Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Wham Bam Banh Mi, Petrie Terrace

If you are not seriously addicted to the flavour-filled Vietnamese rolls known as banh mi, you will be after a mouthful of the creations at Wham Bam Bahn Mi on Brisbane's Petrie Terrace.

The banh mi takes an ordinary roll to another level with the combination of a crisp Vietnamese style baguette, tender meat and pickled vegetables to add both crunch and flavour.

You'll find this weekday lunchtime pop up in the pretty courtyard entrance to Libertine Restaurant at the Police Barracks on Brisbane's Petrie Terrace.

Head Chef Linton Smith has come up with a short menu of bahn mi faves plus some noodle salad bowls.

Libertine Restaurant owner Andrew Baturo says bahn mi are the super heroes of sandwiches.  "They are so good they should be wearing capes and fighting crime," he says. "We are also doing a healthy selection of crunchy Vietnamese salad bowls."

I have two favourites on the menu. 3 Little Pigs is pig three ways - roast pork, red braised pork and pork terrine - with Vietnamese pickled vegetables and fresh herbs.  Bang Bang Chicken puts poached chicken with the Vietnamese pickled vegetables and herbs with a black vinegar and sesame dressing, plus there's a hidden tang.

There's free cold Vietnamese tea while you wait or dine and there are plenty of tables under the shady pergola or umbrellas.  I'm predicting this will be a highly popular spot on a sunny winter's day.

The pop-up operates from 11am to 2.30pm

Recommended for:  Great lunch alternative local workers around The Barracks.
Bottom line: Expect to pay $8 - $10 for your bahn mi or noodle salad bowl.
Best tip: Some of the ingredients are spicy so check first if that's not your thing.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK was a lunch guest at Wham Bam Bahn Mi

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Anzac Day 2015 - commemorate with Anzac Biscuits

In the chilling light of the pre-dawn the flickering Eternal Flame at the Shine of Remembrance Brisbane’s Anzac Square is particularly poignant.

The square fills silently with ordinary people quietly finding a spot to view the solemn ceremony which marks the sacrifice of the fallen, lest we forget.

There’s usually a big crowd but I’m expect this year on April 25, as we mark 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, the crowd will be even bigger.

The proceedings start at 4.28am in Anzac Square and you can also watch the service on big screens located in and around Anzac Square, Post Office Square, King George Square and in the Queen Street Mall. Channel Nine will also be telecasting the service live.

My first Anzac dawn service was about 20 years ago. It was an effort getting small children up so early in the morning and then heading into the city for the Anzac Square service. The still, cool morning air, the singer's voices, the bugle, the strange flickering light from the flame, a feeling of sadness and gratitude and the bouquets of flowers with messages for lost ones, are what I remember.

Afterwards we all enjoyed a slap up brekkie with bacon, eggs and more followed by a sleepy afternoon as we tried to catch up lost sleep.

My grandmothers both lost brothers in the war - one on a hospital ship on the eastern coastline and the other shot down while flying. Although I never knew Roy and Sid, the grief of their loss is a part of my family's history and I feel it still.

Anzac biscuits are a great way to commemorate Anzac Day and remind everyone of simpler times when a comfort package from home to diggers overseas was a much welcomed event. Anzac biscuits were developed to send to soldiers overseas to vary their diet and share a bit of home love. These were the days when everything travelled by ship so they had to last in an edible condition for some time.

Grandma Ollie used to make great Anzac biscuits. I don't know what she would think about adding a pinch of rosemary leaves to the mix but I loved the flavour twist. Rosemary also signifies remembrance so that's a nice fit too. Here’s the recipe.

Ginger Anzac biscuits is another variation and this year I think I’ll make these. Here’s the recipe

According to the old timers, Anzac Day and the first chilly southwester signal the start of the mullet run with delicious sea mullet working their way north for the winter months. Get those fishing rods ready.

Kerry Heaney
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