Monday 30th July
Today we drove to Sea World Beach for a walk in the sunshine, fresh salty air and bare toes in the sand.
Donnis felt invigorated after the walk. Afterwards we stopped to have a look at Peters Seafood Market in a little unnamed street just beside Palazzo Versace. http://petersfish.com.au/ This is a hidden gem selling mostly, Australian Wild Caught fish and seafood. They have fish and chips for $9. Unfortunately you are only offered Basa catfish from Vietnam or Hoki from New Zealand. Both are pre filleted and half cooked in a thin batter then frozen. Peters finishes the cooking process. You can choose any other fresh Australian fillets of fish which they will cook for you. Battered, crumbed or grilled. Of course the price is dearer. Outside there are bench tables and seats all looking across the Broadwater and the fishing fleet marina on one side and the multi- million dollar boats in the Versace marina on the other side. These spectacular views cost nothing as you sit back and enjoy your seafood. Although there are only a couple of small signs on Seaworld Drive, this place is busy especially as it is Monday and not the busiest day of the week.
Thursday 2nd August.
Donnis is still not well but not so bad that she is confined to bed. She wanted to spend some time on the beach in the sand, just sitting there and enjoying the sunshine and fresh sea air. The beach opposite Marina Mirage seemed like a good idea but the breeze from the south was just a little cool and annoying. So we decamped and went to a walk around the marina precinct including Mariners Cove, Marina Mirage Palazzo Versace Marina and saw the boats, all in the multi- million dollar plus class at the private marina at Palazzo Versace.
There are a few seafood places here, one serves a $9 fish and chips but on checking found it is the dreaded Vietnamese Basa. Mariners Cove Fish and Chips will not be on our “to do” list.
Hogs Breath Café also serve fish but they offer whiting fillets, they are pre battered, half cooked and frozen ready to complete the cooking. It is still much better than Basa and for a $9.90 lunch time menu, Monday to Friday it’s not a bad deal. It comes with piggy fries and a salad too. https://www.hogsbreath.com.au/locations/ I still need to confirm if the fish is Australian or imported.
At the end of the marina is Fishermans Wharf Tavern. https://fishermanswharftavern.com.au/ They have $8.99 bar meals including a fish and chips option but I did not speak with the staff to discover what type of fish they serve. They also a dining area overlooking The Broadwater and the fish of the day including chips and salad is $19.90. Before we eat there we will ask the same question we ask here in Australia, Canada and the USA. What fish do you serve? If the answer is Basa, we leave.
Across the Broadwater we saw the circus tent for the Infamous Circus, well, it’s a circus but it isn’t.
They call it simply, Infamous The Show, which does have circus acts but is also a bit like Circe de Soleil and a bit like a cabaret. It is a 18+ venue and ID is required. It seems there is some nudity and some adult suggestive themes and is intended to titillate attendees. Prices start at $50 and wander up from there. If you enjoy being titillated then this could be for you when it comes to your city.
We wandered to an unnamed beach just past Seaworld where all the yachts are moored.
We found a spot out of the breeze and within a few minutes had fallen asleep.
Wow! That was relaxing. It’s a pity Donnis was not well enough to stay for the sunset but once the sun begins to set the temperature drops too. The amazing thing about the beach is there were no mozzies or even more importantly. No sandflies.
Friday 3rd August
One of the elements on our Ceramic Cooktop stopped working. It is the element we use most of the time so it is a choice of…
- Continue to use the remaining three elements and put up with it as long as possible.
- Accept the offer of a used cooktop which may or may not have a long life ahead.
- Look for a Scratch and Dent sale and pick up a new cooktop at a reasonable price.
- Buy a new one and look for a good price.
For the moment we will use option a. Today I went to a Harvey Norman Scratch and Dent outlet and found the cheapest price was over $300 so option b is not going to happen. For option d we were told that Aldi had a cooktop on sale for $229 and recently dropped the price to $199. We called at a local Aldi but found they had sold out two weeks ago but called another store at Oxenford who reportedly had a dozen in the storeroom. I drove all the way to Oxenford and asked a helpful looking man. No idea about spare cooktops. Yes they have two gas cooktops but sold out of the ceramic style about two weeks ago. Hmmm! Sounds familiar. The store manager got involved and found a ceramic cooktop at another store west of Brisbane. They offered to have it shipped to a store near us and will call when it arrives. In the meantime we will run with option a. I read an on-line review of the product. They range from mostly glowing reports to a few who had cooktops fail after a few months. The cooktop comes with a three year warranty and past experience with Aldi is they usually honour the warranty with an instant replacement, no questions asked.
I should mention our toaster which cost about $20 in 2010 and which has travelled on the road with us ever since blew the power safety switch late last week. We bought a new toaster on Tuesday for $50 and Aldi had a new fancy toaster on sale for $42 on Wednesday.
Saturday 4th August. I woke at 5am not feeling the best. Last night I had an upset stomach, a headache, my legs shaking and aching, diahorrea paid a visit and I had an indigestion pain which would not go away. On waking I still had those symptoms. So in the dark I dressed and went for walk. Arriving home at 6am I felt incredibly tired and sat in the recliner chair and umm err, reclined. I woke at 7.45 am and if not feeling 100% felt much better and the indigestion pain was gone.
