Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Groove Train - Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

How may franchise restaurants have you been to and see come and go. Quite often the food is just so-so and the service wanting. I’m discounting here the Mc Donalds and KCFs of the world and talking more about better franchise restaurants. I have never been to The Groove Train but while spending some time on the Gold Coast dropped in for a quick lunch. My young daughter had been to The Groove Train in Melbourne and said it was good. She is experienced restaurant goer so I knew this should be an exciting experience.

Three of us had a very nice meal at the restaurant which had an excellent view of the busy street below in the heart of Surfers. The Surfers store was on the first level where it was light and airy. I had a few of the house reds which were OK with the Moroccan lamb. The lamb itself, tender and juicy. My daughter ordered a main meal with a side of chicken. This was no problem at all for the waiter who was helpful and engaging. We were very pleased with the service, ambiance (casual and relaxed) and the food? Well I’d go back to ride the train again.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chaopraya Thai Restaurant - Gold Coast, Queensland

I have a few good friends and a few dinning buddies that just love Thai food. Not only will they go out for a regular meal at a Thai restaurant but cook it at home. I enjoy Thai also but enjoy more Italian food than Thai. I will always take the opportunity  when there is a good looking Thai restaurant to try. This was the case when we staying on the Gold Coast. Chaopraya Thai Restaurant  Gold Coast not only serves excellent Thai food but presents the dinner with a full Thai immersive experience.

There is plenty of parking out the back and just s short walk into the restaurant. The second you set food in the door you know you are in for a delightful dining experience. The decor “is” Thai or how we (Ozzies) feel a genuine Thai restaurant should look. The outside (see it in the day light) is very much a large Thai grass hut. Or so it is intended to look.

What of the food? Hard to believe but it is Thai through and through. The service is efficient and fun with all the floor staff in Thai traditional costumes and some genuine Thais. Food selection is scrumptious with good variety. If you are a big eater select an entree and main. Even if you are not a big eat share an entree just to try something else from the menu.  The food quality is high, presentation excellent and portion size good. It is not overly expressive so order up big.  This restaurant experience will leave you with coriander on your breath, a smile on your face and a warm glow in your tummy. Like Nike, just do it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bugzies seafood restaurant - Broadbeach, Gold Coast

Quite often when out for a nosh-up meal I’ll choose seafood from the menu. Most males ‘tend to go for the steak but I have often been very disappointed by steak meals. Fish is safe in most cases. If you pick a restaurant like Bugzies seaford then your fish meal is bound to please. This modern restaurant is part of a shopping complex and offers easy and free parking. The restaurant is modern with outdoor and indoor seating. Staff are friendly and efficient but run off their feet. This is a popular restaurant and with good reason, the food is excellent.

The wine list is sufficient and the ambience pleasant, relaxing and light and airy. Menu selections are good with something for everyone. Pasta and steak is also up for selection but the seafood is to live for. Both my wife and myself enjoyed a stunning two course lunch here and came away content and happy. We found ourselves talking about our meal and the pleasant experience. Put this one on your “to do” list when next on the Gold Coast. Go for the fish, anyone can make pasta.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Toscani's - Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Cavill Avenue Surfers Paradise has many restaurants, bars and clubs. If you are in Surfers you really must visit here. You also must try some of the local restaurants. It is a relaxed atmosphere with most visitors in holiday mode.  Parking can be a real issue and on a Saturday night expensive. Being a mad foody (and hungry at the time) we dropped into Toscani’s for dinner. I love Italian food and was really looking forward to a great meal.

The place was busy and service a little slow but as I guessed it the staff was minus two. Of the three of us who ate here none of the meals excited us. The food was of good quality but portions were a little small. My pasta seafood dish had one scallop and two prawns??!!?? There was no pizzazz in the food. If you’re a big eater either order an entree as well or eat elsewhere. Some of the other places we dinned at, while on the Gold Coast, produced excellent meals with beautiful food in good portions. No excuse Toscani’s.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Geos Coffee and Bar Somerville - Mornington Peninsula.

Living on the Mornington Peninsula definitely has its advantages. Not only are there many attractions, cafes, restaurants, art galleries etc. but many and varied shopping centers. The other great advantage is driving to these cafes etc. is quite often easy and almost traffic free. Parking is never an issue and mostly free.

The large Somerville Shopping complex in Somerville (of course) hosts sevreal cafes and restaurants. One cafe which faces into the main street is licensed, modern with an exterior eating area and serves a variety of what looks like “made on the premises” food. Coffee and cake or a hearty lunch can all be ordered. Geos Coffee Bar Somerville  is light and airy with a small selection of beers and wines. The coffee is good and prices very reasonable.

I ordered the Geos burger and was more than pleased with the flavor, size and quality. I was even a bit shocked it was that good. The company I was with ordered the quiche which also was extremely fine tasting (so I’m told). A burger and a Corona for $15 is a bloody good deal at anytime and anywhere. Add to the experience the pleasantness of a fine meal of substantial size you have to be on a winner.

Though the music was more appropriated than most restaurants it was a bit loud in an area with a concrete floor and high ceiling. At busy times this restaurant may be very noisy. But don’t let that stop you. Pick your time and you are in for a pleasant time and good meal.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Taggarts Cafe - Bar and Restaurant, Frankston

Taggarts Cafe, Bar and Restaurant is part of the Frankston International Motel on Nepean Highway in Frankston. I joined a table of eight there for a birthday celebration. The decor is modern, a little cold but pleasant. There is a small bar with seating and standing area, in the restaurant, which would be suitable for a pre-drinks.  On some nights there is a show and for me if a wanted a quiet meal with a good friend I would avoid those nights. Talking during the show is not only rude but it would be difficult.

Most of my table ordered the steak. Probably the last meal I would order at an untried restaurant  unless highly recommended by a reliable source. I was pleasantly surprised when all carnivores report the steak excellent. Guess what I am trying on next visit? For me the fish looked safe but it was over cooked and embedded itself into the mash on any attempt to cut or fork it. It was just too mushy!  The entree’ was scallops and prawns in a Pernod cream sauce which were perfectly blanched. I would have this as a main if available. Possibly the best entree’ I have ever had. Glorious! This Chef knows what he is doing and can deliver.

Dessert was sticky date with butterscotch sauce, cream etc. Once more glorious. I would have it again. I forgive the man with the tall white hat for the fish. He left me with a full tummy and a smile on my face.  Taggarts is a place I would go once more and a venue I would share with an friend for a romantic or not so romantic meal.  Without the entertainment you would enjoy a delicious relaxing meal in pleasant surroundings and friendly staff. If you go take me. I want more of those yummy scallops.