Pearl Cafe

The Woolloongabba dining precinct is fast becoming one of my favourite places to visit. Not only can you wander the antique stores, have a decent coffee and spend money in one of my favourite boutiques ‘That Shop‘, you can also enjoy lunch at Pearl Cafe.

Sadly, on this occasion, no wandering or shopping took place, as Miss P and I met Mr K for a business lunch.

I ordered the ‘lobster roll’, Moreton Bay bug, baby cos, creme fraiche, chives, dill on brioche ($20). The brioche was baby soft and the bug meat well cooked. It was a tasty lunch but needed much more dressing. Extra creme fraiche would have solved this problem.

DSC03775Miss P choose the other dish I was keen on. Lamb salad of roasted shoulder, sprouted lentils, peas, coriander, labna ($18). Melt in your mouth lamb and fresh salad but again, not enough labna to bring it all together. Mr K went with the ‘special’. Pulled pork with Gruyère cheese, pickles and salad leaves on sourdough ($18).

Pearl Cafe has a slightly sentimental fit-out with lots of what I like to call ‘Aunty Pearl’ dressing table mirrors on the walls, intimate lighting and my absolute favourite Bentwood chairs. I imagine for dinner service, the atmosphere and lighting would be really lovely.

DSC03766Miss P and I shared a prune and almond tart for a sweet treat. As tasty as this was, I think we were a little disappointed it sat alone on the plate without the loving company of some vanilla ice cream or a pretty quenelle of cream.

The lunch menu also includes some larger dishes e.g. Carnaroli risotto with fermented kale puree, peas, house-made buttermilk cheese ($24), Alstonville farm spring chicken, lemon myrtle, leek, rosemary ($32) and sides including salt and semillon roasted potatoes with citrus mayo ($8), grilled pickled artichoke hearts, fresh ricotta, mint ($8).

I like that the lunch menu is small and interesting. I’d be keen for a return visit for dinner.

Pearl Cafe

Breakfast 7am to 11am  |  Lunch 12 noon to 3pm

28 Logan Road, Woolloongabba

 

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BirdCage

Out and about with pH business today, Miss P and I decided to check out BirdCage in Logan Road, Woolloongabba. BirdCage describes itself as Pan Asian cuisine. I wasn’t totally sure I knew what this meant, but on reading the menu it clearly means food from all Asian nations. In fact, a quick google search describes it as ‘an ideology or a movement that Asian nations unite and solidify’.

Asia is very definitely united in the BirdCage menu with dishes from Vietnam, Japan, China, Malaysia and Thailand. So if you have a group of friends and you really can’t decide on which Asian cuisine, BirdCage might just be the place for you.

Being a quick lunch stop we shared three entrees and two desserts.

King prawns and chicken in rice paper with glass noodles and a Vietnamese mint and coriander dipping sauce. These were plump and freshly made with a good hit of coriander. ($17 for two large rolls).

Rice paper rollsPork, shitake and bamboo potstickers with black rice vinegar and pickled ginger dipping sauce. I love a good potsticker and these were a decent version but not lip-smackingly good. The sauce was seriously spicy, a little too much on the hot side, more chilli than ginger I suspect. ($16 for four).

PotstickersSalt and pepper squid tossed in chilli and garlic with a sweet soy and lime dressing. This was a seriously good version of salt and pepper squid. Salty, slightly sweet and delicious when eaten with the chilli and garlic and fried basil. ($16 for a decent sized serve).

Salt and pepper squidWe found this a perfect size for a light lunch but on reading the dessert menu we needed to try the lemongrass and ginger brulee over a pineapple and mint compote ($15) and the tapioca pearls with sweetened coconut cream and poached fruit ($14).

The brulee was just as it should be, a nice crack through the brulee top, a not too sweet but creamy middle section with an interesting addition of the compote at the bottom. The more successful dessert was the tapioca. This was light and refreshing with a good amount of coconut cream and a great ending to a meal with Asian flavours.

Lemongrass and ginger bruleeTapiocaSome of the dishes on the main menu included; duck breast on red Thai curry with caramelised pineapple, apple eggplant and roasted shallots ($32), whole snapper fried in BirdCage spices with Asian slaw, mint and a sesame lime dressing ($32), free range chicken roasted in banana leaf and Balinese spices with bean and coconut lawar ($30). Three vegetarian options are also available as an entree or main size.

Although the food is above average I feel like the actual restaurant may have a slight decor identity problem. It’s a mix of Asian references and European style with booths along one wall, not unlike Enoteca located next door. None-the-less, I really enjoyed our lunch. The service was efficient and although not a budget lunch, the food was of a high standard. I’d love to know how they came up the name BirdCage. Lots of birdcages hanging from the ceiling would look fantastic!

p: 3162 1185

14 Logan Road, Woolloongabba