In the afternoon we both felt a walk in the sunshine and along the beach or waterside was in order. So, for something different we parked the car at what is known as The Moondarewa Spit and walked the pathway along to the Gold Coast Spit and Seaway.
It seems half the population of the Gold Coast was there with the same idea as us.
After returning to the car it was shoes off and a walk along the beach watching all the watercraft coming and going. While at The Spit we stopped to look at the menu of Seaway Kiosk. https://www.facebook.com/The-Seaway-Kiosk-The-Spit-229038633776464/ We were quite surprised to see Flathead fillets, crumbed or battered with chips for $12 or Cod for the same price. Hmmm! I need to find out where the Cod comes from. I would rather pay that price for real Australian fish than the imported Basa junk for $9.
Of course while walking the pathway we passed a number of people sitting at bench tables and seats and eating their fish and chips. The smell was driving us crazy.
Last week we somehow got onto the subject of meat pies. Somehow this week we have Fish and Chips for discussion.
Near our home we have Charis Seafoods on the Broadwater at Labrador which sells mainly Australian wild caught seafood and they do a mighty fine fish and chips but you have to specify which fish. https://www.charisseafood.com.au/ $9 gets you Basa while $12 and up gets you Australian fish. This is a popular place which every day at 1 pm the staff feed the Pelicans (and seagulls) the remains of fish from the shop. Busloads of tourists show up for this event. Looking at the faces of the children as well as the adults shows they enjoy the spectacle. The downside of buying from Charis is if you do not choose your time wisely you end up waiting in a long queue before ordering then waiting with a huge press of bodies all anticipating their fish and chips.
Donnis and I have an aversion to the importation of cheap frozen bottom dwelling and feeding catfish which is farmed in the murky waters of the Mekong and other polluted waterways of Vietnam and other south East Asian countries.
We have a lesser aversion to local farmed fish and acknowledge that if we are going feed people fish, much of it will have to be farmed…under proper conditions. In the meantime we prefer wild caught fish.
Even closer to home is Harbour Seafood Market which is similar to Charis except they do not have nice views over the Broadwater. https://www.harbourseafoodmarket.com.au/
They also serve Basa for $9 but will do Barramundi for $12 and Red Emperor for $15. I find it annoying that these local seafood outlets serve good quality fish but in order to win customers, even those who apparently have no taste buds, they offer up the cheap pre- packaged, pre- cooked, pre-frozen, risky import – Basa.
For our friends in the UK, Canada and the USA be aware that cheap Basa is available in many seafood places and the first clue is that it is CHEAP. It is also available through supermarkets especially Walmart and Costco and is sold as pre- frozen pre-cooked fillets under a variety of names but somewhere on the packaging the name Basa will appear. It frequently appears as fancy fare on cruise liners, cross country trains and towns a long way from the coast.
Virtually outside our back door is Burger Bros a New Zealand franchise which offers a huge fish burger with chips and an extra fillet of fish…NZ Hoki – which is much better than Basa – for $13.It is not unusual to see other residents of our village at Burger Bros, some even go in groups once a month and sneak in a bottle of wine. The only fish served is Hoki and it is battered. No other choice. Kiwis are our neighbours so Hoki is acceptable. It is Wild Caught. https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g255337-d6616065-i176312282-Burger_Bro-Gold_Coast_Queensland.html Of course I would prefer Australian wild caught such as Barramundi, Red Emperor or even more local fish such as Bream, Flathead or Mullet
One more stand out fish and chips is both the restaurant and the take away of Doyles Seafood at Watsons Bay in Sydney. http://www.doyles.com.au/12201+0+doyles-on-the-wharf.htm Travelling to Watsons Bay by ferry from Circular Quay is half the fun. They have a great selection of mainly Sydney seafood but waiting in line in the summer sun is no fun. They really need to install some shade at the take away counter. Apart from that they have good fish and chips. Well worth the effort of going there when next you are in Sydney. Besides, the views across Sydney Harbour comes free. For an extra special treat you can always dine at the restaurant option.
While I am on the subject I must mention the good fish and chips AND seafood chowder we experienced in Canada. We had good fresh local wild caught fish and chips in Vancouver BC. Special mention is made of Daves Fish and Chips at Steveston Harbour and Tony’s Fish and Oyster Bar on Granville Island. Also we tasted wonderful fare in various fishing villages on Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. Mostly the fish on offer is Cod or Haddock but it is FRESH, it is LOCAL and it is WILD CAUGHT. Alecia had much to do with the choice of seafood places for us to eat at. I still salivate over the seafood chowder I ate at the Sou’ West Bar and Grill which is located at New London a small fishing village on Prince Edward Island.
Sunday 5th August
No fish and chips for us today although I had planned something along those lines before we left home. Somehow life seems to get in the way of plans.
We went to watch grandson Chris play Rugby League…again. Chris scored three tries today and his team won 32/16. Chris actually scored half the tries for his team.
Chris is a talented player although he is too young to understand or appreciate where his talent can take him.
It seems talent scouts for the major clubs are everywhere these days and offering training programs for young talent.
We know that Chris has already been sighted and offered some training which he has attended…without enthusiasm…at this stage.
Afterwards we went back to Regelyn’s home for coffee and cake. A friend of a friend works at a place where they make restaurant quality cakes. Any rejects often end up at her house. We had what was called a Jaffa Cheesecake with our coffee. By the time we left an afternoon had disappeared and we never did get a fish and chips lunch.