Dinner to die for

The first thing I thought when I saw the bar / restaurant Coast was that it brings a bit of big city chic to the Fraser Coast. Its environs and atmosphere most-certainly rival that of the trendiest cafes in Melbourne, Sydney or Noosa.

IMG_5237I’ve been there a few times for drinks and the service is always stellar.

And as for the Sunday afternoon sessions: listening to some fabulous acoustic music on a warm summer’s day with champagne in hand… well, it doesn’t get much better.

Everyone – locals and visitors alike – RAVE about the menu and food, something I hadn’t experienced until recently.

Last Friday I found myself there enjoying a pleasant glass of champagne or three when my fellow drinkers decided they’d love to stay on and dine.

It was my first evening there and I was pleasantly surprised that the place was just pumpin’ (in a good way). Lots of nicely dressed diners were arriving and I realised it is most certainly one of THE places (if not THE place) to go in Hervey Bay.

As a coeliac I often struggle to find suitable options. The team at Coast however advised they could adapt recipes to suit my needs as required.

Which meant that my main dilemma when it came to the food at Coast (and many other restaurants) is that… I don’t eat shellfish. In fact I have a bizarre aversion to any food which looks like it did when alive. Even eating meat off a bone is problematic if you’re slightly screwy in the head – which it seems I am.

Given my fussiness and gluten-consumption issues, we decided on one of Coast’s famous shared plates; going for the slow-roasted shoulder of lamb with sides of crushed chat potatoes and a kale, corn, spring onion and chilli mayonnaise dish.

And… Oh. My. God. I forgave the lamb its bone. The more culinary-gifted of my friends went to carve the meat and it just fell off the bone.

It was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The potatoes were great, I’m not sold on kale, even though it was part of a very tasty combination of flavours, but I did try some (there’s a first time for everything!).

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We stuffed ourselves beyond full, though after a short respite my friends decided to share a dessert.

I was horrified when they went for the ‘banana split’ imagining some American diner version of the popular dish. No sirree… this banana split was infused with all sorts of stuff and well, was apparently just amazing. I was offered a taste but turned it down, thinking of my waistline. Well, that and the fact that I don’t actually eat fruit. (Yes, yes… I know…)

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People rave about Coast’s Sunday afternoon $10 buckets of prawns ; or the Friday Happy Hour $3 pork buns; but I am well and truly a convert to the shared meat dishes and will certainly be going back for more! In fact, I should probably peruse the menu now to decide what I’ll have next time…

Culture on the Coast

One of the things that worried me when I moved from ‘the city’ to the Fraser Coast was the possible absence of a bit of ‘kulcha’, if you know what I mean.

I love being part of a city that plays home to a range of cultures, evidenced by the people you see in the streets and the variety of food and entertainment available.

Which is why I was stoked to learn that the Fraser Coast hosts a cultural festival each year. The Fraser Coast Cultural Festival is an annual event featuring a range of activities and across the Fraser Coast.

Supported by local businesses and government, the festival not only welcomes guest artists from elsewhere in Queensland and Australia, but also provides local residents with a chance to share some of their own culture with their neighbours and community.

This year it involved films, a luncheon and community workshop and culminated in a concert at Maryborough’s Brolga Theatre and a family day held at Scarness.

PicMonkey Collage brolga

My mum attended the gala night at the Brolga and couldn’t stop raving about the quality of the acts. She was a little disappointed at the crowd in attendance and said they really missed out on something special.

Some of those same acts featured on one of several stages at the festival parade and fun day on Sunday in Hervey Bay. Thousands took the opportunity to visit the craft and food stalls, view basket-weavers in action and even try circus tricks. I must admit – despite my own hatred of crowds – I was excited by what was on offer.

culture festival

Congratulations and thanks should go to the local organisers, volutneers and participants and if you can make it to the Fraser Coast in/around March make sure you pop along to the Cultural Festival.