Our girth is testament to the fact that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out here on the Goldie. Yeh there are a number of shit places who want to scarper naive tourists out of their cash by serving up dross, but locals who like food are pretty discerning and tend to be loyal to places that offer up stuff that brings smiles and drool to their faces.
There are a number of places we like to go and one of 'em, oddly enough is the Casino. You'd think that this huge place which seems to offer something for everyone, would be impersonal and ordinary so as not to offend, but also not ever really please, but that is not our experience.
I am of course not talking about trawling the gaming tables....that is only ever interesting in so much as I wonder how people can be so miserable doing something for so long that costs them so much money, cos for me if I am gonna toss away cash by the inch, then I want to be grinning like a mad woman as I do it.
No we go there for the food and the air-con in the summer, cos it always has a good chill going.
I don't remember when the restaurants had a big overhaul, maybe a couple of years ago I suppose, but the Italian place CUCINA VIVO has quickly become a favourite. The food has always left us undoing a button or 2 and wondering about the recipes.
The space is modern and airey and the settings are generous. There is no squeezing in between other punters and having to scrap your arse across their plates as you shoehorn your way out to the loo. Nope, it's a very comfy place to visit, but not so posh as you can't pop in for a bit of a nosh up, on your way home from somewhere and no-one has ever stared down their judgmental noses at me cos I am under-dressed, or carrying the wrong handie. Yep it is just a very comfortable place to go.
A while back we were a little underwhelmed after one visit and so I popped an email off to the manager who wrote back immediately and asked me to call him personally to arrange a table when we wanted to return, and that happy day was yesterday.
Kevin sorted a table and our waiter and left it to us.
Our long time favourite meal was their Meatballs but sadly they are off the menu, so we ordered Calamari Frittes and a Caprese Salad for entrees - bloody marvellous. Reckon I could chew up this fare every day all day. The batter on the calamari is so light and the squid so tender and the garlic aolie was so delish that I ran my finger around the plate so as not to leave a smidgen. Yeh I know now I sound like I could be a judge on master chef huh? And the salad was pretty and tasty and the buffalo mozzarella was just yummo - not very MKR - but you know what I mean.
For main I had Maltagliati and I reckon this has become my best ever favourite. Hand made pasta with Moreton Bay bug tails and asparagus and lobster bisque. Don't be fooled be the size of the plate, the serving is hugely filling and every mouthful was so satisfying. I am happy to try the other things on the menu, but I can only imagine they will disappoint in comparison cos this stuff was soooo good.
Steve chowed through the Porchetta. It is a walloping serve of pork, slow cooked and rich and unctuous but he soon found it too much. The witlof leaves helped break through the richness, but he figured a serving of green beans would have been good too.
We were full up to pussy's bow, so no space for dessert.
Kevin and his staff provided us with a wonderful evening - and there is no doubt that they more than redeemed their first class reputation.
I am so very pleased that we went back and gave 'em another chance, cos it's back on The List and I just can't wait to go back again.
The big question will be, can I order something other than the Maltagliati.