I missed my post last week as I headed to Brisbane for the Baroque Festival for the second year running. It was a quick trip, flying early up on the Sunday morning and returning Tuesday morning.
The Handel opera Agrippina was playing as part of the festival and it was a must see for me. As I expected, it was magnificent. I could happily have sat through the whole 4 hours the next day. We also saw King Arthur, a staged semi opera by Henry Purcell, great music, but a VERY dull play with odd staging. We also went to a very enjoyable lunchtime organ recital on Monday. In between lots of walking and listening to music, we also managed to eat. 🙂
My friend and I revisited the two branches of Vegerama that we went to last year. There are a few in Brisbane, we chose the one in the Myer Centre food court (not classy, but it was close to the City Hall venue) and the more up market one in the West End 10 minutes walk from our apartment. Both experiences were mixed. Last time I ate at the Myer Centre branch I stuck with Indian food which they do well, this time I sampled the lasagna and a pie. Both were a bit disappointing, both were not hot enough and the bechamel on the lasagna was almost like transparent glue. The pie was good. Still it was ribsticking food, good for filling me up. But I had food order envy, my friend chose a vegan frittata which was really tasty, and her tiramisu wasn’t too bad either.
At the other Vegerama in West End, we both chose an udon noodle dish, one with tofu and one with tempura. My tempura one was so, so good, but my friend’s was a tepid, tasteless mess swimming in oil. It was so bad she sent it back and replaced it with the same one that I’d ordered. The waiter said the manager was insistent that this is how it was meant to be (in which case I’d take it off the menu as I cannot imagine anyone ordering it a second time), but they kindly didn’t charge to replace it with a different dish.
On our last night we ate at a place called Vegeme. This was also a mixed bag. It has a pan-Asian menu with a focus on Japanese and Korean dishes. There were so many exciting small bite type dishes that we over ordered – vegetable dumpings, sweet potato fritters, corn fritters, miso soup, salt and pepper king mushrooms.
The dumplings were overpowered by way too much pepper, the sweet potato dumplings were almost dessert like they were so sweet and the corn fritters reminded me of corn jacks that used to be sold at chip shops. Oddly, they came with tomato sauce. The miso soup was good. But the star of the meal was the mushrooms. Crispy on the outside and chewy king oyster mushrooms on the inside made for a perfect combination. We had no problem polishing them off, unlike the other dishes which we didn’t finish. The place has been well reviewed by others, perhaps we just chose badly.
Our breakfast needs were served by Ripe, a hole in the wall coffee place with friendly service, good coffee and an OK range of the usual breakfast staples. We had some sourdough toast with mushrooms, beans, avocado and hash browns. The breakfasts came with each item in a separate dish. I have a dislike of soggy toast so I was pleased to see the beans served that way, but it was otherwise a bit odd. I asked for some spinach and it came raw. The next day I had a foccacia made up with spinach, mushrooms and a tomato relish.
A very enjoyable visit to Brisbane but a mixed bag on the food front, more misses this time than hits.
Vege Rama Myer Centre
91 Queen St, Brisbane CBD
07 3012 8586
Vege Rama West End
Shop 2A, 220 Melbourne St
West End, Brisbane
07 3255 3388
Shop 9, 220 Melbourne Street
West End, Brisbane
33 Merivale Street,
1300 657 041