The synthesis of happiness involves induced transformation of a varietal of constructs.

I prefer coffee x carob.
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N2 Extreme Gelato

372 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

Lately, questioning my passion for food has become a recurring topic. It seems foolish in comparison to ‘real problems’ that involve people, but arguably it’s easier to remain trapped in the debate of ‘whys’ because there’s noone really to communicate and attempt a reconciliation with. 

Why do I love food? Why is this stupid? Why don’t I invest more time so that it becomes a ‘serious’ endeavour?

Life is hard when you’re not asking the right questions. Eat ice cream.

The art changes up and instant lawn on recycled crates provide an excellent setting for those IG shots. Guilty as charged.

Being regrammed is so exciting. It’s like the prelude to being *instafamous* and brings you a step closer to staying free at Sydney’s 1888 hotel. Ironically it was my now private account that snapped up the credit rather than my food-focused account (which you should totally check out @vistillhere :P)

Deconstructed Vegan Chocolate Lava chocolate sorbet w/ boozy raisins and warm chocolate ganache syringe, dusted with cocoa

Dirty Banana Split banana gelato with cocoa nobs, salted peanuts and oreas topped w/ whipped cream, peanuts, chocolate drizzle, caramel syringe & cherry

Is it possible to tire of N2 when they regularly roll out a new menu and cram their gelato with everything from Red Bull to Smith Crisps to Pies? This isn’t even a question. Their N2Black series ($8) showcase some amazing concoctions and never fail to disappoint with their various components.

Considering how stressful uni gets, it is freaking awesome they’re only a 20 minute walk away which is seriously not long at all. Don’t even try to convince me otherwise.

 During one of those casual detours we came across this sweetie.

Matcha Creme matcha custard gelato with bruleed top

Dirty Milk milk gelato w/ cookies, salted peanuts and cocoa nibs, rolled in malt and topped w/ cookie sprinkle and warm choc ganache syringe

Dirty milk is so beautiful it basically takes the things I love in this world and crams it into one minimalist cup. By the description alone I’m sure you can imagine the party of textures, the smoothness of a gelato base gliding across your palate, shivers of glee from the contrasting salinity of crunchy peanuts before the KO from a deviously dark cookie shower. 

Coconut, Honeydew & Sago vegan

Brokeback Momentvanilla and honeycomb gelato with honeycomb choctop and warm caramel syringe

Freshly frozen fruit pieces interspered across coconut gelato yus please. If only N2 was in charge of choc top flavours at the cinemas..

All Up In My Jam Strawberry gelato w/ a jam centre, crowned with a glazed Krispy Kreme donut filled and topped w/ whipped cream & a dusting of free dried strawberries

Green Tea Macadamia milk gelato w/ green tea fudge and crushed macadamias

Donuts are totally the new craze in Melbourne, but apparently Krispy Kremes are still a thing? Perhaps there’s some truth to the accusations of my hipster identity but I really don’t know much about franchises haha..

I think that’s enough gelato for one day. The staff are always friendly and chill, plus I can’t wait to try out their Kat on Krack (KitKat flavoured) soon, I mean it comes with two adorable wafer ears AND a choc ganache syringe. You can’t blame me for discriminating against The Lab. #N2alldayerrday

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

Black Coffee Lyrics

Normally I horde photos and unintentionally never look through them again; blogging forces me to reminisce and relive the fragmented memories. 

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It was during our Brisbane trip that I became reacquainted with the beach: blue sky, powdery sand and surprise at the escalating tidal force. These things, I had foolishly been avoiding for many many years.

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It was good to rediscover the things I thought would never be in reach again; sometimes they’re closer than you think, if a little blurry.

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The warm weather was short lived, however; 40 minutes later we found ourselves running to escape the relentless pelting of searing droplets, bare feet along cracked seashells and concrete, shoes in hands.

