Our Haus Cafe | Hawthorne

I have been going to the gym for almost a month now and only gained 1KG, which is regrettably a bit of a disappointment, considering the sole purpose of joining a gym for me is to load some weight onto my deprived skeleton. I have been stuffing myself with whatever I can find that is edible ever since. To keep up with the momentum, I chose to try out their breakfast menu at Our Haus Café in Hawthorne yesterday morning straight after I dropped the dumbbells at the gym.

I have been meaning to check out the coffee scene in Hawthorne and Bulimba since I moved to Morningside at the beginning of the year, so why not start with one of the hottest of them all?

our haus cafe

Since it was in the early morning of a Wednesday, I had the privilege to choose the most desirable spot to sit. I opted for a table under the shade outside so I could indulge myself while enjoying the perfect weather. Having a quick peek around, right behind me sat an old couple debating about what they were reading on the local newspaper, two or three tables away on my right were two mothers with their children who were attentively drawing on their art books, and on my left sat a man who was surfing the internet on his laptop with his Havanese yawning in the sun. I was so relaxed, and hungry of course.

our haus coffee

Interestingly, there was a dish called Gym Junkie on the menu. As tempting as it might sound, I didn’t think my body image would live up to its glory. Instead, I went with the sweet potato hash cake.

our haus

The sweet potato hash cake was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The smoked tomato compote on top added a right amount of acidity to balance out the sweetness of the sweet potato. I must admit that I have been searching for the recipe ever since. Next is the bacon. What can I say about the bacon? Well, I would NEVER share it with anyone else. End of story. The eggs were perfect – the yolk oozed out as soon as I cut into it. After I finished everything, I was so full and proud, and my trainer at the gym would be proud, too.

our haus 2

Our Haus Café is a charming little jewel that serves tasty food and good coffee. It’s peacefully tucked away on the tree-lined Riding Road, sparing the hustle bustle on the Oxford Street for the diners. I’ll definitely return to try out their other dishes, especially the Gym Junkie. I’m allowed to wish.

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Our Haus on Urbanspoon

Vue Lounge | New Farm

Madame et Monsieur! The Hypelist has been revived! I’ll let you in on a little secret. The blog may have been dead for months, but my taste buds haven’t. Well, this isn’t really a secret, is it? I was just using it as a camouflage for the guilt and shame for being a lazy big.

After returning from the holiday in NZ, I moved back to Brisbane from Toowoomba, where I spent most of 2012 enjoying the unendurable clinical study and enduring the unenjoyable isolation. I have to admit that civilisation has never been so wholeheartedly missed.

vue lounge

For a catch up with Hooi (go check out her food blog Memories Treasure Chest by clicking here) last Sunday after our first rotation of the year, we headed out to Vue Lounge in New Farm. The place was jam packed when we arrived, as I expected. We were told at the door that we had to wait about 30 minutes for our dishes to get ready, but we still opted to stay.

vue lounge coffee

Vue Lounge offered a big menu full of tasty goodies. From “Lighter Meals” to “Something Substantial”, deciding on what to order was a bit of mental workout itself. Each section of the menu was equally tempting but smoked salmon and pork belly with poached eggs could never go wrong.

vue lounge food

Hooi’s smoked salmon came with a layer of deliciously golden brown zucchini fritters at the base and two perfectly poached eggs on the top. If this wasn’t enough, the silky tomato béarnaise and juicy truss tomato added the necessary acidity to this dish.

The Parmesan and herb crumbed pork belly was again spectacular. The crumb was crunchy and flavoursome, and the pork belly inside was succulent and tender. The eggs were poached perfectly with a generous amount of wilted baby spinach, which made the whole dish nutritious yet delicious. Lastly, the subtle sweetness from the soft pumpkin sourdough had added a genius touch to the dish.

Vue lounge oozes confidence and style and has proved it as one of the most fashionable brunch hotspots in New Farm. The food is delicious, and the coffee is well made. I have already started planning to return for their popular gourmet burgers some day.

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Vue Lounge on Urbanspoon

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Written by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan and David Goyer

Starring Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard and Morgan Freeman

I feel like I have been going to the cinema a lot lately. In fact, I went to see The Dark Knight Rises only two days after I saw The Amazing Spider-Man. I’m such a superhero geek.

In my opinion, the new batman movie has to be the best superhero movie in recent years. It is undeniable that the success of the second instalment, The Dark Knight, partially relied on the hype surrounding the death of Heath Ledger, but it was truly a phenomenal movie nonetheless. The final sequel of the batman trilogy is even darker, grittier and more realistic than the previous two. What makes it stand out even more in the midst of other superhero movies is its twisted, mind-boggling storyline, which makes you want to watch it over and over again. With its star-studded cast, The Dark Knight Rises is definitely the ultimate magnet for moviegoers this season. The only disappointment for me though is lack of screen time for the catwoman.

Since last night, the dark knight movie, even the entire movie industry, has been grappled with deadly shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in movie theatre in Aurora, Denver, Colorado. It’s extremely disheartening to realise that a movie such as The Dark Knight Rises is actually a depiction of the real world we are living in. The way that the kids today interpret and remember this event will have a much more notable impact as they grow, and it can be either way. For that reason, part of me wishes to see Christian Bale in a batman suit visiting schools and telling the children that everything is going to be okay.

