Saturday, 19 October 2013

Hotel Maroochydore

The Maroochydore Hotel, previously the Grinning Dog, I'm not sure why my friends suggested it, but I'm glad they did.

I have to admit, the pub itself has never lured me, and I hadn't eaten here since I have been back on the coast but I suspect that will change.

The menu is incredibly diverse, covering pub usuals: steaks, seafood, pasta, risotto, and includes specialty items like confit pork belly, barbeque ribs, and lamb tzatziki pizza.

Myself and D decided on the BBLT Burger ($10) from the lunch specials menu and S opted for the Rump steak ($10) and we shared 3 sides for the table, battered onion rings, buffalo wings and Parmesan crusted calamari.

I suspect the burger patty was manufactured but dispite this, it was a very delicious burger, containing bacon, cheese, barbeque sauce tomato and lettuce. I think it could have used mayo, but I added some of the aioli from the sides. I also opted to not eat half the bun. The chips were cooked perfectly. Miss S's steak, she tells me was cooked perfectly, juicy and with lovely flavour.

 The Parmesan crusted calamari ($8) was also cooked beautifully. The Parmesan flavour was light but detectable. Delicious.

 The beer battered onion rings ($8) were light and crisp, served piping hot.

The buffalo wings ($8) had a lovely flavour and the smokey barbeque sauce was excellent. With our food S had a lemon lime and bitters and D and I had a schooner of Carlton Draught each.

Hotel Maroochydore has lunch specials daily and dinner specials most nights. I think it is really good value, and I will be sure to do a write up the next time I head there for pizza night.

Hotel Maroochydore
201 Main Road
Ph: 07 5479 5611



Thursday, 17 October 2013

Arnica Restaurant- Maroochydore

 Oh, it is getting far too long between posts.

This makes me sad, and last night, taking my Dad to one of my new local favourites, I promised I would blog about the experience. I have missed it. I can see by the counter that I am still getting views, so welcome to my new readers and welcome back to my friends that have visited before.

One thing I do have to state, however, is that I have apparently forgotten how to take photos of food I opted for no flash and had to lighten the pics to within an inch of their life. Apologies. Obviously out of practice.I will be sure to make the explanations all the more descriptive

I had my best buddy, my Dad, come visit me this week for some dad and daughter time. We drove around, took in some views and pubs and did some fishing. To finish off our day together we were to go out to dinner.

As you can tell, for the last few years my passion for eating out has continued to grow, my father's passion for delicious dining outings is just beginning, and nothing could make me happier.

For our dinner together I recommend Arnica, off Duporth Avenue in Maroochydore.

I first visited Arnica perhaps a month ago with my best friends and fellow Supper Club members Miss C and Miss A. Miss A has an entertainment voucher book, and this is what lead us to Arnica and we enjoyed the experience very much.

Arnica sits at #2 restaurant in Maroochydore on Trip Advisor and an scores an impressive 89% on Urban Spoon.

The restaurant is nestled at the end of an alley, but  positioned with a spectacular outlook over the river mouth.

Photos of Arnica, Maroochydore
The outlook by day: This photo of Arnica is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The spectacular Italian inspired menu boasts luscious local seafood offerings, as well as modern Australian twists on classics much as eye fillet, duck and lamb, seafood platters, and the house special Caciucco alla Livornest: "Traditional Italian style fish & seafood pot, served with grilled sourdough".

Visit the entire menu here 

The meal starts with a warm roll and olive oil.

With so many incredible options available, Dad and I decide that we are happy to share both of our courses, so we can experience as much as possible, and opt for the "local scallops with Asian crust served with cucumber salsa"  and the "lightly fried tender local calamari settled over minty crisp salad". And both choose the Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc.

 The scallops are perfectly tender, the crisp crumbs providing a beautiful contrast to the springy meat. The flavours are delicate but perfectly balanced.

 The calamari salad on the other hand commands attention with rather strong flavours; fresh and well cooked crumbed calamari sits atop a salad of carrot and red cabbage flavoured with mint.

For mains we decide on the Roasted rack of lamb: "French trimmed grain fed lamb rack roasted and served with Scandinavian assorted root vegetables and a pinot noir jus" as well as the the fish of the day: red emperor served on mashed potato with Moroccan vegetables.

