Gourmet on the Go: January 2018

Roof top bars, lobster rolls, food festivals and top summer fruits – expect them all in Queensland during January. Enjoy these top taste tips from RACQ food writer Kerry Heaney.

Lobster lux for a limited time

After sell-out pop-ups in Sydney and Melbourne, the Lobster Shack will next pop up at the Gold Coast until January 28.

Enjoy an affordable, delicious and totally irresistible lobster roll and Veuve Cliquot champagne experience available from noon to 9pm – or until sold out – at the Lobster Shack at 20 Queensland Avenue, Broadbeach.

The Clearwater Maine lobster tail-filled brioche buns come with a side of parmesan truffle fries for $35 or with a glass of champagne for $50.

For Lobster Shack creator and executive chef Jeff Shroeter, it is a return to his old stomping ground and the days when he was apprentice chef at Brisbane’s much-loved Baguette restaurant at Hamilton.

Get your hands on your lobster and champagne faster by pre-ordering on Menulog. Unless you like standing around, you can skip the queue when you get to Lobster Shack by jumping on the Menulog app or website, type in “20 Queensland Avenue Broadbeach” and order ahead of time. Download the app on the App Store or Google Play, or head to menulog.com.au.

New Gold Coast rooftop restaurant and bar

Keep an eye out for the opening of a new rooftop restaurant and bar on the top level of The Darling luxury suite hotel next to The Star Gold Coast.

Scheduled to open in March before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the restaurant will feature a 110-seat dining area opening out onto an infinity pool overlooking the Gold Coast skyline.

The bar will entertain up to 500 guests with an extensive beverage and cocktail list range as well as private booths and a VIP Bar.

Acclaimed Gold Coast restaurateur Simon Gloftis and entertainment guru Billy Cross will co-manage the venue.

“We cannot wait to reveal the name and further design and menu details of what will be a hero feature of The Star Gold Coast,” The Star Entertainment Group Managing Director Queensland Geoff Hogg said. 

“We are committed to delivering a whole new dining experience for our property and for the city.”

Summer flavours to enjoy

Everyone needs a holiday and the hard-working stall holders at Jan Powers Markets and the farmers who supply them are no exception, and will be on a post-Christmas break until January 20 when the markets gear up for 2018.

“Summer is the perfect time to embrace the outdoors, but it is also an important time to look after your body,” Sammy Power said.

“It’s great to rehydrate and refuel with local and in-season fruits and vegetables when their nutrients are at their peak, and allow your body to absorb all the beneficial vitamins and minerals.

“We are blessed to live in one of the most plentiful places on earth in terms of local produce, and the farmers markets are the natural place to meet the growers, and buy direct from the hands that planted the seeds.” 

Here’s what you’ll find at the markets from January 20 at Brisbane Powerhouse and Manly Harbour, with the first Brisbane City on January 31 and Mitchelton market on February 4.
• Tropical fruits in abundance: mangoes, grapes, watermelon, pineapples and lychees – these are a summer flavour favourite, and perfect to keep the kids interested. Farmers tip: Watermelon’s high-water content keeps you cool and hydrated, and is exactly what you need when the heat is on.
• Mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries – in great supply – shiny and plump, they’re great as a snack on the go, or the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of sorbet.
• It’s the season for stone fruit – plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots and dates. Insider tip: The most flavourful apricots neither travel nor keep well, so pick them up at your local market to experience them at their best.
• Grapes are the perfect summer fruit for the kids and adults – ripening towards the end of summer where they grow best, enjoy these botanical berries right through to Autumn.
• Tomatoes, long considered a major draw to farmers markets and local eating, tomatoes are filled with antioxidants and Vitamin C. Perfect atop fresh bread, in salads or simply on their own. Farmers tip: sample before you buy – even beautiful, heavy, and unblemished tomatoes can lack the flavour you’re after.
• Crunchy apples come into season mid to late summer. Farmers tip: Keep the skin on apples and pears for the maximum nutritional impact, and be sure to wash thoroughly before eating, or opt for organic apples.
• Celery and fennel – diuretic veggies. Celery and fennel act as diuretics, helping you lose excess water weight without causing dehydration.
• Fresh farm beef, lamb, pork, plump organic chickens and turkeys, juicy steaks, sausages and chops – if you don’t feel like firing up the oven or BBQ in the Queensland heat, try slow cooking your meat and adding to a fresh summer salad.
• Local Queensland seafood.
• Fresh local and international cheeses and cured meats – pair with a glass of local wine for the perfect afternoon treat while enjoying the sunset.
• Crisp lettuce, Noosa tomatoes, avocadoes, spices, fresh herbs and Mick’s Mangoes – none better.

Look out for these new stalls at the Manly market – Falafel World, The Greek Truck, Lytchett Living, The Himalayan Connection, Lamb Marinade, Tally Fresh, Tatty’s Superfoods and Gwydir Olives.

New at the Mitchelton Markets – Just Aus Garlic, Tenterfield Cherries and Princess Charlotte Seafood.