My heart goes out to all the victims and their families and friends.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Directed by Marc Webb

Written by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent and Steven Kloves

Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen and Sally Field

I had been literally counting down the days since I first saw the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man. I’m a big spider-man fan, but to be honest, I was a bit disappointed by the old spider-man films. The portrayal of spider-man by Toby Maguire was dull and suppressed in my opinion, but Andrew Garfield is great in the new Marc Webb’s movie. The new spider-man is more quirky and expressive and can’t help throwing in some witty one-liners whilst kicking ass. However, my preference for Andrew Garfield as the spider-man might be slightly biased, because he’s been one of my favourite actors since I saw him in Never Let Me Go (2010). Emma Stone portrays a tough, resourceful and slightly sassier version of Gwen Stacy, and the fact that she and Andrew Garfield is a real life couple has made their onscreen chemistry convincingly genuine.  I think the Lizard is also a great choice for a villain too. Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) is kind and considerate but has been forced to turn into this vicious monster after being coerced to trial his newly developed cross-specie genetic modifying drug. It makes you realise that every human being is born equal and it is our surroundings and what we go through in our lives that have the most significant impact on our behaviour.

But let’s stop being helplessly philosophical and go back to the mood of this post. I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the new spider-man movie because of its better casts, storyline and most importantly its respect for the original comics.

Shucked Coffee House | Newstead

Two visits to Brisbane in a month goes to show how desperate I am to get out of Toowoomba. I like Toowoomba because it’s a nice little town, but it’s not right for me, at least the 26-year-old me. I just finished my GP exams last Friday. Despite the horrendous experience, I managed to reach the state of Zen within two days following the exams. In fact, I was so relaxed that I kept mistaking Monday for Sunday.

Since neither of Hooi or I had been to Shucked Coffee House before, it seemed a perfect place for us to indulge our neglected stomachs in. Shucked was a hidden little jewel in Fortitude Valley, disguised by the surrounding automobile dealers. The interior was contemporary with a hint of vintage. The fact that no two chairs or stools were identical actually reminded me of the apartment in Friends.

Only when we were about to order our dishes did we realise that Monday was probably a perfect day to visit Shucked, because the kitchen was closed and the only warm dishes they served were the specials. But they did have a rather exciting menu nonetheless. And they had cold drip espresso!

My usual regular flat white – $3.5

Leaf chai served in a teapot – $4

Wild rabbit ragout with penne and Parmesan – $18

My first time eating rabbit was a plain experience. The meat was rather similar to chicken but with a more earthy texture. This dish was average in my opinion.

Roast vegetable stack with grilled polenta with capsicum and tapenade – $18

This dish was a very flavoursome one. The tapenade was delightfully garlicky. When it was mixed with roast eggplant, zucchini and grilled polenta, they flavours just popped in my mouth.

Overall, I enjoyed Shucked Coffee House. But I have to go back to try their full menu someday.

Shucked Coffee House on Urbanspoon

Mr Porter Discipline

I would never consider myself as an online shopping fanatic mainly because of the fact that I can’t afford to be one. I belong more appropriately in the enthusiastic window shopper category. It’s particularly true when it comes to an online store such as Mr Porter. But during this midsummer sale season, I just couldn’t resist any longer even though I knew what exactly it entailed – no coffee money for the next three months. Since the moment I committed to this self-inflicted covenant, I have been telling myself that it is a sacrifice rather than a punishment even though my caffeine-infused brain thinks otherwise.

Dark oxblood full grain leather wingtip brogues from Mark McNairy with contrasting red rubber Ridgeway soles

Jazzman print cotton shirt from Red Ear, Paul Smith

I can’t wait for summer as this shirt makes me reminisce the smell of barbecue – an extraordinarily pricey barbecue that is.

Pablo | New Farm

It was finally Queens Birthday long weekend. As planned I drove down to Brisbane to visit a friend on a day trip. The 10-hour drive that I did from Clermont to Brisbane must have acquainted me with long-distance car trips – the one and a half drive felt like nothing.

Hooi, a well-known food critic on Urbanspoon (Memories Treasure Chest), suggested we should give Pablo in New Farm a go. Luckily, we arrived just before lunchtime, so finding a table didn’t prove to be a bit of trouble at all. 10 minutes later after our coffees just arrived, the room was jammed with diners with people queuing at the door. The decoration was minimalist, which infused this urban café with simplicity and modernity.

Roasted Swiss mushrooms with crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, tomato relish and sourdough, $17 

After diligently scrutinising the menu, I went for roasted Swiss mushrooms with crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, tomato relish and sourdough. The dish was simple but surprisingly good. The flavours were quite subtle but balanced very well. The bacon had just the right amount of saltiness to it, which suited me perfectly. Only almost half through the dish did I notice the feta cheese in the scrambled eggs. Bonus?

Bubble & squeak, mario’s handmade pork & fennel chipolata’s, fried eggs, smoked tomato compote, $17

Hooi decided to try their bubble & squeak. Her dish certainly looked appetising with each component quaintly presented on a plate. I think it must have passed the critic’s test with flying colours.

Overall, we had a good time at Pablo. Good food, efficient service and wonderful company – I couldn’t ask for more.

Pablo on Urbanspoon

Instagram Addict

 

I admit that I’m officially addicted to Instagram. Not one hour passes without me checking the feeds, likes and comments. My mind is constantly searching for ideas for another shot. Even though there are only 67 current followers under the name @MilesSimplified, my motivation is still soaring. And here are a few humble tips derived from my pitiable two months of experience to maximise your exposure,

  • Post images regularly but not in bulks, spread out your posts with fairly reasonable intervals.
  • Like and comment on as many of others’ posts as possible, but remember not to focus on only the popular instagramers.
  • Only post your best works or try to make the posts personal and relevant to a certain topic.
  • Participate in popular contests such as the ones organised by @joshjohnson and @contestgram.
  • Hash-tag your posts. This is the only way for strangers to discover you.

To check out my posts, please go to Instacanv.as Gallery or search username MilesSimplified in your Instagram app.

 

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