Last weekend M and I went up to the Gold Coast had a wonderful time sampling some of the eateries that friends recommended for us. We started the off with a filling big vegetarian breakfast at Blue Rose Cafe located at the picturesque Cabarita Beach (back on the NSW border side). One street behind the famous surfs at Cabarita Beach, the cafe seemed popular amongst the local surfers and residents seeing that we nabbed the last remaining outdoor seating table at 9am.
After eying our neighbouring tables big portion sizes, we decided to share the Big Vegetarian Breakfast. It consisted of a generous serve of buttery roasted mushrooms, two poached eggs, baked beans, two corn fritters and two buttered fluffy ciabatta bread slices. Everything was seasoned well and tasty, and the yolks were perfectly runny when we broke into the eggs. I especially loved the corn fritters which consisted of sweet corn kernels studded throughout the fluffy mixture before being deep fried to a perfect golden crunchiness.
After finishing our big breakfast we decided to hang back for a while with the newspaper and a soy cappuccino (and Revolver juice). In short, it was a wonderfully relaxing start to the weekend. On top of the great food and location of the cafe, what makes Blue Rose truly special is the genuinely friendly staff that work there.
Following our breakfast at Blue Rose Cafe, M and I decided to go on a road trip and explore the Kingscliff and Tweed Heads region. It soon was lunch time so we made the 40 or so minutes drive up to Gold Coast to try out the famed Hakataya ramen we had heard so much about, Hakataya ramen is a small hole-in-the-wall ramen shop located in a mall at Gold Coast that has garnered great reviews and followers for their tonkotsu soup-based ramen. So popular that the ramen shop has also expanded to numerous locations around Brisbane (and hopefully Sydney soon)! They specialise in the tonkotsu soup that is made on site by simmering pork bones for 39 hours (yay collagen!) to result in a richly flavoured chemical-free pork broth.
We each ordered the Nagahama Ramen that is their classic Japanese Pork Noodle Soup. I think it is very reasonably priced at $10, and is presented with a generous serve of bouncy thin ramen noodles in their collagen-rich pork soup. Their soup is not as thick as the soup at Gumshara (but then I am still yet to find a pork soup thicker than that at Gumshara). However the soup is still rich enough and very flavoursome. The Char Siu (pork slices) is also tender and flavoursome, having been slowly cooked with soy sauce and mirin. As a bonus, the shop also offers Kaedama, which means that they will offer you a free bowl of ramen for those who still have room for more (so save some soup). Whilst service is quite patchy since they were incredibly understaffed the day we went (only had one guy running around at the front), I would go back in a heartbeat for their ramen and good prices. Would definitely recommend going at a quieter time (we went just before 12pm) to find a seat and get your orders in before everyone else arrives.
Having caught the Japanese food bug truly and thoroughly by now, M and I decided to follow our friends recommendations and have dinner in another hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant. We soon found ourselves in another small arcade (Lido arcade) in search of the restaurant Amimoto. We had to do a double take to make sure we were at the correct restaurant since the entry is easy to miss, but soon enough we were seated and presented with a fairly hefty menu book with pages and pages of authentic Japanese dishes. After a good few minutes of studying the menu, we ended up choosing the Chicken Katsu Don and the Chirashi Sushi Don.
Whilst waiting for our dishes to be made, we sat and watched the sushi chef make numerous sushi rolls to order. Although we ended up being too full to order any sushi rolls following our two rice dishes, we’ve made a mental note to come back to try the sushi rolls after the raving reviews the women we met at the restaurant gave for them (apparently the “best salmon sushi”).
Soon enough our two rice dishes came. M’s Chicken Katsu Don was freshly made to order, with freshly deep-fried crispy pieces of chicken covered with a fluffy egg omelette mixture that was studded throughout with sweet onion slices and peas. Incredibly filling and tasty, and a bargain at only less than $10.
Whilst the Katsu Don was good, it has nothing on the Chirashi Sushi. Generous fat and fresh slices of assorted raw fish was served on top of a bowl of vinegary sushi rice. It was definitely one of the best assortment of sashimi I have seen in a Chirashi Sushi dish, with seafood including salmon, kingfish, scallops, tuna, roe, sea urchin, squid and more. Each piece of seafood was fresh, and I especially loved the inclusion of sea urchin in the dish! So creamy and utterly indulgent. There was another dish on the menu that was Sea Urchin and Roe Don so presumably if it is just sea urchin and roe on rice I have absolutely got to order that next time round.
Shop 13 Lido Arcade, 24 Orchid Ave
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