Saturday, 24 January 2015

Lobster love at Treasury Casino, Brisbane

With 50,000 lobsters on tap for Lobster Love at Treasury Casino Brisbane for a month (from January 27 to February 28), you could hope they won't run out.

However, according to Executive Chef Steven Jones they'll need everyone of these spiny creatures as previous lobster promotions have been very popular.

The lobster fest is spread across three Treasury Casino venues Kitchen at Treasury, Fat Noodle and lab bar + restaurant.

Because even a lobster lover would find it hard to eat three whole lobsters in one sitting, a group of us were treated to a Lobster Lovers sample menu.

Lobster Mornay, which will be available at Kitchen at Treasury,  made great canapes.  I have to admit a fondness for anything in a mornay sauce.  It brings back lots of wonderful food event memories.

Wok-tossed lobster chow mein with Singapore sauce, fried egg noodles, steamed Asian greens, sambal and shrimp sauce is on the menu at Fat Noodle.  I ate a half serve and enjoyed the flavour of the sauce which had enough impact to be interesting without overpowering.  The dish comes with a finger bowl because it's a bit messy to eat.  I wouldn't recommend it as a first date dish.

Lobster Thermidor (half serve pictured at the top) has a similar creamy sauce to the mornay. It comes with grilled sourdough and grilled lemon at lab bar + restaurant.  The sour dough is very handy to mop up the smooth sauce. You wouldn't want to leave any of it behind.

I finished with a decadently rich chocolate marquis offset by tiny lime pears, light raspberry foam and salty caramel ice cream.

Best for:  There's more to the Treasury Casino than just the gambling venues.
Best tip:  Parking nearby in the Myer Centre after 4pm is only $10.
Bottom line:  Lobster meal prices during For the Love of Lobster are heavily discounted and range from $19 to $40. The promotion runs from 27 January – 28 February, excluding public holidays and Valentine’s Day.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK was a guest of Treasury Casino for The Love of Lobster launch event.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Jan Powers Farmers Market, Powerhouse

If you like your food fresh and local, and enjoy having a chat with the people who grow or make it, market shopping is going to scratch your itch.

Jan Powers Markets operate in the forecourt at the Powerhouse in New Farm on Saturdays, every Saturday from February 2015.  The markets start early, 6am, and the early birds are out there filling their baskets and making a quick getaway.

Arrive around closing time, 12 noon, if you want to get bargains from stall holders who don't want to pack their left over stock.  Be aware though, that the best stuff sells out early.

Stall holders vary from farmers who sell what they grow to chefs who also sell what they make.  Chat to well-known chef Alastair Mcleod and he'll tell you he's never been happier than selling his own produce at the market at his Al'FreshCo stall.

Alastair uses high quality Careme pastry on his pork and fennel sausage rolls and they are delicious.  He sources Noosa Red tomatoes for his tomato sauce and buys other necessities at the markets at well.  Alastair asked me to try his new breakfast sandwich.  Got to say it tastes as good as it looks - delish!

I nearly always find something new to try at the markets and this time it was unusually coloured and extra sweet bananas and elephant garlic.

Levain make wonderful bread so I was delighted to find their stall at the market and pick up some of my fave rosemary and olive bread.

Now that's the way to start the day. A freshly made fruit smoothie with extra fruit to eat before you even start on the drink.  Only problem is that this definitely required two hands  and I already had shopping to carry.

I didn't see much non-food related product on the day I visited except for this interesting jewellery.

You can buy these advanced seedlings to plant out or harvest straight from the container.  I'm supplementing my salads with fresh garden greens at the moment until the new plants are more advanced.

Great news for dog lovers - this is a dog friendly market where your pooch is really welcome.  Dogs can even enjoy a run around in the adjacent off-leash park.

I bought two Furry Gourmet cupcakes for Tucker and Bella and they both gobbled them up very quickly.  I met this long-haired friendly fellow below at the market and he was having a great time.

So what did I buy? Here's the contents of my shopping cart -

Free range eggs, bok choy; Noosa Red tomatoes; Levian rosemary and olive bread; two puppy cupcakes, Courier Mail; potatoes; pork and fennel sausage rolls; baked rice with strawberries and orange caramel syrup for breakfast; lady finger bananas; fresh raspberries; Stanthorpe plums; stuffed olives; sweet potatoes; and dutch carrots.

Best tip: Arrive early or late, otherwise be prepared to cope with the crowds. And take a shopping trolly.
Best for: Anyone who loves their food local and fresh.
Bottom line:  Expect prices to be competitive for high quality product plus great seasonal specials.

Jan Powers Markets

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK received market money for her shopping expedition.
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