All posts by ourfoodlens

Tweed coast fish ‘n chips

The weekend was sunny and inviting us to get out take a walk and breathe the fresh air. We headed down south to Coolangatta / Tweed Coast and did a bit of walking followed by ice-creams and fish and chips.

Ice cream at Gelato Messina Coolangatta

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Coffee gelato in a cone

Fish and chips from the popular Scales

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Potato cakes and fish with a touch of lemon
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Soft and juicy flathead

Visited: 8 January 2017

Cost: $22 for four sharing (six small pieces of fish; small chips and five potato cakes)

Verdict: It’s really pleasant sitting on the bank of the Tweed river and indulging in some salty fish and chips – this is an annual event!

Our love for Bombay is increasing

Return visit

Sometimes you can just get a craving for good Indian food, especially if you don’t eat meat. Indian food always has grea vegetarian dishes. Our absolute favourite is Palak Paneer (spinach and cottage cheese).  We could not help but go back to Bombay Affair because it is local, friendly and great value. Here’s a little photo journey of what we ate and loved.

Starters

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Pappadam and yogurt

Chaats: This restaurant has a range of chaats, which are small savory snack (these are often served road side in India).

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Puri
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Papdi Chaat – you have to eat this in one bite or beware!
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Samosa Chaat: or Mashed samosa (still a favourite)
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Masala Dosa filled with potatoes and spices with sauces

Mains

Palak Paneer:

Without doubt this remains one of our all time favourite dishes. Smooth and tasty this spinach and Indian cottage cheese never ceases to impress. Green spinach looks so healthy and the taste is amazing. We love dipping our naan bread in and scooping up the spinach – getting hungry just thinking about it!

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Palak Paneer
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Palak paneer being served

Some of our friends have a passion for Dahl and we have to admit this one was great. A little spicy but gorgeously smooth and tasty.

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Delicious lentil Dahl

The spinach and cheese naan is wonderful with a lot of flavour.

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Not pictured here but some of our group also had garlic naan and lamb curry.

Visited: 6 January 2017

Cost: $103 for food for six people sharing

Verdict: We still love it and will be back regularly; great value; great service

Great concept where everyone benefits

Palm Beach on the Gold Coast has truly come of age and has fabulous dining experiences. Opened at the end of December 2016 is the multi cuisine The Collective. We rocked up on the first day of 2017 ready for lunch. There were lots of people milling around and waiting to try out the latest eating house.

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Menu

The menu covers several of the ‘food outlets’ and it’s all delivered to the table for a small service fee of $3. There are five different options covered on the menu –  including Modern dining, Asian, Pizza and Mexican. Really loved the fish taco!

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You can head up to the roof top as well
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Each ‘restaurant’ has its own little kitchen

Our food: salt and pepper calamari, spring rolls, pizza, chips, fish taco.

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Salt and pepper calamari – yummo

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Vegetarian (mushroom) spring rolls
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Fish taco – going back for more
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Ham and cheese pizza – pretty good

Cheers and get on down to The collective if you live or visit the Gold Coast, it’s great.

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Beer anyone?

We really enjoyed the dining experience and would definitely head back for more. It is a good mixture of spaces and dining options. There is a kids friendly play area zone too.

Visited: 1 January 2017

Cost: $77 for four adults sharing food

Verdict: We’ll be going back soon

Coco and charcoal

It was just after the new year had hit and we thought a trip to somewhere healthy was in order. As we love Instagram for finding new restaurants we had come across a hidden away little place that serves coco soft-whip, goji and other delights. This place is located on the Gold Coast, Australia in Clear Island Waters. Goji Granola Bar and Cafe is tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood with easy parking and access by car.

We set out as a group of four. One member decided to order the fruit toast and marmalade, while the rest of us went for poached eggs on toast with avocado.

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Fruit toast with marmalade

The toast was a real hit! It was full of fruit and toasted to perfection. The marmalade was tangy and tasted of fresh oranges making us think of our visited to the market where we can purchase fresh oranges.

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Fruit toast tasted great with the butter (we don’t usually eat butter)

Three of us opted for the eggs. We ordered two serves – one for our male friend and one for us to share.It came with two eggs, perfectly poached and two slices of toast.

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Poached egg and avocado on sourdough
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Egg cooked perfectly for our taste

This place is known for its smoothie goji bowls served with homemade granola. We went for the coco soft-whip i the duo of vanilla and charcoal. Apparently charcoal is good for hangovers.

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The grand finale – coco soft – vanilla and charcoal

 

Visited: 2 January 2017

Cost: $64 for four people and a holiday loading

Verdict: We enjoyed the food and the coco soft. The coffee was good but not as strong as we like.

 

Roti, roti, roti

We have written about The Kitchens before but this time we wanted to share our experience of the Roti and Buns.  It was pretty quiet after Christmas with many eating houses closed; The Kitchens was no different. Our group was a family of four adults and one toddler. We were seeking a place where we could get good food and feel relaxed with a young one running about. The Kitchens delivered. We ordered all our food from the Roti and Buns, where we encountered friendly service and a reasonable set of food options.

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Spinach and cheese roti with peanut dipping sauce

The spinach and cheese roti was definitely a hit – yum. Juicy, tasty and soft.

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Prawn dumplings

The prawn dumplings were good and fairly flavoursome. We added some chilli dipping sauce and a bit of soy sauce for extra grunt.

