Charlies Raw Squeeze Express – Ashgrove


Definitely a major disappointment.

This was my first time trying any Charlies Raw Squeeze product, and their nicecream did not make a great first impression.

After a long, hot day, I was keen to grab any kind of cold, refreshing dessert. As usual on their social media pages, the temptations of a “$3 Social Media Special” drew me in. Charlies has become one popular Brisbane craze following the health trends of acai bowls and vegan doughnuts, so I had high hopes.

Unfortunately, although their “Ashgrove Express” store looked good, the service was not great. The only female working did not even greet us with a smile and seemed as though she did not want to serve us. After an awkward order, at least we had time to check out the rest of their food options, which were slightly out of my price range.

Order: 2 Chocolate Nicecreams ($3 each)

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

The cup sizes of these were generous and just by the look of them, I was excited to try it. After taking my photos and my Snapchat and Instagram stories, we were finally able to dig in, but to our dismay, it was incredibly upsetting.

Although we did not properly define ‘nicecream’, I was still hoping it would be cold, something that would cool our insides as the warm weather died down for the day; just like a regular ice-cream would have.

There were two flavour options: chocolate or banana. Chocolate is evidently always my first choice, but you could hardly taste any chocolate. Since a nicecream, for anyone who still does not know, is essentially just frozen bananas blitzed into a smooth consistency, what we got was honestly just mushed banana. The coldness of it disappeared quickly, so it was just like eating unpleasant baby mush.

We did not end up finishing these and sadly, we headed home in the hopes we could end the day on a better note or in my case, end with a $1 Large Slurpee from 7/11.

The Produce Bulk Foods – Ashgrove


They have DIY ground peanut butter!

I am not a health foodie or am interested in that type of lifestyle, but The Produce Bulk Foods may have converted me… in the slightest sense.

I have walked past this place many times, but it always seemed intimidating. However, after one afternoon walk and with half an hour until they closed, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at what this “bulk food” place had to offer.

Everything about this place made me want to return. The first row of boxes (on the left hand side of the sign in Photo 2 below) was the “snack section”. From chocolate honeycomb, chocolate covered nuts, apricot logs and vegie chips, I knew it would be great to stock up for my final days at uni. Then there are options of different coconut, quinoa, granola mix, cacao and even a falafel mix. A section to fill up liquids such as coconut oil, with jars below. Another smart and environmentally friendly idea is bringing your jars from home and reusing them again. But what has possibly made me a future regular, is their machine that allows customers to make freshly ground peanut butter. If only I took a photo, but it is one amazing and entertaining machine.

Everyone knows acai bowls are designed to look pretty. After spending a week eating an array of sweet or hi-carb foods, I was in the mood for something fresh and something my body would feel healthy about. Although I did spend quite a lot of money buying out, a healthy breakfast out as the weather warmed up is just what I needed.

My Order: Regular Cacao Acai Bowl ($9.50)

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

For $9.50 and at that size, I am one happy customer. It looked great and I must commend the friendly, young female staff member who provided us with great service. These acai bowls look great! As great as the cacao acai was, the toppings were the star. Three types of fresh fruit, cacao nibs, two types of coconut flakes – regular and toasted, and finally the granola – the nuts won it for me. I am not a honey fan, but the slight drizzle was a great addition.

Other Order: Regular Berry Acai Bowl ($9.50) and Freshly Ground Peanut Butter (~$4)

The Berry Acai Bowl was a beautiful, vibrant purple colour with the same toppings as the cacao. I still have not tried the fresh peanut butter, but I will give it a go soon.

Although they only have two options of Acai bowls on the menu, The Produce Bulk Foods have pulled it off. I am sorry Kiss The Berry, but this place have taken over the top spot for reigning Acai Bowls on my list.

I will definitely be coming back for more.

Starbucks – Queens Plaza


Does this make me basic?

The Pumpkin Spice craze finally hit Australian Starbucks, and as usual, I wanted to find out why this Autumn drink has become so popular.

It is Spring in Australia and might I add, it is not cool Autumn weather. I might just be exaggerating here, but although it may be great to have in the morning as a regular hot latte before the warm weather of the day hits, it was an Iced Latte or Frappuccino for me.

