Posts Tagged ‘Yorkeys Knob’

Yorkeys Knob, Lake Placid, and Yungaburra Markets

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

It’s Thursday afternoon, and I’m only just getting around to writing about last weekend… which may give you some idea of just how insane this week has been at Cairns Unlimited. Maria and I have been absolutley bombarded this week, with the busiest week ever for our Digital Underwater Camera Rentals, more Car Rental enquiries than ever, and a veritable flood of Spanish readers contacting Maria for informacion en espanol sobre tours en Australia .

Last Friday we had to revisit Yorkeys Knob to collect something from the post office, so we decided to make a morning out of it. We wandered the full length of Yorkeys Knob beach, from the rivermouth mangroves at the southern end to the rugged rock wall at the northern end, where we used to see dolphins. No dolphins this time unfortunately, but it does remind me that at least one of the reef trip companies have begun to run dedicated whale watching tours in Cairns. I’ve been whale watching before, both in southern Queensland and in Canada, but Maria never has… so watch this space….

 

On the way home, neither of us were in a hurry to get back to the office, so we took the turnoff to Lake Placid, just north of Cairns. It was a cool and relaxing place to stop and take a breath, and I could have sat there all day if we didn’t have so much work to be done.

Then on Saturday, we hit the Atherton Tablelands to check out the famous Yungaburra Markets. Two years we’ve been living in Cairns, and every month we vow to visit these markets, but for some reason every month we miss them. Well, not this time… although we did run out of fuel on the way home that afternoon… luckily at the bottom (this side) of the Kuranda Range!

  

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.

Australia Day

Monday, January 28th, 2008

My first Australia Day!!! And we were so lucky that the Cairns City Council decided to celebrate it in YORKEYS KNOB, exactly where we live. The Cairns City Council were very busy organising a huge Aussie BREKKIE, live entertainment with traditional Aussie music and lots of different competitions, including THONG throwing. They did a fantastic job, really good.

Steve enjoying an Aussie hearty brekkie. This is to all my Spanish friends. Can you guys believe that breakfast started at 6.30am???????????????????? Yes, I’m not lying, 6.30am, time to start thinking about having “churros con chocolate” before heading back home after a big night out partying. For those of you who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, churros con chocolate is deep fried donuts mixture dipped in chocolate so thick that your spoon would stand straigt in it. Absolutely delicious. I guess both countries have something in common: breakfast at 6.30am. The Aussie breakfast kept us going for the whole day: sausages, fried eggs, toasts and bake beans.

I forgot to mention what Australia Day is all about. This is what the Goverment website says about Australia Day: “Australia Day, January 26, is the biggest day of celebration in the country and is observed as a public holiday in all states and territories. On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian. It’s the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It’s the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future.”

Is Maria becoming an Aussie?.Another instance of Maria celebrating Australia Day at Yorkeys Knob.

And there I was, celebrating Australia Day as if I was already an Aussie. But, as you can see in the photo, I haven’t been converted all the way yet. Here is when I become a bit confused. My mother says that I’m half from Madrid and half from where she comes from. Well, that makes a whole person, doesn’t it? And then Steve says that I’m half Spanish and half Australian. And that makes another whole person, doesn’t it? Does this mean that I have double personality?

A local artist carving the silouette of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on ice.The band playing traditional Australian mussic, a mixture between country and folk.

As you can see, there were lots of other activities going on in our small community. I’m sure everybody had a good time and I’m already looking forward to Australia Day 2009.