HAPPY BOY, Brisbane
Man oh man, I consider myself lucky to have found this little gem! I was heading to Brisbane to dine at my 99th Top 100 (GOMA Restaurant) with some friends for lunch and I was catching up with an old school friend that night for dinner which, of course, presented another meal opportunity! I decided that Asian food was the go, so I started googling Asian food in Brisbane. I didn’t really want a run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurant, I wanted something a bit more exciting. I kept looking at this place called Happy Boy in Spring Hill. The reviews I read were all good but as soon as I saw the menu, my mind was made up! Happy Boy it was. No more research required.
My friend met me at my hotel and we decided to walk to Happy Boy. As we were approaching we were thinking – this doesn’t look like the place where you’d find a restaurant – then we turned a corner into a dark side street and there it was – a simple garage structure converted into a restaurant. And it was certainly abuzz. It was packed, and I have to say, extremely noisy (probably not a place for a romantic first date). It’s a no-frills fit out with bare brick walls and simple furniture – but it’s not the décor you go there for, it’s the food.
This is simply good food that’s bursting with flavour. It’s food that had my friend and I ranting and raving like lunatics. The Dry Fried Green Beans with Pork were out of this world. We were having foodgasms with each and every bean. Never before have we eaten beans as good as these, and we now have to live with the fact that we’ll probably never have beans that good ever again (unless we go back, of course). We wanted to run into the kitchen and hug the chef and I think I said about three times to the owner as we left to make sure he tells the chef how good they were. The other dish that got me super excited was something I’d never seen on a menu before but now I long for more… the Salt and Pepper Quail Eggs! OMG! They should be made compulsory on every menu!
I had to ask our waitress about the chefs – who was cooking this food!? It turns out that there are four chefs from Canton, China. We ordered waaaay too much food for just the two of us, but we didn’t care – we wanted it all – To hell with choices! The Roast Pork Belly with Tofu, the Flash Fried Lamb in Sichuan Oil served with Yam Bean and the tasty, tasty House Fried Rice with Shredded Roast Duck and Preserved Vegetables. Oh… so… good!
Friendly staff, generous servings, good prices and fantastic food – there’s not much more you could want. That night, Happy Boy produced two very happy girls. And no, I’m not going to end on some sleazy double entendre about a ‘happy ending’! Oh no, I just did!!!