Review: Pavilion by the Pier

If I ever get married* I would like to have my reception (or after-party) at Pavilion by the Pier. (I know that’s what all of you have been wondering! 😉 )

ImageMostly it’s because of its location. And its fairy lights. Because I truly have a thing about fairy lights.

I’ve actually never eaten dinner there as I seem to dine out during the day far more often than in the evening, but… I must make the effort to get down there one night because I’ve heard good things.

I recently wrote about my brekkie at Bayaroma Cafe, which I’ve frequented a few times after my Saturday morning yoga class. I love a good eggs benedict and – until recently – it was the only place I’d found in Hervey Bay (or Maryborough) that offered a gluten-free option.

However, I’ve now dined at Pavilion by the Pier a couple of times and their eggs benedict is also gluten-free. Yay! It comes with either ham or salmon – I actually prefer bacon, but think that getting the GF hollandaise sauce right is far more important.

As is often the case I take along my own gluten-free bread rolls (which my mum picks up for me almost weekly from the Bell Hilltop Bakery in Maryborough) and they’re happy to use them instead of bought-GF bread.

As an aside… I haven’t found many (any?) cafes / restaurants locally which make their own gluten-free breads / rolls or buy them from bakeries. Mostly it’s the tiny pieces of bread you buy from retailers. (Which is fine. Having some GF bread is far better than not having any at all!)

mineoOf course, some greenery would make this look far prettier, but I ask them to hold the spinach cos, well… spinach! #blergh!

BLTToday’s breakfast companion had the BLT and said it was nice, but not quite as nice as the last one she had there (which I guess happens from time to time!).

Service is mostly good though I’ve experienced a few ‘new’ staff there on my visits and guess that’s typical of holiday locales. The ambiance and the views however are what keep me going back. Plus the GF options of course.

Check out Pavilion by the Pier on Facebook, or the website for opening times and location.

Have you been there? Are you a fan?

* This is as likely as pigs flying or Australia finding a humanitarian AND bipartisan way of dealing with asylum seekers! 

The pink balloon

I have an embarrassing confession. Actually I have many I could offer up, but today you’ll only get the one.

A few weeks ago I was on my almost-daily pier walk.
As an aside… I live in Urangan and have long loved the pier (my love affair with the Urangan pier actually deserves its own separate post!). Indeed, I am able to ‘lose myself’ every time I navigate the old timber boards.

large fishAnyhoo, I love that each walk will bring something new… a guy who caught some massive fish, wedding parties and photographers, or (as I saw last week) dolphins frolicking.

However… this tale of completely understandable confusion took place a few weeks ago.

As usual I was out on the pier and lost in my own little world when I saw a pink balloon drifting along the surface of the ocean.

I had to look twice, or perhaps more, to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. I kept expecting it to burst or drift off, but it floated along the water as if being pulled along by something unseen beneath the ocean.

So taken was I with this innocent pink balloon that I stopped a passerby to point it out before it drifted from view. As this had required me to remove my headphones and garner the fellow walker’s attention (ie. involving much effort on my behalf), I was a bit shirty that he merely grimaced uncomfortably – as if he was being harassed by a lunatic – and continued walking.

I pondered on this pink balloon for a day or two.

Where had it come from?
Where did it go?

And then… on my next walk I saw this.

pink balloon

Oh. Dear.

So much for my balloon-from-nowhere-magically-drifting-about-the-ocean theory.

I asked a friend and was told that the balloon-on-fishing line trick is used to keep the hook floating near the surface of the water, ostensibly for a certain type of fish.


No wonder the passerby looked at me as if I was a lunatic.

Note to self: Learn more about fishing before next commenting on anything involving the ocean!

Dessert… just add Salt

36055-img_2835editedHervey Bay is a very relaxed, beach-side tourist location. I love the lifestyle, but it’s not particularly conducive to showing off my fabulous shoe collection. So when I was invited to the opening night of Salt Cafe‘s dinner service, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve enjoyed coffee and lunches at Salt before, so was looking forward to trying their new dinner menu coupled with a fantastic view – it wasn’t just about the shoes.

