Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gold Coast : Springbrook Mountain Manor

We went on a 1-day Hinterland tour on the 2nd day, to the World Heritage-listed Springbrook Mountain to view the Natural Arch, 5 cascading waterfalls and the Tropical Fruit World.

The initial idea was to pack our own lunch, seeing that we're unsure of the food served and that they specify as, "lunch at own cost" anyway.

However, I noticed this in their FAQ page:

Q: What if I have special dietary requirements?

A: We offer a vegetarian menu and can also cater for gluten free. We also however offer Halal meals.

Interesting. So I did my research and came upon THIS, a sample menu from the restaurant at Springbrook Mountain Manor (where we were to have our lunch). They specifically highlight which dish is suited for Vegetarians and which ones are Halal.

Springbrook Mountain Manor

The classic English interior

With a view out to the garden

The garden

A quaint English garden flanked by lush greenery, high up on Springbrook Mountain. The temperature here is slightly chilly, too. The air felt fresh & crisp.

There are little rose bushes and the Hydrangea shrubs are in abundance.

And now, to the food.

We were kinda famished after all that mountain trekking so we were really looking forward to lunch. We placed our orders with this really sweet lady at the bar (she turned out to be the proprietress). We also figured out later that her husband is the main chef.

Hot chocolate with marshmallow
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

Spicy Lamb & Vegetables Cous Cous
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

One of the dishes labeled as Halal. Very Mediterranean.

It's my first time seeing and trying cous cous, which is made from coarsely ground semolina wheat. A little 'crunchy' to the bite, as compared to rice, I guess. Maybe it reminds me of those very small pastas.

The spicy lamb reminded me of 'slightly-curried' stew. Well, that's how it's seem like when I had a taste from my colleague's plate.

Vegetable Cannelloni with Spinach & Ricotta Cheese
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

I opted for the vegetarian option.

Saw the word 'spinach & ricotta cheese' and the word 'cannelloni' sounded Italian so my mind flew to the Spinach Tortellini I had at Pastamania recently. You know, those little Italian 'dumplings'...

When I placed my order, I had no idea what 'cannelloni' really was. I asked the proprietress and she explain something like, "..spinach and cheese stuffed into these tubes and baked with cheese... I dunno but it's really nice..!"

Truth to be told, I wasn't convinced but I took it anyway.

When the dish arrived, I was aghast to see the large plate filled at all corners. I expected pasta but I didn't know that it'll be served with salad and chips as well. Oh wow!

When I saw the main dish, I was like, "She could have just said Lasagne!" Well that's how it looked like, anyway. I did my research after I came back and realised that the lady was right after all. Cannelloni is actually a pretty big cylindrical/tubular pasta that is usually served with stuffings inside.

Well, after all those cheese on top, guess I can't really see how the pasta is really like. But I can tell you, that dish is awesome!!! Even the side salad has my favourite pea shoots and alfalfa sprouts. No dressing though (not that I mind).

And the chips.... They came piping hot and my mum was so taken in that she made me take-away some. When the proprietress came by, I remarked to her, how much we love the chips and she told us that they were cooked personally by her husband. Those are freshly made, hand-cut spuds that are fried twice. That's why they taste so good!

Thai Chicken Basmati Rice
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Sri)

Another dish labeled as Halal. This one seemed very.. Asian. Guess it's to cater to the tastebuds of the various tourists who came by.

The basmati rice is typically soft and fluffy. The 'Thai Chicken' seem to appear like chicken in green curry. With less spice.

Honestly, this dish is a boring as it looks. But good for those who miss eating white rice, during the trip.

Well, there you go. A nice meal high up the mountain, in a very classical English setting. What an experience!

1 comment:

tour in Pakistan said...

After a long trekking path such a restaurant and delicious food have its own taste.