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Vegetarian dumplings

The vegetarian dumplings were great – juicy inside with a good mix of vegetables. On the list for next time.

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Inside the vegetarian dumpling

Once again we liked to add soy and chilli to the dumplings. The place was very happy to provide us with extra sauces.

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Pork buns for the meat eating friends
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Roti and chicken curry for the meat eaters

Some of party also ate meat and reported the pork buns and chicken curry were great. The toddler gobbled up two of these buns and seemed to really enjoy them.

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Boutique beer available to order nearby to Roti and Buns

 

Visited:  27 December 2016

Cost: $72.00 for four adults and a toddler (sharing)

Verdict: We felt is was good value, tasty and great location for a family group

How to find good value Japanese food

Sometimes you have to search out those little hidden gems to get a good dining experience at a good price! We ate at an out of the way place called Zipang in Currumbin Creek Road on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia and it met our expectations. Zipang offers lots of tapas style dishes and has a following with the locals. The location is a bit out of the way in the industrial area of Currumbin Waters – it is worth finding though.

We went on a Saturday night with a group of friends, they were about 16 of us seated at a long table outdoors.  The menu was preset as a banquet where courses were delivered to us over the evening. When we arrived there were some lotus root chips and edamame beans on the table.

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A little starter to nibble on – lotus root chips

The first main dish to arrive was some beautiful sesame seed crusted salmon. This really was a taste sensation and incredibly moist. This one is definitely on our reorder list when we go back.

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Sesame crusted salmon
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Moist and tasty salmon

We were then treated to some Japanese-style tofu that was done with the very special skin on the tofu and topped with a special Asian sauce.

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Tofu

Because two of us do not eat meat there were some substitutes. This was particularly nice because many restaurants do not take the time to substitute when it is a large group. That was not the case at this restaurant and we were exceptionally well taken care of. One substitute comprised green beans and cashews with some Japanese dressings on the top.

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Green beans Japanese style with cashews

Another of the substitutes was a noodle and vegetable soup. This had some beautiful juicy,  fresh and thick udon noodles  coupled with an array of vegetables.

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Vegetable soup with udon noodles

We also were pleased to receive some classic Japanese-style eggplant with miso  topping.

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Eggplant with miso

The finale was quite interesting as it comprised green tea ice cream that was a little different from what you might normally expect. The ice cream was wrapped in a glutinous  coating, which made this dish very memorable. We loved it  but not everyone wholeheartedly agreed with us. If you like Japanese flavours and texture we recommend it.

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Green tea ice cream

The menu is quite extensive for the size of the restaurant, and by all accounts they pulled pork bao is supposed to be pretty good.  If you are looking to discover a different side of Australia’s Gold Coast then why not head out to Currumbin Waters and sample some of this food.  For more information on some of the places that have set up business in this area check out this Bulletin review.  Some of our friends who were there on the evening told us they regularly come down to get pastries and croissants from the artisan bakery.  They reckon it is well worth the trip.

We visited on 26 November 2016 as part of a larger group. Please be aware this is a casual restaurant and the small stools are quite hard. Some of our group brought a cushion!

Cost per head for a banquet $40

Allows BYO alcohol

Verdict: We loved it; great food, excellent service and good value for money. We will be back.

Authentic Chinese – is it possible?

What’s authentic? This is something  that can be argued about time and time again.

Of course one of us comes from mainland China, so is pretty expert at ordering the very best of items from the menu at any local Chinese restaurant. We were out for a quick Wednesday evening meal to a place called Asian Court. The restaurant is located in the suburb of Robina on the Gold Coast is Queensland.

Appetiser

We ordered some vegetarian spring rolls to start with. Spring rolls are one “must-have” dish when Chinese people celebrate their Spring Festival. Every family in China cook this dish to celebrate the start of Spring. The spring rolls in Australia are a bit bigger than in China perhaps reflecting cultural adaptation.

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Vegetarian Spring Rolls
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Spring Roll

Main Dishes

For the main dishes, we ordered the eggplant with sweet and sour chilli sauce and the roast whole Barramundi. Both dishes are very traditional Chinese dishes.

The eggplant dish is a signature dish in Sichuan cuisine. The sweet and sour sauce contains soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chilli and healthy amounts of fresh ginger, garlic and green onion. The sauce gives you a subtle salty-sweet-sour flavour with a hint of spiciness. Chinese people use the sauce to cook with different ingredients, including pork, chicken, eggplant and tofu. We usually prefer our eggplant vegetarian style but sometimes it is not available.

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Eggplant and chilli sauce with some pork – not vegetarian
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Eggplant

The roasted whole fish is another famous and traditional Chinese dish from Sichuan province. The fish is roasted until moist and tender, with a crispy surface. The accompanying vegetables (Chinese cabbage, seaweed, tofu, or any veggie you like) are cooked in Sichuan hot sauce with fresh chilli, then served at the bottom of the plate before placing the fish on top . A party for the eyes and the taste buds comes together in a single dish.

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Roast Barramundi – see those dried red chillies?
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Veg from the fish dish – lotus root was delicious

Visited on 16 November, 2016

Cost for three people: $70

Our verdict: Efficient and pleasant service; Good food. We will return.

 

Photo images from a second visit:

We went back for a second visit and tried a few more dishes. Some seafood wrapped in lettuce; meat in lettuce; calamari; seafood hot pot (dry); tofu and BBQ pork

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