whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

Posts Tagged ‘Restaurants

Faffing about: Time Travel prelude….

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Libertine – Paddington

Having grown up in Australia, we have the privilege of being exposed to a myriad of food cultures. The standard and authenticity of these select foods is outta this world, due to our multicultural population. What is crazy though is not being able to get a decent meal after 9pm. “Kitchen closed” What the shiz?

I first realised the high quality of  ethnic food in Australia when I moved to Sweden and sampled various “Thai” and “Japanese” restaurants which were run by people of said ethnicity, however I can only guess that due to a more conservative taste palette of the Swedes (not very spicy) or to cut costs with expensive, albeit obviously necessary ingredients, some things, like taste and flavour, were thrown outta the imported plane window.

I spent most of my food-appreciating, wining and dining years in Brisbane and food culture there is immense, focusing on everything from raw, vegan and wholesome, to hearty and artery clogging and everything in between. Traditonally, certain suburbs became well renowned for different types of food, depending on who immigrated there, however with the gentrification of all the inner-city suburbs this has changed and good food of any nationality can be found pretty much anywhere.

Still though, some remain pertinent. Want Greek? Head to West End, Lefka’s has the best cinnamony Mousakka, lemon potatoes, fried haloumi – OMG! and lamb shanks as big as your head. Ouzeri is casual, alfresco sidewalk eating that is the place to go for group parties; their platters are of sizeable quantity, without substituting quality, I can still taste their fava beans. yum. West End is also home to many Vietnamese restaurants with Kim Thanh being my personal favourite for Hue spicy soup, prawn and pork rice paper rolls and a very much missed 3 colour drink. Huangs also has the best Massaman curry I’ve had outside of Thailand.

Take-away section of Lefka’s. So. freaking. good.

Sunnybank, traditionally home to a predominantly Chinese community, however in recent years has grown further to include Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, basically all Asian cultures, specialises in the cheapest and largest pan-asian cuisine. Singaporean Hainanese Chicken, Taiwanese drunken chicken, Korean Chimaek 치맥 beer and chicken plus all other vegetable and animal combinations can be found here. Just be careful, sometimes the area can be quite literally on fire.

My favourite Korean BBQ joint in Brisbane – Obaltan

However, being a 2-zone city girl myself this was always too far out for me and instead I milled about the city fringe for good Asian fare. Hubbed around Elizabeth Street in the city is a growing selection of Korean bbq, traditional restaurants and noraebangs thanks to the growing Korean student population. Good Japanese sushi trains, hand roll boogaloo’s, ramen joints, gyoza and izakaya places, as well as fine dining can also be found around here. King of Kings Yum Cha in the Valley was also a staple for the craziness and awesomeness that has to be experienced to be believed.

Good Italian restaurants are also found around Teneriffe/New Farm with Vespa Pizza having an amazing cinnamon roast butternut pumpkin with dried chilli, sage and fetta although the 3 little piggies was always the favourite for my best friend Veracakes. We also shared some serious d+m’s over their smashed kipflers and a good, or cheap – depending where we were in our pay cycle –  red from our selected favourite bottleshopboy of the moment.

Vespa Pizza

Paddington, my old hood, home to many cafes that serve up a mean eggs benedict with a babycino for the bambino and provide a water bowl for your little white yap-yap, is also home to some of the best pub steaks when you wanna get your bogan on at the Paddo or the Cacko. “Rib fillet, medium rare with mushroom sauce” is the catcall, the wolf whistle, on Tight-ass 2-for-1 Tuesdays.
Fine Italian can also be found at 1879 which does amazing Pizza and Vio’s, an elaborate setting for an elaborate menu.
Old locals for me, The Lark which does inventive mod-aus fine dining with an impressive whisky collection and amazing cocktails (and will let you stay on after closing time and persist for weeks on end with my silly requests of a long lost cocktail – he did nail it in the end) and Cartel – the bar where everyone knows your name and you can kick back on one of the couches, play some videogames, watch some Star Wars, listen to some local music or just enjoy good craft beer or Monteith’s on tap – brilliant.
Other staples were the dark and atmospheric Spanish tapas bar Peasant or the vibrant French/Vietnamese fusion fare at Libertine, which has a magical vibe at dusk on a balmy Summer’s eve. And whilst most people crave a greasy fry-up when hungover, I always could be found at the sushi train Sunday afternoon sipping my hangover away over miso soup and a giant Kirin.
However, let’s be brutally honest here, Harry’s diner has also saved many a drunken night with a deep fried dim sim, spring roll or chicken chips to soak up the inebriation. Also worth a mention is the Paddo Bottle-O – open until midnight – the latest in the city fringe and a 5 minute walk, 2 minute run away from my old beloved terrace house.
On the other sober hand, Fundies, a local institution, has organic vegetarian, vegan and raw salads, bakes, burgers and cakes, as well as having a store next door to pick up all your essential grains, groceries and gourmet snacks.

Cartel

Fundies nosh. yum.

Oh, I miss home now.

Peasant – many a night spent at that bar.

