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In The Tiffin Box III

Time flies and with so many things to taste, see and do, so it’s time to do a roundup of what’s in The Tiffin Box.

Get Communal
Just before Christmas I went to the opening of a new restaurant and bar – Communal Bar & Eat House. This vast venue encompasses alfresco eating and bar areas as well as a spacious dining room. The bar is particularly inviting, opening out onto Reddacliff Place or as it’s rebadged itself, Brisbane Square. It’s taken the concept of shared plates and flipped it on its head. Rather than ordering many small plates to share, the idea here is to order the large platters and divide them. For those not wanting to tuck into a giant meal, an enormous woodfired oven turns out pizzas. Though I have not yet returned in 2015, this venue is a welcome addition to the top end of town. As a regular theatre and gallery goer, it’s sometimes difficult early in the week to find a place to eat in that area, before you walk across the bridge. The platters really are enormous so it’s best to come with a crowd and eat, well, communally.

Communal Quartet

*TIFFIN was invited to get Communal as a media guest of Kath Rose & Associates

Communal Bar & Eat House
266 George St (Brisbane Square)
Brisbane  Qld  4000
Communal Bar & Eat House on Urbanspoon

Don’t Get Your Knickers In A Knot
Undressed entryBrisbane – be alert, not alarmed but get yourself to the Qld Museum quick smart. It’s the last week of their wonderful exhibition ‘Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear’ in conjunction with the V&A Museum. From Queen Victoria’s unmentionables to John Paul Gaultier’s underwear as outerwear, this quirky exhibit has numerous items from the V&A that have never been on public display. Unfortunatley, due to copyright, no photography is allowed. If you do go along though, not only will you get to see garments and some great mini movies from the V&A curators but you’ll also see advertising like this.

Vintage Lingerie Duo

You only have a few days left so make the most of it!

Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear
until Sunday, February 1st only
Queensland Museum
Queensland Cultural Precinct, South Brisbane

Lobster Love
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Phoebe from Friends explained to Ross about lobsters mating for life and walking around the tank holding claws. As it turns out, lobsters do not mate for life. This was quite a relief and it made enjoying one at The Lab Bar + Restaurant as part of ‘For The Love of Lobster’ promotion a guilt free experience. Mr Tiffin is a regular at The Lab, a restaurant located on George St that’s part of The Treasury Hotel. It’s at his end of town and he was looking forward to enjoying some tasty polygamous lobster with me. The Lab was serving Lobster Thermidore, a classic French dish that was the height of fine dining in the 1960’s though it’s roots go all the way back to 1894 in Paris.

Lobster Pair

‘For The Love of Lobster’ is an enormously popular promotion that last year saw people queuing for hours to get their claws on a lobster. This year, The Treasury has extended the promotion and will serve 50 000 lobsters over the course of the month. That’s a lot of lobsters! You must be very hungry Brisbane. Lobster served with a creamy sauce and grilled till bronze may not be to everyone’s tastes (though I wasn’t complaining) but perhaps Wok Tossed Lobster w Asian Greens & Sambal is more your thing? The Lobster promotion is being run across three of Treasury’s restaurants in February with The Lab, Kitchen and Fat Noodle all getting in on the act. Prices range from $20 – $60 (cheaper for members) so this could be the answer to your Valentine dinner.

Wok Tossed Lobster 2

*TIFFIN was invited to share the lobster love with Mr Tiffin at The Lab as a media guest of Echo Entertainment

The Lab Bar + Restaurant
130 William St
Brisbane  Qld  4000
The Lab Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Just Hanging Out
Speaking of Valentine’s Day, last year I went to Fat Noodle with my two Valentines, Anthony and great friend Josie. Fat Noodle is a firm fave. They make refreshing but deadly Asian inspired cocktails and you can drop in for a freshly prepared snack or a meal. I’ve been a few times and find it great value. I was thrill to be invited by Fat Noodle to celebrate its 2nd birthday late last year and attend a dinner hosted by Luke Nguyen.

Fat Noodle trio 1

He was a delight, spending time with each table in the room and chatting about what’s coming up next for him. I told my friends that he was just like he was on TV and that can only be because the Luke we see on TV is the same Luke I met in person. There’s no artifice. Despite the fact that very few people asked for a photo, it was one opportunity I wasn’t going to let pass me by. Here I am, looking very much like my Mum and I suspect, Luke looking very much like his.

Luke & TIFFIN - a match made in heaven...

Luke & TIFFIN – a match made in heaven…

Going Palm Oil Free
In previous In The Tiffin Boxes, I’ve talked about how we are cutting out palm oil from our pantry. Sure, there are slip ups and the pantry is not perfect but slowly the palm oil is being excised. As I have told you before, manufacturers are very tricky, using the generic word ‘vegetable oil’ instead of palm oil. This is clearly meant to deceive and Australia’s weak labelling laws allow this to happen. If it doesn’t say olive oil or sunflower oil or rice bran oil etc, it’s probably palm oil.

This month I’m very happy to report that Australia’s largest biscuit manufacturer, Arnott’s has taken a HUGE leap forward by moving to fully certified 100% segregated palm oil in all of its product. This is a big deal and is mostly down to consumer pressure. It means that you can purchase any Arnott’s biscuit, cookie or cracker safe in the knowledge that any palm oil used has been certified as segregated and therefore not a threat to native flora and fauna in the countries where palm oil is sourced.  Well done Arnott’s.

Whilst I don’t have a big stock of Arnott’s biscuits in my cupboard, I do go to various morning teas, picnics and parties where they make an appearance. The best news for many will be that Tim Tams are now guilt free, as far as palm oil is concerned. They are still however, loaded with guilty kilojoules!

Palm Oil Investigations
Arnott’s Australia

8 comments… add one
  • Elizabeth January 27, 2015, 8:41 pm

    Wow, they all look great places to eat… now I just need to find a valentine to take me 🙂
    Liz xx

    • Fiona Ryan January 27, 2015, 9:13 pm

      Ha! I can thoroughly recommend Fat Noodle. Great prices – great place to visit for a celebration or casual dinner with friends.

  • Sherry from sherryspickings January 28, 2015, 12:00 am

    I keep meaning to go to fat noodle. One of these days! Yes I have always been confused about Brisbane Square also being called redacliff Place very confusing!

    • Fiona Ryan January 31, 2015, 9:08 am

      The Fat Noodle is definitley worth it. Some people have been critical but I really can’t understand why. Great food, decent pricing, quick service.

  • Lizzy (Good Things) January 28, 2015, 6:35 am

    Great post, Fiona… love, love, love the lobster feast… and how nice that you got to meet Luke… he’s fab, isn’t he!

    • Fiona Ryan January 31, 2015, 9:07 am

      Yes, the lobster feast was fun and I think it’s a great value offer. Meeting Luke was a wonderful way to end the year.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime January 28, 2015, 2:02 pm

    Love the lobster story from Friends. We have very strict food labelling laws in South Africa but I seldom read them. Time to start doing so 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan January 31, 2015, 9:07 am

      I re-watched all the friends clips about lobsters on You Tube again as it had always stuck in my memory. I’m no saint as far as Palm Oil but we have definitely improved in what’s coming into the house.

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