Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sunshine Coast top dining



Holidaying on the Sunshine Coast?   

Here’s my top dining picks for Buderim, Sunshine Beach, Noosa Heads,  Noosaville, Cotton Tree, Montville and Mooloolaba

Buderim

 


Positioned on one of Buderim's main drags, this is food emporium with adjacent cafe/restaurant.

Sunshine Beach



Upmarket Asian with a twist.



Up the stairs and a bit more upmarket for Sunshine Beach. Great food at reasonable prices.



On the high side of the Sunshine Beach shopping strip, this is really a coffee lovers delight. A large outdoor deck, big umbrellas, plenty of newspapers and great coffee, really great coffee.


Noosa


Goose bump ice cream flavours.


Trundle down to the latest addition to Hastings Street, Belmondos to go, and you'll find everything you need for a light and easy meal.



Great coffee cart hidden in the information centre.


                   
This is not your average fish shop - for a start there's no chips, nor battered fish.  Instead there's an overwhelming aroma of fresh seafood . The shelves are filled with home-made sauces and flavoured butters.  There are marinades and vinegars, chutneys and oils. Oysters are shucked daily and there's a selection of meal solutions on hand.



Boasting superb views over Noosa’s Main Beach, Season offers some of the best beachfront dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Noosaville


Brazillian churrasco has hit Noosa, putting a wide smile on the faces of all meat lovers, with the opening of Samba Grill on Gympie Terrace.



Casual atmosphere with great food

Montville



Fab breakfast or lunch with a view of rolling green hills plus homewares to browse.

Cotton Tree



Funky little cafe on Cotton Tree Parade at Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast.




You could almost miss this small tea and coffee emporium in King Street at Cotton Tree, which would be a real shame.Walk inside the door and you'll find a very inviting atmosphere that is filled with a wondrous assortment of teas and coffees and a selection of mugs and tea pots that's hard to beat.



Gazing over the sun filled blue water of the mouth of the Maroochy River to Mt Coolum and beyond from the comfort of The Boat Shed restaurant is what the Sunshine Coast is all about.

Mooloolaba






At last there's a coffee shop alternative to the same same of the tourist strip at Mooloolaba.




When it comes to pointy end of Mooloolaba, that bit of land sandwiched between the river and the sea that locals call the Spit, the choice for fish and chips is clear in my mind.


And looking for something to do?




Saturday, 29 December 2012

Saganaki Prawns from Kingfisher Bay


Prawns are in abundance at the moment and while I like eating them just plain with a little lemon juice and a fresh baguette, this recipe sounds really interesting.

It comes from Kingfisher Bay which is located on beautiful Fraser Island.  If you haven't been to Fraser you must put it on your bucket list.

Here's why








Kingfisher Bay Resort Chef’s Saganaki Prawns

Serves 2


Bush-style sizzling saganaki king prawns pan fried in garlic and olive oil, finished with white wine and fresh feta cheese.

Ingredients:
10x green prawns
40g diced onion
40g Fetta cheese
10g Minced garlic
160 ml white wine
200ml Bush tomato nap (traditional Napoli sauce with added dried bush tomato)

Method:

Sauté onions and garlic add prawns then deglaze with white wine. Divide ingredients between two dishes and finish with bush tomato nap and fetta cheese.


Chef’s Bush Nap


Ingredients:
100g onion
20g garlic
100g white wine
2L crushed tomatoes
100ml balsamic vinegar
50g brown sugar
150g bush tomato (dried)

Method:
Sauté 100g onion and 20g garlic, deglaze with 100g white wine - reduce down and add 2L crushed tomatoes. Turn heat down and let cook out for 2 hours and then add 100ml of balsamic vinegar and 50g of brown sugar. Blitz and add 150g of bush tomato. Season with salt and pepper. (This will make 2L of nap - which can be stored in the fridge) Ingredients can be reduced proportionately to make less sauce.

