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On a lighter note..
Over the extremely long Christmas break, we headed out to Gold Coast to get away from town and at the same time, the Wife was going to catch up with an old friend who happen to be enjoying her break there as well. The pre-requisite to any good catch up is good food and with that i was again tasked to use my growing gut to suss out where was a good place to eat at.
You would think that Gold Coast being a tourist spot should house some pretty decent restaurants, alas, going through the reviews of restaurants around the area, i get the feeling that people coming here for a holiday seemed to be more interested in staying half naked and getting drunk.
To help guide you around like the Michelin stars in fine dining, Australia awards "hats" to reputable restaurants. So the only way i could hope for a decent place to dine was to pick a hatted restaurant and pray hard.
If you are planning to go to the Gold Coast, forget dining at Surfers Paradise and head down to Broadbeach.
RockSalt happened to have one of the most promising menu and backed up with the award; Chef of the Year 2009. Despite the award, I was surprised that the restaurant was very casual, with the open air dining concept and almost cafe like atmosphere.
Blessed with a slightly cool summer this year, it wasn't too hot but if you are dining in the usual 30 plus degrees, you might want a table as inside as possible.
For AUD 59, you can choose your own entree, main and dessert. Some entrees and mains have a supplement of AUD 5 and 10 respectively, quite a good deal.
Being dim, it is a nightmare trying to take a picture without being getting the looks from the flash.
For a supplement of AUD 5, i got the Butter Poached Bug Tails with a Scampi Croquette with a micro salad and pea puree. When they meant butter poached, they literally mean it with the dish flavoured essentially with butter. I would have preferred the bug tails with a bite as these were kind of soft and delicate but the perfectly fried croquette had all the crustacean essence one could wish for.
As an entree, you can also have half a dozen of oysters and the Wife had it Kilpatrick style, a method that we used to eat whenever we ate half price oysters back in our university days. Worcestershire sauce and bacon; perfect.
Around the table, the King Prawn and Truffle Risotto got praises as well (very generous in portions too) and the Roasted Scallops with de-boned chicken wings impressed with the beautiful plating.
The Wife absolutely loved the Eye Fillet (or also known as Tenderloin) with Potato Gnocchi and a Mushroom sauce. Having forced her to share it with me, the steak was cooked beautifully and almost converted a ribeye lover.
The Roast Saddle of Lamb & Braised Belly, Jerusalem Artichokes, Spring Garlic, Sweet Carrots, Jus (the only item that i can see from the online menu that resemble what i ordered, most of it has been changed). The lamb loin was perfectly cooked but the belly was rather gamey. The accompaniment of the garlic was a wonderful burst of flavour.
Other mains ordered included the fresh pasta and a duck breast if i am not mistaken. Again no complaints but praises. I can almost feel a couple of kgs lift off my shoulders for choosing the place.
All these were matched with a bottle of French wine, the Australian wines deemed not value for money since we all know the prices from the bottler.
The Tiramisu, RockSalt style was ingenious. Almost like a deconstructed dessert, certain elements have been replaced with a granita and ice-cream, however take a bit of each component together and it tastes just like a tiramisu.
The Orange Panna Cotta came with a lemon curd cigar, the Wife wished that they could serve a few more of those cigars instead.
The Dark Chocolate Tart, Salted Peanut Caramel, Praline, Crème Fraiche Ice Cream was the dessert i ordered and did not regret. A heavy full on dessert, this was calories well spent.
Service was beautiful and we had a very non intrusive waiter throughout the night that made us very comfortable. At no time, he hinted us to order another bottle of wine or thought we sat at the table too long while we caught up as old friends do.
If you happen to be at Gold Coast, RockSalt deserves a visit.
Address and contact details:
Verdict: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. I can't really think of anything that was bad about the dinner except it did get a bit warm having sat at the outer bit of the restaurant. The food is a mix of classic and modern dishes, whether you like a hearty steak or a piece of art as a meal, RockSalt strikes a balance. With wine, the bill came to AUD80 per pax, the norm of fine dining especially in this part of town.