I have been writing this post in my mind the whole plane trip back from Queensland, Australia to Christchurch, NZ. My family and I spent ten days in Noosa and Gold Coast. I was excited to check out the food scene; cafes, restaurants, farmers markets and even the supermarkets. You know you are a food geek when you have the local food suppliers on your list of places to visit. I was envisaging amazing fresh off the boat seafood and sub tropical fruits and vegetables.
These were some of my food low + highlights from my trip.
- Noosa Farmers Market – I was excited by the subtropical fruit; dragonfruit looks spiky yet tastes half watermelon half kiwifruit. Free range chickens; I bought a big fat one and took it back to our apartment to roast it with fresh lemons and butter. It was so very juicy and made lovely moist chicken rolls the next day. The food producers and growers were all super friendly and happy. The quality of the green organic produce was high. The feeling I got was people are super health conscious and there was an incredible baker meeting that market. I bought an Organic double chocolate Beetroot cake for Lucia’s 3rd birthday and it was moist, delicious yet not overly sweet. This baker also made non cooked tarts, he let me taste a chilled lime & chocolate tart which was unlike anything I have seen or eaten before. Freshly squeezed sugar cane juice looked popular also.
- Dairy Food – The cost of butter in Australia blew me away, it seemed miles cheaper than New Zealand. I managed to buy a small 200 gram pack for $1.50 AUS. There is so much great yoghurt and talk about a lot of choice in style. I also wanted to buy all of the marinated feta’s and goats cheeses. There is only so much cheese one can eat in ten days.
- Bread & Baking- No plain stodge bread here when there is so much Turkish, panini, soft oh so soft rolls, wraps, fruit breads, toast bread and croissants. That list is hardly exhaustive. I ate a lot of fresh artisan bread. I rated the bread highly and the daily muffins in the cafes are light and fresh.
- Dining out – Truthfully I was a bit disappointed with the Al carte dining menus in Hastings Street, Noosa. All the restaurants seemed to repeat the same formula. For example the breakfast menus are all the same down to the pancakes served with butter, maple syrup and candied pecan nuts. It was lovely but predictable. The dinner menus were similar in the all served slow cooked lamb shoulder. The prices are high and in future I would only pick one of three restaurants to eat at in Noosa. Two are right on the beach. The third is the authentic italian however it is hugely priced for what I consider should be peasant food. There is a great affordable Grind cafe in Noosaville which did a yum Turkish chicken and tarragon mayonnaise spinach and radish sandwich for approx $16.00 AUS, they also had a Asian slaw with calamari.
- Meat – We decided to stay in and cook an eye fillet steak we purchased unfortunately from the supermarket. It was so gross it tasted of uncooked liver. It was just strange tasting and unpleasant. I am not sure what had been done to the meat. This put me off buying any red meat while I was there. I went to bed hungry.
- Thai takeaway – I am not usually a take away kind of gal. I did relent and we had a fabulous affordable Thai takeaway. it was full of fresh herbs and was expertly cooked. The Thai takeaway was down in the Noosa Junction end of Noosa.
- Coffee – All of the coffee I had were superb. Queensland baristas have the art of the espresso down pat.
Being away from home always makes you enjoy a home cooked meal all the more. It is great to be back in Christchurch and I appreciated my Mt Pleasant Farmers market all the more this morning.