Note:
Bush Tomato - Also called "Desert Raisin" or "Akudjura", this small berry is collected by Aborigines in the central desert region of Australia and is related to the tomato family, tasting of Tamarillo and Caramel. Use to make chutney or chilli jam, in tom yum, or with red meats and jus. Bush Tomato is also excellent with prawns or seafood or, for a bush twist, try a bush-infused Bloody Mary.


More on Fraser Island

Bottom line: Fraser Island is a bucket list destination
Best tip: Try the bush food menu at Seabelle at Kingfisher Bay.

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK has visited Fraser previously as a guest of the resort.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Next Door Kitchen and Bar, South Bank, Brisbane.


The line up of restaurants at South Bank just keeps getting better with Next Door Kitchen and Bar as the latest addition in Little Stanley Street.

Styled on speakeasy establishments of the 1920s, Next Door has positioned itself as a cocktail bar with an emphasis on shared dining. The fit out is glamorous fit-out with smooth timber, vintage décor and mirror detailing.

Harun Gencerler, a member of the family which runs Ahmet's Turkish Restaurant right next door, has opened Next Door Kitchen as his first solo venture.



Head Chef Dean Brewer has selected a range of shared plates which tie in with the 1920s theme.

“Our menu consists of larger shared plates such as whisky beef cheeks, with creamed blue cheese polenta and smaller dishes including fresh oysters, with gin and cracked pepper vinaigrette,” Deans says.


We started the night with a fresh baguette and a combo of Pepe Saya Butter and house made sardine butter.  I loved both but I needed more bread to enjoy all the butter.


Our share plates included beetroot and blue cheese arancini with a black garlic aioli.  I loved the rosy pink interiors of the balls. The crushed wagyu meat balls with provolone were well flavoured and accompanied by a sweet, sticky onion jam.



Still thinking about the seductively sweet creamed sweet corn puree with the pulled duck leg.

We decided to share the dark chocolate marquis with salted caramel which was a good idea with the large serving that almost defeated both of us.


There's an extensive drinks list which consists of old-style cocktails, craft beer and boutique wine to be served in kitsch jars and milk-bottles.



Next Door manager David Yates says the cocktail list had been designed to tell the story about the advancement of the modern cocktail.

“The cocktail menu has been divided into three prohibition-inspired categories,” David says.

“These categories include Moonshine and Marketplace, Bootleggers and Baptists and Housemade Hooch (shared cocktails).”

Here's two of the cocktails that you'll be enjoying at  Next Door - Girl Next Door (a gin-based cocktail mixed with fresh watermelon, strawberries, Limoncello, topped with pear cider and served in a tall glass) and Clover Club (another tribute to the 1920s, which consists of gin, housemade raspberry syrup, egg white and fresh lemon juice).


Venue manager David Yates said the cocktail list had been designed to tell the story about the advancement of the modern cocktail.

www.nextdoorkitchenbar.com.au

Bottom line: Great addition to an interesting strip. Well worth exploring.
Best tip:  Hard to pick, but my fave on the night was the arancini balls.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer: E,d+bK paid for this meal.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Samba Grill, Noosaville, Sunshine Coast


Brazillian churrasco has hit Noosa, putting a wide smile on the faces of all meat lovers, with the opening of Samba Grill on Gympie Terrace.

Churrasco (pronounced shoo-has-co) cuisine is a tradition of the South American, Guarani indigenous people and later Brazilian Gauchos (or cowboys).  Prime cuts of marinated beef, pork, lamb, chicken and seafood are skewered then grilled over organic charcoal before being carved at the table and served .

At Samba Grill the Rodizio menu also includes vegetarian dishes and Brazilian side dishes such as Brazilian black beans, rice, potato or green salad and hot potato or cassava chips, farofa (fried cassava flour with chorizo and banana) alongside traditional condiments such as Piri Piri and Malagueta Pepper Oil.