After asking the barista which one she thought was better, or in her case, what she has seen to be more popular, I settled with the frappuccino.

My Order: Tall Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino ($6.50)

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I love a cold, icy, whipped-cream-topped frappuccino, but one sip of this and I was instantly confused. It may have been the fact frappuccino’s are incredibly sweet, but it is one drink I will never understand.

How do I describe Pumpkin Spice? Possibly when cinnamon meets an Autumn Christmas Gingerbread House? I chose the smallest size, but I wish there was something smaller. At $6.50, there was no way I was going to throw it out without attempting to finish it. What I enjoyed at least was the dusting of pumpkin spice on top of the whipped cream – that, is what I could handle.

I did end up feeling strange and sick as I headed to the bus stop after ‘trying’ to skull it all down. A headache? Sugar coma? All I know is, if I ever try this again, I will stick with an Iced Latte to cool me down and hopefully it will not be as sweet as an icy frap.

Doughnut Time – Indooroopilly


More doughnuts!

As Doughnut Time continues to successfully create new flavours and their social media pushes my doughnut craving levels to the max, I know I will end up saying yes, when I know I should say no.

My Order: It’s Always A Gay Time ($6)

When it was first introduced, Doughnut Time‘s Instagram short, slow-mo videos of this glorious, golden crusted delight and interpretation of the best ice-cream ever made, got me saying ‘hell yes’.

Apologies for my crappy cutting skills and terrible lighting, but when you are arriving home at 6pm and your apartment does not have great lighting, you still have to push through a photo.

I was surprised how crunchy its golden caramelised crepe crust (tongue-twisted you there) remained. These crepes added a superb texture this doughnut needed and its custard filling was still firm and creamy.

Unless you have been living under a rock or are just a major health junkie who avoids sugar at all costs, you will know how sweet these doughnuts can be. Even though these are soft to bite into, the amount of sugar in these will either 1) make you not finish it, or 2) end up making you sick. For me, it was the latter, as I tried to demolish it the night of. Still, I love Doughnut Time doughnuts… and I probably always will.

Le Bon Choix – Westfield Garden City


French patisseries – have they ever let you down?


There may be a possibility you have come across one, but has Le Bon Choix ever disappointed?

With my sister coming down to pick me up from work, I was in luck that she was taking a detour via Westfield Garden City. Although I have not yet been, their expansive variety of stores got me thinking, what else could I get dad for a belated Father’s Day present?

When I found out Donut Boyz was there, I was settled on that decision. Since it shut its doors at their Paddington shop, I have not gone around to finding them again.

But, French patisseries? Sorry doughnuts.

Order: Miroula ($7.90) and 6-Pack Macaron – Raspberry, Blackberry and Hazelnut ($16).

Now bear with me, my sister could not remember the flavours she got. At the end of the day, there were only three options to select. Raspberry is the obvious colour, but was the purple Blackberry and the Black Hazelnut? Although I did search their website, it does not seem as though they supply the names of these.

Macarons are the most beautiful, luxurious, light and crunchy bite size treats that are a perfect ratio of chewy goodness. Of course they do tend to be slightly sweeter than usual, but nevertheless, its crunchy outer layer and chewy insides made me crave for more. The raspberry is usually my go-to and from what I remember, it was perfectly tart.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Their packaging though; I would gladly just buy the box.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Lastly to my favourite chocolate dessert. The Miroula – a chocolate mousse with creme brulee filling and a hazelnut praline base. Incredibly decadent with its base tasting just like the inside of a ferrero rocher. The mousse was smooth and creamy with just the right amount of chocolate goodness. If I would ever cry over how perfect a dessert was, this would certainly be it.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

2016 Food and Wine Festival – Toowoomba


Hey! As you guys would know from the On The Spork Instagram, I’m the guest blogger covering the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers and Food and Wine Festival.

