The second offering was eagerly devoured at Quattro on the main street of Lennox Head. Efficient and friendly service (despite our presumptuous request to dine at 9.30pm on a public holiday) was overshadowed by six delicious varieties; the standouts being a spicy Gambari (prawn) concoction, a Gorgonzola number and a perfectly balanced Funghi (mushroom). The food was ably complemented by a stellar wine list and the restaurant's sleek interior.
Unfortunately we didn’t have quite enough time during this whirlwind visit to make it down as far as the Little Creatures brewery in Fremantle, but valuable local knowledge (and Urban Spoon) led us to a number of other hotspots. Cantina 663 in Beaufort Street, Mt. Lawley, served up some delicious Spanish beans on toast for breakfast, coupled with seriously top-notch coffee, whilst Uncle Billy’s in Roe St, Northbridge yielded an amazing array of traditional Cantonese-style dishes including salt and pepper squid and chilli pepper-stuffed beancurd.
Those with a penchant for more gamey meats might like to try Good Fortune Duck House, also located in somewhat seedy Northbridge (William St). The real culinary surprise was a quick meal at Dome, which is chain of cafes perhaps best described as the love-child of Starbucks and TGI Fridays. Succulent burgers, fresh vegetarian wraps and an extensive selection of beverages were all winners, as were the comfy booths. Perfect for weary travelling musicians.
The coffee was quite good, although an earlier soy flat white, procured at Phat Coffee in Hindley St was far more impressive.Queen St Cafe is blessed with helpful but not overbearing staff, a quiet, cosy atmosphere and is also nestled among some excellent vintage stores. A nice place to spend a morning.
So... this blog never really got under way while I was gallivanting around Australia with Circus Oz, but recently my current housemate reminded me of the value of creating a guide for travelling artists that features the best food, wine, beer and coffee on regional (and not so regional) touring routes in Australia.
My very own band will be touring in a week and I look forward to bringing you frequent culinary updates from the road, but until then...here are some highlights from the past year for your enjoyment.
image (c) Lisa Dempster from this excellent blog
The mid-North Coast of New South Wales is not somewhere one would expect to find excellent South Indian food, but Sara's Kitchen bucks the trend toward modern European dining and the more traditional beachside fish and chips found along Clarence St. As well as some delicious North Indian curry staples, various dosas and pooris are available as well as vegetarian and non-vegetarian thali sets and all for very reasonable prices.
Whatever your reason for visiting the shire of South Gippsland (heads up, there are about five op shops), you will need sustenance. From memory, Mango Tree Thai is part of the Korumburra Hotel in the main street of town. No rural approximations of Asian staples here, authentic ingredients make for a positively scrumptious Pad Thai and a zesty Tom Yum.
Interesting fact: 'Korumburra' is apparently from an aboriginal dialect and translates as 'blow-fly'.
It's a long and lonely (but stunning) drive if you take the scenic route from Adelaide to Melbourne, but thankfully there a few refreshing pitstops dotted along the (mainly) coastal road.
The Robe Providore at 4 Victoria St, Robe, is one of those, offering good coffee and food reminiscent of a weekend brunch in a hip Inner Melbourne suburb, as well as a broad selection of cheeses and other deli goodies to take home, or with you on your travels East.
Ever searched for a snack in Shepparton? Cruised for a coffee in Coonabarabran? Potentially procured prosciutto in Portland? (Ok sorry, that one was particularly bad). Anyway, this blog aims to compile a list of Australia's best musician-friendly food and beverage haunts. Everyone has their saviours, their little piece of Fitzroy in the middle of nowhere, or even just a place to get an edible counter meal.
Let me know your secrets!