Owner and head chef, Steve Beak first became acquainted with Churrasco cuisine as a child when his grandfather, and then father operated cattle ranches in Argentina and Brazil. In 1995 Steve moved to Broome, Western Australia where he and his wife, Lenice operated a mobile Brazilian catering company for
over six years from their specially designed commercial food trailer.

“The succulent aromas and flavours of meat grilled over charcoal results in a delicious, slow cooked meal. Then there’s the pure theatre of our assistant Churrasquerios (barbecue chefs) circulating throughout the restaurant, brandishing the skewers and carving meat for guests at the table. It is a feast for the eyes, nose and belly.”

Steve has imported a Brazilian barbecue from Rio de Janeiro as well as the charcoal to fuel it. The barbecue will have the capacity to cook 58 skewers or 45 whole chickens with the majority of produce sourced from local suppliers.


Breakfast will see customers treated to polenta muffins, Pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) and savoury wraps featuring eggs, Brazilian sausage and seafood with an extensive coffee menu.

The lunch menu includes sizzling plates of marinated meats, chicken and seafood as well as whole, half and quarter butterflied Portuguese chickens served with salads, hot chips and sauces.





In the evening and every Sunday lunchtime, the ‘Rodizio’ style of service will be offered where diners pay a fixed, all-you-can-eat price of $38 and waiters bring food to customers at several times throughout the evening. When you've reached full, you flip the wooden block over from green to red.


Bottom line: Meat lovers feast but vego options available.
Best tip: Try one of the rum cocktails.

Samba Grill, 251 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville, p 5449 9577

Disclaimer: Ed+bK and partner were a guest of Samba Grill for dinner.

Kerry Heaney

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

5 top healthy tips for festive fun


It's Christmas and I tend to throw away all the rules and just enjoy, thinking regret will be a long way away in January.

But is there a way to indulge without all of the guilt?

Naturopath Victoria O'Sullivan says there are five top healthy practices that will help compensate for your bad habits this festive season.

Victoria says it’s okay to occasionally give in during the festive season, so long as you learn how to compensate for unhealthy choices.

“It’s hard to stay on track during the holidays," she says. "If you fall off the wagon, don’t despair. Guide your food choices with the 90/10 rule, where 90 per cent of your diet is focused on high quality nutritionally dense foods and 10 per cent is reserved for treats. Deprivation and fanatical food rules often lead to binge eating the very foods we are trying to avoid.”

Current research shows that there is strong connection between poor lifestyle choices and inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the body’s normal response to injury and is necessary for healing. Symptoms include pain, redness, heat, swelling, and loss of mobility. This type of inflammation is referred to as acute, and is a normal response. But there is a second type – chronic inflammation which is a reaction in the body without an immediate injury to repair.

Chronic inflammation results from both genetic and lifestyle factors. While we can’t control our genetic disposition, we can control our lifestyle. The biggest factors contributing to chronic inflammation are excessive weight, poor food choices, cigarette smoking, UV radiation, stress, and environmental toxins such as pesticides.

“We’re going to give into temptation this festive season; it’s inevitable. The good news is that if we incorporate healthy food choices and reduce environmental toxins and stress, we can combat the physical signs of overindulging the festive season. Make good food and a positive environment your top priorities outside festive and family gatherings and you won’t have to play catch-up in the new year,” says Victoria.



Victoria’s top tips to maintaining your health:

1.    Reduce your intake of pro-inflammatory foods: All forms of sugar and most starchy foods are pro-inflammatory. So steer clear of sweets, pastries, biscuits, milky chocolates, chips, breads and snack foods, including rice and corn cakes. When we eat sugary or starchy foods, we trigger a pro-inflammatory release of sugar into our bloodstream, which causes our body to store fat. Eating sugary foods also triggers a spike in insulin levels, which in turn increases our appetite setting up a vicious cycle of overeating.

