Interestingly the thing I miss most since my seachange to Hervey Bay isn’t the Brisbane nightlife or social scene. It’s not the shopping or the array of cultural activities. It’s takeaway food options!
I must first confess though that although I’ve whinged about this for two years I’m still only just getting around to trying some new places.
We had a few false starts as my friends and I rocked up one Sunday lunch only to discover the restaurant only opens at night. (A bummer as I actually eat out more at lunchtime than dinner!)
However, two weeks ago we finally made it. And enjoyed the experience.
Oriental Palace offers Chinese and Malaysian cuisine. I’m coeliac so offered to go it alone and order my own gluten-free dish; allowing my friends to choose whatever they wanted. However, they kindly agreed to both order from the GF menu so I would be able to try a few different dishes.
Happily, being coeliac is NOT an issue at the Oriental Palace. Rather than a blank look the waitress knew exactly what I needed and disappeared, bringing back a menu with GF options clearly marked. (She had spares, so let me bring one home for takeaway-ordering purposes.)
None of the entrees are GF, which isn’t unusual and my friends decided to forgo them anyway and nibbled on the vege chips provided while we sipped our drinks and
gossiped discussed important social issues.
We went for the: Chicken with cashew nuts & vegetables; Chilli beef & vegetables; and Cha-Kueh-Tiao (Malaysian Flat Rice Noodles (which comes with a range of meats).
Service was very speedy and we agreed all three dishes tasted really fresh and healthy, although the Chilli beef won out on taste.
The other two dishes were a teensy bit bland… but I suspect the chef had to eliminate sauces because of the whole gluten thing. It’s something I’m accustomed to but my friends asked for some soy sauce and I think that helped.
Some choices I would have liked to have tried weren’t available gluten-free which is a tad disappointing. Many sauces (oyster, soy, black bean etc) aren’t necessarily gluten-free but you can buy GF brands. Understandably though, most places have their own preferences and probably can’t just use Masterfoods / Chang’s when they’re accustomed to Kikkoman’s. Or similar. 🙂
So, while my old fave Brisbane haunt still holds a place in my heart, I’m pleased to have discovered Oriental Palace. We caught wafts of sizzling beef, Laksas and Mongolian lamb and the like and I suspect my dining companions opt for those next time they visit. I certainly would, if I could!
Oriental Palace 352 Esplanade, Scarness is open Tuesday – Sunday evening from 5pm. Most meat-based dishes are around the $20 mark and it’s BYO and licensed. Check them out on Facebook or call on 07 4128 3496.