62913-img_2824editedArriving at the restaurant, I was greeted by my friends wrapped in cozy blankets that were kindly provided by the restaurant. It is winter here in Hervey Bay, and the 17 degrees at night feels cold (though I know my northern hemisphere readers will baulk at this idea). Ideally the restaurant also needs heaters, as while the blankets definitely helped, it was still a little on the cold side. I believe they were looking into this, and hope it has been implemented – no doubt they will be able to be utilised on the colder days as well, as the majority of seating is outside to catch the sea views (and the breezes are also welcome on warmer days).

639bb-img_2823editedI decided to forgo an entree to save room for dessert, but my friends choices looked absolutely delicious. With one friend a coeliac, Salt has a number of gluten-free options. I got to taste the gluten-free version of the oven-baked Ciabatta loaf with garlic confit in balsamic olive oil and chilli and it was delicious at $7 and enough to share.

Another friend enjoyed the roasted pumpkin, spinach and goats cheese mille-feuille served with a baby tomato, basil and garlic confit. I got a taste and it was absolutely delicious and a reasonable $14.00. It was somewhat enormous for a starter, albeit light, the goats cheese was absolutely divine – I was excited to find something this delicious and enquired where it came from, so was disappointed to discover it had been imported from Belgium, as I’m yet to discover anything quite so flavourful locally (though I’ll keep trying just in case). The star of the day had to be the famous Hervey Bay Scallops on cauliflower puree with crisp prosciutto and caper vinaigrette, stunning at $16.00.

f0c96-img_2825editedMains were slightly less successful though. Choices were split down the table, between the duck and the steak. The duck servings were small, especially considering the $27.00 price tag. It was cooked through, and both of us who chose the duck would have preferred it pink – we did suggest they ask diners how they would like it served, as they would with steak. While the menu stated it was a seared orange, honey and chilli duck breast, there was no discernible warmth from the chilli, and the more subtle orange and honey flavours were over-powered by the mild Thai citrus dressing over the mint, coriander and bean shoot salad (and in the current weather, hot vegetables would have been preferred).

20a3b-img_2826editedThe other diners chose the eye fillet wrapped in prosciutto with a wild mushroom and brandy cream sauce on seeded mustard smashed potato with blanched broccolini. The serving size was enormous by comparison with the duck, though it was $34.00. And though both diners ordered their steaks medium-rare, they both came out blue. Personally I would have had to send it back, but they were both happy to dine on.

My highlight was definitely dessert. I chose the tasting plate, and while I shared some spoonfuls with my companions, it was certainly an indulgence at $29.00 (though it was utterly delicious and I wouldn’t hesitate to get it again). The Chai Panna Cotta with a petite citrus salad and pistachio shard was eye opening. I don’t normally like panna cotta – it’s a texture thing – but this was delicious, and the citrus salad, flavoured with ginger powder and mint was a delightful balance to the creaminess. I normally find white chocolate a little sickly sweet, but in the mousse served at salt, it was divine, and I loved the mini toffee apples that came with it. My favourite was definitely the triple chocolate semifreddo with crushed praline which had a great balance of cocoa and an added dose of nostalgia with the coconut wafer served with it. I’m sure you’ll agree it was beautifully presented.


There was quite a delay before we were served all our courses – 45 minutes from ordering before our entrees arrived and about 20 minutes between entree and main, though it was a relaxed gap before dessert was served.

I expect most of our issues were due to the first night of a new menu being served, and I would certainly be willing to try the dinner menu at Salt again. With a couple of glasses of wine, a coffee and tip, my bill came to $80.00, so my main concern would be the prices, as I think at this level, there are other venues in the area that offer stiff competition on the flavour and style stakes.

Cheers, KangaRue 🙂

All views are my own.

The Bayswater – bar and bistro

The Bayswater Hotel, in the busy Peppers precinct at Urangan in Hervey Bay is currently in receivership. Fortunately for we locals however, the popular bar and restaurant has continued to trade during the five months since receivers PriceWaterhouseCoopers took the reins.

As a newcomer to Hervey Bay I was shocked at the news, given that the popular pub seems to host a steady flow of drinkers and diners alike during the tourist season as well as the seasonal ‘down-times’.

I have to admit, in a larger city I’d probably steer clear of a place like The Bayswater – bright and family friendly – it’s normally not my sort of place.