2.    Up your intake of blueberries, garlic and spices. Antioxidants are anti-inflammatory. Berries of all types, but particularly blueberries are delicious antioxidant super food. Spices such as cinnamon and turmeric are also super foods, as with garlic, onions and horseradish. These foods contain high concentrations of cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Lower amounts are also found in whole grains, other vegetables and beans. Dark leafy greens are another important antioxidant source, and they are also high in folate which assists cell-regeneration. By replacing pro-inflammatory processed, starchy and sugary foods with foods high in antioxidants we work to neutralise inflammation in the body. 

3.    Add more leafy greens in your diet. Foods with a high alkaline content, such as avocados, leafy greens, soya beans, radish and broccoli work to help regulate the pH of our blood cells.  When we eat too much acid the body is forced to draw on its alkaline stores to balance the surplus acid. The acid then creates nasty things like yeast, harmful microforms, mycotoxins and bacteria.

4.    Control your cortisol levels. In today’s lifestyle stress can be almost a daily occurrence for some, especially during the holidays. When we feel stressed our nervous system is affected and we can have trouble sleeping. Both stress and lack of sleep raise the hormone cortisol in our bodies, which regulates the anti-inflammatory response. Over time in periods of high stress and little sleep our body becomes less sensitive to cortisol and inflammation takes over. Try and get eight hours of undisturbed sleep each night and take up activities that reduce stress.

5.    Control your weight. People carrying excess weight are in a permanent state of inflammation. Research shows that fat isn’t just the storage of excess energy that body has not used. Instead when not maintained at an ideal level, fat functions like an endocrine organ releasing hormones into the system prompting an inflammatory response. Excess weight also reduces the body’s ability to cope with inflammatory foods. The only answer is weight loss to reduce the body’s pro-inflammatory activity and allow it to more readily to regulate the effects of pro-inflammatory foods.

For more information, visit www.victoriaosullivan.com.au

More good eating tips - Top 10 tips for silly season eating

Disclaimer: Simply sharing good advice. This is not a paid post.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Coffee on demand - Dolce Gusto


I like my coffee strong enough to make my eyes open wide with a hit of caffeine.

It's also got to have that delicious rich coffee aroma and not too much bitterness.

My ideal?  Creamy with chocolate top notes and a nice thick crema.

While I'm also the type that needs a coffee when she needs a coffee, I have deliberately not learned how to use the espresso machine on the pantry bench.  I figure I know how to use every other appliance and tool in my house and do so with regularity for those I love.  They can make coffees for me in return - fair exchange.

But what to do when I'm the only person home and a coffee is just what I need? I'm not enough of a coffee snob to go without because I can't have a cappuccino from the corner cafe. Enter Nescafé's Dolce Gusto, a cute little machine that arrived as an early Christmas present direct from Nestle.

It sits on the bench taking very little room and is very easy to operate once you get the hang of it. Yes, reading the instructions does help.  I can almost do it in my sleep now...

The coffee isn't the same as what I'd get if I hopped in my car and headed out for a cappuccino at a local cafe, but it's quick and convenient.  It's also very easy to keep clean as there's none of the dreaded coffee grinds that has K2 moaning in the kitchen when he makes an espresso.

There's a 15-bar pressure pump  - similar to the pressure used  in cafes-  which produces a cafe-style taste with a  crema layer and frothy milk for around 50 cents a cup for an espresso. I prefer the Americano pods which I make as a long black and then just add milk. It's equal, if not better to a plunger coffee and aces in the clean up comparison.

It also makes hot chocolate but the weather in December has meant we are not really up for that at the moment.  Come winter I think this will be a top fave.

I've just been online to order some skinny cappuccino pods, iced cappuccino pods and iced peach tea pods.  Yes, the same machine makes cold drinks as well!  I haven't been able to try this function as I don't have the right pods yet.

I found the on line ordering process a little frustrating but now I know how to drive it, the next time will be easier. They say delivery only takes four working days which will be a test at this time of year :)  You can also buy the pods at Coles and Woolworths although I haven't been able to find them at my local store.

The Nescafé Dolce Gusto machine is available from major retailers and online in four manual and automatic styles with a recommended retail price ranging from $149 to $349.

