Seared calamari with a lemongrass & lime dressing and a green chilli mayonnaise
Who ever said country bumpkins didn’t know how to eat deserves a slap. And now that I’ve called them country bumpkins, I think I’m going to get a slap, but it’s Townsville… so you know what I mean 😉 Every time we go to Townsville to visit my brother and sis-in-law, they take us out to fantasmical (totally a word) places and we are pretty much always impressed with the meals we have. The food is modern, edgy, creative, totally what you would find in a “big city” – but alas, they are also catching up to big city prices.
Not that we always ate fancy, we also had some hotdogs from a cart by the beach. As you do.
Anyhow, this is pretty much a Townsville food porn post (less writing, more drooling), so without further adieu… feast away!
Lunch at Watermark
We touched down just before lunch on Thursday last week and headed straight out for lunch. Panu and I, reeling from Sydney’s winter (which really ain’t that bad but it’s certainly not balmy) wanted to be outdoors by the ocean, so we went to Watermark, a fancy-ish but uber delicious restaurant on The Strand. We loved this place and will go back. Every time.
Hand sliced smoked Tasmanian ocean trout, cucumber, avocado,
bean shoots, and aromatic herbs tossed in a hot and sour dressing
Crispy skin Tasmanian salmon fillet on a bed of roasted cherry tomato,
cucumber & herb salad, finished with a ginger dressing
A duo of coconut braised duck legs in a spiced Thai red curry,
wok tossed Chinese broccoli served with Thai jasmine rice
Honey beer battered fillets served with fries, lemon and tartare
Crispy Bangalow pork belly with a Malaysian sambal and aromatic herbs
72-74 The Strand,
(07) 4724 4281
Dinner at Essence
On Friday night my parents babysat this cutie while Panu, me, my brother and sis-in-law had a night out. We had a luxurious dinner at Essence, located inside Jupiters Casino. Again, the food was divine and absolutely something you would expect to find at a high-end Sydney restaurant. I downed three courses and a heavy strawberry & cream drink, and felt so bloated I almost died. But hey, I’m a trooper.
Oh and the chips were heavenly!
Twice cooked 5 spice pork belly with scallop, cauliflower purée,
sprout salad, puffed buckwheat
Butter poached medallion lobster with squid ink farfalle,
edamame, vine ripened tomato, white wine emulsion
Grilled boneless beef short ribs with celeriac puree, brussel sprouts and tamarind vinaigrette
Lightly smoked duck breast with apple terrine, crispy skin, pistachio,
caramelised sweet potato and cherry gel
Prosciutto wrapped pork ballotine with crispy pork belly
Triple cooked chips with paprika salt and aioli
Mixed leaf salad with parmesan and pine nuts
Flourless chocolate cake with dark chocolate mousse,
strawberry jelly, praline and yoghurt sorbet
Sixteen layer opera cake: hazelnut mousse, coffee mousse, dark chocolate ganache
and almond sponge served with ice cream and fairy floss
Essence, at Jupiters
Sir Leslie Thiess Drive,
(07) 4722 2261
Breakfast at Jam Corner
Saturday morning we had breakfast out! Jam Corner is casual and buzzy and the food was all great except mine Panu had the Asian omelette (urgh, SO GOOD) and I had the smoked salmon & potato rosti dish which tasted impossibly bland. Sad face. But happy I got to finish my mum’s omelette.
Asian chicken omelette with snow pea, bean shoot, fried shallots and chilli jam
Bacon, pork sausage, poached eggs, tomato, mushroom and ciabatta
Artisan baked bread toasted with preserves
Smoked salmon with potato rosti, poached egg, endive and guacamole
Vanilla bean porridge with Manuka honey, pecans & caramelised brown sugar
1 Palmer Street,
South Townsville, 4810
(07) 4721 4900
… and hotdogs from a beach vendor
I’ve lost track of days but I think it was Friday lunch when we mosied on down to The Strand to picnic by the beach. We had hotdogs from this guy who claimed to not only have the best hotdogs in Towsnville, but the world. Big call, huh? I thought the dogs were good but not anywhere near the best I’d had. After lunch we went to Gelatissimo for an ice cream hit.
The Vancouver: weiner, bacon, caramelised onions & BBQ sauce
The New Yorker: weiner, caramelised onions & mustard
The “Kosher”: weiner, sauerkraut & mustard
Coney Island: weiner, chilli con carne, cheese & tomato sauce
Somewhere along The Strand
Add to this all the amazing home cooked meals we also had (including a steam boat, fish curry and this unhealthy “healthy” breakfast) and it’s no wonder I come back from Townsville a little podgier around the middle. So worth it though.