|a stunningly gorgeous day in old Brisbane town|
They say 3rd time lucky and thus it was with trying to get into this reality tv show restaurant. The first time we turned up on a Tuesday (not open); 2nd time there was an hour wait (too hungry); 3rd time lucky! I told Mr P. we should turn up about 2:30 pm - the office workers, the ladies who lunch and the school mums would have left by then, and that's way too early for the trendy young things to have arrived. Happily I was right, as there was no queue, and the restaurant was fairly empty except for a couple of tables with babies and young children. (And a whopping great camera strung around a cameraman, a sound person and a director).
We walked straight in (the lone security man holding the door open for us), and were smartly led to a table at the back of the room. Considering that it is made up of several shipping containers, it is very light and spacious. We were persuaded by the efficient but somewhat distant waiter to try the chrysanthemum and honey iced tea (the restaurant is BYO, and we had not "brung" anything). Surprisingly, they had no straws, which made it difficult for Mr P. as he cannot pick up glasses. We had the slightly awkward option of me feeding him sips of his tea every now and then. Nevertheless, it was a refreshing drink to start off our lunch while we perused the menu.
Asian/Mexican? Mexican/Asian? Mmm interesting concept. This means you get a choice of such items as: char siu tostada, duck kim chi salad, pork in tequila and lime with rice and coriander, black bean frijoles, grilled plantains with lime mayo and so on. I get the feeling it is mostly Mexican with a bit of a shout out to Asian flavours. Mr P. chose goat rendang and rice, while I had duck kim chi salad along with scallop ceviche. The waiter recommended the taro discs, which we happily agreed to try.
|goat rendang $28|
I tasted Mr P.'s goat and found it fairly flavoursome but mild. He would have liked a lot more chilli and general spiciness. The rice was a fraction gluggy, he said. Perhaps the flavours have been dumbed-down for what the owners feel will appeal to the general public?
|the accompanying steamed rice|
|duck kim chi salad $20|
Sadly my salad was all cabbage and no duck. You really needed a looking glass to find any shreds of bird! But I did find 2 bits of bone which my teeth did not approve of. Once again I am sorry to say it just seemed a bit bland. Where was the peanut sauce?!
|scallop ceviche with pear and lime w/- tortilla chips $18|
Justine, one of the contestants/restaurateurs brought out my scallop ceviche and suggested that I eat some of the scallop with a corn chip in order to get crunch and softness. It was fresh and clean, but I felt this dish needed more oomph and punch. I guess I was expecting a bit of a wow factor with lots of herby, limey flavours but I didn't get it. And I could not taste chilli at all.
|taro discs with miso mayo $6|
These were tasty and quite moreish. The waitress said some people found the taste a bit strange, but Mr P. and I wolfed them down with no problems.
|that camera must weigh a ton!|
Other mains include duck breast, poached mackerel, and braised beef cheek. You can get extra salsas at $2 a pop; variously priced sides, and starters like chicken wings or pan fried prawns. There was also dessert on offer, but at that stage, we were ready to make the trek home in busy traffic. To be honest, there are other restaurants I would choose to eat at before this one. It just didn't hit the spot with either of us. We went into the feedback booth to tell them we felt more punch was needed in the food. It will be really interesting to see what other diners think when we see them on tv!
|I think they were pretending to eat while Justine was being filmed:)|
|I like this!|
|colourful and bright decor|
So, yes it was an interesting experience watching the filming and trying to work out where the cameras were (everywhere! said the waitress), but a wee bit lacking in the flavour department. I found it interesting that you can't check in on Facebook or social media. I guess Channel 7 must want to control all the images etc!
The restaurant is open (not sure how long for?!) 12 - 4 pm and 6- 11 pm. You just have to rock up and wait for a seat as no bookings are taken. Good luck!