I haven’t even mentioned Indian, Mexican, Nepalese, the cafe brunch scene and amazing Modern Australian which is basically a fusion of everything available. Check out the menu at Esquire here for an idea of good Australian food, kimchi and beef ‘bbq’ chips?  Scraped raw Wagyu beef with soy, ginger and fried rice? And in the year that I’ve left there seems to be whole new wonder of restaurants, cafes and bars to tickle the fetish of anyone, regardless of what you’re culinarily in to.

Indian Kitchen – by no means the best Indian in Brisbane, but authentic, cheap and an institution.

But this wasn’t meant to be a post on the Brisbane food scene. Or food scenes in general. Clearly got sidetracked, but realise I’ve written too much now to simply delete and start again. The nostalgia of home has been warming.

But rather, this is the intro into a series of travel snaps. Travel times. Time travel.

Whilst obviously the Korean food here is very authentic, it is hard to find other food that hasn’t been korean-i-fied. Pickles with your bulgolgi pizza? Pickles in a Vietnamese rice paper roll? Kimchi tacos and burritos? This has made me reflect back to not only food available in Brisbane, but the traditional food I’ve eaten whilst travelling.

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Pizza and ah, pickles?

I am interested in how the food traditionally eaten by different cultures affects their lifestyle. Different cultures have certain rituals with food, unique ingredients, cooking techniques, eating styles, which affects their lives in so many ways; their relationships with family and friends, weight, complexion and facial features.

Food is the focal point of celebrations, tragedies and everything in between the world over. Travel, real travel off the beaten tour package path allows us the privilege to witness first hand these different cultures, norms and cooking practices whilst gaining wisdom and insight into the interaction and relationships of people from different backgrounds.

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

September 26, 2012 at 18:09

Food for thought

with one comment

I have followed vegetarian and vegan lifestyles in the past in an attempt to be more proactive in my sustainable endeavours, however, what can I say…..I love meat, seafood, eggs and chocolate too much for it to be a life long commitment. Consider the theory surrounding great white sharks, once they get a taste for human flesh, they continue to seek it out. Perhaps this extends to humans as well, I think it is easier to live a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle if one has not eaten meat, or whose parents are also vegetarians.

Contrary to the outside perception of the Korean diet, it is not all meat bbq. Sure it is enjoyed regularly, perhaps once a week, but even then, the quantities are far less than what it looks like (it’s all the tiny bowls of vegetable side dishes collectively called ‘banchan’ that make it look like super sized), a typical serving of meat is around 100 – 150g, and a minimum of two servings must be bought by a minimum of two people (due to again, all the preparation involved in preparing banchan).

Hence, why one-person-me usually only eats bbq meat once a week if I can coerce my friends into it…and why most Koreans are desperate to be in a couple. They just wanna eat some friggen bbq meat yo!

But, I find myself eating a shit tonne less meat here than in Australia, mainly due to the unavailability of lamb, my go-to-number-one meat. I find I prepare and eat really simple things if I am eating at home, salads, eggs, soups, vegetables. Eating out here is much cheaper than Australia, and generally, more nutritious, but this is a whole other post.

So, I’m not advocating one lifestyle choice over the other, however, I do not condone the inhumane treatment of animals and always make a conscious decision to purchase organic meat that has come from animals treated ethically and wild, locally caught seafood.

Organic groceries are becoming more affordable and readily available in Korea, see my previous post here as are organic vegetarian restaurants. Finding a restaurant that serves organic, humane meat is more of a challenge unless you are willing to drop a serious amount of coin – akin to that of your first born’s university fund.

Seoul Restaurants:
Byeokjae Galbi (벽재갈비) – High quality, high cost Korean beef BBQ. The restaurant owns and maintains the hanwoo (korean cow) farm in Gyeonggi. Ph. +82 2 2058 3535
Goraebul (고래불) – Seafood restaurant. Receives their seafood fresh everyday from fishermen on the east coast of Korea. Ph. +82 2 556 3677
Gae Hwa Oak (개화옥) – Traditional korean restaurant with black Jeju pork and barley fed beef from a local farm in Jeollanamdo. Ph. +82 2 549 1459
Slobbie (까페 슬로비) – Slow Food, casual dining, great prices, great atmosphere. Traditional Korean food, ingredients sourced from local farmers. Ph. +82 2 3143 5525
Cafe des VertsOrganic tea and coffee, sandwiches, yogurts. Casual atmosphere.

*I’d really like to hear of some more, this is a lazy, half assed collection.

 

It takes 50,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef.
It takes 1,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of grain.

Most of the grains grown in the world is given to cattle.
These grains could be going to third world countries to help prevent starvation.

“The irony of the food production system is that millions of wealthy consumers in developed countries are dying from diseases of affluence – heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer, brought on by gorging on fatty grain-fed beef and other meats while the poor in the third world are dying of diseases of poverty by being denied access to land to grow food grain for their families”
/jeremy rifkin

Written by ayearinpatissiere

September 9, 2012 at 14:41