Ku-O, Market Square

Ku-O, one of the best Japanese in restaurants in Brisbane, has released a brand new menu with the introduction of their new Chef, Mr Takashi Nami. From Sapporo, Hokkaido, Mr Nami brings with him over 35 years of experience, specialising in sushi and sashimi.

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The fish is selected by the Chef and purchased locally every morning to ensure their freshness. The nigiri set contains a variety of fishes such as sweet lip, swordfish, pollock fish, cod, big white tuna and salmon. This however can change depending on the season. A favourite in this nigiri set however, has to be the eel incased in tamago egg – soft, texturised and full of flavour.

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The tempura set contained prawns and a selection of vegetables such as zucchini and capsicum. The prawn was so light and fluffy on the outside with the meat being tender on the inside. This dish is so perfect for those that want seafood but aren’t adventurous enough to try raw fish.

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The yakisoba, a classic Japanese stir fry noodle dish with meat and vegetables was surprisingly refreshing. The sweet and savoury sauce mixed well with the noodles and the the bonito flakes added on the top enhanced the flavours of the dish.

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The highlight of the night though was the curry. The dish was plated well and with the meat being skewered, made it a lot easier to eat. The curry itself wasn’t overly thick which made it feel lighter on the stomach and it was seasoned to perfection. This will definitely pull you into a happy food coma at the end.

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This new menu has by far the best dishes that Ku-O has offered over the years and is definitely worth checking out the next time you find yourself in Sunnybank.

In food and love,

Vivi

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Genkotsu Ramen, Eight Mile Plains

Ramen is almost synonymous with rain, cold weather and comfort. There is nothing more satisfying than a hot bowl of ramen on a cold winter’s day, or in this case, a breezy and slightly chilly summer afternoon.

Excitement was building as the construction for Genkotsu Ramen was underway and as soon as it was open, we quickly ventured over and lined up with the quickly growing crowd of diners. The restaurant itself was a lot smaller thank anticipated, seating about 20 people at once. Despite that, the table was still quite spacious to fit all the food (which of course is the most important thing). The menu offered a large range of ramen, making the decision quite hard as everything sounded absolutely delicious.

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The first thing we decided on was the spicy gyoza which was delicious. A little moist on the inside and slightly charred and crispy on the outside. The gyoza itself wasn’t overly spicy, but had enough of a hint to give it an extra zing on the taste buds.

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The kaarage was flavoursome and succulent, with a slight crisp which melted in the mouth. The sauce worked beautifully with the kaarage, adding just the perfect tang and creaminess.

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With nine different types of ramen, it was hard trying to decide what we would order first (although we knew we would be back again). The Gyokai Tonkotsu, a seafood flavoured soup was the first pick. The ramen was topped with charshu, boiled egg, bamboo shoots, dried seaweed and shallot. The first mouthful of the soup ended up tasting quite fishy, which was a let down. After mixing everything together, the fishy taste was still there. However, a friend had ordered the same ramen but that fishy taste was barely present. This however could be due to being newly open and not having everything to perfection just yet.

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As a caution to those that don’t fare to well with spicy meals, avoid the Karamen. The extremely spicy chilli flavoured broth definitely got the sweat dripping. Topped with pork chashu, shallots and a boiled egg, the ramen was definitely delicious and flavoursome if you could brave through the spices.

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With our second visit to Genkotsu Ramen, we decided to try out more simpler flavours. The Black Garlic ramen with soy sauce was mouth watering and tantalising on the taste buds. The garlic oil, pork chat, boiled eggs, bamboo shoots and dried seaweed worked so well together without any particular ingredient being overpowering. A definite must try if you can’t decide on what to order and don’t mind trying something a little different.

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With a slightly salted pork broth and pork chashu, the Shio Tonkotsu is the perfect ramen for those who are looking for a simple ramen with all the flavours but without the frills. With this ramen, you can add your own chilli powder and sesame to taste without altering the original flavours.

With such a flavoursome broth, Genkotsu Ramen is the perfect restaurant to taste authentic ramen. The only fault would be that the pork chashu was cut quite thick and didn’t tie in as seamlessly with the noodles, but that however is a personal preference. The broth however is spot on, making sure you have slurped up every last drop before leaving with an extremely full belly.

In love and food,

Vivi

Genkotsu Ramen on Urbanspoon

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

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.

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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

KU-O, Sunnybank

When a new restaurant opens up in Brisbane, I have a proclivity to get over excited and wishful that it could potentially be the next place I call my second home. A place that I can always turn to for quick delicious meals or for mouthwatering desserts and drinks in the company of friends. KU-O, a restaurant that has just opened its doors at Market Square may just fit all these criteria.

The interior of this restaurant is aesthetically pleasing. The owner noted that they had shipped all the wood used to construct the restaurant, along with the artwork and decorations from Japan to replicate the authenticity. This creates a relaxed, almost soothing atmosphere.

The drinks at KU-O are comparable to any cafe that specialises in Asian drinks. I ordered a Lychee Twist which turned out to be a lychee frappe with a hint of mint. Not being a big fan of mint at all, I was surprised that I enjoyed the drink. The subtleness of the mint blended well with the lychee frappe giving it a refreshing flavour. 

J ordered the Chocolate Supreme which was delicious and chocolatey. The accompaniment of the oreo and pocky stick served to make a simple chocolate frappe even more yummy.

N ordered the Super Matcha which came with red beans. From the speed that he finished his drink which resulted in a brain freeze, I can assume that he enjoyed his frappe.

KU-O has a large selection of food on their menu which includes set meals, donburi, yakitori, udon, agemono and teppanyaki. The Salmon Don came with slices of fresh salmon on top of a bed of rice. The rice had a delectable wholesome taste and smell to it which I haven’t come across before dining at a Japanese restaurant.

The Sashimi Set included fresh salmon, tuna, kingfish and scallop which was fresh and palatable. The set also included side dishes and a soup.

The crumbed oysters were crispy and golden on the outside with a delectable rich and creamy flesh on the inside.

The Teriyaki Don which N ordered was probably the most exciting meal. Being from Osaka, N is quite critical of Japanese food, but he found the Teriyaki Don to be quite piquant. The chicken was cooked to perfection, with the outside slightly charred making the flavour more distinct. 

The chicken cartilage is something I have never tried before but found it to be surprisingly appetising. The slight flavour and crunch makes it a snack that you will want to keep munching on. 

M ordered the Maguro Natto Don which consists of fresh, raw tuna along with fermented soybeans. 

After finishing our dinner, we were happily surprised by the Summer Snow dessert being sent complimentary to our table. The tantalising dessert consisted of vanilla panacotta layered in raspberry compote with a topping of lychee jelly, strawberry and frozen lychees. It was absolutely heavenly, and a perfect way to end our dinner.

With such a lovely atmosphere, mouthwatering food and delicious drinks and desserts, KU-O really has made a big impact in the midst of the restaurants currently located at Market Square. It is definitely worth coming in and having a taste for yourself.

In love and food,
Vivi
KU-O Japanese Restarant on Urbanspoon