Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Meals in Tasmania Australia- Days 3 and 4

Day 3 Cradle Mountain to St Helens

We had a buffet breakfast at the cafe of Cradle Mountain Lodge, and then we went for a walk around the trails around the Lodge.

It was really very enjoyable. The morning mountain air was crisp and cool, and the walk took us past shrubs, bushes, trees, and a little creek. Cutie had fun.

Then it was a long drive, from the central part of Tasmania to the northern east coast of Tasmania. About 6 hours I reckon.

Tamar Valley Wine Region (north of Launceston)

We drove for about 3 hours, and stopped for lunch at Daniel Alps @ Strathlynn Vineyard, Rosevears - Ninth Island Vineyard95 Rosevears DriveRosevears TAS. It was a very well reviewed restaurant, with almost every guide and magazine recommending this place, such as Travel Gourmet, Australia's best restaurants guide etc etc.

It was pretty full when we entered at 1 pm, although there were tables available, the lady asked us to wait because the kitchen was packed.

It was ok, because we didnt mind stretching our legs at the beautiful garden / vineyard just outside.

DM and I had the spring bay scallops with leek, thyme butter and pine nut gratin SGD32. It was pretty, and generous but too salty. I didn't like it. Also the gratin seemed to have breadcrumbs in it, resulting in a crunchy topping, rather than a buttery creamy topping. It came as a surprise, and I didn't care for it because it was like crunching salt crystals.

DF chose the rigatoni with braised meat sauce, sage and parmesan (SGD29.80). It was also too salty and I found it rather oily too.

DH's choice of oven roasted springfield venison with glazed jerusalem artichokes and baby carrots (SGD29.80) turned out to be the best meal on the table. It was tender and tasty, with generous servings of potato and carrots.

After lunch, we went out and played in the sun. It was really lovely weather, and we were so lucky to be able to enjoy such sunshine during autumn. It only drizzled lightly one afternoon the whole time that we were in tasmania.

We took another 3 hours to drive to Tidal Waters Resort, St Helens. There was a long way using the highway) and a shortcut (using a minor road). Seeing that the sky was quickly turning dark, I persuaded DH to use the minor road, which turned out to be a huge mistake since it was a gravelly path, with potholes and was very winding. We had to slow down to 40 kmh, and on hindsight, I think we would have arrived earlier if we took the highway seeing that there would be little traffic and we could drive at like 100kmh.

We had dinner at the resort restaurant, which was asian fusion, and not very good. DM had the duck noodles, and DF had some asian dish too. Not that great. Since we couldn't cook for Cutie, which we usually do, we ordered 2 types of fish, so that he could eat fish with rice.

One was steamed Pink Ling, whatever that is, the other is a Roast Salmon. Both tasted rather the same to me. Very asian. The salmon had a more tomatoey sauce, the one above was less salty.

Cutie must have been hungry, he ate almost the entire portion of fish.

Day 4 St Helens to Coles Bay

Good morning! Cutie had his breakfast in the room, with DM patiently coaxing him to finish his milk.

We then set off for Coles Bay, which is next to the Freycinet National Park - a world heritage site. It is only about 1.5 hours away so we took our time to visit the various sights on the way.

Eureka Fruit Farm

Although it wasn't really in season, I was hoping to find berries at the fruit farm, but was sadly disappointed. The girl said that they only had apples and pears. We wanted to have breakfast, which the brochure said was available, but she said the cook was away so we could only have cakes or ice cream. We each had a cake, but they were rather sweet and so no photos.

Cutie had fun playing on the tractor though!

East Coast Wildlife Park (North of Bicheno)

We then went to the wildlife park to see tasmanian devils, wombats, koalas and kangaroos.

Cutie fed the kangaroos and was so brave - I was impressed! He kept saying that he wanted to feed the kangaroos himself, and petted them too. I liked this park, because most of the tame animals like geese, peacocks and kangaroos wandered around freely which allowed for easy interaction.

My facebook videos showed how much Cutie enjoyed himself.

Bicheno Sealife Centre

We stopped here for lunch - Bicheno Sealife Centre, 1 Tasman HighwayBichenoTasmania 7215.

The lobsters came in sizes - S, M, L, XL, XXL, and XXXL. We wanted a whole medium lobster but it wasn't available, so we took half an XXL lobster.

The fries are hot, but the lobster is served chilled. It was quite succulent and sweet, but rather expensive seeing that this is really a tourist place rather than a local haunt.

We then had fresh oysters with a sparkling reisling - the only wine DM enjoyed because it wasn't too dry. It tasted quite fruity so we are glad we had this.

The oysters kilpatrick (tomato sauce and bacon) were too salty so we didnt enjoy it much.

The large seafood platter came with fried fish, calamari, oysters, scallops and more fries. It was also served with some chilled seafood like mussels, smoked salmon, pate etc which I forgot to take a photo of. You might be able to catch a glimpse of it in the photo below.

We all had a good time, and although it wasn't the best meal, we did have fun eating our first seafood and lobster meal of the holiday. More to come!

Dinner at Home

We bought some groceries at Bicheno before heading for our self-catering accommodation at Coles Bay. Some milk, cheese, bread etc. We decided to eat dinner at home this time. I cooked!

We bought fresh lobster, which was our starter. Look at how red it is? It was fresh and succulent. AUD65 for a slightly heavier than 1 kg lobster.

Our main of grilled steak, sauteed mushrooms with onions, roasted potatoes and pumpkin. How does it look? It tasted pretty good!

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