Category Archives: Restaruants

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My new home is going great guns and would love to see you there.

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I was feeling like this earlier - but click on the pink panda packing heat to visit my new site.

Yes – we are going official – to
Give me a little time to work it all out – but I have a few reviews ready to go… once I work out how to do it.
Das Panda
PS. Is pretty much done now, but I need to retag and recategorise everything. Also for some reason I can’t get my twitter feed up. No problem. You will need to change your RSS to my new site. So please don’t forget.
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Review – New Farm Deli and Cafe

Merenda + Scrambled Eggs = Disappointed

I arrived bright and early. I had planned to visit a different cafe for breakfast w friends, but circumstances meant that we were  now at this popular New Farm hangout. Given the large numbers of locals I always see congregating there, I thought, incorrectly it turned out, that this would be a good alternative to our original choice.

Let’s start with the  service. There was none. No “hi” as you walk in, no “how are you?” When my food arrived, the girl just dropped it and walked off. I had to call after her for some cracked pepper. Didn’t swing round and ask how it was going. Nothing. It wasn’t like we were in a full restaurant. Three tables. Yes three.

The food was a whole other level of average. I ordered the Merenda + Scrambled Eggs and a Chai latte (I am nothing if not predictable with those scrambled eggs). Merenda is pan fried mushrooms with grilled tomato + some bacon and toast. I really wanted some scrambled eggs so ordered them on the side.  The mushrooms were so salty they were almost inedible. The tomato wasn’t grilled, it was pan fried. The bacon was pan fried and swimming in grease – so much that it went under the rest of the food. The eggs were just woeful. They “looked” good, but the taste was disappointing. They were greasy (even at the top so not just from the bacon) and tasted fake. One friend order the muesli but said Campos was much better. Another friend had the pancake stack and said it was nice but nothing special. Their thoughts on the coffee was “nothing special.”

Conveniently located at Merthyr Village
Has a deli section.

Terrible service.
Average coffee and chai.
Badly prepared food.

I will continue to wonder why all these ppl go to this cafe and I have no idea what they see in the place.

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New Farm Deli and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Update from Das Panda

Hi Panda fans.

Sorry I have been horrendously busy. I have a number of reviews in the “can” but not time to post. I will make an effort before I get swamped in BIFF stuff.

Tonight I am off to the Opening Night of BIFF, so hopefully by this time tomorrow there will be a good number of fresh reviews on Smallville, Nikita, Stargate Universe, Caprica and Hawai Five-0, Sushi Train and Freestyle Tout – not to mention Canetoads: A Conquest.

Oh and super congrats to Lun Lun on her new baby.
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Review – Cafe Conti – Wilston

I cannot begin to tell you just how good this was.

Nestled in Wilston this cafe has been a staple of the Brisbane Cafe Scene for some time – yet surprisingly I had only ever done tea and coffee there – never a meal. From memory I did watch a friend eat there… Anyway – they are supposed to be the bees knees for breakfast – so after a couple of average breakfasts at my friend’s and my usual breakfast hangout, we ventured to Conti.

I am pretty boring when it comes to breakfast. Scrambled eggs makes me a happy panda. You would be surprised just how many places do a terrible scrambled eggs – you would think it impossible to screw up, but oh yes, some manage to destroy scrambled eggs with great skill. Thankfully, Conti is not one of those places.

I chose the Dill and Parsley Scrambled Eggs served withTuscan spiced potatoes and tomato chutney served on olive sour dough. The food was awesome! The eggs were fresh, fluffy and perfectly cooked. The bread was toasted enough to avoid possible sogginess, yet not so hard as to be icky to eat. The potatoes were just enough to round out the meal without picking an extra side and the chutney was super yummy!

My breakfast buddy ordered their legendary French Toast with crispy bacon, maple syrup, and vanilla mascarpone cheese and it was, well, Legendary. I didn’t try the French Toast – but from how it looked to it being completely devoured I can only assume it was just as good tasting as it looked.

