Sunday, 31 August 2008
Sunday night after a hard day shopping and a burger at the new Grill'd at Rosalie seemed just the ticket. My first Grill'd burger was in Melbourne about a year ago and I've been hanging out for one ever since. Grill'd is in a new complex that also includes Tomato (formerly Tomato Brothers)and Wok Me, a noodles place.
We ordered three burgers, a Crispy Bacon & Cheese which was pronounced delicious,and a Big Queenslander (minus egg) that included beetroot, salad and relish and was also great. Our third choice, the Grilled Bird & Brie was not such a success. It was a little thin on the brie but had plenty of cranberry and also was a little overgrilled, maybe too char grilled.
The chips were ok but overly salted and there were too many small ones which were very crisp. Reports indicate that the chips are not usually that salty.
The staff are polite and service is prompt. Overall this is a great addition to the food scene at Rosalie and I'll be back to try it all again.
Grilled, 19-21 Nash Street, Rosalie.07 3367 1555 www.grilld.com.au
Saturday, 30 August 2008
Friday, 29 August 2008
Last night I joined other foodies for Dinner in the Dark at Royal on the Park in
Guests described the 10 course dining experience as the ‘Barry White’ of dinners. We ate in the dark lit by glow sticks to the sounds of rainforest birds, an incredibly relaxing and intimate experience. The menu, which was matched with wines from
Gary Farrell and The Walnut Restaurant is a place to watch! The next Dinner in the Dark is on Wednesday, November 12.
The Walnut Restaurant, Royal on the Park, Cnr Alice & Albert Streets
Thursday, 28 August 2008
I've just spent two nights at the Sofitel, Broadbeach and I can tell you this is a nice hotel.
Why? The beds are very good (thick quilt doonas, super soft pillows and sink in mattresses), the spa is just right and there is a separate shower (always nice). There are several small touches which make an extra difference - a loofa in the spa, big, thick fluffy robes and slippers, complimentary herbal tea and choccie, luxurious shampoos etc.
And then there's the view. My king corner suite had a view that stretched up and down the coastline - very spesh! The continental breakfast buffet was full of interesting choices and they all tasted like real food - unlike some hotel breakfast buffets I have experienced. I didn't try the cooked breakfast - just couldn't fit it in!
It's just over the road from Pacific Fair and you can hop on the monorail for a quick visit if you feel the need. The Gold Coast Convention centre also is close by.
I've eaten at Room 81 (not on this visit) and was impressed by the quality of the food. Each night when I retired after a hard day on the road (not!), Room 81 seemed to be pumping and could be a good spot for a few drinks. The hotel is hard to fault, really!
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
The Radisson Resort at Carrara put on two Paddock to the Plate dinners as part of Taste of the Gold Coast and the food was delicious. It was great to find the cheese maker we had visited that morning at the market, Charella Goat Dairy, in a tart with smoked roasted tomatoes and apple balsamic as an entrée. The other entrée featured green prawns that could have been the ones I saw people buying straight from the trawler with avocados straight from Mount Tamborine. The mains included locally caught snapper and sweet Bangalow pork (Bangalow is just over the border). Dessert was a mascapone vanilla and Mudgeeraba honey pannacotta - yum! Swiss style cheeses from Fromart on the Sunshine Coast and Charella were included on the regional cheese platter.
The Radisson is located a little out of the busy coastal strip and overlooks Palm Meadows Golf Course. I had an enjoyable night there in a very comfortable room.
Radisson Resort Gold, Coast Palm Meadows Drive , Carrara. 61 7 5555 7700, www.radisson.com/hotels/auspalm
Sunday, 24 August 2008
I'd heard much about these markets styled along the same lines at the James Street Market in Brisbane, but hadn't made a visit. It's certainly a great place to browse and shop and if I was a local it would be high on my 'must' list. There's everything from beautiful fresh flowers to the fine fruit and veg. The whole fish on display in the fish market were in peak condition with nice firm eyes, just the sort you'd want to take home and bake whole.
