Friday, 29 January 2010

Search for the best brekkie - Berardo's bistro on the beach, Noosa


There's no going past the view at Berardo's bistro on the beach.  It jumps up and grabs you by the throat through a huge window that overlooks Noosa's beautiful bay.  I almost find it hard to concentrate on the food.

There are two Berardo's in Noosa, both in Hastings Street.  This one is on the beach front next to Bistro C and is reached via a walkway off Hastings Street or directly off the beach boardwalk.


We joined friends for a leisurely Sunday breakfast. It was lucky they were there early as a queue quickly developed for tables. It's obviously a popular joint.


Three of us chose the toasted tropical muesli with honey yoghurt and organic milk on the side. This was a healthy and very filling breakfast - almost a struggle to finish. I was tempted by the pancakes on the specials board but sanity and post Christmas pounds prevailed and the muesli did the job.


One companion chose the poached free range eggs with smoked salmon and hollandaise on a toasted english muffin with spinach. She rated it as a medium success - one of her eggs was hard and the muffin was so lightly toasted it was almost fresh. She wasn't too keen on the way the spinach was cooked and wanted more hollandaise as well.


Overall it was an enjoyable breakfast and I'd certainly return to enjoy both the food and view again.  The coffee was great.

Berardos
Hastings Street, Noosa.
07 5448 0888

Berardo's on the Beach on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Elm Haus, Mt Glorious

I'm in training for a five day walk across Kangaroo Island in May so we decided to start small with a 5km walk at Mt Glorious.

The village of Mt Glorious is 35 km north-west of Brisbane on the D’Aguilar Range and surrounded by Brisbane Forest Park, so even the drive up is picturesque. As it is over 600m above sea level the daytime temperature is cooler than hot Brisbane in January. I've done it several times on the back of a motor bike - a great trip.

This time we were in a car because three of us were doing the walk. Afterwards we needed refreshments in the form of lunch and coffee, more coffee. We found Elm Haus which is a quirky cafe with lots of personality in its decor.




Unfortunately is now appears to be open only on weekends and public holidays and the food is very pared back to simple meals that have a long 'shelf life'. I'm talking pies, burgers and other heavy meals. No nice light salads or Devonshire teas here.

There's also a bit of a 'German' theme and our burgers came plastered with mustard - not to my taste at all. My roll was edible but my companions were not impressed by the lack of freshness of theirs.


Mt Glorious is a great spot for a picnic and the aroma of sausages in the picnic grounds made me want one right then - the burger turned out to be a very poor alternative. Sigh! Next time I'm taking a picnic.

There are a couple of other eateries on the mountain that I'll be investigating during my training.

Elm Haus Cafe, Mt Glorious Rd, Mt Glorious p 3289 0104‎

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Sunshine Beach

 

This is my favourite photo from Sunshine Beach on the Sunshine Coast, just south of Noosa. What better way to spend Australia Day?
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Search for the perfect cupcake - Spoon Deli, Paddington



I spied this cupcake in the cake cabinet at Spoon Deli, Paddington.  It looked interesting, as do many of their sweet treats, so I was tempted..... and then disappointed.

Straight from the cold cake cabinet it was old, cold and hard and cost $3.90. The cake was tough and the icing carved like lard. Even the choc button on the top had lost its flavour.

It's about time cafes learnt that if you can't supply a product in good condition, then don't offer it.  And please, please, take your old stock out, don't just sell it to unsuspecting customers.

Bottom line:  If you are wondering how old your choice of cake is just ask. I should have.

Spoon Deli, 107 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Australia Day Pav with coffee twist

I do love a good pav!

This Aussie icon is not too hard to make but it does need an oven with a good low temperature. Also, don't ignore the tips about using a scrupulously clean bowl and metal spoon - you want those egg whites light and fluffy.  I also like to have the eggs at room temperature when I start, so get them out early.

Here's a recipe from the good folks at Merlo which gives the pav a coffee kick. I'd be inclined to add a few shards of chocolate on the top at the end.

merlocoffee meringue with cream and summer fruits

Ingredients

75g icing sugar
1 shot of Merlo Espresso
4 eggs, whites only
110g caster sugar
425ml double cream
450 g summer fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and passionfruit

Method

Preheat the oven to 140ºC and line a large baking tray with good-quality greaseproof  paper.