Black Coffee Lyrics

Level 2, Centre Arcade
Shop 41, 3131 Surfers Paradise Blvd
Surfers Paradise, Queensland

Black Coffee Lyrics was our safehouse.

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Open for all the important meals, their bar is well stocked. BCL has a grunge vibe to it; a collection of artwork is featured, the bookshelves are impressively disorganised and graffiti from past diners adorn the walls. Despite its erratic nature the decor sits well with me; it conveys a sense of cozy aloofness, confidence in character.

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Latte with a sweet finish.

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BROOKLYN 5 hour slow cooked pulled pork w/ grated cheddar cheese, smokey BBQ sauce & coleslaw on a sesame bun

Boy did they nail the bread; it actually reminded me of Nhu Lan’s famous banh mi because the crust was so crunchy but the bread delicate and soft. What a burst of flavour contributed from the pork and spicy jalapenos.

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CENTRAL PARK Baked bratwurst dog w/ American mustard, jalapenos, fresh onion & shaved haloumi on a white roll

Just like a hotdog cheeseburger, but arguably inferior because burgers are king of greasy junk. 

While the coffee did hold a tune, it’s the food that hits all the right notes. BCL are definitely worth a listen.

Black Coffee Lyrics on Urbanspoon

Scout Cafe || Le Bon Choix

Scout Cafe

190 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane 4000

I like walking to another suburb. Not two, three or six, one is just fine and not entirely because my stamina would never take it. There’s some beauty to going one postcode over, where you’d never usually visit but being greeted with pleasant surprises.

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On our walk to Paddington, we stopped at Scout Cafe for a hearty brunch.

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A high, communal table is positioned in the backroom. In the centre sits debatable brain food, a nice appetizer.

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You mocha my dreams come true.

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Macedonian beans w/ roasted cherry tomatoes x mint x oregano x coriander x feta x chunky diced pork belly x toasted pita & a fried egg (mushroom/vegetarian option avaiable too)

I remember my gums were lesioned when I dug into this, but I still persisted. You gotta be stubborn to survive cause we know the pain will subside haha. The beans were gently fragrant, but the pork was still fairly tough; I wouldn’t have minded waiting extra time as it roasted in the oven.

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Wagyu meatloaf bagel special

Mmm…relish in the relish.

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Raspberry x yoghurt & almond loaf served w/ mascarpone

Served toasted, it was a citrusy heart warmer as delicious as it sounds.

Scout Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Merlo Coffee

1/78 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington

The people in Brissie were so nice, I was actually terrified I would meet someone who would hurl a molotov cocktail at that impression. The attendant at Merlo coffee asked for my name instead and checked to make sure she had spelt it correctly.

Small gestures relieve phobias.

Le Bon Choix

251 Given Terrance, Paddington

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I think this is the Brisbane equivalent of Laurent in Melbourne.

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A fine food cake store, they had several branches across the city and we ended up at one of the stores furthest from where we were staying. We totally deserved that cake afterwards.

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The cakes were beautiful; too bad I didn’t snap the best photos. The one on the right was a white chocolate one with some sort of fruit and mousse filling. I found the sponge to filling ratio too large; something about the cake didn’t capture my attention.

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As you can see, transportation was a bit of a rough journey, which reminds me of a little IG post I saw on Japan and packaging efficiency. If we can solve the problem of bulky pizza boxes and obvious other bulges, I’m sure one day some magnificent person will revolutionise cake carry boxes so that they’re less fiddly and sustainable, too.

Until that day comes, we can all stare at this shifted orange and mango domed cake, that near sickened me with its sweetness. At least their (unpictured) macarons were okay. 

Happy Father’s Day! I hope you’re enjoying the lovely weather together :) With two assignment due dates looming, naturally I escaped to the kitchen and since my parents are in Adelaide, my brother got to have this instead. It was also my first time successfully poaching an egg so double the happy (bless you Matt) :>  I’m not too sure what happened to the orangeness of the yolk when it finally went from phone to laptop though..
WHAT I DID: I had some steamed pumpkin slices that I mashed together with paprika, rosemary, coriander and a smidge of cinammon. Next I layered baby spinach leaves, store-bought smoked salmon then apple ‘guacamole’ - smashed avo x ricotta x lemon juice x apple cubes x dill - topped with an egg poached in a splash of vinegar and chilli flakes.

