Monday, December 29, 2008


I'm having one of those grumpy "I hate summer why do I live in Brisbane" days today. But I need to blog so I'm going to talk about the rather lovely lunch I had yesterday.

My friend took me to Cafe Mi, which is at Sunnybank Plaza shopping centre. My friend knows all the great Asian restaurants around Sunnybank, she eats out in that area at least twice per week.

Cafe Mi is on the left hand side of the entrance of the cinema. It's tucked away at the back and is frequented mostly by Chinese people, which tells you the food is good. It's pretty much a cafeteria style setting, but it's reasonably priced and the food is plentiful and really good. We had honey BBQ pork, braised beef with Chinese mushrooms and flat rice noodles and a special fried rice. I think it's possibly the best fried rice I've ever eaten, light and fluffy and with plenty of the bits that make it "special" - prawns, ham, egg, chicken, bbq pork. The BBQ pork was divine too, my friend often buys it by the kilo to take home. The braised beef could have been a little lighter in the sauce but it was tasty and there was plenty of it.

If you are looking for a good reasonably priced eat that will fill you up, Cafe Mi at Sunnybank Plaza is worth giving a try.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mmmm... Lovely

Christmas is almost here, which means a lot of socialising for many of us. Restaurants and cafe's are really busy, pubs are thronging, parks and pools have lots of folks in attendance.

One thing to remember during this season while you're out at all of these places is to have a little patience. Hospitality staff are working their tails off at the moment, cut them a little slack. This is their busiest time of year.

Anyhoo, the real reason for this post is to talk about a bit of a Brisbane Institution... The Pancake Manor in Charlotte Street. You know it, that's the one in the old church. It has been there for donkeys years. The menu hasn't changed, nor has the decor. I can remember back in the 80's, when it was the only place in town you could get a feed after a hard night's nightclubbing!

It's not a flash place, not fancy at all. Nor is it one of those hip places to be seen. But the tucker is REALLY good. Here's a photo I found on Flickr...

Pancake Manor
Originally uploaded by lightsight

Not sure why it's posting on the right, but hey, you can see those tasty pancakes. I'm REALLY fond of their breakfast deals where you can get pancakes with bacon and eggs, maple syrup and a cup of coffee. And the pancakes with strawberries... good GOD they're divine.

If you want a really good feed, that's well priced, hearty and always delicious, and available 24 x 7, the Pancake Manor is one of those "old reliables" you can always go to in the CBD.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What Brisbane Needs, Part One

Brisbane needs a few things. But one thing it REALLY needs is better telecommunications infrastructure. To be honest, the whole of Australia does, but I live in Brisbane so I'll focus on this city.

It is the year 2008, very soon to be 2009. Across the globe, more and more people are getting technology savvy, and are being creative online with things like YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, blogging et al. But in Brisbane, we still have expensive, limited internet services. Wireless is considered a luxury rather than being offered commonplace.

I spent three months last year in the US, and wireless internet was offered everywhere. Shopping centres, businesses, restaurants and cafes, hotels and more offer wireless for free or with a purchase. You can sit in a Panera bakery, or Starbucks and actually work on your laptop with high speed wireless connection provided by the cafe/restaurant while you enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal. Lots of people actually work from cafes and restaurants rather than their desks. Public libraries all offer wireless for free too.

While we do have some wireless hotspots around, for example some public libraries, the occasional hotel or restaurant, it's actually few and far between in Brisbane.

Internet access is still a lot slower here than in Europe and the US, and it's also a whole lot more expensive. Telecommunications will have you believe it's not possible for them to drop the prices, but the truth is that if they can do it in the consumer madness of the US, why can't they do it here?

Partly because in many areas they still have antiquated technology. Old telecommunications cabling instead of fibre optic. The whole country needs to have some serious money spent on it by the Government to have a solid, reliable and efficient telecommunications infrastructure in this country.

I do believe we are at the tipping point though, because so much technology is being purchased by the average Australian now. Mobile phones have internet access as a matter of course now, and of course we all have mobile phones. People are buying laptops at a much higher rate than ever before. The eePC or "netbook" is starting to take off and become cheap enough for people to buy. And more and more people are wanting to carry their technology with them to access it through the day.

Do you have dreams for being able to use your technology in places other than your home? Do you feel that your internet service is either too slow or too expensive? What do you think should be done to provide a better telecommunications network in Brisbane/Australia?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas in Brisbane

It's here already! Yes, it's December again and Christmas has hit Brisbane in a big way. The decorations are up, the sales are on, the Queen Street Mall is chock-a-block and it's storming all the time.

I spent last Christmas in the US, so I kind of have to re-acquaint myself with a Brisbane Christmas. Last year I had a white Christmas, and did all that warm fuzzy American stuff you see on the TV specials. It was lovely.

On my way to work the other morning, the sky was beautiful and as I came up to Reddacliff Place, I snapped a couple of shots of the Christmas tree and Treasury Casino. Here you go:



Purty isn't it? I am told that last year they had advertising all around it. Yuck, I'm glad that isn't the case this year. Instead, just Santa's mailbox at the bottom, which I posted my Christmas cards into on Wednesday and the Aussie ones were delivered the following day. Not bad Australia Post! Er... I mean... SANTA.

If only we could have Christmas in winter. I am truly not fond of summer and find it hard to be cheerful and merry when I'm sweating.

One little thing though fellow Brisbane-ites. In the words of Abraham Lincoln (or Bill and Ted), please, be excellent to each other. The Queen Street Mall and Myer Centre are INSANE at the moment, and popping out at lunch time to pick something up requires a firm girding of ones loins to brave the insanity. Be gentle, no bargain is really worth pushing someone over or getting aggressive. It's too hot to be cranky at one another, really.

In case I don't mention it again, Merry Christmas Brisbane, and Merry Christmas friends of Brisbane.