Sift the icing sugar and coffee powder into a bowl. Then, in another spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk on high speed until they have increased in volume and started to stiffen.

Still whisking, slowly add the caster sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks when the whisk is removed from the bowl.

Turn off the machine and, using a slotted metal spoon, vigorously beat in the sifted icing sugar and the Merlo Espresso shot until the mixture is glossy.

Spoon the meringue onto the centre of the lined baking tray and, using a palette knife, spread it into a circle about 28cm in diameter and 2cm thick.

Place the tray of meringue in the centre of the oven and bake for about 1½ hours, by which time it should look cracked on top, but still be slightly soft in the centre.  Remove the tray from the oven, allow to cool and then carefully lift the meringue off the greaseproof paper and place on a large serving plate.

Whip the cream until it just holds, then spread it loosely over the meringue. Scatter the summer fruits liberally on top and serve.





Thursday, 21 January 2010

Best Burgers - Babu Burger & Grill, Wilston

Burgers are a much under rated meal. For me, they are just the ticket when I need low fuss, filling food. And I’m not alone in burger love. Apart from the multi nationals, there are many burger shops around town catering to our needs, but where is the best?

The search for a great burger is another of my self imposed quests and I’m getting results. I’ve found candidates at Freestyle Tout, The Chelsea and Beastie Burgers. On my list is The Purple Gorilla (thanks Jodie) and Burger Urge (thanks Jen).

My partner has been raving about Babu Burger & Grill for some time.  It’s a small operation in Wilston Village at Wilston with tables both inside and outside.


Owner and chef Eyal earned the name Babu during his frequent travels to India. His cuisine originates from the north of Africa and works its way to the Mediterranean. There’s a strong and subtle mixture of spices and flavours from the region including dates, lamb, rosemary, cinnamon, garlic, cumin, traditional kofta and freshly cooked felafel, hummus, baba ghanoush, tahini, and of course the burgers.


Babu (Eyal) will tell you the story behind the burgers but not too much more as the recipe is a closely guarded secret. Eyal’s early travels lead him stay with a family upstate New York. They originally emigrated from Europe and brought with them an ancient recipe for mince meat patties. As they only had two children, one who was lost in the Vietnam War and the other who left rural life to travel the world, they handed down the old recipe to him, so long as he vowed never to reveal its secrets to anyone.

What ever the recipe, the burger is good, damn good! Good enough to go back again and again. What Babu will tell you is the meat is ground daily and mixed in the restaurant and the beef is from Queensland grain fed cattle.

I was taken by the idea of a Lady Burger which had two small buns. Unfortunately they were out of the small buns so it was a Babu burger ($12.90) for me! It came served with salad - lettuce, tomato, pickle and no onion on request, plus tomato relish.

In a first, I was asked how I wanted my pattie cooked, rare, medium or well done.  And it came that way!
You can personalise your burger with everything from cheese and fried egg to garlic or chilli butter. And beetroot, gotta love beetroot on a burger.

My partner chose a Tunisian Chicken Salad. ($15.50)



The other dish my partner raves about but I am yet to try is the Mediterranean lamb cutlets marinated in apple cider, date molasses, garlic, rosemary and cinnamon served with roast potato and green salad. ($19.50) Next time maybe.

Babu Burger and Grill
83 Kedron Brook Road, Wilston Village, Wilston. p 3356 4039.

Babu Burger and Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Cup-a-cake, Chermside

Wandering through Westfield at Chermside on a particularly fruitless shopping trip, I stumbled on Cup-a-cake down in the food court near the David Jones end. Note to Westfield Chermside management - your mall music is too loud and just plain narsty.

Cup-a-cake is a  typical shopping centre set up with an open kiosk in the centre surrounded by tables.  You select your cupcakes from the display cabinet and coffee is brought over.

The display cabinet was filled with highly decorated cupcakes - check out the website and you can see many of them. We chose two - Strawberry Shortcake and a Mar Bar inspired creation.



Strawberry Shortcake is described on their website as - A scrumptiously light vanilla sponge with homemade strawberry preserve, more strawberries on top and fresh cream. Actually it wasn't a light sponge but more buttercake in texture but it did have a nice stash of jam inside.

The mars bar cupcake had a mini mars bar incorporated into the icing and a dense chocolate cake on the bottom.