But, here in Hervey Bay it’s my local and – quite frankly – it’s nicer than most of the other ‘pubs-come-restaurants’ around.

I’ve now dined there on a number of occasions and every time – without fail – my fellow diners are all happy with the meals served. I’m coeliac, so delighted that the staff can always tell me what I can and can’t have and – in all honesty – I’m almost always happy with the rib fillet steak, garlic sauce and chippies (yes, it’s true I have a v.discerning palate :-)!).

Just over a week ago I dined there with my family on a Tuesday (pizza and pasta night). My niece had a pizza and my mother had one of the specials, a Lamb Rogan Josh, but the remainder of us ordered off the extensive menu. The oven-roasted Moroccan chicken breast was succulent and lamb back strap delicious from all accounts.

Screen shot 2013-04-13 at 10.26.35 AM

A couple of the wines on the wine list weren’t available but my (fussier-than-I) dining companions easily found a cabernet sauvignon to their taste.

A few months ago I went with friends and they were delighted at the kids meals on offer and the fact that colouring in paper and pencils were available if required… clear evidence that a venue is child-friendly.

Although there are regular specials as well as Pizza & Pasta Night and Steak Nights, the a la carte menu isn’t terribly cheap if you’re on a tight budget. But, to date anyway, it’s offered value for money in my case.

The regular live music is always popular but I’m yet to venture there on a Sunday afternoon which is most certainly on my to-do list.

The only disappointment I’ve suffered so far was when a friend and I hit the pub during Friday post-work happy hour hoping that a bevy of handsome (mid-late 30s-40s) men would be attendance. Sadly we were rather disappointed.

But… as far as pubs and restaurants go, The Bayswater’s definitely a place for the ‘must-visit’ list.

The Great Wall… of Hervey Bay

I have very fond memories of the Urangan sea wall. As kids my brother and I would sit on the wall and let the water splash over us, or jump into incoming waves.

Until recently it was almost impossible to imagine such scenarios. The tide barely made it to the bottom steps of the wall, let alone offering up enough water to leap into without doing oneself an injury.

In October 2012 when I was looking at the apartment that was to become my home, the Real Estate Agent told me that the Fraser Coast Regional Council was planning to fix the sea wall (which was looking a little worse for wear). I knew it meant I’d have to suffer through some noise and disruption, but was basically pleased the iconic wall would remain.

IMG_4312I had a big moan however, when the Fraser Coast Regional Council finally started work on the Urangan sea wall back in December.

“Why on earth would you block off part of the esplanade at one of the busiest times of year?” I wondered. Aloud. And in a ranty way.

Unsurprisingly no one listened and work commenced a few weeks before Christmas.

IMG_4946Cyclone Oswald (officially Ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald… or as I like to think of it: the Tropical Cyclone formerly known as Oswald!) and king tides put work on hold for a few weeks, before Council staff got back to work with a vengeance.

As someone who lives across the road I’m trying to be patient. And sympathetic. And patient. (Oh, did I mention that?!)

BUT IT HAS BEEN BLOODY NOISY! From my expert eye I’ve noticed worker using a jack hammer to dig up the old wall; a big drill-thingy to dig holes in the concrete for the new wall supports; chain saws to presumably chop up the old wall; as well as many other noisy implements.

When all are unleashed at the same time it’s a nightmare for those trying to sleep work across the road.

But, I’ve tried to bear it bravely with only minimal (*ahem*) moaning and groaning.

IMG_4976The wall already needed replacing before the advent Cyclone Ossie (I’m allowed to call it that as we go way back!) and its wild winds which washed* concrete bricks out of the old wall.

I’m not overly sure that the new wall is the most aesthetically pleasing one that could have been chosen, but… that’s all water under the bridge (or over the wall).

I’ve seen no point in whingeing to the Council workers out there doing their job about the noise. Not when I can moan and groan on Twitter instead.

And – weather permitting – another month or so the noise will be a distant memory; I will again have my gorgeous ocean views (sans ugly fencing and road barriers) and – hopefully – the next Cyclone or high tides won’t result in chunks of the wall floating across the road.

Do others have fond memories of the sea wall, I wonder?
Or perhaps you’re as frustrated as I am about the disruption. (Albeit a necessary one!)

* apologies for the accidental alliteration. But now it’s there, it’s staying!