The butcher, Prime Specialty Meats, has a sense of humour along with some fine produce like Black Angus
fillet which he says 'once you've had black you'll never go back', settle girls! Next door was a bakery with a wide selection of freshly made bread. I bought some sour dough rolls which were a treat to eat. The Deli has one of the best selections of olives and antipasto ingredients I've seen. I bought some of the rainbow coloured olives to try on a platter. They are visually very pleasing and, I was told, all natural, except for the red olives which are coloured with beetroot. Around the corner in the complex is a Wheel and Barrow for all your kitchen/lifestyle purchases.
There's a tea shop with a great range of interesting teas. I found a budda ball which opens into a flower when infused and makes a jasmine tea. I'd enjoyed it at the Sofitel, Broadbeach along with a delicious strawberry chocolate which I found in the very tempting shop next door, Sweet. Beautiful handmade chocolates here.
Spendlove Bistro runs up the middle of the centre and was full of Sunday morning breakfasters. It was busy and the food was great.
Ferry Road Market, Brickworks Centre, 107 Ferry Rd., Southport.
Wow! What a weekend! I've been on the Gold Coast eating and drinking my way through Tastes of the Gold Coast and visiting some of the finest Gold Coast establishments.
I'm starting at the end which was breakfast at Spendlove in the Ferry Road Markets at Southport. This cafe is positioned in the middle of a large market-style shopping building, run by the same crowd who operate Brisbane's James Street Market in the Valley. More on that soon.
Spendlove is a locals haunt and some menu items are so popular, such as the green pea risotto they can not be changed. Owner Tony Roberts says the emphasis is on fresh local produce, citing hand-picked lettuce from Mount Tamborine and local goat's cheese as two examples. There's also local Burleigh Dukes Pale Ale and Vince's Verdelho from O'Reillys Gold Coast vineyard on the drinks list.
I chose bircher muesli which came with really fresh fruit and a super sweet honey and cinnamon yoghurt on the side. Best of all it was $9.50 which was great value. There were sighs of delight from those eating eggs benedict and the two cheese souffle with Hanks tomato chutney. And the caesar salad was pronounced 'the best I have eaten' by it's lucky owner.
Bottom line: Even after three days of serious eating, our group was wowed by the food. Do yourself a favour and try it out.
Spendlove, Ferry Rd Market, Brickworks Centre,107 Ferry Rd Southport.
Thursday, 21 August 2008
If you are looking for a hot chocolate to rock your socks and warm your soul on these cold winter days, try Salt in Nash Street, Rosalie. Their hot chocolate comes in a huge bowl with hot milk and real chocolate to pour in. Just for good measure, there's a little white chocolate on the side.
Delish! Try the banana caramel pancakes while you are there.
Salt, 5 Nash St, Paddington p 3367 0775 - Note - locals call this area Rosalie, but officially it's Paddington.
Update: After some serious testing around town - the hot chocolate lover has rated Salt's hot chocolate as a 10 and uses it as a bench mark. Serious praise from Perfect One.
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
I’ve tried the Strawberry Coulis drizzled over ice cream – delish! And love the Raspberry Vinegar on mixed salad greens.
The Bramble Patch will be one of the stalls at the Granite Belt South Bank Growers’ Market on Sunday August 24. They are launching a new sensation, the Ice Burger. It’s a warm chocolate sponge filled with ice cream and sorbet and drizzled with Bramble Patch berry coulis. This time I’ll be the once doing the taste testing, not the kids!
I’m also going to try their vintage
Sunday, 17 August 2008
The Fox and Hounds is a real find for anyone with a hankering for the English homeland. (See my story in today's Sunday Mail Discover travel section.) It's as real as an English pub smack bang in the middle of the Gold Coast Hinterland can be. My true Brit companion on the day I visited said it really made her think of the pubs at home.
