Vanessa Pike-Russell

We were feeling hungry so headed down to the Hogs Breath Cafe for their $9.90 lunches. I chose the Cajun Beef and ranch salad. Hubby chose the same. 

Cajun Beef & Ranch Salad. BBQ rib strips blackened seasoning on lettuce, 
cucumbers, carrots and cherry tomato topped with cucumber yoghurt dip

And a Bulmers alcoholic cider to wash it down.

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Vanessa Pike-Russell
One of the many restaurants at the Raby Bay Marina is the Hogs Breath Cafe, Cleveland.  

I just love the interiors with heavily automotive theme including cars, license plates, oil cans etc. There are frames on the wall with vintage newspaper and magazine items. Corrugated iron ceiling, lots of wood including wood tables and chairs. A comfortable environment with friendly service. 

I decided to purchase a Chicken Ceasar Salad. Crumbed chicken with lettuce, bacon, croutons, parmesan and Caesar dressing, wrapped in a flour tortilla and served with Hog Tail Fries.

[ Chicken Ceasar Salad ]
Hubby chose a rump steak with mushrooms, corn, carrots, broccoli and mashed potato. He always loves the steaks at Hogs Breath Cafe as they cook the steaks the way he asks for, medium rare. 

[ Steak with mushrooms ]
To view more reviews of the Hogs Breath Cafe, Cleveland click here

Hogs Breath Cafe, Raby Bay Cleveland
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Vanessa Pike-Russell
One of the many things I had to give up, or limit myself with, was beer. I love beer, always have. I guess I am not alone.

When I heard that RedBay Microbrewery in Cleveland offered Gluten-Free beer I was overjoyed. I had purchased some gluten-free beers through ebay and online but they were fairly expensive.

In December I attended a RedBay Tasting event which I found as an online deal. Normally $100, my husband and I paid $45 each for a two hour tour and tasting of cider, beer and ginger beer. We then were allowed to bottle, cap and box a carton each. My husband wasn't feeling well so we decided to collect our beer after the new year.

I am happy to say that two days ago Redbay returned my calls and with the help of my Aunt and Uncle we bottled a carton of Gluten-Free beer and a carton of Knight's First - Redbay Brewery's take on Newcastle Brown. Both beers were full-bodied and it is great to know that there are no chemicals or preservatives. It means you have to drink them in a timely fashion but I am sure that won't be  a problem ;)

Red Bay Micro-Brewery

7/77 Shore st West
Cleveland Qld. 4163

Ph 07) 3488 2739
Fx 07) 3488 2740

Tuesday 11am — 6:30pm
Wednesday 11am — 6:30pm
Thursday 11am — 7pm
Friday 11am — 7pm
Saturday 8am — 3:30pm

CLOSED –Sunday and Monday     

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Vanessa Pike-Russell
I just received an email from Caveau in Wollongong - the only restaurant to receive a 'hat' in the Sydney Morning Herald Best Sydney Restaurants guide. Enjoy! I'm drooling from Brisbane, QLD.

or view the online version here.
Valentine’s Day at Caveau

Thursday 14th February 2013
Three course early bird menu – 5.30pm sitting
($110pp including french champagne on arrival and a red rose per couple)

Cured ocean trout, tomato jelly, 
shellfish foam and pea mousse line or

Warm confit duck salad, seared foie gras, 
fig puree and Peking style dressing

Roasted lobster tail, crushed purple congo potatoes, 
braised pork cheek, grape tomatoes, baby fennel and lobster jus or
Black angus fillet mignon, pommes 
anna, spinach and bernaise sauce

Bouche D’Affinois (cheese) with sultana paste and house made walnut bread or
Belgian chocolate mousse and raspberry pave, shaved white chocolate and fresh peach

Eight course tasting menu

($180pp including French champagne on arrival and a red rose per couple )
Three freshly shucked rock oysters
with smoked kingfish and ponzu

Cured ocean trout, tomato jelly,
shellfish foam and pea mousseline

Prawn and scallop escabeche, citrus fruits,
saffron, basil and shaved fennel

Warm confit duck salad, seared foie gras,
fig puree and Peking style dressing

Roasted lobster tail, crushed purple congo
potatoes, braised pork cheek, grape tomatoes

Black angus fillet mignon, pommes anna,
spinach and bernaise sauce

Bouche D’Affinois with sultana paste
and house made walnut bread

Belgian chocolate mousse and raspberry pave,
shaved white chocolate and fresh peach

Bookings essential. 
Please email
122-124 Keira Street Wollongong, NSW.
There is parking at the back of the restaurant (Keira Lane), or 

street parking in and around Keira Street.

For a map of the restaurant location, click here. 
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Vanessa Pike-Russell
A re-post from my new food blog 'An Instant On The Lips" which blogs all my foodie adventures including Queensland and soon to be updated: New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.

I love living in Cleveland, QLD. Just a short stroll to Raby Bay Marina and the many restaurants and cafes that share an amazing view. I had invited some friends from the Illawarra and Sydney to stay and we noticed the new Mexican restaurant, Funky Mexican Cantina. The interiors were bright and fun, using bright reds and greens, yellow and black for contrast.

We took our seats and ordered some cocktails whilst we looked over the menu.

Refried beans

Molle Sauce


Chilli Prawn - Camarones Al Chipotle

Service was fast and friendly. Definitely a place to go if you like spicy food.

Funky Mexican Cantina Restaurant 
Shore Street, Cleveland, QLD.
Phone (07) 3821 4001
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Vanessa Pike-Russell
Illawarra Food blog hasn't been updated in a while since I am currently living in Queensland in the Brisbane Bayside village of Cleveland. I have created a new food blog which continues my journalling of foodie experiences. I called it 'An Instant On The Lips'. It journals my travels around Australia and around the world. In 2012 I travelled to Sydney and Hobart before flying back to Brisbane to catch the Pacific Dawn for the 12 day 'Island Magic" cruise to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji, returning back in Brisbane. It was an amazing voyage and I can't wait for my next big adventure - Japan.

I grew up with this mug in the cupboard and it reminds me that whatever you put to you lips does effect your body. Now, with being aware of my food allergies and sensitivities, I am more aware of food labelling and asking restaurants and cafes for a more detailed ingredient list.

I also enjoy taking photos of food just before it reaches my lips. I like to make that 'instant' last longer, and to share the amazing foodie experiences with my audience worldwide.

I am due to visit the Illawarra again soon to visit family and friends, so this is by no means the end of my foodie adventures. There are new restaurants and cafes opening all the time (and unfortunately closing) so I am sure to update where possible.

I will be adding some blog posts to Illawarra Food when I am sent emails and twitter messages informing me of upcoming evenets and workshops, etc. I would also welcome some guest posts by readers who have taken the time to journal their experiences in the Illawarra.

Warm regards,

Vanessa Pike-Russell
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