Last weekend I went to the annual Carnival of Flowers, which is held in Queens Park Toowoomba. Spring is the most amazing time in the Darling Downs, as its cool weather and wet winters create the perfect conditions for the most beautiful flowers and plants, which each year just get better and better. As part of the carnival, the Food and Wine Festival is held as a celebration of local food and wine, with a few well-renowned national wineries there as well.

There was live music from many Australian bands, including Emma Louise, Birds of Tokyo, Eurogliders and Models, a parade through the town centre and an art and flower display. While the Food and Wine Festival was sectioned off from the rest of the park (entry was $28 for students and $33 for adults), it was packed full of people and families gathering on picnic blankets, under trees and under umbrellas, taking advantage of the only sunny and warm day of the carnival.

While the flowers obviously stole the show, I’m here to talk about the food! There was a huge variety of foods available, from Indian, Thai and Hungarian cuisines to burgers, fish and chips and the classic potato spirals on sticks. Every second stall sold wine, and the Spotted Cow had a bar tent with plenty of beer and cider. Most of the food stalls were from local restaurants, however some had come from as far as Byron Bay.

My Order: Butter Chicken Curry and Rice from Everest Spice ($10) with Na’an ($3), Hillbilly Cider from the Spotted Cow ($8), Traditional Doughnut from Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts ($5).

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

The first thing I had was a butter chicken curry with rice and naan from Everest Spice, which is one of the best butter chickens I have ever had, and by far the best in Toowoomba. It was so tasty, if maybe a little too mild (I like a bit of spice), but super creamy and warming. The naan was perfect, however I did have trouble eating the very orange curry with the naan while trying not to get any on my white dress! I had some rosé with my meal, however if I’m really honest I’m more of a cider gal, and I also tried some of the pineapple sangria, which tasted so fresh, not too sweet and had a hint of orange.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Surprisingly the sangria didn’t actually have any alcohol in it, though last year when I went I had sneakily added some white wine to it, and it was great (it is the food and wine festival after all).

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

The last thing I had while there, which I had been looking forward to the most, was the traditional cinnamon doughnut from Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts. Last year I tried the chocolate one, however this year I was craving a good old fashion cinnamon doughnut, and it really hit the spot. The doughnut was huge, you nearly needed to use two hands to eat it, and it was still warm and super fluffy. While it was a little bit too oily, I think that was just because it had come straight out of the fryer and was dusted with cinnamon sugar just as I bought it.

Other Order: Thai Chicken Salad from Claud’s Kitchen ($12), Pineapple Sangria from Tutti Fruiti ($8), Caramel Slice ($5), Death by Chocolate ($6) and Raspberry White Chocolate Cupcake ($6) from Reid St Kitchen. (Reid St Kitchen is a regular at the Jan Powers Markets in Brisbane, and Tutti Fruiti is a regular at Eat Street Markets).

My friend had the Thai chicken salad from Claud’s Kitchen, which I had never heard of before, but was told that it was also one of the best Thai salads she had ever eaten.

We had also bought some cakes from Reid St Kitchen to take home for later, which all looked great, however were a little let down by their icing. The caramel slice was way too sweet, and while the cupcakes were really moist, there was too much icing that tasted very average.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I would definitely recommend you check out the Carnival of Flowers next year and get a doughnut, and if you’re ever in Toowoomba and are looking for a meal out or takeaway, go check out Everest Spice!

Miss Kay’s – Brisbane CBD


Burgers and a whole lot of red.

It felt like a long time ago, but in April 2015, that was the first time I checked out Miss Kays. For all we knew, there was a burger pop-up joint somewhere along George Street that was not going to be around for long.

Miss Kays have now hit the prime spot for a lunch-time hang out or dinner/live-music venue. When we went nearing the 1pm mark, we laughed off that the 10+ men in front of us were the “business men squad”; there is nothing like seeing the whole crew get burgers together.

Thankfully, it has grown into a popular hangout spot, in the best location at one end of Queen Street Mall. There are so many temptations with it being to and from the walk to QUT Gardens Point campus. Luckily with the free shuttle bus between campus’, we could save some travelling money towards our meal.

My Order: Ludacrisp ($12.50), Miss Kay’s Fries ($4) and Sunkist Soda Pop ($3.50).

