I normally make a rule of avoiding restaurants located in Shopping Centres, they’re usually bland and cater to the trapped audience of late night shoppers and movie goers. So it was with reluctance that I recently found myself suggesting dinner at Garden City’s Town Square.

My initial idea was to try Dicey Reilly’s, an Irish themed restaurant, however on closer inspection this seemed like a particularly poor one. The menus (laminated cardboard) were worn, the table battle scarred and the couch we had chosen to sit on looked like it had well and truly started to decompose. Rather than risk necrosis we checked out a couple of other places in the complex and settled on addiction (lower-case ‘a’), an Asian restaurant / cafe.

addiction is a ‘catch all’ Asian restaurant that serves all the old favourites like lemon chicken, sweet and sour pork and sizzling beef and adds in a decent selection of Thai and Malay choices. They also do lunchtime Yum Cha. It turns out there is several of them in Brisbane with locations at Chermside, Loganholme and Upper Mt Gravatt.

The menu is bright and colourful with plenty of pictures to explain the difference between Masaman and Jasmine curries and goes from the basics of Honey Sesame Chicken ($15.90) through to the more interesting Moreton Bay Bugs with Thai sweet chilli sauce ($29.90). addiction also offers a create-your-own noodle bar and noodle soup.

addiction’s trump card, and the reason we pulled up a stool is their Wednesday night 1/2 price main meals. This special proved to be quite a crowd pleaser as addiction was definitely the busiest restaurant in the complex.

We walked in at about 7:30pm and loitered at what appeared to be the front desk area for a few minutes. We weren’t greeted and decided to just pull up a seat at a vacant table as perhaps it wasn’t the kind of place to lead you to a table. Either way we must have got something wrong as it took a long time to get the attention of a waiter and some menus, even though they didn’t appear to be especially busy. Once we’d been given menus service picked up and our waiter was keen to take our orders.

addiction’s menu is quite extensive for a shopping centre restaurant and as we hadn’t yet had a chance to read it properly we ordered drinks to buy ourselves some more time. I like ice coffee and tend to order it whenever it is available and addiction has two varieties according to their menu; stock standard iced coffee ($4.80) or a ‘coffee addiction’ ($4.90). The menu didn’t offer much information as to what separated the two so I asked and was told the coffee addiction comes in a bigger glass and has all the trimmings. We ordered a coffee addiction, a normal iced coffee and a lemon lime and bitters ($3.90).

Our drinks were served promptly however we couldn’t tell the difference between the two iced coffees and had to ask which was which as they were both served in identical soft drink style glasses. I asked why the coffee addiction wasn’t in a larger glass as had been described and the waiter shrugged his shoulders and said “I dunno”.

We ordered our meals, a Nasi Goreng ($10.90 $5.45), Masaman beef curry ($17.90 $8.95) and Moreton Bay bugs with Thai sweet chilli sauce ($29.90 $14.95). We also had an entree of Coconut prawns ($8.90).
the coffee addition is on the left
By this time we had dissected the two iced coffees and the only difference we could find was that the cheaper, standard iced coffee had ice cream in it while the “all the trimmings” coffee addiction didn’t. Neither had been made with actual espresso coffee. We concluded that neither of the iced coffee varieties were particularly good and I felt that for the price they should have been significantly larger. Curiously, one of my dining partners ordered a second ‘standard’ iced coffee and this time it was served in a much larger ‘milk shake’ style glass. This variation over the course of 30mins was disappointing.

Our entree and two of our main meals were delivered promptly however there was an unexplained wait on the Masaman curry and it was served without rice, something our waiter had not prompted us for when ordering.

Moreton Bay bugs with Sweet ChilliThe food was hot, plentiful and very good value at half of the regular price but would have been disappointing at full price. My Moreton Bay bugs (2) were decent sized and served halved so there was no need to crack shells. The Thai sweet chilli sauce was plentiful to the point of being over-powering and made it difficult to evaluate the flavour of the bugs on which it was supposed to complement. A crab fork would have been a welcome addition too, as the regular fork made accessing all the meat quite a challenge. However it’s not every day you get 2 Moreton Bay bugs in a restaurant for $15 and despite the sauce I was still very happy with my meal.

The Nasi Goreng was a huge plate of Malay style fried rice but was unfortunately reported as ‘a bit bland’ while the Masaman curry was (finally) well received with the meat being soft and tender with the potatoes well cooked. We concluded that ‘safe’ Asian style food was the best way to describe our dishes.

addiction has little to no decor or atmosphere to make it memorable which could be viewed as either a positive or negative. The table settings are clean and simple and the single piece wooden chairs quite comfortable for a couple of hours of conversation and dining. The style is definitely that of “easy to clean up afterwards” and tables are arranged in an organised grid fashion. I can’t recall if there was music which could either mean there was none, which is fine or it was done well in so far as to not intrude on dining or conversation.

The bottom line is addiction is a ‘safe’ Asian style restaurant that is very good value for money on a Wednesday night but I feel it would be disappointing at full price.

asian restaurant cafe

Town Square, Westfield Garden City
Cnr Kessels and Logan Road
Upper Mt Gravatt map
07 3343 8188

Fully licensed

Visited on Wednesday, 3 December 2008

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