Darun Thai – Taigum

Only opened in the past few weeks, this brand new restaurant caters for both dine in and takeaway.   A lot of thought has gone into the setting inside the restaurant with a faux brick wall adorned with interesting  sculpture styled frames.  Spot lighting has been to set to highlight the images.

 BYO, with a $2 per head corkage surcharge, leaving you free to take along your favourite wine to accompany the meal.

 Prices are reasonable with a very large main plate from the bbq menu costing only $19.90.    A very extensive menu, which caters to many and varied tastes. 

 My choice was this delightful bbq beef meal, named the ‘Crying Tiger’. The beef plentiful, tasty as well as soft.  Very easy to eat.  A lot of effort had been put into the carrots alone, with spirals in the salad plus corrugated, chip style carrots in the vegetables.   Sauce was on the side,  and supposedly mild, but still a little to spicy for me.  However this tender, juicy beef, did not require any sauce, with plenty of flavoured juices coating your mouth upon every bite.  BBQ chicken was the other choice, which arrived looking tantalising juicy as well.   Huge meal too as this honestly seemed to be about half a chicken!   The photo does not depict the true size of these meals.

To finish, who can resist a little dessert.  Why not try the deep fried. Ice cream…šŸ˜œ 

 it doesn’t hurt to indulge every now and then!    And yes, this did taste as good as it looks!

Overall the setting, food quality and prices here are a winner for this new restaurant.   Front of house though still requires some work and co-ordination.  There appeared to be a lot of confusion with taking phone & walk in customer  orders,which left the few dine in guests, sitting waiting for sometimes long periods of non service.  Staff were friendly and I’m sure, given time combined with better planning, the front of house will improve. 

Will check this one out again further down the track.  In the meantime though, drop in when they’re quiet, I’m sure you will enjoy your meal!

Shouk Cafe – Paddington

  Brisbane in the spring.  Who doesn’t love the fabulous jacaranda! This was part of our view from the balcony at Shouk cafe.  Fully enclosed, yet high enough to still offer a nice view  whilst you enjoy breakfast.  Relaxed and unrushed, as well as wry enjoyable. One could not enjoy this brekky setting.  This fabulous carrot/ginger/apple juice was very popular at our table and, I’m told was superb.. Now this wasn’t my choice today as I chose the Egyptian iced tea.  With a hint of what I suspect was rose water, the iced tea was most refreshing, a great kick start to the day. To say there is a relaxing atmosphere in a cafe, which is so obviously popular,sounds a little cliche.  However, even though there were numerous patrons, staff were relaxed, friendly, helpful, and most of all, appeared unrushed.  After many years spent in hospitality, I really do appreciate relaxed, yet efficient staff.  Well done to all the staff, impressive.  My choice today was avocado on toast with a side of smoked salmon.  Very happy I chose the half serve, this was more than enough for me!  Loved the meal, it was superb. ‘The Jackson’ is Shouk’s version of a big breakfast.  Now I’m told this was devine, every bite.  Other meals included the latke stack which was potato cakes pancake style, with cream cheese and a choice of bacon, salmon or haloumi. Around the Paddington area of Brisbane there are a number of cafes.  Many of which we are yet to visit.  There are a couple here which we enjoy revisiting , this cafe, could well  join the list. Take some time to check it out, I very much doubt you will be disappointed.šŸ‘

Wyndham Cruises, Surfers Paradise

Seated at the iconic bar ‘Howl at the Moon’, I snapped a photo of what was to be our cruise boat for the afternoon.  Today was the opportunity to use a birthday voucher, which included a two hour buffet lunch cruise for two.   Leaving from Cavill Avenue, along one of the many man made canals, the wharf is easy enough to find.  Ticket office for voucher confirmation or to purchase tickets, is located around the corner of the bars, on the street front.  

A few cruises were tied up along this wharf, departing at different times for different purposes.   Boarding is easy enough, with the captain checking rickets before directing cruisers along the ramp to the boat.  Staff onboard then direct you to your table.

Big windows line the sides of the boat, allowing everyone a view of surrounding areas.  Upstairs, an open top deck with seating provided, gives the opportunity to lounge in the sun and enjoy the scenery with the wind in your hair, or a chance to enjoy many photo opportunities for the duration of the cruise.  Your lunch table setting includes a rubbish bowl for the prawn bodies and a water bowl for refreshing the hands after dissecting said prawns.  Bar prices are very reasonable, with beer, wine and basic spirits as well as a couple of jam jar cocktails, slushies and soft drink.  Not an extensive menu, but definitely sufficient for the cruises.  The Captain is seated inside the boat and gives a commentary throughout the cruise, pointing out locations of interest.  Captain Tony had a fabulous sense of humour, popping in added extras along the way, which, unfortunately, were only picked up by a handful of those onboard as most were not really listening.  We on the hand, did enjoy his dry sense of humour.

Lunch was superbly fresh, with plenty of salad, prawns, sliced ham, chicken and fabulously fresh buns available.  Tables were directed to the buffet by the staff, to ensure everything flowed, with an opportunity to return for more if you wished.  Tea, coffee and fruit were also available.  After cruising through various canals and past many mansions on islands, you are passing the Palazzo Versace, touted as the most luxurious hotel on the Gold Coast.  Surrounded by millions of dollars  berthed at the marina, the hotel peeks through the masts and various decks, with the canal frontage, not revealing the extent of the luxury inside.

SeaWorld theme park & resort lie along the strip next to the Palazzo Versace.   Beaches were filled with families enjoying the many water sport opportunities available to this area, or just a simple family picnic on this fabulous day.

 As well as views of those multi million dollar homes,  (one including its own canon!), an incredible array of boats, all shapes and sizes, you most likely will pass paraglider, jet skiers and canoeists.   So keep the camera handy!
 To top off this cruise, you are afforded some simply spectacular views of the Gold Coast skyline, showcasing the many high rises piercing the fabulously blue skies we enjoyed on our cruise day.

 Locals, tourists, everyone should take the opportunity to view the glitter strip from a cruise.   There are a number available, however check out Wyndham Cruises.  Aside from the lunch buffet, they do run other cruises including morning & afternoon tea.  

More photos are at Dine Live Travel on both Facebook & Instagram. #wyndhamcruises #dinelivetravel

Remember to take your camera, and listen to the Captains commentary, it could very well put a smile on your dial !