Saturday, 4 January 2014

Christmas Day at the Stamford Plaza Brisbane

Happy New Year readers!

Thank you for following my blog for now my third year.

This blog actually started as a New Years resolution back in 2012 in Edinburgh. At the time I did not think it would be a food blog at all, I just prattled on about things I enjoyed and before too long clothes shopping and food eating became overly prominent. Now, 24 months, and 13000 views later, here we are.

I feel blessed and honoured that you take the time to read about what I love.


But now, to the post.

So, 2013 was my first full year back in Oz. It hasn't been easy for me at all, and there are very few days that go past that I don't yearn for Scotland. Christmas is a particularly difficult time.

I don't really care for Australian Christmas... sweating, seafood, bbq and swearing... it could be any given Sunday. So come October I proposed to my father and brother that we do something different, something memorable.

We got down to two options, the Kookaburra Queen: a ferry on the Brisbane River, or a sumptious (and expensive) hotel luncheon.

The Stamford plaza had fantastic reviews, a beautiful location on the River and a 3 and a half hour food and drink package. Coming in at $240 a head, it is in no way a cheap option. But in the lead up to Christmas, I could really see the value: no lining up for seafood, no bustling in the supermarket, as we had decided to forego presents, there was really no Christmas prep at all. It was... relaxing.




On Christmas morning, Dad and I make our way to brother C's house to drop off some drinks for later that afternoon when we would return, and enjoy a couple of breakfast ciders before catching a taxi into the city.

On arrival at the Stamford we make our way into the foyer where there are carolers, Mr and Mrs Santa and cooling aircon.

We have about a 15 minute lineup before we are showed to our table to be seated at around 12:15.


We are given a perfect seat right next to the Seafood buffet with a stunning view of the Brisbane River.

Although we are sat outside on what would be a 32 degree day, it feel like 23 degrees on the Terrace.





As we are seated we are offered our choice of drinks, Beer (Peroni), Bubbles or Wine (Jacobs Creek), juice or soft drink. The boys opt for a Peroni each and I have one (of many) glass of bubbles.

The food setup is wonderful, and really surpasses my expectations, with something for everyone. C doesn't eat seafood, but there are more than enough options for him. Dad and I are seafood gluttons, and we are more than happy with what we can see adjacent to our table.


I think due to the fact that we all knew we had over 3 hours of eating time, there was no scramble for the food, and the buffet line moved fluidly the entire time. Guests could help themselves to any of the various buffets set up inside or out, and the staff we incredibly efficient with topping up and replacing items, especially the seafood.

Now... to the food.

First stop: seafood buffet.

Smoked salmon, sand and spanner crabs, Pacific oysters, prawns, mussels and Moreton Bay Bugs, all by the bucket-load.

The oysters were divine, fresh, large, sweet and creamy and served with the option of vinaigrette or lemon and pepper or Tabasco. The prawns- wonderfully flavoursome. The bugs were very meaty and cooked to perfection. And wonderful cold mussels.

Dad and I chose to share each of our plates.

For second course, scallop salad, baby octopus, crumbed anchovies and asparagus.


Through the long lunch, we took it easy, and didn't rush through it. It was calm and relaxed and we got through an awful lot of food.

Seafood selection

Cheese, dips and fruit

Anti-pasto selection

DIY Ceasar Salad

 As for the mains, there were endless meat and veg options. My favourites were the double cooked pork, the turkey and the Yorkshire Puds and gravy.

Roast veg

Chicken

Seafood rice

Roast tatties


Double cooked Pork

Beef fillet

Roast station.
My mains plate

Garlic foccacia, baked Salmon with Asian veg, double cooked Pork, baked ham and turkey with homemade cranberry sauce. Actually the salmon and the ham were incredible as well.

We were excited to see the desserts buffet, which has an exceptional reputation, and we weren't let down. I was very happy with the red velvet cupcakes and macarons.











 The waiters were wonderful, keeping our drinks topped up, and making sure all the guests were content.

Santa made an appearance and gave gifts to the kiddies.

The carolers got a bit much after a while.

But overall, the day can only be considered faultless. It was one of my most memorable Christmas days, and C, Dad and I all agreed it was one of our best Christmases together.

After lunch, we caught a taxi home to carry on the festivities back at C's with the drinks we had brought earlier, and this carried on until well after midnight.

Dad and I had prepared a platter to nibble on and this came in handy around 8pm.

Cashews, cheddar, brie, Red Rock corn chips, ham, salami, pastrami, blueberries, raspberries, quince jelly olives, gerkins.






 A massive thank you to Dad and C and to all the Staff at Stamford plaza who gave up their Christmas to makes ours perfect.


Stamford Plaza Website
Stamford Plaza Brisbane Hotel
Corner Edward & Margaret Streets, Brisbane QLD 4000
GPS -25.335448,135.745076
Ph: +61 7 3221 1999

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Hotel Maroochydore

The Maroochydore Hotel, previously the Grinning Dog, I'm not sure why my friends suggested it, but I'm glad they did.

I have to admit, the pub itself has never lured me, and I hadn't eaten here since I have been back on the coast but I suspect that will change.

The menu is incredibly diverse, covering pub usuals: steaks, seafood, pasta, risotto, and includes specialty items like confit pork belly, barbeque ribs, and lamb tzatziki pizza.

Myself and D decided on the BBLT Burger ($10) from the lunch specials menu and S opted for the Rump steak ($10) and we shared 3 sides for the table, battered onion rings, buffalo wings and Parmesan crusted calamari.

I suspect the burger patty was manufactured but dispite this, it was a very delicious burger, containing bacon, cheese, barbeque sauce tomato and lettuce. I think it could have used mayo, but I added some of the aioli from the sides. I also opted to not eat half the bun. The chips were cooked perfectly. Miss S's steak, she tells me was cooked perfectly, juicy and with lovely flavour.



 The Parmesan crusted calamari ($8) was also cooked beautifully. The Parmesan flavour was light but detectable. Delicious.


 The beer battered onion rings ($8) were light and crisp, served piping hot.

The buffalo wings ($8) had a lovely flavour and the smokey barbeque sauce was excellent. With our food S had a lemon lime and bitters and D and I had a schooner of Carlton Draught each.

Hotel Maroochydore has lunch specials daily and dinner specials most nights. I think it is really good value, and I will be sure to do a write up the next time I head there for pizza night.

Hotel Maroochydore
201 Main Road
Maroochydore
Queensland
Ph: 07 5479 5611

Email:
hotelmaroochydore@starhotels.com.au


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