Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe, Surfers Paradise QLD ($)

Address: 4 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise, QLD

Tel: (07) 5527 6183

Website: http://www.thesurfersparadisebeachcafe.com/

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The day after we visited Muse, MC and I stumbled across Surfer’s Beach Cafe on our morning walk to the beach.

Atmosphere

It was quite crowded as it was peak breakfast period and the cafe is located at an ideal spot, right opposite the beach.

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In order to order we needed a table to sit at, so we stood around for a few minutes waiting.  We were a bit disappointed that there were about two to three tables of families that were taking up more space than they needed.  If they had moved down the table a bit we would have had plenty of room to sit.

Despite the wait for a table, we eventually found a seat by the entrance.

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The cafe has a lovely laid back surfer atmosphere.  There are surfboards on the wall and lots of yellow, blue and white around the room.

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The tables are a sort of old, worn white and the place gives off a very calm and chilled out vibe, except for the hustle and bustle of the busy diners.

Service

Service wasn’t very prominent as you have to order at the counter, which is probably a good idea given how popular the place is! Despite this, our food came out within about ten minutes and the staff were quick when we asked for things like serviettes and salt.

Food

I ordered a Tropicana Smoothie which was a very tropical combination of mango, pineapple, passionfruit and banana, some of my favourite fruits.

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Tropicana Smoothie, $8.50

For breakky I had the Big Beach Breakfast and MC ordered the Stack of Pancakes.

The breakfast was great, it was colourful and tasted flavoursome, the eggs were perfectly poached, the hashbrowns were crunchy, the bacon crisp and the tomato fresh.

Overall it was a pretty darn good fry up.

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Big Beach Breakfast, $19.50

MC’s pancakes were amazing, some of the best I have had.

I am a big fan of the thick, fluffy pancakes, the McDonald’s style ones that soak up all the syrup and just melt in your mouth. None of this crepe business.

These pancakes were all that and more.  They came with a side of butter, maple syrup and whipped cream and they were absolutely delicious.

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Stack of Pancakes, $9.95

Summary

Surfers Beach Cafe is one of those great finds that has a great view, a lovely atmosphere and a fantastic menu.  The wait can be a little frustrating but it was worth it for the view!

Rating

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service-  4
  • Food-  8
  • Atmosphere- 8
  • Value – 7.5

The Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe on Urbanspoon

Product Review: Lotus Peak White Tea

What is it: Lotus Peak White Tea

Price: The 25 pack retails for $3.79 at Coles and Woolworths. The 10 pack retails for $1.80 at Coles and is not yet available at Woolworths.

Where to order it: see http://www.bhfinefoods.com.au. Also available in Coles and Woolworths and selected health stores nationally.

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About the product

Lotus Peak White Tea comes from the mountains of China, in the Fujian Province.

It is harvested from the same plant as black and green tea (Camellia Sinensis), but is prepared differently as it:

  • has a higher proportion of buds to leaves
  • the buds are picked before the leaves are fully opened, when the plant has silver-white leaves (where it gets its name from)
  • is only picked once a year during spring
  • is the least processed of all the teas
  • unopened buds are rapidly steamed then heat-dried to keep the leaves fresher and reduce oxidation

According to Lotus Peak, white tea was a sophisticated and exotic drink, drunk by Emperors and nobles, and recognised as the finest of all teas.

Health benefits of white tea

It has been widely stated that white tea has numerous health benefits, with some saying it is even more beneficial to drink than green tea.

Now I’m not expert, but a quick google and a little research will tell you more about why white tea has become increasingly popular.

Some of the benefits that have been mentioned include:

  • a higher concentration of antioxidants and polyphenols, a naturally occurring substance that is believed to reduce or eliminate cancer-causing free radicals
  • assisting with prevention of heart disease and strokes
  • it is antibacterial and antiviral and has preventative applications in retarding growth of bacteria which can cause infections, pneumonia and cavities
  • it can assist in reducing wrinkles
  • it has low caffeine content
  • it has no fat or sugar

Packaging

Lotus Peak White Tea comes in a box of 25.  My sample pack contained 10 tea bags.

