Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part One

As you can tell from my title I’m completely delirious.
These next series of entries will be mostly about our current travels but I will try to keep them food related!
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Hubby and I woke up bright and early this morning to board our flight to Cairns. We’re headed to the wonderful country of Japan again but decided to spend a day in Cairns to break up our flying time.

I think the plane was lacking oxygen as hubby and I had a few strange exchanges on the way over…
Hubby : No boobs but you make up for it with your nice back. Baby got back
Me: You got the boobs in our relationship (and I then proceeded to squeeze his chest while saying “honk honk”)

We’re very classy….

Cairns was just as lovely as ever and after getting our hire car, we went straight to the beach and walked around admiring our favourite spots while having a heated discussion about Gay Marriage. Never a dull moment…


We were pretty hungry and decided to stop in at a past favourite, “Rattle and Hum” 
There’s just something about this place we like….
We were a bit naughty with our food selections….

Very delicious!!
And from where we sat we could see lots of food going out. There were a lot of burgers that’s for sure.
The pic on the left is of a steak sandwich and that meat was just so tender!!! It was really lovely and sooooo sinful to eat!

After lunch we walked some more and did a bit of window shopping. We talked a lot about our trip to Japan… I’m looking forward to being there tomorrow….

I’m not quite sure what to say about our Air BnB experience in Cairns, suffice to say that if you’re not a people person, you probably shouldn’t book rooms in other people’s houses.
But it’s all good!! We have somewhere nice and clean to spend the night and will come back with lots of stories!

An hour or so later…

I really don’t want to say anything against our Air BNB host as she was… well she was herself and unfortunately it didn’t really mix with who we are.
We spent a couple of hours in that room in her apartment then decided we’d probably be happier if we were in a hotel room so, we moved.
I can’t explain the relief.
I can’t explain in this post what we didn’t like as I’d hate for anything to get back to our host. In her way, she tried her best, it was just not for us.

Back to food….
After a day of travelling,
lots of  walking,
dealing with the anxiety of wondering where we were going to sleep,
wondering if anyone would walk into our bedroom while we were sleeping,
(or into the bathroom while we were showering)
physical and mental exhaustion took it’s toll and made us not want to leave our hotel room.

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After recouping in our hotel room, we walked to a nearby Woolies and got a couple of baguettes, some deli meats, sundried tomatos, olives, cucumbers and other goodies and made a jumbo size roll!!!
It was magnificent and really really hit the spot!!!

Tomorrow we’ll be in Japan where I’m sure I’ll have a bit of food anxiety but that doesn’t matter, that’s what being in a new culture is all about!

Mata chikaiuchini o ai shimashou! (Blame Google translate if that doesn’t make sense!!)

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Aldgate Pump Hotel

 

 

Today on the Dining Diaries..

I find where the Play School “round” window went!
Stone grill dishes make our mouths water and
A little seasoning never goes astray….

Aldgate Pump HotelDiners today we are in Aldgate at the Aldgate Pump Hotel. I wondered how it got it’s name. What did the “pump” part of it mean?
Well as it turns out, a century or so ago, bullock drivers, travellers and colonists would travel from Adelaide past the pub. At that time, the trip from Adelaide to the pub took a good part of the day. A hand-pump and trough outside gave horses a welcome drink while their owners were inside refreshing themselves with something to eat and drink.

Although it didn’t take us half a day to get here, we were looking forward to being refreshed ourselves.
There are lovely pubs scattered throughout the Adelaide Hills and we weren’t disappointed by what we found at the Aldgate Pump Hotel.

I was a little dismayed as we walked in though, to see dated carpet and older style furnishings but the longer we sat there, the more I realised that it’s part of the charm that the locals expect.


The staff were friendly and we found a nice table that let us enjoy the views to the greenery outside.

The menu sounded a little ambitious at first glance. Were they trying to be something they’re not or could they really deliver?
The most interesting aspect of the menu is the Hot Rock  section. In fact we saw a couple of dishes coming out and the sizzling sound of that meat cooking on the hot rock was really making us question our menu choices!

In the end we decided to go for the chef’s selection : Trio of Dips as a starter.

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Look at that beautiful colour! I have to say, these are the best selection of dips we’ve had in a while. Each dip had a wonderful texture and we were given quite a generous amount of each! We guessed the flavours as being (from left) beetroot, sundried tomato and tzatziki. The pita bread was fresh and warm and we were almost full after sharing this plate!

We both really felt like a good pub burger today so hubby went for the Pulled Pork Burger, and I went for my usual Steak Burger.

The Pulled Pork Burger made hubby’s eyes light up when it came out.

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There seems to be a generous amount of pork in there! Unfortunately hubby said it was really lacking in seasoning and flavour. We both found the burger bun to be a little…
I’m not sure how to describe it, only to say it seemed like it had been thawed out and reheated.

