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Overdoughs and Artichoke Cafe and Bar @ Middle Road

Thanks to Stefanie for the invite, Roxanne and Bjorn for hosting us!

overdoughs

The story behind Artichoke and Overdoughs is one that will warm the heart and bring a huge smile to anyone. Once a food blogger in Brisbane, Bjorn was the first few who started this food passion though now he has since closed it, he remains fiercely in love with food. Roxanne, now his fiance, was at first just selling brownies which subsequently became the reason why Overdoughs was conceived.Well of course, they sell more than just brownies now.

overdoughs

Both Artichoke and Overdoughs specialise in Middle Eastern cuisine though one is sitdown dining place whilst the other is a casual, quick and dirty version of Artichoke. Overdoughs' menu similarly, is a modern take on the traditional flavours of Spain, Turkey, Greece, Morocco and the Middle East. Seats are very limited in both but the latter is limited to alfresco part of the dining establishment. 

interior

The tasting was just meant for Overdoughs but the generosity spilled over to Artichoke that opened at entirely different dining universe to me.

self service

Self service please. 

opening hours

Note the opening hours.

lemonade

The heat was getting to me and their homemade lemonade ($4) with basil plucked fresh from their garden was the antidote. I love the pomegranate seeds and refreshing notes of lemon and basil - even the lemonade was impressive for doubles. 

beer


Homemade beer - it was a beautiful concoction of mango and orange. This was a laudable effort for homeground and worth a try!

soda

Straight off the streets of Istanbul, these are pedaled all over the country and it was a fragrant fizzy one!

lunch

Available on weekdays from 12-2pm, their new lunch menu is targeted at those on the go - very environmentally friendly with paper boxes. With prices starting at $8, one can put together a Middle Eastern lunch box easily. Take your pick of base and filling and all the rest are provided: Toum (hot garlic sauce), zhug (green chilli sauce), ezme (turkish tomato salsa), tahini (roasted sesame sauce) and greens.

We were served three of their best selling combinations.

chicken

Pita Bread with Lebanese Roast Chicken ($8.50)

I like the chewyness of the in house baked pita bread. Shisk Taouk – a tender and flavourful Lebanese roast chicken, marinated in yoghurt and spices, notably artichoke’s own blend of baharat (the country’s distinctive 7-spice powder) is amazing. Like chicken rendang, the tender chicken is rubbed with a plethora of spices that results in a display of delicious flavours. 

meatball 

Spiced Rice with Turkish Meat Balls ($9)

Gluten-free, the meatballs are made without flour and the beefy taste is accentuated by the sundried red pepper paste. This could give Fika's famed meatballs a run for the money.

oyster mushroom

Nacho Chips with Garlic Mushrooms ($8)
Nacho Cheese Sauce ($1)

Locally grown by Kin Yan Agriculture, the mushroom mix ranges from meaty abalone or golden oyster mushrooms to the delicate willow variety, depending on what’s fresh that day. I though the pairing of chips and mushrooms interesting though I enjoy them on their own. 

hummus

Hummus ($2.50)
Chickpea sesame spread

Hummus is a must at a Middle Eastern meal and it went well with the crunchy toasted bread doused in olive oil. 

bread

Crunchy love.

mushrooms

We were served a plate of the day's best mushrooms stir fried, I loved them all earthy mushrooms!

original

Baklavas are synonymous with Middle Eastern dessert and these filo pastry desserts are deemed to be heartstopping-tooth chilling sweet in the land of origin. Artichoke, however, has toned down on the sugar levels and given it a new twist with various flavours. Bjorn did not go beyond explaining that "butter is brushed on every layer" to reiterate its oiliness which is absolutely necessary in holding up the filo sheets. These are "Overdoughs baklava tasting platter" – 4 pieces of your choice ($10).

chocolate

Dark Chocolate and Almond Baklava ($6.40 for a pair)

apricot

Apricot and Pistachio Baklava ($6.40 for a pair)

cashew

Cashew Baklava ($5.40 for a pair)

fig

Fig Chutney and Pistachio ($6.40 for a pair)

walnut

Walnut Baklava 

I am a fan of the fig and pistachio as well as walnut baklava. Flavours are rich and wholesome with every bite. A pot of tea is recommended with these sweet nothings so the aftertaste is not so overbearing!

passionfruit meringue

Passionfruit Meringue Tart ($5.40)

Deciding not to go down the road of lemon meringue tarts, they experimented with passionfruit which gave its much needed zesty taste and contrast to the sweet marshmellow meringue.

chocolate tart

Snickers Tart ($6.40)

Bjorn warned against taking more than two bites if we still wanted space for the other sweet bites. Yes he was right. I wish I stole a snap of the innards of this unassuming chocolate tart. Layers of heaven - salted caramel,  cream and chocolate, rich and decadent. Diets, are so passe when attempting this.

banana muffin

Roasted Banana Muffin ($4.80)

Meet the heavy weight, I once thought those sold at Starbucks were cupcakes fed steroids, till you meet Overdoughs'. Here is Hercules in a muffin. There is so much going on that I wonder how it all comes together like magic. Bananas, banana chips and crumble all bundled in a wholesome hearty muffin topped with a savoury drizzle. Icecream would be its soul partner for life.

orange flourless

Orange Almond Meal Tea Cake ($4.80)

A delicious flourless cake with almost an entire orange blended into the cake and frosting. I thought the density was quite like kueh.

artichoke

Moving onto Artichoke!

wine

Artichoke's fierce dedication to bubbly.
  

Here are the few Artichoke dishes that made it to the table that day. 

bacon chop

Thick-cut maple-glazed bacon chop ($20)

A friend tipped us off for this dish and we just had to try it.Think beyond the usual slices of bacon, this is a stack of them in thickness - well, it is bacon in pork chop style; thick and chunky and definitely unapologetic for being sinful. The layer of fats grows exponentially thicker through the generous cut. I credit them for making this a gateway to all things sinful - bursting with juices and flavour, bacon never tasted more wholesome and if I could, I would trade my beef patty for this. The scrambled eggs were a tad sweet though. 

salmon

Salmon and Beetroot 

It is BACK! The owners decided to bring back past loves, hooray to those who have missed it! Loved the beetroot chunks on this salmon sandwich best! For sure, I am used to the garden of greens on their food which is a major brownie point for a vegetable lover like me and this was both deliciously leafy and colourful. 


gummy

A bag of gummies for every diner just to end the experience on a sweet note - Marketing, Bjorn says taught him about experience and a sweet finish could go a long way. 

edible garden

Artichoke has its own edible garden, a move that is Bjorn's way of feeling better about doing business. It felt like going back to kindergarten all over again, pottering around the area sniffing and taking unfamiliar greens to the tongue for a surprise. For a fact, maintaining it costs more than the herbs that they can harvest. That, is doing business with a heart. 

chilli

Little miss chilli padies.

plants

Bell peppers so puny, I feel bad even plucking them.

more plants

Whatever this is, the fruit was tangy!  
wal

No nonsense and honest food is what Artichoke and Overdoughs serve. They aim not to be run of the mill ordinary but to please those who have a heart and mind for a culinary adventure out of our comfort zones. For a place that does not believe in eggs benedict and waffles for brunch, I am lovin' their fiesty spirit!

awesome

Awesome it was.
 
Overdoughs
Artichoke Cafe 
166 Middle Road 

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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