The packaging is quite plain, with a white background and mainly black and green colours, reflecting the simplicity of the product and the calming nature of the tea.

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The tea bags themselves are also plain and simple.

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Overall, I think Lotus Peak could spice up their packaging a little, not necessarily with colours, as the black and white colours suit the simplicity of the product they are selling, but perhaps with some nice patterned borders and perhaps some silver text. A black box with silver and white writing would look particularly elegant!

Ease of preparation

The tea is very easy to prepare and is made just like any other tea.

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You place the tea bag in a cup (thanks go to MC for my cup, a Chrissie Present from T2!), then add boiling water and allow to steep (brew) for about 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.

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I brewed mine for about 4 minutes then discarded the tea bag.

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Colour and Flavour

After 4 minutes of brewing the tea was a beautiful golden colour.

It had a sweet and delicate aroma and smelt delicious and refreshing.

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The tea also tasted quite sweet, one of the reasons why milk is not added and sugar is not needed.

It was not bitter, unlike some green teas, and the flavour was not too strong or overpowering, like some black teas.

I really enjoyed the cup of tea and felt that it was a nice alternative to green tea.

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I think the health benefits of white tea justify incorporating at least one or two cups a day into your diet.

Replacing a coffee with a cup of white tea could also help you cut down on sugar and, as tea has a calming effect, can help reduce stress.

Rating: 

It is a bit hard to rate the tea on its own, without comparing it to other types of white tea, plus tea is just difficult to rate anyway as there is not a lot to it.

For these reasons I decided to rate the tea based on how much I liked it.

I gave it a 7/10 as it had a pleasant flavour without being too strong (like some green and black teas), and a nice colour.

TCFB reviewed the Lotus Peak White Tea courtesy of BH Fine Foods.  All opinions are however, our own.

Pad Thai (serves 6-8)

This quick pad thai is full of healthy vegetables and proteins and is packed with flavour.

I used a bottle of pad thai mix from my local Asian grocery store but you can either make your own or mix it up using other stir fry pastes or sauces.

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Ingredients

  • 500g thick rice noodles
  • 1/2 small bag bean sprouts
  • 1 handful of snow peas, ends broken off
  • 2 small bunches pak choy, washed and cut in half vertically
  • 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 bottle pad thai paste
  • 3 Tbsp kecap manis
  • 5 Tablespoons olive or peanut oil
  • 500grams chicken breast, cut into cubes (roughly)
  • 400grams peeled fresh prawns (tails on)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 50grams chopped cashews to sprinkle on top

Method

1.Prepare vegetables by washing, peeling and chopping (as above).

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2. In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and fry off onions and garlic.

3. Add chicken and cook for about 5-10 minutes.

4. Add prawns and cook further for about 2-3 minutes or until it changes colour and becomes opaque.

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5. Push meat to one side of the pan and add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Pour in half the pad thai sauce mix and fry off for about 1 minute, then stir and mix into the meat.  Put meat into a separate bowl and drizzle lightly with kecap manis (about 1 tablespoon).

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6. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the empty pan.  Start to add vegetables, tossing as you go. I added the harder vegetables first so they all cook evenly.

7. Again, move vegetables to the side, add the rest of the pad thai mix and fry off for about 20-30 seconds. Then mix into vegetables.

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8. Add chopped cashews and mix in.

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9. Boil rice noodles until cooked through as per instructions on the packet.

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10. Drain water, transfer noodles to a separate bowl and add remaining kecap manis.

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11. Place noodles in a dish, top with meat and vegetables.

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12. Add beansprouts (you cold also top with sesame seeds) and enjoy!

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Ten uses for chia

I have heard a lot about chia seeds in the past few months and it was with great excitement (and a bit of nervousness) that I finally bought a packet of chia seeds for my local supermarket.

Chia contains omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, calcium, potassium, iron, fibre, minerals and nutrients, and is gluten and dairy-free.

