Posts Tagged ‘Dining’

Lots of things happening

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I know we don’t write as often as we should, but we’re in the process of inventing a day with 48 hours instead of 24. Then, maybe, we will have time to do all the things that we want to do everyday. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to yet.

Eddie and Julie stayed with us for a week. We managed to take some time off to do a few things with them, such as a visit to Cape Tribulation and Cooktown through the Blooomfield Track, a visit to Lake Morris for lunch or, my favourite, a visit to Ochre Restaurant, in Cairns. This restaurant is a must for everyone, as least once in their lifetime. We went, again, for the Australian Platter, and tasted the best crocodile, emu and kangaroo ever amongst other delicacies, such as king fish with beetroot sauce or damper to be dipped in delicious native dukkha and oil.

The Bloomfield Track was amazing, beautiful scenery and not another soul. We even saw a crocodile sunbathing on a log when we were crossing the Bloomfield river. At the beginning we thought it was a fake croc that the locals had put there to impress tourists. But we managed to get a bit closer and as soon as we were too close the croc jumped into the water. Lucky for us, I guess.

Our underwater camera rental business is getting bigger and bigger. Now that we have a second model of camera to rent, the Canon Powershot G10, we’re busy designing new posters, flyers, etc. And making sure all the hostels and hotels in Cairns know about this new product we’re offering. We predict a huge success.

But what’s really really exciting in our lives right now is the fantastic news we have a few weeks ago and it’s that in mid February we’re going to have a baby. Yes, a real one!!! We still don’t know whether it’s a boy or a girl, but whatever comes will be more than welcome. I cannot wait, mostly because the nausea hasn’t stopped after the three month period, as everyone said it would. I’m trying to put up with it as best as I can, but putting up with the nausea and tiredness as well as with Steve is getting a bit too much some days, haha.

A wine night to remember on Yorkeys Knob: Jais on the Beach

Friday, March 7th, 2008

What's new in Cairns and around Tropical North Queensland on the Cairns Unlimited daily blog.Tuesday was a very special day on Yorkeys Knob. It heralded for local beachfront restaurant Jai’s On The Beach the first of their special Wine Nights. Now, when word got out that Jai’s were putting on a a gourmet six-course dinner, each course accompanied by a different - carefully selected - Australian wine, there wasn’t much chance of Maria and I not being there.

 Australian wines are great, or course - world class - but both Maria and myself do miss the ‘availability’ of wine that we enjoyed in Spain. Drinkable wines need not cost much more than four or five dollars in the supermarket there, and I have seen some smalltown bars in rural Spain which sell wine cheaper than CocaCola.

I must say, we had fairly high expectation of the Wine Night at Jai’s, but from the first course, it was obvious that our expectations were to be exceeded. To start, we were presented with a chilled chicken and prawn Vietnamese roll with a cucumber vinaigrette, served with a crisp, light Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. I watched the expressions on the other diners’ faces as they took their first sip and their first nibble, and I must say that if the chef was also watching, he would have been very pleased with himself. It was delight and surprise all round.

Wine night at Jai's on the Beach, Yorkeys Knob

Second course was a wonton wrapped leader prawn with mandarin sauce and crispy noodles, and although I am not a fan of seafood, I gobbled this one up… much to Maria’s disappointment! It was served with a Semillon Chardonnay which was heavier and more robust that the opening wine, but well suited to the tastier food.

Third course was a tender and mouthwateringly tasty little serve of lamb with celerac mash and red wine jus. The lamb was accompanied by a Merlot, which didn’t really grab me one way or the other.

Course number four was apricot glazed quail on a bed of wild rice. I didn’t leave much meat on the bones, and the flavour and texture were fine, but in hindsight it was probably my least favourite course by default (I’ve never been that excited about eating tiny birds). Fortunately, the wine rep had now opened a Cabernet for us to try, and it was nothing short of spectacular. I asked for a second glass of that, leaving the Merlot to the side for later… when all the good stuff was gone!

