Tag Archives: Gold Coast

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.

The Garden for a breakfast fix

Are you ever disappointed in the customer service you get at restaurants? We were excited to come to The Garden to celebrate a few achievements – any excuse but we did have things to celebrate. We had read about breakfast at the Garden as being pretty good.

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Some flower arrangements in the Garden

We had a booking but we’ve got to say on arrival the greeting was cold; the girl didn’t seem to want to be welcoming customers. All three of us just felt our heart sink as poor service can kill the joy of eating out. The table service was average and we started to regret our decision to come here and wished we went elsewhere. One redeeming moment was a very  pleasant and helpful wait staff member, Victor who delivered our meals. He had a very nice service attitude.

Overall, the food was good.  Coffee was acceptable but a bit weak for our taste. We wouldn’t rush back for it. The food was good.

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Coffee was a bit weak but okay
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Eggs Benny with Salmon for us to share
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Eggs Benny with Ham for our meat eating friend

When our eggs arrived we decided to add pepper only to find it totally empty. One of the waiter’s (not Victor) took our empty one and placed it on another table and gave us a full one. Gave us a laugh as we thought the next people will be calling the wait staff again.

The eggs tasted good so not all was lost and we did enjoy the Bennys.

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Eggs after adding pepper and cutting them loose!

We also ordered a waffle and it was very tasty. We shared it between three and it was ample.

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Yummy waffles

We love some of the other restaurants at this venue (it’s a large hotel and casino) but this time we felt more let down that excited by the experience.  Maybe we are a bit fussy about service but we are paying customers after all!!

We headed off and had another coffee across the road at No Name Lane – a great coffee place with reliable customer service.

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A great little soy piccolo from No Name Lane

Visited 20 November 2016; the eggs were great; coffee was a bit weak.

Final assessment: we wouldn’t rush back.

Cost for three $66

Just what the Dr needed!

We had something to celebrate, so we decided to head back to one of our favourite Gold Coast restaurants. Can you guess what we were celebrating? One of us is now Dr Wei after working for the past few years on a PhD thesis into customer experience and food events. So, it was fitting to head out for a wonderful meal to celebrate this life achievement. Perhaps we should have had champagne but being a bit of health nuts we opted for lemon lime and bitters – ha ha.

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Lemon, Lime and Bitters

When we eat out we really value the opportunity to eat food that not only tastes great but looks good.  So we headed for Kiyomi, a Japanese restaurant located in Broadbeach Queensland.

The meal we ate lived up to our expectations with lots of beautiful looking and wonderful tasting dishes shared between the three of us. We started with some appetising warm beans, which were juicy and flavoursome with a touch pf chilli.

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Edamame and chilli

Never want to miss out on some wasabi or ginger we heaped it on to various sashimi dishes.

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Can’t resist a little wasabi and pickled ginger

Then we turned our attention to some delectable kingfish, which was super fresh, soft and really tasty.

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Kingfish sashimi

One of our weaknesses, when it comes to menus of an Asian kind, is soft shell crab. If it’s on the menu then we are predictable and order it. This one was very nice with a light batter. Perhaps not the best ever soft shell we have had but pretty good.

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Softshell tempura

We’ve been to this restaurant before and fell in love with the silky tofu dish so we could not resist returning to this gorgeous meal. The tofu is so very silky with a lovely coating and accompanied  with mushrooms.  The mushrooms are the very tasty Asian style ones.  This dish remains one of our all time favourites and will be having it again when we head back to this restaurant.

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Tofu and mushrooms – wow, loved it

We are also in love with the crispy rice topped with spicy tuna. This dish goes really well with the wasabi.  There is something about the crispy rice and the way it contrasts with the soft tuna that makes this a dish we want to order again and again.

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Crispy rice and tuna – yum

The next dish that we were sharing is one that creates some theatre at the table. A platter of sashimi  is brought to the table and dry ice is used to create a beautiful white cloud that surrounds the lovely array of raw fish.

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Selection of sashimi

We tried something that we had not experienced previously. And it was surprisingly good, buckwheat noodles mixed with various salad type vegetables such as tomatoes and avocado provided a refreshing meal for us to share.

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Special noodle salad was a hit

On the evening that we went for dinner there were some prawns that were served from the barbecue and the general consensus was that these were pretty spicy and pretty yummy.

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Prawns with a spicy dressing

For the grand finale  we selected the green matcha and white chocolate lava cake, which is truly delectable. When you cut this one open it oozes the green coloured chocolate tasting filling. Lucky we were sharing between three so as we didn’t have to feel too guilty about this wonderful dessert.

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All time favourite or matcha and white chocolate lava dessert

This meal lived up to our expectations and Kiyomi remains one of our ‘go to’ restaurants for reliable modern Japanese food and good service. Just what the Dr needed.

Cost for three people sharing $240 including two soft drinks, two beers and two wines.

