Food

Follow Me To WA With Qantas

by Alise Salins on July 27, 2014

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Margaret River vineyards, Pullman Resort Bunker Bay, accommodation in Margaret River, Margaret River wine region, Tapastry menu, Justin North.

With the Qantas Business Class service to Perth, your Margaret River experience begins before you even arrive in Western Australia. WA wine royalty Vanya Cullen is one of the esteemed members of the panel who select the wine served on board, and not surprisingly, Margaret River wines are among the choice picks.

I recently had the privilege of experiencing Qantas’s flatbed east-west service between Sydney and Perth, en route to Margaret River. Everything about the service was great, from the Qantas Inflight Wine Program to the international dining standard featuring leading chef Neil Perry’s expert involvement.

Qantas Business Lounge

The business class experience begins with access to the Qantas Business Lounge in Sydney and, on your return, the newly refurbished Qantas Club at Perth airport. The lounge has a fresh juice station, barista and gourmet food options, as well as plenty of reading material in the form of daily newspapers and magazines, computers, printers, high speed Wi-Fi and boardroom and meeting room facilities.

Once you’re feeling energized and ready to board, head to the gate. Don’t worry about the queue — skip the line and join the premium-boarding lane. Once on board, find your seat and sit back and relax. By now, the crew will have offered you a drink. Sure, take the bubbles! You’re in business!

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Margaret River vineyards, Pullman Resort Bunker Bay, accommodation in Margaret River, Margaret River wine region, Tapastry menu, Justin North.You won’t find anything but top-notch service here at the pointy end. On selected A330 aircrafts like the one I flew on, you’ll have your own Skybed (photo at right supplied by Qantas).

With a fluffy pillow and warm blanket, it can be fully reclined to a flat position. If you need to work, there are USB ports and in-seat power.

The in-seat entertainment system on the A330 offers world-class entertainment on individual 10.6” screens. Whether you’re Keeping Up With The Kardashians or laughing along with Phil Dunfy on Modern Family, settle in with a world of entertainment at your fingertips. On other flights, you’ll find iPads in the seat pocket with more than 200 hours of on-demand entertainment.

Is it lunchtime yet? Neil Perry has brought his Asian culinary persuasion to the menu on board. There’s a selection of small plates and mains, plus sweets or fruit, and a cheese platter.

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Today we’re having Sweet corn chowder with crusty bread or, alternatively, Chicken and herb terrine with mesclun and balsamic vinaigrette. Next up, there’s Grilled white fish, roasted rosemary potatoes, steamed French beans and tartare sauce; Steamed pork dumplings with black vinegar, shallots and coriander; or Waldorf salad with poached chicken.

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The sweet finale: Buttermilk pannacotta with blood orange jelly and poached strawberries.

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Qantas has an expert selection panel for its Inflight Wine Program. Tom Carson, chief winemaker and general manager of the highly regarded Yabby Lake and Heathcote Estate, heads the panel which also includes Vanya Cullen, from a prominent Margaret River winemaking family, and Stephen Pannell, whose parents played a major role in putting the Margaret River region on the map.

Alise was a guest of Qantas, Tourism Western Australia and Pullman Bunker Bay Resort.

You might also like: Pullman Bunker Bay Tapastry Experience.

 

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Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane

by Christine Salins on July 24, 2014

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

I loved the Night Noodle Markets when I went to them in Sydney a few years ago, so when I saw them on the program for the first Brisbane Good Food Month I was a wee bit excited!

This is one of the signature events of Good Food Month and for good reason – they’re just so much fun. They’re a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating.

Well … most of the time! Last Friday was awfully bloody cold, no doubt about it. Still, it didn’t deter us, so off we headed to South Bank just as the sun was going down and the folk on the stalls were heating up their woks. With more than 30 stalls and food trucks, the Cultural Forecourt was transformed into an Asian-style hawker market, festooned with lights and lanterns and the Wheel of Brisbane casting its glow over everything.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

Chilling out, literally, at the Tanqueray bar, one of four bars and lounges, it was time for a gin and tonic to warm us up.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

The Tanqueray bar is pretty glamorous with live entertainment and a “secret garden” ambience. If you’re over 18 and you share a picture of it on social media, the staff will reward you with a complimentary gin and tonic.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

It was great to see southern favourites like Mamak and Longrain cooking up a feast, but lots of Brisbane favourites are there too and, oh my, the choice is difficult. It’s a case of grazing your way around Asia with everything from dumplings to charcoal-grilled yakitori sticks, bowls of ramen and Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti and of course oodles of noodles. And let’s not forget Passion Tree and Serendipity Ice Cream & Sorbet for a sweet finish.

