Good morning, afternoon, twilight, dawn, dusk, whatever, wherever you are, to you all… wow… that greeting went much longer than expected… :)
I want to share with you the loveliness of a small, quaint town called Forster that I visited with my parents a couple of weeks back at the beginning of the holidays. According to Wikipedia and my lack of direction sense, it is a ‘large coastal town in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia’.
They say large but really, psssht, it is pretty small considering you can walk roughly from one side to the other in 2-2 ½ hours :)
Why do I say it is quaint? Why is it not a full on, up and coming, technologically raging city?
Because it focuses on
- The Beach
- Awesome food (I will prove it in a minute)
Did you see the word technology? Did you see the word traffic? Did you see the word nightlife? Nope? Oh, then therefore it is quaint.
Don’t get me wrong, of course they have running water and toilets inside and wi-fi connection and everything actually, but the fact that it does not focus on all that is so wonderfully refreshing. And a perfect post-exams getaway.
As per the norm, there was a couch in the apartment we were staying in. Said couch (sorry to the owners!) has a permanent CCU butt-mark imprinted on it. Because, I kid you not, ask my parents, I do not think I budged from there unless it involved going out and eating. Otherwise it was eating on the couch and watching reruns of olden golden shows like Happy Days and Family Ties.
But I have mentioned eating, and relaxing and all this, don’t you think you should be seeing some photos of it now? Oui, d’accord. What would you like to start off with? Breakfast? A wonderful idea :)
Enter Tartt. Yeah, that’s right, two tts. Makes it better. No sarcasm, legit, this was one delicious café. Let me show you :)
The interior was cool. Chalky writing, gothic frames and an emphasis on black without overdoing it at all. It was actually chic and I loved it. Immediately on entering, you feel relaxed, you feel chill, grab some menus and choose counters or a table. Find what you want and head over to the counter, order and go back.
No hassle, no nothing. Simple, direct and a very friendly staff to top it off :D
The large skinny cappuccinos, extra hot (yep, memorised my parents coffee style!) were delicious according to them. Personally I cannot comment on the taste, but it did look rich and warm.
Non-coffee does not mean non-drink in the morning, so I ordered an orange juice. Pulp free and so refreshing, I felt like I was drinking sunshine. Cliché? Who cares, it is so true :)
Now the food *Wiggles eyebrows and smacks lips in anticipation*.
Shall we start with simple and work our way up? Yes, I think that would be best non? My mother dear, she is not perhaps the most creative or refreshing breakfast eater. Bluntly said, she likes her toast. She likes thick, white toast with a hearty amount of butter and a hearty amount of jam.
Allow me to quote Biff (for Back To The Future hardcore fans out there who are my brothers!), ‘Well lookie what we have here’. It is exactly what she got :)
She got thick cut toast with the usual suspects ($5) – told you they were cool!!! :D
Continuing on, we reach daddy. Daddy actually had a little bit of an enlightenment moment at this restaurant. You see, he forgot to say he wanted the eggs scrambled. So they gave him fried eggs.
When he tasted it, his eyes widened, his jaw slacked and the egg almost fell out. JOKES, but he was flabbergasted that he had not tasted this style of egg in so long and thus, forgotten its deliciousness. So for the rest of the trip, I think at least once a day, he told us how happy he was that he now had three types of egg possibilities. Scrambled, fried or an omelette. What a cutie! (he takes after my own heart in his happiness in food… or should I say I take after him? :P)
Daddy ordered the BIG TARTT – Bacon, eggs, chorizo, mushrooms and tomato on thick cut toast ($16.50)
Now comes moi! I was tossing up ferociously between the nourisher (a muesli, yoghurt, fruit awesome mixture) or the French toast but my maple syrup love won this time and that was what I ordered. Specifically, the French Toasted – Thick French toast topped with bananas, maple syrup and served with honeycomb butter… Yum (yes, they say that on the menu and with full right!) ($14.50).
Generous, is how I like to describe this French toast. Generous, tasty beyond belief, sweet, no hint of over-egginess. A marvellous concoction. That honeycomb butter. Just don’t even ask me how they did it but it slithered all over my bread and just wowed me. WOWED. And the berries and the banana… oh my mouth waters thinking about that thick cut toast drenched in syrup.