I opt for the fish dish first and it was truly sensational. The red emperor- a fish I had not previously tried- was beautiful flavoured, and cooked to perfection. The mash on which is rested had a hearty potato flavour, and the Moroccan vegetable medley provided a welcome texture with lentil and chickpea, spices and tomato, the dish is finished off with a lightly tangy white sauce, and although each individual element alone is lovely, once combined, this dish nears perfection.

The lamb rack we order, Miss C had ordered on our previous visit, and I was most keen to try for myself. The lamb was as lamb should taste, like he lived a happy life and was juicy and tender, The jus decadently rich, but whereas vegetables can quite often be more garnish, the Scandinavian root vegetables served with this perfect plate stand tall and outspoken, every vegetable boasts perfect texture and each individual vegetable's own flavour is true to itself.

Earlier in the day, dad and I had stopped into the Silva Spoon and picked up cake, so we chose to forego the desserts menu, sadly.

Both this experience and my first were incredibly enjoyable.

The staff, especially the waiter I had on both occasions, are very welcoming and knowledgable, and this always helps top off a lovely meal.

I was unsure, after the eye fillet I had last time was PERECT, to order it again, or try something new. But I am really happy I did try something new, because I everything I have tried has been lovely.

I really recommend this restaurant if on the coast.

Prices can be found in the menu link, or on the website.

14-16 Duporth Ave, Maroochydore, T. 07 5479 6575 or F. 07 5479 6578 - E.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Eating Tasmania

 To Whom It May Concern,

Thank you for returning after my hiatus of... well, being lazy. I hope to regain the passion I used to have for the pictures and the writing and the food that I had last year.

I wonder if I was more passionate when I was overseas? Every meal was so exciting and different, I wonder if that excitement can be regenerated in a country I have lived in all my life. I hope it can. I have quit smoking (6 days clean today), and according to my Quit App, I should have most, if not all, of my smells and tastes back. Here's hoping.

Once again, thanks for reading,


Now, back to the blog.

The last Tasmania post I wrote a while back and posted today, I would have posted it earlier but was having endless troubles uploading the pics.

This post is from the same March Tasmania trip with Miss C, but I now have substantially further time to cast my memory. We'll see how I go.

We rented the most wonderful cottage in South Hobart. Maybe 2km out of the city. By pure chance we stumbled across 2 of the loveliest cafe/coffee shops, which we made out regular morning haunts.

South Hobart looking toward Sandy Bay, from our verandah

One was called Ginger Brown Cafe: think recycled chairs and tables, back to basics, with the most sumptuous breakfasts in the world. Here I discovered fried eggs.
proper Chai Latte

 This was the most intoxicating, rich breakfast that my memory will recall. Two eggs, leek, cream and cheese, all baked in the oven til the eggs are cooked and the cheese goes golden. Served with sour dough.

Ginger Brown

The other was called The Macquarie Street Foodstore located at number 356. My first time here I was treated to a wonderful mushroom, spinach and cheese crepe served with a capsicum chutney. Many of the dishes had a faint Indian touch to them. I'm not usually a crepe eater, but I really should be, this was amazing.

A pot of tea
The Foodstore

Both cafes did perfect coffees and teas, great prices and fantastic customer service.

One of the great surprises of Hobart was how fantastic MONA was. I like a good art gallery as much as the next, but this one was an experience from the second you boarded the camouflage painted, military themed boat to travel down the Derwent to the museum itself. I would really recommend a visit to anyone headed to Hobart.

After a day of seeing (and being shocked by) the pieces on display, Miss C and I board the boat for the trip home, and having a cafe and bar on board, thought we should indulge.

A couple of glasses f bubbly, an orange and poppy babycake for me and an almond croissant for Miss C.
High tea on a boat!

We spent a day shopping and antique hunting in North Hobart, and the Rain Check Lounge was recommended to us by an ex-Brisbanite boutique owner, so we popped in for lunch.

The wine and cocktail lists were very impressive, as was the lavish interior with chandelears and darkly painted walls. Unfortunately the food did not come up to scratch.