I usually find when the decoration on a cupcake is extreme the cake itself is just ordinary.  These cakes were reasonably flavoured but not competition winners. The icing was, again, reasonable but not outstanding. They both suffered from coming straight out of a cold cabinet and onto the plate. They didn't taste fresh baked either.

The cupcakes were priced at $3.50.  The coffee is Di Bella and was served spilt in the saucer with no offer to clean it or a napkin. A smile might have been nice as well. Sigh.

Bottom line - I wouldn't be going back for these.

Cup-a-cake, Westfield Chermside. 3359 2260

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Poets Cafe, Montville


My mother loves the view from Poets Cafe on the main range at Montville on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland as you can see all the way down to the sea through a small, heavily wooded section. It's a family tradition to lunch there for important locations such as her birthday and mothers day.

This day four of us headed up the highway for lunch on a beautiful Saturday morning. One of those days when the sky is amazingly blue and the trees and grass verdant green. The drive takes about an hour and a half to two from Brisbane and just half an hour from the Sunshine Coast.

As Poets Cafe is a popular spot I tried to book but the offer of either a 12 noon or 2pm sitting didn't work with our plans. So we winged it and ended  up with a great table anyhow.

The menu is not overly complicated but there is a good selection for a lunch.  Our choices included a thai beef salad, pumpkin fetta salad and a fancy chicken and avocado sandwich.  All were pleasing although there was way too much of the invidious spanish onion for my liking - at least half a cup in one serve.  I am continually surprised when spanish onion is not mentioned on the menu but is included in such large proportions.  Restaurateurs should be aware that many people (including several people in my family) do not like it.  It's a flavouring, not a vegetable folks - use in moderation!


The prices here are not cheap but the food is fresh and well prepared. Plus this is a seasonal tourist destination so I expect to pay a little more for the view. There's a great gallery downstairs where you can browse local art.

Montville is filled with interesting stores to browse and there is a wide selection of eateries. It's also great to include a stop at one of the close by national parks for a nature fix.

Poets Cafe on Urbanspoon
Poets Cafe, 167 Main Street, Montville. 5478 5479


Monday, 18 January 2010

Buderim Ginger Cooking School


Take a culinary journey at the Ginger Flower & Food Festival at Buderim Ginger from Thursday 21 January by joining one of Michelin-starred chef, Erik Van Alphen’s cooking classes.

Erik’s line up for the Ginger Festival starts in France and travels to Italy, Spain and Greece. (see below for full class details.)

The Buderim Cooking School is located in a purpose built kitchen at the Buderim Ginger Factory at Yandina. The classes are completely hands-on and everyone gets a chance to chop, mix and roll each item on the menu. You work at individual work stations with plenty of equipment from which to pick.



After his initial demonstration Chef Erik watches everyone’s technique as you develop the skills required to produce the meal. Erik’s talent as a chef and wide experience adds an extra level of enjoyment to the class, just don’t try to pass on the butter. It’s a great way to learn new methods and stop bad habits (I’m cutting properly now Eric, promise!)



Each group prepares the entire menu to enjoy at the end of each class. We sat down at a large table and ate several courses. It was interesting to see the variations in the gnocchi which helped us understand the importance of different steps and the value of good ricotta!

The cooking school operates throughout the year with a wide array of class topics. Thanks to Erik’s instruction, I can now make excellent gnocchi with my partner.  Below are photos of the gnocchi we made in class before and after cooking.  Next time I made it firmer!





Buderim Ginger Cooking School
50 Pioneer Road, Yandina, Sunshine Coast.
1800 067 686

Cooking Classes during The Ginger Flower & Food Festival
10am To 2.30pm
Thursday January 21, French
Spinach, potato & scallop soup
Grilled rainbow trout with a sorrel, chervil & lemon escabèche
Passionfruit & ginger crème brûlée

Soupe d'epinards et pommes de terre de pétoncles
Truite arc-en-ciel grillée aux escabèche d’ oseille, cerfeuil et cédrat
Crème brûlée de fruits de passion et au gingembre sucre

Friday, January 22 – Italian (Piemonte)
Risotto with asparagus, goat’s cheese & olives
(Palermo)
Veal involtini with polenta & wild mushrooms
Coffee praline semi freddo

