Out of town

Gold Coast, Restaurants

Charlie’s fingers aren’t what they used to be

As far as the culinary history of the Gold Coast goes the pineapple, bacon and cheese (you might add banana to the mix) fingers at Charlie’s should be icons. When Charlie’s opened on Cavill Avenue in 1976 I’m told it didn’t look as smart as it does now but the fingers were a favourite. And just as the cafe – restaurant is too strong a word – has been made over so have the fingers but for the worse. When […]

Gold Coast

The pies have it

Jak still remembers Mrs Goldstein because she was frightening. Founded in 1944, Goldstein’s is a Gold Coast institution and now a chain.You won’t find some of the fancy breads we are used to in Melbourne but the shops sell a decent enough product, especially the pies and Jewish breads.I’d recommend that you eat the plain mince with ketchup – Heinz, of course.The chicken and mushroom (above) is a gourmet pie requires no additions.  I particularly, like the coding for the pies […]

Gold Coast

Gold Coast food vs Melbourne food

  There’s four different types of mangoes in Coles. Over a dozen types of quality processed meat, mostly, Spam. And more prawns than you can point a stick at. The strange thing about traveling is the differences of choices reflecting local produce and conditions. At Vintage Cellars the demand is for expensive champagne and heavy, high alcohol red wines judging by what is on the shelves. I can only find whites in a small fridge tucked away in the back […]

Mornington Peninsula, Red Hill

Thursday pudding porn

The Mornington Peninsula is a wonderful if not expensive wine region. But sometimes you just want a beer. We were there to taste stouts at the Red Hill Brewery. First though a steak & kidney pudding swimming in a sea of gravy and vegetables matched with a good bitter beer. The best thing about this place is that the beers actual taste of something unlike the biggest selling Australian brews like VB. The only thing missing? A log fire.

Gold Coast

Bad restaurants with bad names

What is it with the brashest places also having the worst restaurants with the worst names? I’ve recently returned from the Gold Coast where money seems to be sloshing around and everybody seemingly drives either a BMW or a Mercedes. You’d think that with all that money that there would be decent food and drink to be had. I can only think of half a dozen places worth visiting but this

Melbourne, Restaurants, Sydney

Sydney vs Melbourne equals LA vs NY

Anthony Bourdain doesn’t think much of Sydney but loves Melbourne. The New York Times restaurant critic Patricia Wells seems to agree that Melbourne’s Flower Drum is the best Chinese restaurant in the world (for its Peking duck at least).Now the LA Times food critic S. Irene Virbila, is wading in to the debate rating Sydney as one of the best places in the world to eat.The divides between the hometowns of the protagonists of this debate perhaps illustrates the cultural […]

Port Douglas

The mud crab that never was

It’s going to be a special night for the long-suffering mother of your two naughty little boys. You visit the Nautilus restaurant, famous for Bill Clinton’s visit in another century, two days before hand and pre-book two mud crabs. You want it to special and when you arrive you tuck into a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut at $150. It all goes swimmingly until what are meant to be two whole chilli mud crabs turn up. The waiter says it has […]

Restaurants, Sydney

Welcome to Tiger Country

Drive out the Sydney CBD, over the Anzac Bridge and turn left down Darling Street and you are on the wrong side of the tracks. Or you were a few years ago. This is the home of the working man’s pub, The Tigers rugby league team and, once upon a time, the modest terrace that was Tetsuya’s.