My veggie burger was so dry, but even by looking at it I could tell it was going to be dry- the veggie pattie looks like an oat cookie!
Veggie burger with chips (I don't know why the photos are flipped- I can't change it without it changing itself back)
Miss C had the oven baked gnocchi, which if I can remember was very rich and decadent.

A belated birthday bottle for Miss C- a really lovely drop
We actually went into town and then decided to come back up to North Hobart for dinner, and I'm glad that we did, for we found the wonderful (and BYO) Midori Japanese Restaurant.

We both had combination dinners which I believe came to under $30 each. Carly had a mixed and I got a veggie and a sashimi as well.

Miss C and all of the food.

In the veggie combination was, tempura veg- fresh, hot crispy and in no way oily, spring rolls, salad with a stunning sesame dressing, rice, dipping sauce and tofu and the sashimi (below) was salmon and tuna, so fresh. Hobart's reputation for great seafood is dead on. Fantastic.

It was fresh, authentic Japanese food, and the prices couldn't be beat. The decor is minimal with seating for maybe 20 and takeaway from the service counter, but we were there on a quiet night, and were sat beside the window, and with all the food we had in front of us, and a lovely bottle of Pinot, we were as satisfied as two people could be.

It should be noted that Hobart has the most amazing selection of patisseries, chocolatiers, bakeries, and all things wonderful and sweet.


Another night we walked down to the casino (the oldest in Australia) and to Sandy Bay in search of a pizza place with amazing reviews. Sandy Bay Beach Woodfired Pizza, sits tucked away, but I assume the locals all know about it.

We order a garlic pizza to start, it is delicious, but a slight critisism is that it was a teensy bit dry.

I had a half and half (no extra charge). The mushroom side lived up to all of the reviews and my expectations, the seafood side was delicious, but I was so gutted at how little seafood there was, and the fact I could tell it was not fresh.

Miss C had a half and half Mexican and pumpkin and feta.
Despite my critique, I still rate these pizzas very highly on Beck's Pizza Scale.
Sandy Bay Wood Fired Pizza can only be described as back to basics. Seating for maybe 10, flyscreen door, it's a little beach cafe. But they really do amazing pizzas.

Before I left Brisbane, my mother was adamant that I simply had to try a Tasmanian curried scallop pie. I remember being a little bewildered by the sound of the combination, but it apparently, is a Tasmanian... thing... that you have to do.

It was getting to the last few days of my time in Tassie and I was starting to worry that I may get home having not tried the traditional pie- heavens, how could I face my mother?

There was a truck set up at the stop at Pirate's Bay (one of the most beautiful places on earth), and behold, they were selling the pie.
It's weird. It's somewhat indescribable. I suggest you just try it and make your own mind up. It's... weird.

Oh and Salamanca markets, I do love market food. I had high hopes of eating my way through the markets, but unfortunately after my giant German Bratwurst I was full. Devastated.

One place that I did not post about but enjoyed immensely was the Drunken Admiral. As soon as I spotted it I was quickly drawn in to it's nautical charm.

On one of our first evenings Carly and I decided early to head in, cause it just looked so naff.
It couldn't have been later than 5.45 and the place was packed. I felt silly walking up and asking if they had a spare table, having seen that the place was heaving, but the waitress informed us that a booking had not shown up, and if we waited ten more minutess and they didn't come, we would be welcome to their table.
We nervously waited and watched our clocks. At the 9 minute mark we headed back in, as the smiling waitress walks up to us with two menus, we were so happy, she leads us through what can only be described as the VIP table, set above everyone else in a faux captains quarters. We really did feel very important.
The oysters I had for my starter were brilliant. C had a salmon tagine that she raved about. My (in essence) fisherman's plate was huge, and I simply loved that they had a help-yourself salad bar.
The reviews on this place are mixed, but when you can pack out a restaurant that can seat 100 to 200 on a monday night, you must be doing something right.

I found the picture on my phone:
Such a charming exterior, or course I would be drawn to such a place

Our amazing VIP lodgings

Pretty amazing menu

I giggled

Miss C's Battered olives, very salty but delicious!

Amazing fresh oysters

So... much... food

Miss C's tagine

Salad bar helpings

Mmmmm scallop

And that was Tasmania.

I will endeavour to post more frequently, and to get Beck's Modern Life on the road again.

Again, thank you for your continued support.