Asparagi, formaggi caprini & oliva risotto dal Piemonte
Vitello involtini alla Palermo, polenta con selvatici funghi
Caffè pralina semifreddi

Saturday, January 23 – Spanish
Chilled tomato soup
(Catalan)
Chicken sausages with cabbage & saffron
Churros and hot cinnamon chocolate

Gazpacho al andalucia
Embutidos de pollo estilo catalán con y azafrán
Churros col y chocolate caliente de canela

Sunday January 24 - Greek
Egg, lemon & oregano rice soup
Baked tomatoes stuffed with lamb, cumin potato mince
Orange custard filo pie

Avgolemono
Soutzoukakia smyrneika
Galaktoboureko

Details:
Class numbers are limited to just 20 and a ticketed price applies. Too book, visit www.buderimgingercookingschool.com.au


Australian Native Finger limes- Chillingham Banana Cabana



If you haven't come across these little fingers of delight, you are in for a treat.  Australian Native Finger Limes are perfect in drinks like a gin and tonic, on oysters , over seafood dishes, in fruit salad or to heighten the flavour of paw paw.

They are easy to use. You simply break the fruit in half and then squeeze the little balls of lime out.  The fingers are about the size of your little finger.

Put them in any drink with bubbles (champagne works well) and they will go up and down in the glass  - very entertaining.

The finger limes I tried were from Chillingham Banana Cabana in Northern New South Wales, just outside Murwillumbah.  I was on what we called a 'Weed 'n Feed' motor bike tour of  the area.  We started from Brisbane and headed to Murwillumbah for lunch and then outside Lismore for the night.  On the way back we stopped in Nimbin.


 


Chillingham Bush Tucker only had green finger limes but there are many different varieties available and the colours range from red and pink through to yellow.

This is a great spot to stop and check out what the locals are up to.  It looks like a roadside stall but has an impressive array of deli goods like condiments, sauces and jams, inside.  Some of it is local produce but other is good quality products from well known makers. The lemon myrtle honey from nearby Byron Bay was a delight on toast when we got home. 


As well as a good selection of local organic fruit and veg, the shop sells other bush tucker products, asian and unusual exotic fruits.  Expect to find lemon myrtle, neem produts, buddha's hand, davidson's plums, warrigal greens, seedless riberry and yuzu fruit. They also have a finger lime shampoo and conditioner, shower gel, body spray and moisturising cream.


Chillingham Bush Tucker, 1292 Numinbah Road, Chillingham





Thursday, 14 January 2010

New jazz club at Limes

The very cool Limes Rooftop Bar is a great place for a few drinks.  The lighting is fabulous and the outdoor ambience, although a lot lower than the roof top bars in Bangkok, is very relaxing.

Now there's a new Rooftop Jazz Club.  Every Thursday night from 7pm, Limes are offering discounted tapas, cocktails and wines with plenty of  live jazz atmosphere on the rooftop.  Admission is free and $5 pizzas available.

Bourbon Street Jump, one of Brisbane's newest, suavest, jazz trios, is kicking off the club on Thursday, January 14. Bourbon Street Jump combine old school jazz with cabaret like entertainment and a modern twist.

142 Constance St, Fortitude Valley p 3852 9000, www.limeshotel.com.au

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Search for the perfect cupcake - Chocolate Mud Cupcakes



I made these cupcakes for mum's birthday (Happy Birthday Maureen!) with a recipe from my Christmas present, The Cupcake Calendar.

They are super easy and delicious served with a dollop of cream or icecream. Raspberry sauce would work as well. They also keep well in the fridge for up to three days and I think they would cope if you froze them and then heated them individually because of the goey choc centre.

Note: Don't hesitate to take these cupcakes out when you think they could be ready (my oven is quick) even though they look uncooked. That gooey centre is to die for. I also dusted with icing sugar rather than cocoa powder as I was serving with raspberries.

Chocolate Mud Cupcakes
Ingredients
Makes 12
1 cup semi -sweet chocolate chips ( I used the best quality I could find)
300gm of unsalted butter
5 eggs
2/3 cup castor sugar
3/4 cup self raising flour
2 tbsp. good quality cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat the oven to 160C. Place 12 paper baking papers in a muffin pan.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter together over simmering water, stirring well. Leave to cool.

Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick. Fold the flour into the egg mixture and then stir in the melted chocolate and butter until well blended.