Visited 22 November 2016

Hidden little gem with a big flavour

Fancy some Asian style street food on the Gold Coast? We sure did. We have wanted to go to Hideaway Kitchen & Bar for a long time and never found the right time. So as our list of places to try slowly got smaller we finally booked into Hideaway for a little celebration. And were we in for a treat! This little gem is located in Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Australia.

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Street food style is how it feels

The style is bustling, casual with an element of funk! The place was packing a punch in terms of party vibe the night we went with people ever where clearly having a great time. The music is fairly loud but a fun beat to get you in the mood.

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Love the umbrella touch

There is art on the walls and umbrellas to give a fun Asian style vibe.

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Art work on the walls

The service was friendly and they did their best to be attentive despite the crowds.

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The food was impressive and the menu features many modern Asian dishes all designed to share. We shared seven dishes – some tasty edamame spiced with chilli and salt. Fried squid with lime, chilli and mayo. Some prawn skewers, which comprised succulent minced prawn wrapped around sugar cane, plus dipping sauces. We particularly liked the steamed crab wontons in soy and chilli. A very tasty dish was the fish wrapped in banana leaf done with yellow curry.  We also opted for a yellow vegetable and tofu curry featuring eggplant. The eggplant was delicious but the curry was a little on the bland side for our chilli and soy loving taste buds. The waiter brought us some extra soy to add to the dish. Overall, the food was excellent and we want to try more dishes.

spiced soy bean pods in chilli salt
Spiced soy bean pods in chilli salt
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Chilli salt squid with lime
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Sugarcane prawn in panko batter & gem lettuce
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Steamed crab wontons with scallions, garlic & ginger
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Yellow vegetarian curry of eggplant, pumpkin, tofu, beans & carrots
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Cone bay barramundi with yellow curry paste, wrapped in banana leaf

To finish off we decided to share the special exotic ice creams – the special of the evening was black sesame, mango and strawberry. We thoroughly enjoyed the taste sensations of this dish and recommend it as a nice way to finish the meal at Hideaway.

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Assorted exotic ice creams – black sesame, strawberry & mango

Cost for three people sharing food with drinks (three beers and four soft drinks) $150.

Visited in November 2016; would definitely go back for more but we might try a mid week night to see if it is a little quieter.

 

 

Le Vintage for a cup of coffee

We headed ‘out west’ from the Gold Coast toward to Nerang so that we could visit a little cafe called Le Vintage. One of our good friends had been there and told us it was worth a visit. We only had time for a coffee but next time we will try the breakfast.

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Cute vase

This place is decorated in a rustic, vintage style.

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Vintage style gifts

We sat outdoors for our coffee. It is suitable if you want to bring your poochy.

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Coffees outdoors at the bench
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You can get for wifi too!
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Lots of yummy looking cakes available too

Visited June 2016

 

Where is the best place to spend some quality time with your besties? -Social Eating House Broadbeach

What more can a girl want but to catch up with friends over great food?  That was our great pleasure recently at Social Eating House. Located in Broadbeach, Queensland Australia this place has a lovely casual but chic feel about it. There is an emphasis on sharing food, which is great when eating out with friends. Here is a photo-journey of our spectacular meal shared with friends.

We started with Whiting, Soft Shell Crab and Char grilled Octopus.

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A work of art – char-grilled octopus
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Soft Shell Crab
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Who ate the Whiting?

Next we opted to share some gorgeous fish, a salad and sides of mushrooms and potatoes.

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Grilled fish, risotto and caviar – so very good
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Green salad with peas
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Look at these potatoes!!!!
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Mixed mushrooms

Some of us finished off with a little piccolo.

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A small coffee to round off the meal

Visited June 2016.

Bam Bam Bakehouse

We were excited to try this place out. The outlook to the park is great and the overall vibe of the cafe is lovely. We also like the sister cafe Paddock. Three of us went for Sunday lunch.

The wait was fairly long ( a bit longer than the 20 minutes we were told) – about 45 minutes. The food was okay but not stunning – we had the eggs benny with smoked trout and a smoked fish with egg. Turns out our breakfasts were similar (that’s our fault entirely!!). Our photos are a bit ordinary as our camera is being repaired 😦  Still, you get the idea.

Smoked fish with poached egg
Egg benny
Egg benny
Closeup of egg benny
Closeup of egg benny

We also had coffee and a chai tea. The coffee was good but the chai was a bit average. Mainly because it was a little on the lukewarm side.

All three of use felt the service was in need of some improvement. We waited at the ‘wait here to be seated’ sign for a few minutes but no-one came. Eventually one of us went in to ask would anyone be coming to seat us and we got an unfriendly yes, just wait. We were offered water once at the table but it never arrived. We had a laugh that two staff members went off to lunch in the park (looked like a great place to take your lunch!) while we sat and waited for ours to arrive.

Maybe it’s teething problems but based on our first experience we were a bit on the disappointed side. The person taking the orders behind the counter was efficient and pleasant.

In sum, great location for a sunny day, potentially good menu and moderate to low service (especially floor staff and the welcome). The coffee was good. Would we go back?  Probably we would give it another go but with so many good cafes popping up it might be a while.