Posts Tagged ‘Clifton Beach’

Spanish food in Australia … a bit of a challenge: Spanish Bar and Grill in Clifton Beach

Friday, June 20th, 2008

You might imagine that Maria is quite the food critic when it comes to Spanish food outside of her home country, and rightly so. The gunk that some restaurants pass off as paella is just insulting. And if you order empanadillas in a restaurant, you don’t expect to get the exact same product that you can find in the freezer aisle of your local supermarket.

Which somehow reminds me… have you seen the price of fuel lately? I paid over ninety bucks to fill the Cairnsunlimitedmobile earlier this week, and prices aren’t set to go anywhere but up, so the experts say. But back to the point - I really just wanted an excuse to link to our car :)

When we heard that a new Spanish restaurant had opened its doors in Clifton Beach recently, it was only a matter of time until we found an excuse to try it out. We had planned to visit on Wednesday night, but then received a phone call from a hapless customer of ours who had somehow lost one of our brand new Digital Underwater Cameras, and that sort of knocked the wind out of our sails.

Then about mid-morning yesterday, our neighbour had a visit from some tradesman who set to work trying to drive us insane with the use of a hammer drill just through the wall. We had already had our normally peaceful Yorkeys Knob morning disrupted by the arrival of no less than four noisy Ergon trucks in our quiet little street, and it’s hard to concentrate on work with your teeth shaking from a hammer drill. When the four Ergon trucks made their reappearance a little after noon, that was the last straw. We jumped in the beast (I just can’t help it) and roared off in search of the Spanish Bar and Grill.

At first, our quest was fruitless, as I had assumed that such a restaurant would be on the beachfront, or at least no more than  a block back from the esplanade. But we finally found it in the local shopping centre, adjacent to the Captain Cook Highway. An unassuming location, I thought, but let’s give it a try…

After being seated on their pleasant patio, Maria suggested that we should have checked the menu. “Nonsense” I said with false bravado, “we can afford it” as I imagined myself washing dishes for the rest of the afternoon to pay for our lunch. But we needn’t have concerned ourselves, as the waitress quickly explained their lunch deal; any starter, any main, any dessert, and a glass of wine for $22.50. Did she say $22.50? Surely that would be just the price of the main, no?

Well, we both started with an entree of red pepper stuffed with meat and rice. Delicious, but served on a ludicrously large and deep plate/bowl which only served to make the food difficult to get to. I don’t want to ruin the suspense, but that would prove to be my only criticism of the whole meal.

Maria chose paella as a main, and it was stuffed with quality seafood; mussells, scallops, prawns and generous chunks of fleshy fish. How they can put that much into a main as part of a three course lunch special is beyond me. My rib fillet was equally impressive - and surprising, considering the price of the whole meal. It was cooked to a textbook ‘medium’ (which, thakfully was what I had requested) and was a delight from the first bite to the last lick of the plate. It had been so long since I’d had a great steak that I had almost forgotten how good it can be.

For dessert, Maria chose a apricot frangipani tart, and also ate most of my flourless chocolate gateaux with chocolate icecream.

I do have one other complaint… that we had to come back to work, and couldn;t spend the rest of the day soaking up the perfect Cairns afternoon and sipping wine. One of us took a siesta as soon as we got home… I’ll leave it to you to guess whom!!

Bonus pics

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Clifton Beach, just north fo Cairns, has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. Relaxing on Clifton Beach, between Cairns and Port Douglas.
The Steve posing on the Undara Lava Tubes lodge.
We saw many kangaroos along the way and they love being inmortalised. How Australian, isn't it?

An apology, a Toga Party, and yet another glorious beach

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I know… we’ll have to change it to the ‘Cairns Fortnightly Blog’ if we keep up this pace. Honestly, the business has just been manic over the last couple of weeks. In addition to welcoming so many new advertisers onto Cairns Unlimited, we have been working away on no less than four new sections for the site. They will be revealed very soon.

On top of all that, we are busy planning our upcoming road trip around the NORTHERN OUTBACK, and there are a few things that we need done to the van before undertaking such an odyssey. You know… bubble windows, fats, musical airhorn, lumpy cam, four barrel carby … that sort of thing!

But although Cairns Unlimited is occupying us for about eighteen hours a day (and for those of you who have never had your own business… no I am not exaggerating!), we still find some opportunity to live a little

The weekend before last, it was a friend’s birthday party. A toga party, no less. Our friend prefers not to be named on such a public medium, since he has a highly respectable position in the local community. But I don’t think he’ll mind us sharing a glimpse of his rather unorthodox toga style. Just be thankful it’s a rear view.

Toga party in Cairns. Maria never could resist an opportunity.
Oh, and the cards hanging around our necks? Don’t even ask!

And of course, it would be torture living in the middle of the WORLD’S BEST BEACHES without occasionally finding time to feel the sand between your toes. Just north of CAIRNS, there are a string of beachside communities known as the NORTHEN BEACHES. Maria and I try to pick a new beach to explore each time. This time, it was CLIFTON BEACH, and what a textbook tropical paradise it is. A long arc of soft sand, lined with leaning palm trees, rainforest clad islands just offshore, and nothing to hear but the waves lapping. If Europe had a beach like this, it would be shoulder to shoulder with tourists. We are so lucky…

Clifton Beach, just north fo Cairns, has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. Relaxing on Clifton Beach, between Cairns and Port Douglas.