At the official opening in the Yalumba festival garden bar, we watched some lion dancing and some vigorous drumming by the UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team. We enjoyed some great finger food from New Shanghai (beaut dumplings), Longrain and Sake Restaurant.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

By the way, if you are checking out the Sake Restaurant stall, say hi to Shinichi Maeda, who is hand rolling his soba noodles in the traditional way. Shin went to Japan last month to collect equipment especially for the night noodle market. He also took himself off to a 2-day intensive soba noodle-making course to brush up on his skills.

The Night Noodle Markets wrap up on Sunday so you only have a few more nights to experience them if you haven’t already been.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

Fact file:

Night Noodle Markets run until Sunday, July 27, at South Bank. Festivities kick off at 5pm weekdays and 4pm on weekends.

Download the full Brisbane Times Good Food Month program here.

More posts on Good Food Month: Good Food Guide AwardsGood Food Month; Winter Harvest Mondo Organics; Gerard’s Bistro: A Winning Formula; Vintaged Bar + Grill.

Food.Wine.Travel is delighted to be an official blogger for:

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Good Food Month, program in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, My Kitchen Rules, Jake Harrison, Elle Harrison, Serendipity icecream, Natascha Mirosch, Joanna Saville, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane Times Good Food Guide, Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Antonio Carluccio, Night Noodle Markets, Kwan Brothers.

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Vintaged Bar + Grill, Hilton Brisbane

by Christine Salins on July 22, 2014

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Vintaged Bar + Grill, Hilton Brisbane, Harry Seidler,  Simon DeGroot, After Image exhibition, Good Food Month, Brisbane hotels, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane bars, Harvest exhibition, GOMA, Brisbane Good Food Guide, Mooloolaba swordfish, Reichsgraf von Kessels Kaseler Riesling Trocken, Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir, wagyu, Kurobuta Berkshire capocollo, Cantimpalo salami, Wagyu beef bresaola, Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, Campbells Muscat.

I’ve always loved walking into the Hilton Brisbane because of the big arrangement of fresh flowers that greets visitors at the Elizabeth Street entry. As I step into the lift to the reception desk on level six, the hotel has already won me over. We can all do with more flowers in our day.

Opened in 1986, the hotel was designed by legendary architect Harry Seidler. It’s an eye-catching design with an enormous atrium more than 80 metres high, topped by a striking glass dome. Seidler’s sketches inspired the giant mural that forms a backdrop for the Vintaged Bar + Grill.

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The mural, created by local artist Simon DeGroot, was unveiled a few months ago. It’s suitably modernist, in keeping with the design of the hotel, and it has special lighting that enhances the vivid colours. It almost looks like a screen print or a digital image rather than an original artwork, but it certainly draws your eye to the bar. Twelve of DeGroot’s working samples are on display in the hotel’s business centre until August 30.

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If you pop in to have a look at the After Image exhibition, you might like to take advantage of a special for Good Food Month where you can get a main course (choice of four dishes) and a glass of wine or beer for $35. The hotel also has an accommodation package celebrating the Harvest: Art, Film + Food exhibition currently on at GOMA (Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art).

Vintaged Bar + Grill was awarded a chef’s hat in the Brisbane Times 2014/2015 Good Food Guide. This is the third edition of the Guide and the restaurant has scored a hat each time.

It’s a casual restaurant, but still with a certain elegance, and the chefs cook at an open grill in front of an illuminated wall of Himalayan rock salt used for dry-ageing meat. We had a prime spot at the Chef’s Table overlooking this spectacular wall and it was great fun watching the chefs at work. The table can take up to nine people and anyone can book it; in our case, it was just the two of us enjoying this very special spot.

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Almost all the dishes, including an extensive selection of steaks, are prepared on the grill. The restaurant showcases local produce and we loved the Mooloolaba swordfish dish that executive chef Jeremy Clark created with inspiration from GOMA’s Harvest exhibition. It’s accompanied by avocado puree, fennel, thinly sliced discs of radish and cucumber, baby herbs and sorrel, all ingredients sourced from boutique providores within a 200 kilometre radius of the hotel.