My Steak burger looked pretty good when it came out too.

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I can’t remember seeing it on the menu but there were fried onion rings in there! Sadly, these too could have used some salt but it was still exciting to see.

The meat itself was beautifully cooked; Tender and succulent just as it should be. The rest of the burger had flavour enough so I really enjoyed mine.

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While we were dining I glanced over and saw what reminded me of the Play School Window!

Those Australians, who like me, grew up with ABC’s Play School will know what I’m talking about.

All in all, we had a nice dining experience here despite the lack of flavour in some of the food. I just think they might be trying to be something they’re not.
People come to this place for the charm and the history and I think that’s what they need to promote.
While they say “change is as good as a holiday” I think they need to be calculated changes and the skills to cope with the changes have to accompany them.

Have you been to Aldgate Pump Hotel?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

Darwin – Day 2

I slept like a baby last night! Of course it helped that the hotel’s air conditioning was on at full blast.

gum.jpgDarwin doesn’t have daylight saving so it was still quite early when I woke. I remembered the hotel gym opened at 6am so I decided to go down there early and get in some k’s on the treadmill before hubby woke up.

At 6.01am the gym still wasn’t open so I went down to reception to see if perhaps I’d gotten the time wrong.
I wonder if a guest has ever chased the staff about opening the gym before??

Hubby ended up coming down ninety minutes later and after a quick shower, we hopped into the pool to cool down.

We wanted to stay active and looked for a few things to do. We had wanted to go to the Aviation Museum but didn’t want to use a taxi or the bus. It was probably too far to walk with this humidity, so we decided to go to the “Qantas Hangar” instead.

The Hangar was about four kilometres from where we were staying and off we trotted on foot. I think hubby perspired at least ten buckets worth only to find when we got there, that we hadn’t really researched what the Hangar was….
I was more than a little disappointed but oh well, we got to talk to a few locals at the Parap shops and that’s always nice.

We saw a man waiting at a bus stop and asked him how soon the bus was coming. Lucky for us, there was one just about due and while we waited he pretty much told us his life story. Everyone has a story here! It was really interesting talking to him and it made the trip worthwhile.

fullsizerender15The bus took us right back to the Waterfront so we hopped off there to get some lunch. This time we were NOT going to go to the Hot Tamale.

Instead we ended up at Fiddlers Green.

The staff here were fairly friendly. They work hard to entice you in.

Hubby went for a couple of entree’s. SMOKED SALMON BLINIS- Salmon on potato pancakes with dill, Sour cream, capers & red onion jam and a BASKET OF WEDGES – Served with sweet chilli sauce & sour cream


He absolutely loved the potato pancakes. “Why can’t you make them like that?” he asked. Hmmm, I’ll have to try harder. They were really delicious and I know because I was allowed a taste test! I think he allowed it so that I know how to make them….

I went for the THE BOOKIE’S SANDWICH – 150g scotch fillet steak, with onion, tomato Lettuce, mustard mayo & fries

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You just can’t go by a good honest steak sandwich. It was just what I felt like.
The steak was cooked well and the onions and mayo… just yum!
The dining room could do with a bit of refurbishment as a lot of it was looking a bit old and dated.
It was also just a little disappointing that they were so friendly when trying to get us in, but less so when we were actually in there. But, again, you get what you pay for and we couldn’t fault the food.

fullsizerender10After lunch we continued walking and found ourselves walking past Northern Territory’s Living Marine Educational Discovery Centre where outside the building it’s advertised as being Darwin’s most interesting attraction with a quality coffee shop.

I didn’t take a picture of the Quality Coffee shop sign OR the Coffee shop itself… which is really too bad. I can vouch for it though because I saw a percolator on the counter.

Eventually we walked back to our room, changed into our bathers and spent a good hour in the hotel pool along with a couple of other guests.What a nice way to cool down!

We decided to visit Sky City Casino for dinner so after a bit of a nap  refreshing ourselves in our room, we walked to the Casino.


There are a few restaurants to choose from but hubby couldn’t go past the buffet.
We walked in and asked if we could look at the food before deciding if we’d eat here. Is that weird? The server kind of looked at us strangely so I guess she hasn’t been asked that question before!


We saw SO MUCH seafood! We don’t even really eat seafood but we saw enough to know that this was the place for us.

What we did eat was so very tasty! It was really hard to slow down and enjoy but we forced ourselves because we wanted to try a little bit of everything.
My favourite was probably the special fried rice.
They topped up the food regularly and ensured everything we were having was fresh.
The views from the restaurant were quite pretty too!

Unfortunately, where our table was located, we were not able to enjoy the view with our dinner.