Happy Father’s Day! I hope you’re enjoying the lovely weather together :) With two assignment due dates looming, naturally I escaped to the kitchen and since my parents are in Adelaide, my brother got to have this instead. It was also my first time successfully poaching an egg so double the happy (bless you Matt) :>  I’m not too sure what happened to the orangeness of the yolk when it finally went from phone to laptop though..

WHAT I DID: I had some steamed pumpkin slices that I mashed together with paprika, rosemary, coriander and a smidge of cinammon. Next I layered baby spinach leaves, store-bought smoked salmon then apple ‘guacamole’ - smashed avo x ricotta x lemon juice x apple cubes x dill - topped with an egg poached in a splash of vinegar and chilli flakes.

Sangria Bar

Ah Brissy. You seduced us so with your placid humidity, your blessed warmth and lazy breeze.

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Every night we watched the sky, enthralled by your cherry tinged clouds and virtual Spring air. And $7.50 movies, with no student entry during school hours? That’s one side of you we’ll never comprehend.

The Sangria Bar @ Ole Restaurant

Shop B13/14, Grey Street 
South Bank QLD 4101

Unfortunately we arrived after a major food festival had ended. Strolling along Southbank, we spotted a sign for a food & sangria jug deal. 

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White sangria (Grapefruit & lychee) Crisp white wine, grapefruit juice, peach schnapps, topped with lychee syrup, fresh lychees and mint

Tantalising on that warm winter evening, but definitely needed more lychees.

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Patatas Bravas crisp spiced potatoes

Nope. Just spiced potatoes.

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Albondigas beef and chorizo meatballs served w/ sourdough

Peace signs but no ‘cheese’ haha.. Despite the heaping of sauce, the insides were still a bit dry.

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Brochetas de Pollo Chicken skewers marinated in sherry, orange, olives served w/ saffron rice 

Juicy, charred flavours were yielded by the chicken. Overall it was a nice experience, if just for the lively ambience of chattering crowds and a live guitar duo. Points for excellent service.

Sangria Bar on Urbanspoon

Day one of I Quit Sugar September was my brother’s great carb load day before he goes starts training for 6 months. Mmm beef & onion pizza…with a fair bit of BBQ sauce damn it. To ‘compensate’, I steered clear from the bottle of teriyaki sauce in making brekkie, some nice steamed fish on a mild salad naturally sweetened with nectarine slices and goji berries. The addition of paprika gives it an extra kick.
Sesame and ginger steamed hake with a nectarine, green papaya and spinach salad
Ingredients
2 portions of hake loinsSmall piece of ginger2 spring onion ends2 tbsp goji berries1 tsp sesame oil
1 nectarinePre-made green papaya saladA bunch of spinach leaves1/4 avocadoPaprikaOlive oil
Method
Thinly slice ginger and ends of spring onion. Brush hake with sesame oil then top with ginger and spring onion. Steam for about 15 minutes, depending on the size. Add goji berries shortly before fully cooked.
As for the salad, we had some leftover green papaya (made by the Mother, thanks!), so I tossed that with the spinach, nectarine slices, avocado cubes, a light drizzle of olive oil and paparika!

Day one of I Quit Sugar September was my brother’s great carb load day before he goes starts training for 6 months. Mmm beef & onion pizza…with a fair bit of BBQ sauce damn it. To ‘compensate’, I steered clear from the bottle of teriyaki sauce in making brekkie, some nice steamed fish on a mild salad naturally sweetened with nectarine slices and goji berries. The addition of paprika gives it an extra kick.