Spoon the mixture into the cups and bake for 20 minutes. The cupcakes will be soft and gooey in texture and appearance. Remove pan from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes from pan. Serve dusted with cocoa powder.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

New diner in Bris city - Vapiano


If you don't know where Albert Lane is in Brisbane's inner city, you will soon.

Albert Lane is a clever rework of laneway space in Albert Street butting onto the the T&G Building. It's sort of opposite the goods entry to the Myer Centre carpark. Wander down the Albert Street mall between Queen and Elizabeth streets and you'll find it.

It's now home to an Australian first - Vapiano, part of a chain with 65 locations worldwide. There are another 100 stores in development in the US, Europe and the Middle East.

There are a few quirky things about Vapiano which makes it stand out from the average. The fit out includes a large olive tree and a herb garden which provides fresh herbs for each table - you can snip pieces of basil for your pasta - it's a noice touch.




Pasta and pizzas are made to order, right in front of you.  The chef asks how much chilli, how much salt etc so you can adjust the seasonings to your taste. The pasta is made on premise, fresh, daily.

Most of the food is local, coming from within 150km. One exception is the range of cheeses including buffalo mozzarella which comes from Vannella Cheese in Milla Milla, Far North Queensland. The olive oil is pressed from frantoio olives grown in the South Burnett, the eggs come from the Darling Downs and the fruit and veg from Bowen, Bundaberg, Gatton and Logan.




Director Will Cooke says the menu is full of good old fashioned Italian recipes.

Another plus is the chip card system which allows customers to order what they want, when they want it and just pay for their own purchases on departure. No more arguments about splitting the bill.

Vapiano Albert Lane is open from 11am to 11pm seven days a week.

Oh, and don't forget to check out the artwork in the loos!

Vapiano on Urbanspoon

Monday, 11 January 2010

10 most popular blogs in 2009

1. The Barracks, Paddington
2. Brisbane Food Blogs
3. New Boondall markets
4. Mt Tamborine Brewery
5. Lady Lamington's lamingtons
6. New Brisbane bar - Alloneword
7. Breakfast at Spendlove, Gold Coast
8. Search for the perfect cupcake - Milkbar
9. Chocolate heaven
10.Guilt free chocolate massage

Eateries at Sydney Airport

I’m very dubious about the concept of good food at an airport. Usually I find it is poor quality, overpriced and the surrounds are unappealing.

So it’s with a large grain of salt that I’m blogging this list of eateries at Sydney Airport.  Having spent more time than I care to remember in airport lounges waiting for delayed flights I think it’s worth a punt. At worst at least you’ll know what you’ll find, maybe even some of it will surprise you!  I’m told there are some newbies. Please note – I have not visited these eateries so let me know the best and the worst…

There are 20 eateries before Customs and plenty of eateries after Customs where you can find a meal ahead of a long journey. For those looking for an alternative to airline food, there is also an array of ‘grab & go’ options to take on board.

For what it’s worth – here’s an airport that’s actually worth visiting - Koh Samui, Thailand.

Sydney Airport  - before Customs
Danks Street Depot – One of Sydney’s dining and drinking establishments practicing sustainable and ethical principles in sourcing raw ingredients to create delicious and nutritious cuisine.

Sahara Grill – Renowned for serving up delicious home grown Turkish food for 20 years combining both modern-creative and traditional Turkish styles of cooking.

Bar Coluzzi – A landmark from Sydney’s Kings Cross with a reputation for great
coffee and light meals.

Asakaze –Japanese delicacies delivered on a sushi
train.

Rossini Gastronomia – Italian offerings including arancinis,
calzone and pasta.

Rossini Gelateria – Showcasing the finest gelato, made from the freshest diary and perfectly ripe Australian fruit.

After Customs…..
Seafood Bar - Caviar House & Prunier –This internationally renowned restaurant opened for the first time in Australia at Sydney Airport in December.



Trattoria Prego – Classic Italian flare including an extensive eat in menu and deli options.


Itacho Sushi Bar – “Itacho” meaning highest rank master sushi chef, offers travellers an authentic Japanese dining experience as well as grab & go packs.





Bambini Wine Room – The Bambini Wine Room continues its tradition of great food and award winning wines.