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Although I could not remember having the Ludakrisp the first time round, it was still delicious. With its thin layer of crispy batter around flattened chicken breast, coleslaw, barbecue sauce and divine pickles. In comparison to the standard cheeseburger I usually get anywhere, although the chicken was great, I just was not in the fried-chicken mood. It was enjoyable, I was just too busy thinking about a juicy beef patty. Thankfully they have milky-like burger buns and not the standard sesame buns that are usually always too dry, but Brooklyn Depot still holds the best burger buns in Brisbane.

As for the fries, this is definitely the serving you want. Whatever that seasoning is, it is salty, unique and addictive… although after a few bites, the salt does drain everything from your body. It is still good though, and worth it.

Other Order: Mac Daddy ($14.50) and The Millie Vanilli ($8.50).

Unfortunately, there is no photo here of The Millie Vanilli before it was drunk, but it is the standard milkshake you would expect to look like from an American diner. For $8.50 however, I just could not break the bank on top of my burger and fries.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Doughnut Time – Albert St, Brisbane


Another store, another opportunity to grab some free doughnuts.

Although I nearly forgot about their new opening, luckily I walked past some students with Doughnut Time boxes to remind me that Albert St has a new addition of freshly made doughnuts.

Order: All About The Gains, The Butternut and Home Alone (Free)

I have tried The Butternut previously, and it is the perfect example for that simple, not too sweet, fussy or overly extravagant doughnut you may be seeking. Unlike All About The Gains, you can taste the freshness and softness of the doughnut, without all the additional bits that throw you into a food coma.

As for All About The Gains, maybe it was the fact that it was peanut butter, but it was the one that stood out for me. I am always intrigued by doughnuts that are not the norm, so this peanut protein was chosen.

Now I did not prepare myself as to how much effort it would take to just bite or cut into it. I may have decided to save the rest for another time, but of course, I did not want that day old stale taste as I have had before. This doughnut was a challenge to demolish because it was so sweet and it was essentially cutting into my dinner time (should have saved it for dessert).

Probably the messiest doughnut I have ever come across, but it does actually ooze out. Sadly, the mess just was not attractive and so, a photo did not make the cut. If you like the duo of peanut butter and chocolate together, then I am sure you will have no problem enjoying this.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Toshi Teppan – QUT Kelvin Grove


Best and crispest chicken on campus. To all those who go to QUT, everyone seems to praise Toshi Teppan/Toshi Ramen‘s Chicken Katsu Curry. As broke uni students, we like a decent meal special and QUT’s new C Block cafeteria continues to bring the goodies.

Order: Chicken Katsu Curry ($7.50)

Although the rice was not as soft and fluffy (possibly because it was not washed correctly) and did taste slightly undercooked, the fresh deep-fried chicken and not too spicy curry sauce won me over.

Unfortunately, due to the older gentleman tripping over whilst carrying these styrofoam boxes, the curry sauce was a mess.

All in all, the presentation did not matter, the taste was all I needed.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Aqua S Pop Up – Wintergarden

Food, Uncategorized

This is what you get when you go to heaven. An ice-cream in a cloud that is the most ethereal, angelic-like dessert Australia has seen.

The Wintergarden along Queen Street Mall is renowned for holding VIP events with exciting shopping discounts and gifts, but on September 1st #shopthecity came alive, bringing Brisbane a glimpse of Sydney’s Best Soft Serve, Aqua S.

A Pop-Up Free Ice-Cream Cone that looks like that? How can I not check it out… even though I had an assignment due the next day? At least the line-up was not too bad, but it was certainly worth the wait. To the workers knocking out free soft serve for 4 hours straight, I commend you for working so hard for us Brisbanites to have a chance of tasting the most delicious soft serve.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Order: Sea Salt and Rose Soft Serve with Fairy Floss and Popping Candy (Free).

Can Aqua S please have a store here! It was the most fun, exciting and slightly messiest ice cream to eat. With its smooth and flavourful soft serve, you could taste how real the sea salt and rose flavours were. The fairy floss and popping candy just added to the entertainment factor.