Sesame and ginger steamed hake with a nectarine, green papaya and spinach salad

Ingredients

2 portions of hake loins
Small piece of ginger
2 spring onion ends
2 tbsp goji berries
1 tsp sesame oil

1 nectarine
Pre-made green papaya salad
A bunch of spinach leaves
1/4 avocado
Paprika
Olive oil

Method

Thinly slice ginger and ends of spring onion. Brush hake with sesame oil then top with ginger and spring onion. Steam for about 15 minutes, depending on the size. Add goji berries shortly before fully cooked.

As for the salad, we had some leftover green papaya (made by the Mother, thanks!), so I tossed that with the spinach, nectarine slices, avocado cubes, a light drizzle of olive oil and paparika!

Raw vegan brownies

I am not a vegan.

It just happens that I’m a big fan of all the lovely no bake treats vegan instagrammers come up with, and the colours oh the colours! They’re incredibly eye catching and leap out at the screen. 

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Imagine the world when they invent smartphones capable of emitting chemical compounds to reenact the food porn on your screen, we might just mistake our phones for lollypops.

Because there are no bake, you can easily customise the recipe to incorporate more superfoods, or up the protein content with whey powder and enjoy a slice after a workout. 

Ingredients

1 cup walnuts
1.5 cups almonds
2.5 cups dates
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
3 tsp maca powder
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp shredded coconut
2 tbsp flaxseeds

Method

1. Using a blender or food processor, blend walnuts and almonds together until fine. 

2. Add dates, powders, oil and salt until you reach a smooth consistency.

3. Mix pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and flaxseeds in.

4. Line a brownie pan with baking paper and smooth the brownie mix in. Refrigerate until firm.

5. Cut into squares. Serve with yoghurt and garnish with strawberries and a mint leaf. Enjoy! 

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Kong Pop Up @ Rue & Co
Wednesdays are a bit of a mess for me with irregular lab classes. The one time neither of them happened to be scheduled I signed up for a Tea & White Wine masterclass instead (informative, quite). With a 4 hour gap in between, I finally popped over to Rue & Co for the Roast Pork Belly x Pickled Cucumber & Apple Slaw Bo Ssam ($14). It was a decent meal, though I wish the lettuce leaves were larger so I could assemble a better food parcel. And oh my, the crackling really hit the spot when lavished with sesame chilli paste: I’d take that pairing over popcorn at the movies any day.

Kong Pop Up @ Rue & Co

Wednesdays are a bit of a mess for me with irregular lab classes. The one time neither of them happened to be scheduled I signed up for a Tea & White Wine masterclass instead (informative, quite). With a 4 hour gap in between, I finally popped over to Rue & Co for the Roast Pork Belly x Pickled Cucumber & Apple Slaw Bo Ssam ($14). It was a decent meal, though I wish the lettuce leaves were larger so I could assemble a better food parcel. And oh my, the crackling really hit the spot when lavished with sesame chilli paste: I’d take that pairing over popcorn at the movies any day.

Kitchen

When we graduated, we didn’t launch ourselves into schoolies or jet off for a vacation. From what I remember there was a stupid dispute about accommodation and our proposed levels of hedonism; much of our group also had strict parents, the type who worried sleepovers meant every type of crime other than the menial novelty of being able to spend time with friends, talking about things that only seemed appropriate in the backdrop of night and supposed secrecy.

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So I don’t know how this Brisbane trip happened. From no sleepovers, to ‘sure you can fly interstate without constant parental supervision and this GPS anklet that won’t come off now that it’s on’. As soon as I was done unpacking from Sydney I found myself replacing the travel essentials, musing about the surreality and turn of events.

Ltd Espresso

On Sunday we landed in Brisbane and made a beeline for Fortitude Valley. Here I was in good company at the cafe I’d been wanting to visit since discovering them on IG. Booyah. 

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Thanks for the coffee dudes. Appropriate caffeination led us to the CBD in one piece so we could enjoy the free wifi and do touristy shiz.

