Lefkas Taverna – A traditional Greek restaurant that sits on the corner of Hardgrave and Ganges Streets in West End, Lefkas is undoubtedly the best food I’ve had in Australia so far. Like most of the places
on Hardgrave, it’s nothing even close to being fancy yet the food is exquisite. As an appetizer I had the ‘famous’ tzasiki with homemade pita bread along with a lamb yiro that sat on another slice of pita bread topped with tomatoes, garlic sauce, and lettuce. Needless to say it was amazing. I was very happy to learn that they have an identical take out menu, which I am sure I’ll abuse for the rest of my time here.
Jackpot Dining – My first eating out experience was at a local Chinese restaurant about five minutes from me. The menu caught my attention as I walked past it one day for the sole reason that all entrées were $10. Although that may raise a red flag to a few people it made me slightly ecstatic since I’m living on a college budget and have an ongoing craving for Asian food. A friend and I tried out the restaurant soon after I spotted it and indulged in its cheap and BYO status. I had a beef and noodle platter while she ordered chicken with a special spicy sauce and we both split side dishes of spring rolls and dumplings. The food obviously wasn’t topnotch cuisine but it was good enough and we were both satisfied in the end (me enough to go back again in the future!).
Patcharin Thai – Another quaint little restaurant on Hardgrave Street is Patcharin Thai, which lived up to the street’s stereotype of strangely good exotic foods. Keeping it simple with beef pad thai and spring rolls, I was very happy once again with my decision to try another local place. Pretty soon I’ll probably have gone to all of the restaurants on the street!
Hawken Village’s Kebab and Pizza – I have a group of friends that live on Hawken Drive near St. Lucia campus and they introduced me to my first ever Australian kebab. When first offered the opportunity to get one, I declined since I immediately thought of a kebab as the American ones (a shish kebab that is). When asked if I’d ever had one and I said no, I was dragged along and almost forced to order one – it was a good decision on their part because it was absolutely delicious. I have always been a fan of Mediterranean/Middle
Eastern foods and the chicken wrapped pita with garlic sauce and lettuce, tomatoes, onions and other toppings made for a perfect late night snack. I have since returned to that specific store at least three more times and there is no doubt in my mind that I will definitely be back for more! I’m also glad that there is a kebab shop about three minutes from my house…
My Own Kitchen – Opting to live off campus in my own house comes with its ups and downs, a debatable up or down (depending on my mood or level of exhaustion) is having to cook for myself. Although there are
plenty of times when I wish I had food cooked for me or simply decide to pour myself a bowl of cereal as a pathetic replacement for an actual meal, there have been times when I’ve put my effort into cooking and very good results have come out of it. Some examples include roasted chicken, homemade pizza, spinach and feta lasagna rolls, and cake pops!
Markets – I’ve been to various markets around Brisbane and the food there is always pretty good too. The great part about them is that most stalls have free samples that you can nibble on while you get your weekly fresh fruits and veggies. Some of my favorites include the churros, dried French sausages, infinite licorice flavors, assorted chocolates, flavored peanuts, and the superb variety of fruit. On a hot day, I suggest trying some of
the gelato they offer since it’s pretty good and offers a little compensation for the growing temperature numbers! There are also food stalls which vary from Mediterranean delicacies to brick-oven pizza which I have yet to try but hopefully will get to by the time I leave.
Sushi – One of the things I was surprised to see was how cheap some of the sushi in Brisbane is. All over the city you can find little shops that offer $2-$3 rolls of sushi, which makes for a very convenient on-the-go snack. It may not be the greatest sushi in the world, it’s definitely not terrible!
Pancake Manor – For my roommate’s birthday we went to the highly suggested Pancake Manor for breakfast. The restaurant is situated in an old church which gives it a really cool feel while you’re sitting. The menu, compromised of a grand selection of pancake platters amongst other options, gives very vivid examples of each meal, making it quite difficult to make a decision when ordering! In the end I decided to get a short stack with fudge and a side of
eggs, a mundane order compared to some of the other platters which included chocolate pancakes and assortments of fruits and sauces. The restaurant is open 24/7 and makes for a great meal anytime of the day and definitely gives IHOP a run for its money!
Lychee Lounge – Although the Lychee Lounge in West End is known more for its drinks menu, my work colleagues and I were treated to a range of appetizers after the West End Block Party. We tried everything from lamb, chicken, and prawns to bread and seasoned chips – I have to say that everything was excellent (as it should be given the price..). The lamb was sautéed in a special barbeque sauce while the chicken was cooked in champagne and the shrimp seasoned in garlic; the bread came with three delicious dipping sauces as did the potatoes. The meal was accompanied by two lovely bottles of champagne to make for a lovely evening. I would definitely go back!
UQ Sausage – One funny meal that I have to include in this post is the sausages that are offered on the UQ campus every now and then to raise money for whichever club is selling them. Although I personally am a fan, I have never seen a sausage stand and found it to be quite a funny concept to sell a sausage wrapped in a piece of white bread!