What we did have however, was a birds eye view of the dessert table, complete with a chocolate fountain!

It definitely was a hit with the children!
What I loved about the desserts was that they were all small serves so we got a few things between us to share.
They also had a bread and butter pudding. One diner lamented the absence of custard to go with it “How can they have a bread and butter pudding without custard???” she exclaimed to me.
I just shrugged. There was cream and ice cream so that was good enough for me.

We finished off the night with a bit of luck at the Black Jack table. Hubby doesn’t do that often and I’m always nervous when he does but it usually works in his favour.

I don’t have a full day’s worth to make a “Day Three” post but it was pretty funny to see our taxi driver flirt shamelessly  with hubby on the way to the airport. It was like I wasn’t in the car at all!! I’m half expecting a facebook friend request to come through for hubby from the taxi driver… I mean there’s friendly and friendly….

I also have lots to tell you about the Qantas Club lounge that we were lucky enough to use. Qantas club, Business class tickets… I could get used to this life!!

So we survived a couple of days in Darwin during the wet season.
Have you been there?
What your experience been like? I’d love to know!!

Spoon You Fork Me/The Dining Diaries will be returning in the regular format from Monday the 16th of January.

Thanks for reading!

Hogs Breath Cafe Glenelg

IMG_5351Even though hubby and I go out for dinner fairly regularly, I always get super excited when we’re about to go out. It probably has something to do with the fact that I don’t have to cook…

This Wednesday afternoon we wandered into Hogs Breath Cafe in Glenelg.
I find Hogs Breath to be one of those places where my expectations are always high, even if the end result is just average. I think that’s what they call great advertising!

So hubby and I walked in reading all the cute little lines they have on the stairway to the top floor (I wish I’d taken a photo of this!)

We were met by our friendly waitress Jasmine at the top of the stairs and she showed us to a table out on the balcony.
It was a warmish but overcast day and we had very pretty views of Glenelg and Jetty road from our table.

Jasmine informed us that the new menu was just five days old. My first thought was “yay, new food!” but as soon as she walked away hubby said “You know what that means don’t you? Higher prices”
They do have a cheaper lunch menu option which looks like it’s good value for money but we didn’t order from there.
IMG_5352.JPGNot feeling very adventurous today, I went for something pretty regular, their Steak Sandwich – hold the beetroot please! (Yeah I know, what kind of an Aussie am I?) and hubby ordered the Serious Burger.
She didn’t ask us if we wanted to order any drinks so just as she was about to walk away I put in my wine order, and curiously, she didn’t ask hubby what he wanted to drink.

As we sat there waiting for our food, the other tables around us quickly filled. I was a little surprised at how busy it was, considering it was a midweek lunch meal but it did make it nicer that there was laughter and chatter happening around us.

When our food came out, the waiter got a bit confused calling one a Steak burger and the other a Serious sandwich. One was bigger than the other, and we had different sides IMG_5357otherwise they looked pretty similar.
My Steak sandwich (above) came with sweet potato wedges and I had to dig into one of these right away as they looked delicious and it really was! IMG_5356They were crispy, sweet and flavoursome! Everything you would want from a sweet potato wedge.

Hubby was still looking at his so I asked what was wrong. He replied “Now I know what the “Serious” part means. It’s seriously small.” And then added “If it wasn’t so serious I’d be laughing”

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Hubby had a side of twisters on his plate and this photo was taken before he’d eaten any.

He was really disappointed with the amount on the plate, especially when he looked around and saw other plates seemed to have more on them.
Have I mentioned that we like big food?

I was pretty happy with what was on my plate. My steak sandwich looked huge!! In fact the first thing I did was cut through and give half of it to hubby.
As I was cutting I noticed it was cold… It wasn’t the meat that was cold, but the bun was filled with a cold coleslaw and sauce and there was really so much of it, IMG_5358that when I did try to take a bite, I could barely taste any meat.
I’m not really complaining as it was tasty and I felt very full after having it, but I was wanting a steak sandwich and it didn’t feel like I’d eaten any steak.

When hubby tasted some of mine he said it didn’t really taste any different to what he’d eaten.

I asked him what he thought of everything he’d eaten and he said the taste was fine but he wasn’t very happy with portion size.

Personally, I enjoyed what I ate and the things I’m complaining about are very minor. It’s not every restaurant’s fault that we have huge appetites and don’t know what a normal portion size is.

Our burgers were both $21.95 which is probably fairly average give or take a few dollars.

Will we go there again? I’d say it’s very likely although probably not for a little while. I do like the atmosphere and the new menu had a few interesting things on there which I’d like to try next time.

 

Have you been dined at Hogs Breath?

What did you think?  Feel free to leave your comments below.

Till next we chow…