For more information visit www.dolce-gusto.com.au


Bottom line: good coffee for the home without the time and mess of an espresso machine
Best tip: don't compare this to a cafe coffee, just enjoy the freedom of having a coffee when ever you want.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was gifted the Nescafé's Dolce Machine.These views are the personal views of Ed+bK and do not necessarily reflect the views of Nestlé.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Brisbane silly season dining - Christmas/New Year eating out

It’s the season when we love to gather together and share the love.

But sometimes it’s difficult to find a place that’s open during what’s known as ‘the silly season’.

These establishments have said they will be open between Christmas and New Year but I suggest always call first and inquire. Restaurants are notorious for changing their hours or shutting up early if there’s no trade around. Unless mentioned – assume they will probably be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. You are warned!

Want to kick up your heels on New Year’s Eve more..

Here’s the list, and yes, I’m checking it twice. Please leave a comment below if you discover a restaurant that says it will be open but isn’t, or have others to add.

Carindale

Hog’s Breath

CBD


Restaurant II
Walnut Restaurant, Royal on the Park
Pony
Esquire

East Brisbane

Raj’s Palace Indian Restaurant


Fortitude Valley

Tartufo
Belle Epoque Patisserie
Emporium Hotel Cocktail Bar
Chow House


Milton

Tognini's

New Farm

Bar Alto

Newstead

Cactus Mexican

Paddington

Cabiria
Peasant
Libertine

Portside

Byblos

South Bank

Cove Bar + Dining
5ifth Element
Stokehouse
Spring Hill
Gazebo Bar & Restaurant
Popolo

Spring Hill

Tognini's

Woolloongabba

Crosstown Eating House

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Room with Roses, Brisbane CBD


It only takes one bite to work out why people travel for 60km for a raspberry cupcake at Room With Roses.

Like everything else on their traditional menu, the cupcakes are made to a family recipe, not just a price and the full flavour of the fresh, wholesome ingredients shine through.

This inner-city sanctuary is both a hidden secret and a rite of passage. Located in the heritage-listed, leadlight adorned Brisbane Arcade, Room with Roses is one of Brisbane’s best kept secrets, a multi award-winning venue secluded just a few steps from the hustle and bustle of Queen St Mall.


It's beloved by generations and it's not uncommon to see mothers bringing their children, properly on their best behaviour, for afternoon tea with grandma.

Since taking over the venue in 2009, owner Vicki Pitts has transformed the space with high-back cane chairs and chandeliers that sit well with the art deco interior of the arcade.  Sit in The Chandelier Room and gaze out over the treetops of Adelaide Street.

Vicki's philosophy –“if it is worth doing, it is worth doing properly” has attracted a dedicated following especially amongst older customers who love the familiar setting and the comfort food. There's James who comes every Saturday and sits at table 45 so he can see the kitchen action, Marge who likes the cane chairs and the specials and tiny 93-year-old Irene who orders the biggest meal and takes an hour to eat it. Vicki enjoys sharing the love with her elderly regulars.


They also enjoy the 15 dozen fresh roses delivered each week unless Vicki's own fragrant roses are blooming.

There's plenty to like on the Room With Roses menu. For a start the passionfruit sponge recipe begins with 'break 14 eggs' and their iconic ribbon sandwiches made with house made mayo always run out. It's the little things, like the fresh daily house made Russian dressing for the Ruben sandwiches which are filled with corn meat cooked with the tang of oranges and the traditional chicken curry with banana, cashews and toasted coconut, that keep customers coming back.

And Vicki says atleast 30 percent of menu is gluten free, although you would hardly notice.

Vicki waited eight years to buy her dream and escape from her high-flying career as a consultant.

"I was tired of achieving the impossible for the ungrateful," she says. "Here I get thank yous here everyday."






Room with Roses

Bottom line: Try the high tea
Best tip:  Book as it does get busy

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer: E,d+bK was a guest of Room With Roses for morning tea.


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