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Trip Report - Business Trip

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Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Montreal
posts: 2,963
reviews: 32
Trip Report - Business Trip

Hello everyone! I took two weeks doing this, but here it is.

I spent the last 2 weeks of April in Brisbane on a business trip. Of course, the main goal of being there was work, so trip like these are very different from vacations. Diner became the main event of the day but i did have 1 weekend to go out.

Here are my general impressions of brisbane:

==FOOD==

We had a lot of fun picking restaurants in Brisbane. A different country every night! You have such a multicultural city. Following the advice of these forums, and urbanspoon, we never had a bad meal. Surprinsingly, two 2 bad meals we had were on a recommendation from a local. Usually, i travel on a very limited budget, and i don't indulge, but on a business trip it's different ;)

One thing that really annoyed me was the refusal to split the bill.

Jellyfish: Yes, the hype is justified. Everyone around the table had a fantastic meal.

I had the prawn and crab pasta. I would've drank the sauce straight from the bowl, if that wouldn't be considered rude.

Sardine Tin: I went there on a solo meal, sat at the bar and had tapas. Everything was good, without exception. The sand crab with a little lemon granite on top was amazing. The portions are small though, so it did come up expensive.

Ahmet: We had a fun meal there. We we 3 people, but shared the set meal meant for 2, with an extra order of the garlic bread. We were stuffed. The portions are quite generous. The bread was delicious (i would've eaten just that and be a happy woman), as was the lamb and the mezze. The kebab though was way too spicy for my taste.

Verve Cafe: I went there 3 times, since it was located right next to the office. Always full, this place has a lot of ambiance. Verve cafe has one of the best value for money, so i can understand the popularity! A word of warning though, this place can get loud so maybe not good for a romantic evening. It has the biggest selection of ciders i've ever seen. The lamb shank and the olive bread were my favorite. On my last meal in town, i went there solo. I ended up hanging out with the owner at the bar, who was a very friendly fellow. Was a nice was to end my trip :)

Wagaya: Another one of my weekend solo meals. This japanese izakaya has booths with electronic screens from which you order. Very fun! The pictures in the menu made it much easier, and they had a nice selection of japanese alcoholic drinks. I had some yuzu cocktail, with ramen, sushi, dumplings, and fresh tofu. Yes i had too much... The set meals are a good bargain i find, you could eat under 20. It's also fun because you can order things over and over, and decide when you are full. This would have been more fun as a group though. I would've definitely returned.

Sono: Another japanese place near Queens mall. Delicious food. The tempura was great, as were the steamed seafood custard. You will find more traditionnal japanese items here. The quality was better then Wagaya but the selection of drinks was not as good. I had a fried cheesecake desert which was sublime. All in all, I think i prefered Wagaya, surprinsingly. Maybe mostly for the fun factor, and the fact that every item had a picture at wagaya.

I'll stop here for the restaurants, though i went to many more. I will post pictures of the meals i took in the pages :)

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Montreal
posts: 2,963
reviews: 32
1. Re: Trip Report - Business Trip

== PARKS ==

I like to walk around a lot, and one thing i did notice is that Brisbane has a lot of beautiful parks. Southbank, Roma Parklands, Botanical Gardens, Mount Cootha's botanical gardens (not the same), even the little anzac square! They seem to take a lot of pride in landscaping.

Southbank is great. I've never seen anything like the artificial beach there. The overhead paths were all in flowers when we came. At night, we were impressed by the huge bats, that would make funny sounds in the trees. There are a lot of restaurants around. I was pleasantly surprised that despite the touristy location, the restaurants still served good quality! The ambiance and setting make it a fun destination during the day or in the evening.

Roma Parkland i think is the underestimated park. I went there using the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. I was the only one to get off... The others sure missed out! There were huge ignanas everywhere, just basking in the sun, in the middle of the paths. The flowers... my goodness, so rich! So beautiful. This park is huge, so i did not have time to visit the entire grounds, but i loved how quiet it was on a sunday, and how beautiful. Perfect place to walk around or read a book outdoors.