China Grand
Sydney’s famous yum cha comes to Sydney Airport. Delicious food, delivered fast in a friendly environment.

Godiva – one of the world’s leading luxury chocolatiers offering deliciously sweet hand made treats including sublime hot chocolate.

Santos Grab & Go– Coffee bar with fresh pre-packed gourmet sandwiches and a wide variety of healthy wholefood snacks for long flights.

Bondi Bar – Licensed bar showcasing the latest in Australian and imported beer, wine and spirits.

Italian Bite – pizza, panini and other Italian delights.

Little Bok Choy – made to order stir-fry and noodle dishes.

Aromas Café –coffee and cake.

www.sydneyairportshopping.com.au.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Sweet Treat - Dark Chocolate Espresso Ice Cream Balls

Gotta love a recipe that combines two of my personal faves - coffee and chocolate!  I've tried Merlo's espresso ice cream and it truly has a great espresso flavour, along with a eye-opening kick. It's not for those who want to head off to the land of nod.

You can find the ice cream at Merlo's bowen hills torrefazione: 10 Thompson Street, Bowen Hills; fortitude valley torrefazione: 104 McLachlan St, Fortitude Valley; southport torrefazione: Ferry Rd Markets, The Brickworks Centre, 107 Ferry Rd, Southport;  and springfield torrefazione: Orion Springfield Town Centre, One Main Street, Springfield Lakes.

I'd suggest combining these ice cream balls with a good dose of your fave choc/coffee liqueur, either poured over if you serve them in a bowl or on the side if you are sharing with a few.

Merlo Dark Chocolate Espresso Ice Cream Balls
Ingredients:

1 ltr Merlo Espresso Ice Cream
400 gms 70% dark chocolate
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:
Place a baking tray lined with baking paper in the freezer for 10 minutes. Scoop teaspoons of ice-cream into balls, place on tray and return to the freezer until ice-cream is firm. Meanwhile, place chocolate and oil in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water until chocolate melts. Use a fork to dip ice-cream balls into chocolate and return to tray. Freeze for a further 30 minutes or until firm.

Merlo's February Bean of the Month is the elegant, medium bodied Nicaraguan Maragogype. Coffee’s floral equivalent, the Nicaraguan Maragogype is a large bean which can be sometimes quite difficult to obtain. From Central American origins, it has a wonderful flowery fragrance with a delicate sweet cup, low acidity with an extremely smooth, crisp and clean flavour, and is continually regarded as producing one of the world’s best coffees. During February, coffee aficionados can indulge in 100 percent unblended Nicaraguan Maragogype at any BarMerlo espresso bar or MerloCoffee Torrefazione, and the coffee is also available online.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Search for the best brekkie - 2009 highlights

The search for the best brekkie came about after a few disappointing breakfasts. It’s disappointing when you are eating out if you can cook a better breakfast at home, unless you just going for the convenience factor and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Outstanding breakfasts have something extra, something unexpected that puts a smile on your face and a happy feeling in your tummy.

I’m down on brekkies where the eggs are tasteless and the toast ordinary. If it's overly sweet or leaves a nasty oily film in my mouth afterwards when I should just be remembering how delicious the meal tasted, I am not happy. If the chef has to use that much sugar and oil to make taste good, dine somewhere else.

Another pet hate is pre buttered toast on the side – I like to do that myself thanks. And if you’re doing it to hide cheap marg, give up now because it tastes different (narsty).

To give a good comparison, I tried to stick to a standard brekkie of two eggs and bacon. Sometimes I got bored (no apologies) and broke out.  I think, generally, you get what you pay for.  Prices range from under $10 to close to $20.  The bigger the price, the more bacon and extras.

Here are my picks for 2009.