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I have to add a word of praise here for our excellent waiter Daan and very talented sommelier Dasha. Dasha chose a Reichsgraf von Kessels 2011 Kaseler Riesling Trocken to go with the swordfish and with tasting spoons of salmon gravlax, and scallop with asparagus puree and caviar. This lightly aromatic German wine was a lovely match with its gentle acidity and ever so slight sweetness.

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Dasha opted for a Cloudy Bay Pinot to go with the meats, a stunning charcuterie plate followed by slices of wagyu and sirloin and a couple of prawns. I can’t begin to tell you how good the charcuterie is: Kurobuta Berkshire capocollo (from the heritage Berkshire breed of pig), Cantimpalo salami and Wagyu beef bresaola. Of course, all the great flavour comes from lots of lovely fat that you can feel going straight to the hips.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Vintaged Bar + Grill, Hilton Brisbane, Harry Seidler,  Simon DeGroot, After Image exhibition, Good Food Month, Brisbane hotels, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane bars, Harvest exhibition, GOMA, Brisbane Good Food Guide, Mooloolaba swordfish, Reichsgraf von Kessels Kaseler Riesling Trocken, Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir, wagyu, Kurobuta Berkshire capocollo, Cantimpalo salami, Wagyu beef bresaola, Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, Campbells Muscat.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Vintaged Bar + Grill, Hilton Brisbane, Harry Seidler,  Simon DeGroot, After Image exhibition, Good Food Month, Brisbane hotels, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane bars, Harvest exhibition, GOMA, Brisbane Good Food Guide, Mooloolaba swordfish, Reichsgraf von Kessels Kaseler Riesling Trocken, Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir, wagyu, Kurobuta Berkshire capocollo, Cantimpalo salami, Wagyu beef bresaola, Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, Campbells Muscat.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Vintaged Bar + Grill, Hilton Brisbane, Harry Seidler,  Simon DeGroot, After Image exhibition, Good Food Month, Brisbane hotels, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane bars, Harvest exhibition, GOMA, Brisbane Good Food Guide, Mooloolaba swordfish, Reichsgraf von Kessels Kaseler Riesling Trocken, Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir, wagyu, Kurobuta Berkshire capocollo, Cantimpalo salami, Wagyu beef bresaola, Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, Campbells Muscat.

Dasha took us on a tour of the Wine Room, a glass-walled room strutting its stuff in the middle of the restaurant. Around 120 Australian and imported labels are on the shelves, from the tiniest producers you’ve never heard of to real icons like Rockford Basket Press Shiraz. In front of the Wine Room there’s another unique dining space in the Wine Table, a 5.5 metre long table that has an illuminated ice well running the length of the table. Up to 12 people can sit here.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Vintaged Bar + Grill, Hilton Brisbane, Harry Seidler,  Simon DeGroot, After Image exhibition, Good Food Month, Brisbane hotels, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane bars, Harvest exhibition, GOMA, Brisbane Good Food Guide, Mooloolaba swordfish, Reichsgraf von Kessels Kaseler Riesling Trocken, Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir, wagyu, Kurobuta Berkshire capocollo, Cantimpalo salami, Wagyu beef bresaola, Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, Campbells Muscat.

We drew on the special stomach reserved for desserts to enjoy a glass of Campbells Muscat and a tasting plate of treats including icecream with honeycomb and a little jug of caramel sauce. The hotel makes all its icecream in-house. I love that attention to detail.

Christine & Maurie dined as guests of Hilton Brisbane.

Fact file:

Vintaged Bar + Grill
Hilton Brisbane
190 Elizabeth St, Brisbane, Australia
+61 (0)7 3231 3265
www.vintagedbarandgrill.com

After Image art exhibition: May 22 – August 30, 2014.
Harvest-inspired lite bite available until September 21, 2014.
Harvest: Art, Film + Food’ experience at Hilton Brisbane, from $270 per room per night.

Download the full Brisbane Times Good Food Month program here.

More posts on Good Food Month: Good Food Guide AwardsGood Food Month; Winter Harvest Mondo Organics; Gerard’s Bistro: A Winning Formula.

Food.Wine.Travel is delighted to be an official blogger for:

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Good Food Month, program in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, My Kitchen Rules, Jake Harrison, Elle Harrison, Serendipity icecream, Natascha Mirosch, Joanna Saville, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane Times Good Food Guide, Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Antonio Carluccio, Night Noodle Markets, Kwan Brothers.

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