Taste Gallery, Market Square

As one of the grander restaurants in Market Square, Taste Gallery caters to families and big groups of friends who want a variety of delicious options whilst dining out. Learning to cook when he first arrived in Australia, the head chef Evan, has 39 years of experience under his belt. From his first job in China Town, his career has expanded to Toowong and Sunnybank, working at Kingsfood for 12 years before bringing his culinary skills to Taste Gallery.

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We started off our 10 course meal with the ever popular minced chicken in corn soup. A sweet corn soup with a good balance of chicken was the perfect dish to awaken the taste buds.

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Next up, we had the two course peking duck which includes duck rolls and san choy bao. The dish was uniquely presented with well sliced duck – a thin layer of meat with crispy duck skin. The duck is then wrapped with the cucumber, shallot and an option of hoi sin sauce or sweet chilli sauce.

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The san choy bao was refreshing with duck meat, peas, corn and carrot presented in a lettuce cup.

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The next dish that we devoured was the deep fried shrimp balls with mayo which was one of my top favourites. Even though it was deep fried, the shrimp balls were not oily. The batter was a good consistency giving it a soft crunch and the shrimp inside was filling. This dish was accompanied with pineapple which gave the overall flavour a zesty tang which became quite additive.

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Fried Rice

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The szechuan pepper chicken which came out next is one of my all time favourites. This is a staple dish that makes your taste buds tingle and you start drooling as soon as you take the first bite. It is the perfect dish if you’re dining by yourself with a big bowl of steaming hot rice.

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The green mussels in XO sauce which is made from dried seafood and chilli was juicy and flavoursome. Each mussel itself was quite large and soft to bite into. If XO sauce isn’t to your fancy, it comes with the option of szechuan sauce.

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After making our way through a few meat dishes, it was nice to mix it up with some stir fried veggies in garlic sauce. Although the veggies were lightly seasoned, it was quite flavoursome and crunchy.

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The deep fried ribs was so moist and flavoursome. Each bite of the ribs made your taste buds crave for more. The ribs were glazed with a special sauce which was so succulent, soaking into the meat itself.

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The tantalising smell when the sizzling beef fillet in black pepper sauce came out was absolutely mouth watering. The meat was tender with an earthy aroma of the black pepper.

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Trying to fit the dessert in after such a delectable ten course meal was quite hard. The pumpkin rice cake was so picturesque that it was almost hard to take a bite out of it. When you finally take a bite though, you’re welcomed with a soft red bean paste inside which compliments the rice cake. This was the perfect dish to end the meal as it wasn’t overly sweet but sweet enough to keep your taste buds satisfied.

Overall, the food at Taste Gallery was absolutely amazing. There is such a wide variety of dishes to choose from that it won’t leave anyone that dines here disappointed. If you can fight the parking traffic around Market Square, I would definitely recommend giving this restaurant a try.

In love and food,

Vivi

xx

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Travel Food Diary: Osaka, Japan

If a single word was used to describe Japan, it would be the word ‘mesmerising’ and all the synonyms that belong to it.

The people were charming, the landscape was captivating, the culture was enchanting and the food (*inserts a big sigh of love*) the food was absolutely spellbinding.

My love affair with Dōtonbori started as soon as I caught a glimpse of the bright lights and the whiff of food circulating from the street vendors. Time slowed down, but my heartbeat quicken as I wandered from store to store, enamoured by all the food on the menus. The hardest decisions were, what was I going to eat and how was I going to fit it all in.

From takoyaki to ramen, this is a sample of my food journey through Dōtonbori in Osaka.

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Okonomiyaki with mochi

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Fried oyster curry

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Tempura omu-rice

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Takoyaki

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Chūtoro bowl

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Mister Donut

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You can never go around the world without having the classic Starbucks

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150 yen sushi

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Takoyaki

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Vending machines with cold and hot drinks, genius!

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Salmon

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Ramen

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Chicken katsu curry

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Have you been to Osaka? If so, where is your favourite place to eat?

In love and food,

Vivi

La Macelleria Gelateria, Teneriffe

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With the days getting longer and the nights getting warmer, there is nothing more satisfying than a delectable gelato or sorbet that’ll brighten the day and refreshen the taste buds.

The gelato is creamy, smooth and full of flavour. My favourite gelato would be the ‘bacio australiano’ which is the white chocolate mixed with macadamia chips as well as the ‘caramello salato’ which is salted caramel perfection.

However, the fresh sorbet gets me every time and would prefer it over the creamy gelato. The flavours change reguarly but lemon lime & bitters, lemon, kiwi and grapefruit would make the top of my favourites list. There is nothing more refreshing than a cold sorbet at the end of the night, and the best part is that there is 0% fat!

I have become quite enamoured with this little store and can be found there most nights enjoying a sorbet. I definitely recommend giving this place a try but be warned, you may get addicted!!!

In love and food,

Vivi

La Macelleria Gelateria on Urbanspoon

Bonsai Botanika, Brisbane CBD

Bonsai Botanika is a gorgeously decorated space that has recently opened in the Brisbane city. The wooden chic interior is extremely calming, creating a great and warm atmosphere. There are three levels, with Level 1 offering drinks, cakes and ice-cream, Level 2 offering food such as ramen (the restaurant level is Edamame, which is the same one located on Hawkin Drive in St Lucia) and Level 3 offering more dining space.

The drinks and food level are both counter service, and you are given a number after you order. The only issue with this is that they do not have separate menus aside from the board, and customers are congested at the doorway trying to figure out what to order.

Mocha Manchy

The Mocha Manchy is by far my most favourite drink at Bonsai Botanika, although the Single Origins Manchy comes to a close second if you are in need of a strong but delicious, caffeine hit.

CHEMEX Brew

CHEMEX Brew

The CHEMEX Brew is a coffee filtration process with the glass flask brewing over coffee beans. I would compare a sip of this coffee to taking a shot of tequila (or a big can of Red Bull), the caffeine hit was strong and fast. This was quite surprising as I have never ever had quite a strong caffeine hit before.

Cappuccino

The cappuccino was quite disappointing as it was extremely watery.

The food at Bonsai Botanika is quite overpriced compared to the other restaurants surrounding it. The drinks are however quite good, depending on what you order. They have a range of different flavours of drinks from salted caramel to dark chocolate & cinnamon pineapple (which sounds quite interesting).

I would recommend Bonsai Botanika if you were in need of a cosy coffee date destination, or even to have a look at their interior decoration.

In love and food,

Vivi

Bonsai Botanika on Urbanspoon