert option which I highly recommend if given the opportunity!
Gambaros | Brisbane Threads
It was a wonderful evening and introduction to Gambaro for me. With the lovely company of fellow food lovers and John, along with introductions to Executive Chef Sunil Savur and Head Chef Lukas McEwan as well as the man himself, Michael Gambaro, I was made to feel incredibly welcome by everyone there. It was a special event, and not one everyone would get to experience, but I’m certain that every diner would be made to feel like I did, whether they are there for a media dinner or not. I have every intention of returning (their breakfast is now on my hit list!) and I’m now reminded that there are old faithful restaurants that have been around for many years, and there’s good reason for that (note to self – don’t forget them when caught up in the excitement of the flourishing Brisbane dining scene). After all, they are the cause of Brisbane’s growing foodie hubs.
You can check out the flavours of Gambaro and Black Hide Steakhouse at the Caxton Street Festival on June 7. Click here for all of the details.
Botanica Real Food | Brisbane Threads
FoodUncategorized

Our Favourite Gluten-Free Fare In Brisbane

posted by Gabi Tang May 20, 2015 6 Comments

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.

Sol Natural Foods | Brisbane Threads

Sol Natural Foods

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.

Kitchen Sanitarium

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!

Pando Cafe

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!).

Wholesomeness

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! 

Reverends | Brisbane Threads
Food

Brisbane’s Best Bircher

posted by Gabi Tang May 11, 2015 3 Comments

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!

Bircher billykart kitchen

Billykart Kitchen

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!

Brisbane Threads | Bircher
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?

Chow House | Brisbane Threads

Chow House
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.

Gauge | Brisbane Threads

Gauge
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.

Kitchen Sanitarium | Brisbane Threads

Kitchen Sanitarium

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!

Honor Food Co | BrisbaneThreads

Honor Food Co

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.

 Botanica | Brisbane Threads

Botanica Real Food

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.

Strauss | Brisbane Threads

Strauss

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.

Remys | Brisbane Threads

Remy’s

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!

Reverends | Brisbane Threads

Reverend’s Fine Coffee

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…

Mondo Organics | Brisbane Threads

Mondo Organics

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!

Habitat | Brisbane Threads

Habitat

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!