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That included visiting a vintage market opposite the Treasury building, Live music, cheap troves to trawl through and score a bargain…life was good. 

Kitchen at Treasury

130 William St, Brisbane CBD

Open 24/7, we were very grateful for the food. Most of the places in the vicinity were on break.

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The lighting was pretty awful haha.

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Lamb Burger Lamb w. cos lettuce x Spanish onions x Labna served on a brioche bun w/ thick cut fries & salad

Sadly this was our one and only burger experience during the trip. It amounted as some standard fare: the lamb pattie could have been juicier and whilst the brioche wasn’t too fluffy, it was robust and good for handling the filling. The salad however was very fresh and the chips were excellent and supremely crispy.

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Chicken Schnitzel Crumber chicken breast w/ fries x diane sauce

Parmas are one of the closest things to average, honest love you could get. It’s kinda wonky in its heart shape and they’re widely available in but you always find a favourite. Maybe you prefer it straightforward and without all the fluff, so you get a schnitzel instead and let the booze (sauce) work its magic.

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Chicken Burger Grilled chicken fillet x bacon x avocado x cheddar cheese & garlic aioli on a brioche bun w/ fries & salad

I tell you the chips here are really spot on, as is the service. The waiters who served us were very friendly and approachable; when they realised they mixed up the order for the tourists sitting next to us, they didn’t make a fuss or attempt to shirk the blame. Instead, they immediately put through the original order and the other dish was offered to them on the house anyway. It almost makes up for the food, almost.

Kitchen at Treasury on Urbanspoon

Life is tumultuous but mostly you’ve just got to power though it. I was on track in terms of eating habits for about a week, where I was cooking more frequently and my meals made in advance so I didn’t have to spend money at uni (also explains why I don’t have a proper picture of plated meals haha).
I’m experiencing a major rebound at the moment it’s sickening; hopefully I’ll be able to readjust myself after next week. For now, try this simple recipe for Red Quinoa Salad that’s so enjoyable and versatile, I’ve had it by itself, stuffed in a capsicum and even with a zingy fish curry. The addition of flaxseeds serves to accommodate my lack of dietary potassium and calcium, particularly salient because I’ve been opting for milk substitutes for my lattes.
Ingredients
1 cup quinoa1/2 large carrot2 small pomegranates, deseeded1 tbsp flaxseedSeveral sprigs of mint
1/2 tspn cumin1 tbsp lemon juice1 tbsp olive oil1/2 tbsp rice malt syrup
Method
1. Cook quinoa as per packet instructions.2.. Roughly chop sprigs of mint, then grate the carrot. Add this, pomegranate and flaxseeds to quinoa.3. For the dressing, mix cumin, lemon juice, olive oil & rice malt syrup together in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad and combine well.

Life is tumultuous but mostly you’ve just got to power though it. I was on track in terms of eating habits for about a week, where I was cooking more frequently and my meals made in advance so I didn’t have to spend money at uni (also explains why I don’t have a proper picture of plated meals haha).

I’m experiencing a major rebound at the moment it’s sickening; hopefully I’ll be able to readjust myself after next week. For now, try this simple recipe for Red Quinoa Salad that’s so enjoyable and versatile, I’ve had it by itself, stuffed in a capsicum and even with a zingy fish curry. The addition of flaxseeds serves to accommodate my lack of dietary potassium and calcium, particularly salient because I’ve been opting for milk substitutes for my lattes.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
1/2 large carrot
2 small pomegranates, deseeded
1 tbsp flaxseed
Several sprigs of mint

1/2 tspn cumin
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp rice malt syrup

Method

1. Cook quinoa as per packet instructions.
2.. Roughly chop sprigs of mint, then grate the carrot. Add this, pomegranate and flaxseeds to quinoa.
3. For the dressing, mix cumin, lemon juice, olive oil & rice malt syrup together in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad and combine well.