Browsing articles from "March, 2011"
MarLinga Longa... love at first bite. We were fortunate to attend their soft opening this week, and were treated to a veritable parade of delicious food with generous portions, but the highlight of the restaurant, was the spectacular service. The staff are well trained and naturally amiable, even in the stress and confusion of opening night. It was such a pleasure to be around people who generally love owning and running a restaurant! Some people always worry when they see a restaurant identify its cuisine as international, but after hearing the life story of the restaurant owner the eclectic menu is a logical choice. Here's what we had for dinner at Linga Longa Restaurant:
Moule MariniereOur entree is one of Belgium's most famous national dishes comprising mussels cooked with a white wine cream sauce. We've never been fortunate enough to savour this dish in Belgium, but the entree was delicious. The portion was generous, and the sauce was delicate, subtle and oh so French! I was impressed that every one of my mussels was debearded. I am often annoyed that restaurants do not pay enough attention this quick and easy but essential job. I was also impressed that for an entree serve, there were a lot of mussels!
Avocado & PrawnsOur 2nd entree was somewhat reminiscent of those cheeky prawn cocktails from the 80's! It was great to see the new season avocados make an appearance on the menu, and the dish was finished with a delicious mango sauce.
Duck a l'OrangeIf you've never had duck a l'orange you must try this. It is very hard for both Kaj and I to resist any French duck dish, and this one is a winner! The sauce is decadent and hedonistic, a rich orgiastic assault on the taste buds. The duck is perched beautifully upon a well-cooked Swiss-style rösti. It was a lovely accompaniment, and gives this French classic some international flair.
Duck & Porcini LinguiniThis main dish was on the specials options, and we chose it out of curiosity. Never before have I seen duck in a pasta dish, but since I love duck, this was an easy decision. The flavours were well matched, and the pasta was perfectly cooked. Perhaps my only criticism of this dish is that it was a tad short on the delectible sauce. I would have loved just a bit more, but then, I always do.
Chocolate Praline TartThe dessert is something I can't wait to try to cook at home, as I think it will bring me untold popularity amongst my friends. It really is a stroke of genius actually, combining praline and rich dark chocolate mousse. My perfect happy ending. Linga Longa is open now. Licenced, and BYO. I can't wait to hear what you think.
Marbest coffee in town' competition, we thought you might like to hear our opinion. We have surveyed, sipped and sampled all over Cairns to bring you what we believe are the 5 best cups of coffee.
#1. CaffiendCaffiend is owned by a hard case coffee crazy, Ollie, who is passionate about every cup of coffee he serves. If you too adore espressos, ristrettos, single origin and macchiatos then this should be your local.
- More info on Caffiend...
#2. Silk CaffeA fresh (and welcome!) newcomer to the Cairns coffee scene, this seasoned cafe owner has found a niche location. Reminiscent of a stand-up Italian espresso bar, everything is right here; the beans, the barista, the machine, and of course, the coffee.
- More on Silk Caffe...
#3. Tosca TrattoriaThe discovery of Tosca's as a top notch coffee stopover was an accident after recently meeting the owner, Paul, when he was the winner of a latte art competition. His specialty is the piccolo latte, but honestly all the coffee here is awesome. Tosca's is head-and-shoulders above all other cups of coffee at Cairns Central.
- More on Tosca's...
#4. Bang EspressoIn our (humble) opinion Bang Espresso was the pioneer of the developing coffee culture of Cairns. Their Melbournesque styling and no nonsence cafe really brought the Cairns coffee connossoirs out of the woodwork. Bang would be #2 if you were always lucky enough to get a coffee by baristas Erol or Ian.
- More info on Bang Espresso...
#5. Industry OneOne of Cairns' few specialty coffee roasters, the aroma as you enter Industry One is intoxicatingly good. Their coffee is pretty good too! A real industry player, Industry One actively engages the wider coffee community by holding regular events like latte art competitions, and cupping nights.
- More info on Industry One...
So... how did we work it out?Recently one of the CairnsDining team judged the Cairns Barista Championships which is an official competition under AustraAsian Specialty Coffee Association (AASCA) regulation. We used the same competition judging technique and scoring system. At each cafe we sampled an espresso and a cappucino. And probably cake too, but they didn't make it onto the judging criteria. Do you agree? Disagree? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts of the memorable cups of coffee in Cairns. Or alternatively go vote for your favourite at the Cairns Post.
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