Driving for an hour just to eat may seem a bit extreme to some, but it is definitely worth it when the food is this good.
My friend and I went to the Gold Coast on the weekend to dine at Rocksalt. The chef/owner has won the People’s Choice Award for Best Chef in Queensland two years in a row, with an accolade like that, I had higher than usual expectations.
We got there at around 1 o’clock and the restaurant was not overly busy. The clientele was mostly of posh-type middle to retired aged men and women. The men had round extended bellies, combed hair, gold chains, heavy chunky watches and designer sunglasses, the women, big pooffy hair, Botox, earrings the size of a corolla and huge twinkling rings on manicured fingers.
There was one very efficient waiter who waltzed around the small café-like restaurant who had the air of superiority whilst still being friendly and apologetic.
Rocksalt is a Modern Australian and I would class as a Seafood restaurant, the menu was heavy in seafood, and all looked delicious. When we went, they had a lunch special, choose any three courses for $59 – excellent value considering their mains range from about $38 to $44.
I had to order the bread because the whole roasted garlic just called out to me. It was absolutely delicious, served on a bread board, it was hot, crusty topped and soft on the inside, the bread came with a dish of salted butter and a dish of the oil, vinegar and garlic combination. The soft butter, with the garlic and the sweetness of the balsamic was absolutely delicious, could seriously just eat that for my lunch.
My friend’s entrée was rare tuna and came beautifully plated and was very light and refreshing, I only had a small taste but I loved my entrée of chilled prawns with pork belly and an Asian mango salad. The salad was crisp and fresh and the sweetness of the mango went very well with the saltiness of the crisp pork belly and the cashew nuts. I was a bit disappointed that the prawns had not been properly deveined but the slight spiciness and the crunch went beautifully together.
Our cocktails came after our entrees, perhaps the lone waiter was also the lone barman? Nothing to rave home about though, the cocktails were a bit weak in my opinion.
My main on the other hand was. On the waiter’s recommendation, I’d opted for the bugs, prawn and scallop saffron risotto and it was delicious – and I don’t even usually like risotto. The prawns were plump (deveined) and not rubbery, the scallops were raw, fresh and sweet, the bugs tender, all coated with the delicious saffron cream sauce. It was very rich, I couldn’t finish all the rice but I enjoyed all the bites I did. The greens were slightly wilted and yellow rather than green but I’m just being picky.
My friend’s fish of the day dish looked really good…but I didn’t try it because I need to save some room for dessert.
Desserts we ordered were a banana and passionfruit tarte tartin with pashmak and a ‘strawberries and cream’ vanilla panna cotta served with strawberries.
The tarte tartin had a crisp bottom and was served with caramel sauce, it was really good, but I felt it got a bit sweet towards the end, may serving it with King Island cream rather than ice-cream would’ve been better? The panna cotta was very wobbly, again, slightly too sweet for me, but very nice but tasted more like orange and cream rather than strawberries as the fruit was strong in orange.
Delicious meals, some great people watching and I’d definitely make the drive again.