As I am still caffeine free (well not drinking Coffee, Coke/Pepsi and consuming herbal or decaf tea as a preference) I went for their Chai Latte (yes I know it is a black tea base and therefore contains some caffeine). What was really great to see was that at Conti it wasn’t made from a Chai powder – but from real Chai tea in warmed milk. The accompanying honey just put the icing on the cake, so to speak.

Real food – nothing processed.
Great service – staff super engaging and happy.
Good menu selection.
Fast service – we were there at 7.30am as a doors opened though so can’t comment on peak times.

Doesn’t open till 7.30am.
Can be hard to jag a park if not there at 7.30am.
No CityCycle station close by (outside the coverage area).

Yes it is a little more expensive than many other breakfast options, but if the quality is outstanding, I am happy to pay $5 more. The difference was worth a lot more than $5 worth in my opinion.

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Cafe Conti on Urbanspoon

Review – Grill’d – Chermside

Happy, happy, joy, joy.

After much procrastination and downright laziness I finally had a Grill’d Burger on Thursday night.

Yes, I officially popped my Grill’d cherry, if you want to be crass, and well, yes I do.

For me, Sushi Sushi’s sushi is one of the tradeoffs of fighting the Thursday night traffic to go to Chermside for late night shopping, but since I was there to celebrate my friend selling his apartment just hours earlier, I didn’t push sushi, and we went to Grill’d. Now, those that know me out of cyberspace know that I live about 100m from a Grill’d, but have never been.

Not once.

Why? Because I thought it was much more expensive that it actually is. I see natural and lovingly made and I think “oh a $15+ burger, get nicked.” I am not a burger person at the best of times, but for me anything over $10 for a burger better come out with the Arch-Angel Gabriel trumpeting its delights. I was pleasantly surprised by the prices when I checked the menu. I decided to go with a Simon Says – which is chicken breast, bacon and avocado. My friend went with his usual Bacon and Cheese burger and we got some chips and aioli.

The service was brilliant. The staff were all happy, chatty, laughing, having a great time engaging with their customers – it was like being in an Apple Store on opening day, only I could walk out with a full tummy and not an iPod.

I have to admit, I would go back, but I wouldn’t order the same meal. The chicken was very thin and bland, so when I bit in, it was like eating a bacon salad roll, vs. a chicken burger with bacon and salad. The bread was lovely and fresh, the lettuce cracked when I bit in – so super fresh! I am not a foodie, but it was one of those bitey lettuce that tastes sharp – awesome. Another big plus was how unmessy I got eating it. A friend of mine has a running joke of “how many napkins?” (coming soon to a tumblr near you I am sure) I was convinced I would end up with it all over my hands, but happily this wasn’t the case. For the record, I only used two napkins.

The chips were nice! They had dried basil or something on them. I wanted to say “ohhh a little bit fancy” but I was at the wrong burger chain for that! They were also very light to eat, so most enjoyable. I didn’t partake of the aioli, but my friend loves the stuff, so I assume it is goodness in a tub.

Great service/super friendly staff.
Made fresh with real ingredients.
Not that long a wait.
Chips were totes awesomes for reals.
Menus make great wrapping paper.

Chicken was a bit bland.
Fricking hell the birds were noisy!

I will certainly go back, but I can’t see it being a regular thing, like my Sushi Sushi sushi. I “may” give my local Grill’d (The Valley) a go but I won’t order Simon Says again. I think next time I will pick a slab of dead cow with pineapple aka: Summer Sunset.

#twoandahalfpandas (and #oneandahalf of those pandas is for the service and attitude of the staff alone)
Grill'd Chermside on Urbanspoon

Review – Vespa Pizza – New Farm

Cool and yummy. Two wonderful qualities.

I went to Vespa on Wednesday night for the first time ever. Even though I lived within a couple of blocks and now live around 6 blocks away, I had never been.