==LONE PINE AND FAUNA==

My pet parrot has started munching on my toes, reminding me to write about the animals there. Well i'm a bird fan, so i was very impressed by the wild birds found in the city, or on the coast. White ibis are as common as pigeons, and bats as big as a cat fly around at night. In the botanical gardens, i spotted some big cuckatoos, just chillin' high up on the branches.

On the weekend, i went off early to Lone Pine Koala sanctuary. Weather was beautiful and I had a nice time walking around. It's a great facility, not too artificial, they made it look like a forest and kept the nature aspect. Yep, i did the one thing you need to do in Australian: held a koala, fed a kangaroo :)

That and being laughed at by a bird made my day!

==EUMUNDI MARKETS AND NOOSA HEADS===

I headed there the day before my departure. They predicted some rain. What i got was a full-on shower! It just wouldn't let up! Determined and pigheaded as i am, i decided to still go out to Eumundi Markets and Noosa heads. I took the train, which was long but easy enough.

About Eumundi Markets, they only occur on saturdays and Wednesdays. It is huge! stall after stall after stall, all outdoors, though many had overhanging roofs to shield from sun and rain. I was warned that it had gotten a bit touristy, with a lot of made-in-china gimmics. Still i was pleasantly surprised. I would say it's about 50-50, there are still a lot of hand made artisans around, and the place is so huge, it gives a good selection. Many accepted credit cards though i would still recommend people bring cash. The restaurants in the area mostly only accepted bills so that made it difficult for me to find food. Eventually, the rain started making me cranky, and my sneakers felt like soaked sponges. Against my better judgement, i still went to noosa heads.

I was not sure where to get off so the bus driver suggested i go to the shop area, not the beach. I kind of regret listening to him, since i did not feel those shops were interesting in the least. However, with the rain pouring, it was a lose-lose situation. I did have a nice meal at a malaysian joint and tasted ginger beer. Yummy stuff! It's common as coke for australian's but i still can't find any here :(

==OVERALL==

Well that was about it. my overall impression is that Brisbane is a lot like western cities, particularly like Montreal in the multicultural aspect. More avocados, palm trees, and a cleaner downtown though :)

While i did not have the weather on my side, i think Australia's fun and attraction is outside the cities, on the coast or in parks. The fauna, the flora and the beaches are simply beautiful! If i were to return, i'd likely rent a car and drive all over. Who knows, maybe i will ;)

I want to thank this forum for help, on my own post but other post i read as well. The regulars know this: There are people who post, but many are silent readers, and are grateful for this ressource of information ;)

Edited: 9:49 am, May 12, 2012
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
posts: 25,742
reviews: 498
2. Re: Trip Report - Business Trip

Thank you for your getting back to us regarding your experiences through Australia.

Having visited Brisbane numerous times for business I appreciate your reviews on the restaurants as there are a few on your list I have not tried.

I also agree Eumundi Markets are fab regardless of the weather.

I'm sure future travelers will absolutely love reading your TR.

Brisbane
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
posts: 3,063
reviews: 39
3. Re: Trip Report - Business Trip

Excellent trip report Sylve684, Thank you for taking the time and popping in to see me while you were in town. I'm glad you enjoyed Brisbane and I agree that the Roma street parklands are highly underestimated. I guess we're too spoilt with these little green areas. Hopefully, if you get time, you can add your reviews of the restaurants.

Oscar

Edited: 3:08 am, May 13, 2012
Cradle...
Destination Expert
for Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
posts: 6,254
reviews: 153
4. Re: Trip Report - Business Trip

Great report Sylve684, although I live now in Tasmania, Brisbane is my birth place and home for 40 yeras which I love and visit at least 2 times a year. And it's so nice to here positive comments about Brissie. And I hope other readers who are thinking of going to Brisbane, will take note of of your comments about getting a vehicle, IMO it's a must.

Robert

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 616
reviews: 46
5. Re: Trip Report - Business Trip

Glad to hear you had a good time. We just love Ahmet restaurant. Just love the great middle eastern food.

Noosa, Australia
posts: 363
reviews: 80
6. Re: Trip Report - Business Trip

Thanks for your review. You've pointed me to some restaurants that I have yet to experience.

7. Re: Trip Report - Business Trip

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