Creator and landlord Ian Thurston found all the gear at the Sussex Arms in Tunbridge and transported it back to Oz until he built his dream pub. One side is dedicated to an English theme while the other is Irish. And yes, you can move food and drink between the two!
I'd really like to try the Sunday Roast Lunch which stretches all day. This is popular, so book well ahead. It's hard to beat a good roast as David Pugh proved when he served the ultimate roast dinner to an esteemed list of chefs, wine makers and journalists at Restaurant II to mark the end of Masterclass. Off duty, it's simple food that chefs like best and the dinner brought out compliments all round.
Find The Fox and Hounds pub on the corner of Oxenford Tamborine Road and Elevation Drive, Wongawallan. P 5665 7582
Thursday, 14 August 2008
I first met Sue Smith at a raucous girl's dinner at Girraween Environmental Lodge. It was a great night and we laughed, talked and drank big time. Thankfully we only had to stumble up the hill to bed. Next day we visited Sue and Warren at their winery and were introduced to the old wine press Warren uses to produce his wine. These two are people with a passion for wine making which is paying off.
Pyramid Road Wines has been operating on the Granite Belt for nine years. They do everything on site, from growing the grapes to bottling and labelling the wines. They use traditional methods, like the wine press, and produce low volumes. In his 2009 Wine Companion, James Halliday says their 2005 Shiraz is outstanding, a reflection of a top vintage in the region.
Meet Sue and Warren and try their wine at the next Granite Belt Growers' Market at South Bank on Sunday, August 24. Be there early as some market stalls sold out by 10am last time. Pyramids Road Wines is a winery located 20 minutes from Stanthorpe near Ballandean on the Granite Belt. www.pyramidsroad.com.au
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Photographer and foodie Gordon Hammond also has some great tips in his latest newsletter http://www.australianregionalfoodguide.com.au/
If you want to brush up on your skills, Blue Dog http://www.blue-dog.com.au/runs regular courses that will help.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Sunday, 10 August 2008
When the house was full, as it was when we arrived at 10am, it was a little chaotic, but only because of the large number of small children on the next table. But the coffee was strong, full flavoured and hot, just the way I like it. The pancakes were thin, more like crepes, but came with a mixed berry sauce and maple syrup. For the price $12.50, they were reasonable value, although a thicker pancake would have been easier to eat and would have soaked up the sauce a little better. The Spanish omelette, $13, was over done but the orange juice tasted freshly squeezed.
Bottom line: The prices make this restaurant an attractive breakfast option but be prepared for servings that are adequate but not overly generous. However it’s great to find a café that only charges $3 for a coffee.
215 Given Terrace, Paddington, p3369 4420. www.pandemonium.com.au
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Thursday, 7 August 2008
William's tips were:
- Always rest your pastry for 15 minutes to avoid shrinkage.
- Add a bed of breadcrumbs to take up excess moisture - works especially well with tomatoes.
- Always cool your filling before adding to the pastry as pastry reacts better when cold.
- Use egg yolk with a touch of water if necessary to glaze but avoid touching the cut pastry sides.
- When you blind bake a flan, chic peas are better than rice to distribute the heat.
- You can also avoid shrinkage by making your pastry a day ahead and putting it in the freezer.
- Use wax paper under a flan when baking to ensure no stick.
Pictured is Bitter Chocolate Tart with Hazelnut Chocolate Ganache which uses Careme Dark Chocolate Pastry. And yes, it was delicious! http://www.caremepastry.com/
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
A pioneer of French-California cuisine in the US, Michel Richard is the creative force behind Citrus at Social in Los Angeles, Citronelle in Northern California, and his flagship Citronelle In Washington DC, lauded as 'one of the world’s most exciting restaurants' by Condé Nast Traveller. In 2007 he was chosen by the James Beard Foundation as the year’s Outstanding Chef, and this year has earned himself a nomination for James Beard Best New Restaurant 2008 with his new venture, Central Michel Richard.