Fifth course, and Oh.My.God. I had just been explaining to our American tablemates (a wine night can be a fairly social affair) that kangaroo meat, if treated and cooked carefully, is the most wonderful meat on the planet. And this was a prime example… tender little medallions of kangaroo filet mignon, perched on grilled sweet potato, and topped with red peppers, with a fruit chutney. What a perfect combination. By this stage of the meal, I can’t remember if another new bottle of wine presented itself, or if I was still embalming myself in that wonderful Cabernet. The highlight of my night came when Maria said she couldn’t finish her plate - she had just eaten too much already - and most of her portion of kangaroo was slid across the table to me.

Jai's On The Beach owners Peter and Lisa Munn.Dessert was a delicious, rich white chocolate mousse with poached pears, accompanied by a sweet dessert wine. Maria expected that I might share my dessert with her, since she had been so generous with her main course. She was wrong on that point. The dessert wine was a bit syrupy for me (yeah, yeah I know that’s how it’s meant to be) and in hindsight I should have ordered a strong coffee to go with it. That was my only regret for the night, and I must congratulate Peter and Lisa from Jai’s On The Beach for an extraordinary event pulled off with flair in spite of challenging circumstances*.

* In other news, Yorkeys Knob was flooded that night, and was cut off from the rest of the world for a day or two. No big deal really.
Maria takes an important phone call while local kids test the depth of the floodwater at Yorkeys Knob, just north of Cairns.

A city centre Tapas Bar, and a fresh start for an old backpackers hostel

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Wow, already Tuesday. First of all, a big thank you to Tom and Jess, Graham and Silvia, and Rob and Jonno for a great evening on Sunday night. We were invited to our first BBQ in Cairns and we very much enjoyed it.

Today has been pretty easy but we have achieved a few things. We have basically spent the day looking for a company to do our promotional stuff and it seems we found it. Very soon we will have some merchandising to start giving away and become bigger and bigger. We are also looking to have our van decorated, so it will go from being an ordinary white one to a fanciful Cairns Unlimited colourful van. Very soon, my friend, very soon…
As we have mentioned, we have been trying to make time to meet important local businesspeople around Cairns. Today, we visited David, who runs SAPPHIRE TAPAS BAR, a bar, lounge and event venue, right in the centre of town. It’s a beautiful space, decorated with Contemporary, Modern and Post-modern Art. Sapphire hosts a range of events during the year, so keep an eye out for them in our CAIRNS WEEKLY ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE. And if you visit, don’t miss the painting on the right hand wall as you enter!

The Sapphire’s walls are filled with Contemporary, Modern and Post-modern Art, almost giving the feel of a full fledged art gallery. Glenn, from Inn The Tropics, looks like he's still recovering from his week's holiday down south..

And finally today we caught up with Glenn, from INN THE TROPICS backpackers hostel. He showed up around the hostel and I can tell you it is big. They own CALYPSO BACKPACKERS as well, and if any of you reading this blog are looking to have a good time and listen to good music, make it to Calypso in the evening and enjoy yourself. But if you want to know what’s on this week, once again… don’t miss our CAIRNS WEEKLY ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE, with new events being added every day. Or our TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND EVENTS CALENDAR if you want to know what’s on in the whole region.

We just found out that the shipment we sent from Spain will arrive in Brisbane this week and then we will have another week or so to pick it up if we don’t want to pay $180 a day for storage. So we are planning to fly from CAIRNS to Brisbane and then rent a van for the drive back to Cairns. Why don’t we drive both ways, you ask? Well, have you ever driven 1700 kilometres, just to turn around and drive 1700 kilometres back? Add up the cost of fuel, and it’s actually cheaper to fly. And on our way back we will stop at visit some more people in AIRLIE BEACH, MISSION BEACH, TOWNSVILLE and some other places. And maybe even make it to the NORTHERN OUTBACK, a place I really look forward to getting to know a bit better, it has some kind of mystery I cannot wait to discover…

Anyway, time to go. Check back soon…