Tuesday 24 April 2012

Jazz, Belly Dancers and Pancakes

I thought our last Friday here was going to be a trip to the Pancake Manor a Brisbane landmark but it turned into one of the most random evenings (with lots of food – of course!) I can ever remember!

First Mike came home changed into something more up class than his usual flowery shorts and we headed to an English bar called the Pig and Whistle in Eagle Street. There we met up with Renee and a few of her work mates.

After a particularly frustrating day at work Mike drank two pints in twenty minutes whilst I spoke to a guy called Ben who moved here a few years back from London. Ben, not realising that he and I were encouraged to chat so he could convince me to move to Brisbane (Mike is completely sold – I’m not so sure) but Ben started to tell me how much he missed his mates, the quirks of England, some of the drinks and foods etc.

Upon seeing my face Renee intercepted and encouraged a more positive conversation about Brisbane – Ben’s conclusion; good weather, cheap houses and petrol and an abundance of great beef lol!.... Still not sold!

From the pig we met up with Pieter and went to Melbourne Street Green (random grassy area in the cultural centre) for the Green Jam Sessions. Students from the Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium play Jazz every Friday from March until May on the green which is covered in fairy lights, has deck chairs for lounging and a huge BBQ on the go.  We sat drinking; wine, beers and munching on hotdogs for a couple of hours - although by this time it was 8pm it was still 24 degrees – b.e.a.uiful!!

Jazzy Hotdogs

Renee and Pieter spotted a friend in the crowd called Jana, she was with a group of people we assumed were friends, it turns out she knew one or two but the rest were just random people who’d joined their group and they were all about to head for dinner. Despite hot dogs – we tagged along!

Our random new group of "friends"

We all arrived at a bustling Turkish restaurant called Mado. There was a great atmosphere and an authentic menu. The walls were covered in artwork, old pots and pans, guns, kettles and other Mediterranean memorabilia.

Ironic that we came all the way to Australia to go to an authentic Turkish restaurant when we live in Europe!!

I opted for Sultans delight or Hunkar Begendi; this was eggplant (Aubergine) roasted and then blended with cheese, milk and lemon topped with a lamb and tomato stew. It was incredibly rich but amazing, like nothing I’ve tasted before.

While we were waiting for our meals a belly dancer strutted her stuff; making grown men blush and women envious of her flexible hips! At least three of our table were pulled up for interesting attempts!

Belly dancing... I wasn't approached to volunteer...
Slowly as the evening went on our group of strangers – now friends, started to leave; French, Chinese, Indian, South Africa, Australian all left until it was just Mike, Renee, Pieter and I. And of course not content with hotdogs and Turkish feast we headed to the Pancake Manor for midnight dessert.

Pancake Manor is, as I said before a Brisbane landmark; a converted church made into a pancake heaven. With a lot of original features the restaurant is one of the prettiest places I’ve eaten in and its open 24/7 364 days a year (only closed Christmas day!).

Inside the pancake manor
I had the Hot’n’Troppo pancakes; two buttermilk cakes topped with roasted walnuts, grilled bananas, cream, chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce. It was naughty, gooey, soft, fruity pancake fun, again I couldn’t finish it (I think I should start ordering from children’s menus!) but I gave it a damn good go – as always.... which is why there’s now an extra roll on my tummy – we shall name him Oz!

L x

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