I have heard that chia is good for a number of things including:

  • reducing inflammation
  • lowering cholesterol
  • aiding in weight loss
  • protecting the body from free radicals and cancer
  • improving brain performance
  • boosting strength and endurance
  • reducing stress and
  • aiding with digestive health

Just google “chia seeds” and you will see for yourself that it is being touted as nature’s wonder food with a wide range of uses and benefits.

Chia Gel

I decided to try the white seeds and started off with the simple chia gel, which can be made by mixing 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.

After stirring rapidly for about 2-3 minutes (you can use a hand whisk or shake the mixture in a bottle instead), the mix was ready.

This is what it looked like:

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The chia gel can be eaten on its own, used in smoothies and drinks, mixed into juices, salad dressings, porridge or soups.  

You can also use chia gel as a substitute for eggs!

Chia seeds

You could also use the chia seeds on their own, and sprinkle them over salads, pastas, in cereals and stir-fries or add them to cakes, and desserts.

It is a simple and easy way to fill yourself up and add some nutrition to your meals.

I’m hoping to use a lot more chia in my cooking and would love to hear what your favourite chia recipes are? 

 

Tuna and egg salad with spinach and beans

Ingredients:

1 cup washed baby spinach leaves (patted dry)
1 large tomato, chopped into large chunks
10 green beans, ends chopped off, blanched
1/4 red capsicum, sliced
1 boiled egg, peeled
1small tin tuna
2 Tbsp low fat mayonnaise
2 Tsp seeded mustard
Pepper and salt to season

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Method:

1. Put spinach, tomato, beans and capsicum in a large bowl.

2. In another bowl, mix tuna, mayonnaise and mustard.

3. Add the tuna mixture on top of the salad and top with the chopped egg.

4. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.

Chicken, Avocado and Green Bean Salad with Tomato (serves 4)

This salad is perfect for work lunches or even as a side at a BBQ or lunch event.

Easy to make and pretty healthy for you if you add less mayonnaise!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves (approx 200gr)
  • 60gr semi-dried tomatoes
  • 1 handful green beans, de-stringed
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 red capsicum
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1 Tsp spicy seasoning (e.g. cajun, paprika, zaatar, chilli, cumin etc)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbs seeded mustard
  • 1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise

Method:

1. Cut the chicken breast into cubes and rub the spicy seasoning in.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces off until cooked through.

3. Steam de-stringed beans until they go dark green and are cooked through but still a little crunchy.

4. Cut avocado into large chunks (I sliced it and then cut the slices in half).

5. Wash, de-seed and cut red capsicum into cubes.

6. Wash baby spinach leaves and put in a large mixing bowl. Add tomatoes, cooled chicken breast pieces and beans, and avocado.

7. Mix mayonnaise and mustard in a separate bowl. Add to the rest of the salad and mix well.

Enjoy!

Seafood Marinara with Angel Hair Pasta (serves 6)


This was the perfect quick and easy dinner for MC and the fam last night. Everyone enjoyed it and it only took a short while to prepare. The marinara can be substituted with prawns or other seafood as well.

Ingredients:

  • 500gr angel hair pasta
  • 750gr seafood marinara mix
  • 250gr snow peas- washed and with the ends cut off
  • 4 Tsp minced garlic (or equivalent fresh, chopped garlic)
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh herbs (I used basil and parsley from my herb garden)
  • Olive oil
  • Chilli flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Prepare pasta according to instructions on back of packet. When al dente, rinse under cold running water until room temperature and leave to sit in a colander (this stops the cooking).

2. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan (on high). When hot, add garlic and onion and stir fry until onion turns clear and slightly golden. Add chilli flakes (I added about 5 tsp but it depends on your preference and the intensity of the chilli you have), and toss.

3. Add seafood to the pan, stir and cover for about 5 minutes.

4. Add snow peas and toss until they change colour (darker green).

5.Add the lemon juice and wedges to the pan.

6. Season with salt, pepper and more chilli if desired.

7. Drizzle with olive oil and toss through chopped fresh herbs.

Enjoy!

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