The decor is very relaxed and welcoming, with arty photos and memorabilia on the walls. We snagged a comfy booth and settled in to try and whittle down their pizza menu to three (in hindsight we didn’t need that many). We got it down to 5 and then finally 3. We went with the Garlic Pizza Bread with Three Cheese, the Baharat Lamb and the Char Grilled Beef. When we saw all the nutella, we thought about ordering the dessert calzone, but didn’t get round to it, no space in tummy and no time. The service was friendly, and our waitress was brand new, so it was cute as she made sure she got our order 100% right. The food was excellent. What I loved was that the pizza’s weren’t oily. The crusts were crispy but not brittle and well, it was just YUM!

Great decor, location and staff.
Incredibly fresh ingredients.
Good variety on the menu.
Food came out reasonably quickly for a small wood fired oven.
Next to CityCycle Station.
Lots of free parking.

The service was friendly but I think they could have upsold us beer.

Of the three pizzas we ordered, the Garlic Pizza got two votes for best, with the Beef receiving one vote for best. The Lamb was good, it just wasn’t as amazing as the other two. Around the same price as Hell Pizza but 10X better.

Vespa Pizza on Urbanspoon

Call for Suggestions

Hey loyal Panda Fans!

Is there something, someone or somewhere you want Panda’ed?

Flip me an email (howmanypandas AT, post a comment of contact me via Twitter.

I can’t guarantee you will agree with what I have to say, but I will give it a stab – and everyone knows that Pandas are super stabby.


Review – Quiz Meisters Trivia at Queens Arms (Fortitude Valley)


Beer, beer, beer, cider, rum or beer.


The Other QANDA


It is an unwritten rule of pub trivia that there has to be the team with the unoriginal pun (Trivia Newton John, Cunning Linguists), the sexual and/or silly names (Jungle Sausage, Did Your Mum, Up the Bum No Babies, Who Farted), the making a point from last week names (Streets Makes Blue Ribbon Icecream, Last Last Week), locations (Teneriffic, Stabbed in Wynnum), ongoing rivalries (Elevenariffic, Twelveariffic) and those attempting to be current and witty (Out of the Mine and Into the Pub, I’m Only Here Because Virgin Blue Cancelled My Flight, The Silent Carriage, The Hung Parliament). In this way, Trivia, delivered by James Gauci (student and want-to-be stage actor) for Quiz Meisters Trivia at the Queens Arms (my local and yes I am the mayor on Foursquare) ticks all the boxes. It is also happens to be a fun and free night out. Unlike many pub trivias, this costs nothing to play!

James is often very amusing, frequently unintentionally.
$5 beer of the month.
2-4-1 Pizzas.
CityCycle Station 77 is across the road (don’t ride home after drinking).
Easy public transport 470 and CityGlider.
Great prizes (sometimes that wine comes with a label *gasp*).
Chances to win with no brain power.
Opportunity to win a mighty bar tab (that has never gone off since we have played there).

Combined IQ of the bar wenches < 100.
Often the food takes 45mins + to arrive.
Pizzas can be a bit hit and miss (same pizzas ordered same night 30 mins apart can be vastly different).
Can often be no space left in the bar area to play.
Gets cancelled for stupid boxing.

Quiz Meisters is very AV orientated so make sure you can see the TV – we made this mistake once and spent most of the night getting up and down. Questions cover such favourites as “Porn or Pony” (where you guess if it is a porn star or a My Little Pony – harder than you might think), Face Off with Nicholas Cage (whose face has been replaced with Nicholas Cage’s), Is It a Jim’s (pick the real Jim’s Franchise) and Opera Boy (an crowd favourite – where a character sings lyrics to a well known song in opera to a different tune). There are general knowledge, pop culture, geography, science and politics questions for those who actually are clever, but for the rest of us, we just go with the flow, and whether we win or lose, leave with sore cheeks from smiling and laughing so much.

Quiz Meisters Trivia runs trivia nights across the country. To find out if there is one near you, click here, but I can’t guarantee that your host will be as funny as James is, or that the food will be as slow and the bar girls as dumb.

Q.A. - (Queens Arms Hotel) on Urbanspoon