Best brekkie with a view - Sunshine Coast - Bistro C


Bistro C is right on the beach front and is a reliable spot for a meal. They offer breakfast from 7.30 - 11am and the menu is reasonably extensive. We just strolled in and were lucky to get a table outside, right at the front with fabulous views to the ocean. There are plenty of tables inside which also offer ocean views. My choice was my standard bacon and eggs poached on toast with tomato. ($15). The egg yolks were bright yellow and the bacon crispy. There was a nice side of rocket as well A good brekkie that left me feeling happy and well fed. I'd definitely do it again. more...
Bistro C, 49 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads. p 5447 2855

Best brekkie with a view - Brisbane - Café San Marco



It’s hard to go past the river views from Café San Marco on the board walk at Southbank. It’s a bit of a South Bank institution, having been opening its doors for more than 15 years. Located a little upstream from Southbank’s famous beach and just across from the CityCat stop, this café has outstanding views across, up and down the river. The breakfast special was Mimosa Eggs Benedict, with a glass of champagne orange juice ($13.90). Our other selection was a berry pancake stack. Breakfast on weekends from 8 to 11.30am. more...
Café San Marco, 41b South Bank Parklands, + 61 7 3846 4334 www.cafesanmarco.com

Best value brekkie- Seafood Lovers Cafe




It sounds a bit silly to send you to a seafood cafe for bacon and eggs, but I can tell you it's worth it.
This place is a little gem with well priced food and great ocean views. At $9 for a 'big brekkie' I was not expecting the world, but when it arrived I was amazed at how much there was on the plate. A little inspection showed that careful arrangement created the illusion of abundance and there was no more food than normal, but it certainly was good value for the price. My only criticism is that they used cheap margarine on the pre-buttered toast instead of butter and the sausage - not my sorta thing at all.  more...
Seafood Lovers Cafe, Shp 2/ 139 Margate Parade, Margate.

Best brekkie Brisbane - Salt 





The Salt Breakfast - is poached or scrambled eggs, honey roasted bacon, honey roasted bacon, port jus and toasted turkish bread. At $16.90 it's not a cheap brekkie but a complimentary coffee on weekdays makes it a really good deal, and it tastes so good I'd pay that on the weekend anyhow. I liked the way the eggs were presented in little bowls so the yolks didn't run into anything I didn't want them to. There was lots of really great bacon and the toasted turkish bread came in fingers which you could dip into the eggs if you wanted to. The port jus was very dark and rich and a great contrast to the fresh taste of the eggs. more...
Salt, 2/5 Nash St, Rosalie, 3367 0775

Best brekkie Gold Coast - Spendlove





Spendlove is the sort of place where they bring you a glass of water without being asked. There's soothing background music and plenty of papers to read while waiting for brekkie to arrive. My Spendlove mini ($13.50) included rashers of bacon, two eggs, toasted Vienna bread and herb crusted tomato. It came exactly as described. The eggs had bright yellow yolks and there was plenty of delicious crispy grilled bacon. The tomato had a crusty breadcrumb topping which was a great addition. The breakfast menu is available until midday and offers eggs nine ways eggs & pancakes muesli fruit salad. more...
Spendlove Bistro and Bar, 11 The Markets, 107 The Brickworks, Ferry Road, Southport

Best non egg brekkie - The Chelsea



I was over my standard bacon and two eggs this morning and just liked the sound of Bubble and squeak. I wasn't disappointed - the eggs were nicely poached, the toast crisp and the vegetable melange well flavoured. However when my partner offered me a taste of his Poached pear on french toasted brioche with blueberry curd and ricotta, the world stopped! This is a show stopping combination - the blueberry curd is so rich and thick it looks like chocolate and tastes divine. Combined with the french toasted brioche, ricotta and pear - well the effect is amazing.  I got the recipe for this one...more...
The Chelsea, The Barracks, 5 Petrie Terrace, Paddington. 07 3367 1288

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Fresh figs at Buderim




































Here's an fig update - they are available again from Wises Farm at Buderim - just follow the signs off Wises Road.

The price has gone up a $1 to $10 for a large punnet but they are still much better value than any others I've seen.  And they taste so much better than figs I've bought at the Greengrocer.  It's worth the stop!

The sign says they will be available till March.




































Last year's post
A trip to the Sunshine Coast today revealed the yummiest fresh figs. Wises Farm at Buderim has been there forever (it's located just off Wises Road).

When the sign is out, you can drive down the track to the farm and buy large punnets of figs for $9. There are even larger punnets of figs for $10 for jam.

There are many great ways to eat figs but filling them with goat's cheese, wrapping them in proscuitto and baking them in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes is one of my faves. Turns out this is one of Sally Hammond's faves too and she has a recipe for this in the latest Australian Regional Food Guide There's also one for a delicious sounding Fig Tart Tatin.

Find Wises Farm by turning off Wises Road in Palmyra Crescent and follow the signs.

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