Et voila :)
- The service was fast, despite the restaurant being nice and busy
- Easy access to cutlery and napkins inside the café
- Water was given on request
- I saw people with takeaway coffee in the cutest little customised cups saying I ‘heart’ tart <3
- Not a hint of pretentious even though the quality of their food gives them reason to be :)
- Their pizza is heaven – we tried it last time we went so just a note :)
Booking: Unnecessary – it is a get or wait situation and not formal enough
New South Wales
Phone: 6555 6690
I do believe it was that same night, that we decided to head on over to the Mexican restaurant of Forster. It was a little out of the way from the main strip (Wharf street). If you follow my facebook page, you would have seen a little sneak peek of this restaurant :D
The first thing that hits you BAM on is the interior décor. I am talking mega-awesome transportation to Aztec times (thus the name, The Aztec ;)). There are dangling, colourful, feathery decorations hanging from the ceilings. The walls are blood red and the tables are beautifully striped and coloured.
There are hangings and murals of Aztecs everywhere and a huge neon bar sign to the corner of the restaurant.
The menu itself is designed specifically to the theme as well and it is very attractive how much effort has gone into planning the décor. Truly, it provided an ambience for eating the meal :)
Our server was a really sweet lady and immediately on arrival, she comes with menus and then whisks away to get us a bright pink bottle of water and cups. Oh and did you notice the colours of the napkins? By this time, I was almost expecting Speedy Gonzales to pop out from within them!
We start off with our drinks. Honestly, I was this close (imagine me almost pinching my thumb and pointer finger together) to persuading my parents into a cocktail for me (hello, 18 in 4 months!) but we are law abiding citizens and that stupid conscience got in the way. So I settled for a non-alcoholic cocktail a.k.a mocktail :D
A Tequila Sunrise (from $6.95) to be precise. It was sweet and delicious, the orange, cranberry (I think I tasted a hint) and pineapple juices mingling effortlessly together with a side of ice. Tangy and so refreshing!
My mum, usually the water drinker of the family, kicked off those shoes and ordered a Lemon Lime Bitters. It was for once, not too sweet and had a substantial amount of bitter, which made it quite delicious :)
My dad. Anyone who has read my reviews for a while knows his standard drink. Jack Daniels and Coke. A classic .
Moving along to the food, we did not split up with the whole entrée then dinner, rather ordered it all together.
For the first time in my life, I found out there was such a thing as a Mexican salad. The Tossed Salad – Daily fresh vegetable salad with Mexican dressing and cheese ($8.95) was enjoyed thoroughly by my mum and dad and not at all by me. Keep reading and you shall see why vegetables were not the top priority of the evening ;)
I ask you now, what is Mexican without Nachos? Nada, nothing, zilch. So we ordered a nice Full Plate of Nachos – Triangles of toasted tortilla chips, smothered with oven grilled cheese and drenched with delicious red sauce served on a bed of beans ($15.95).
It definitely lived up to its name, these chips were warm, the plate was hot and the cheese. Well, it burned the top of my mouth because I became impatient ;)
The salsa sauce was exquisite and god knows, I tried heaping on more beans than the chip could carry :)
With this, as accompaniment, we got a small bowl of Sour Cream Sauce ($2.50), Guacamole ($3.50) and Green Jalapenos ($2.50).
It was well used, as you can see, with my colossal nacho chip :D
Daddy was not in the mood for meatiness so we both ordered the Vegetarian Enchiladas – Soft tortilla dipped in spicy sauce stuffed with a filling of your choice, rolled and topped with cheese and oven-baked in Mexican sauce. Served with herb brown rice and frijoles (our filling was frijoles and sauce).
Lighter than a burrito, and in my opinion, tastier than it too, the filling was hot and delicious and when you added in a dash of sour cream and guacamole, you actually went to heaven :)
I will get to dessert in a minute, because we did not have it here. After all that hot food, we needed something chilled ;)
- Personally, finding this restaurant was like finding a long lost friend. My family used to go to a restaurant called Montezuma’s but it got shut down. Then a couple of years back, I found a place called The Aztec on holiday and was surprised by the similarity of the menus. Then, on finding it again and looking at their site, it would appear that they have joined forces and become one franchise. Mystery solved :D
- Just to clarify, frijoles are slow cooked beans with flavours and spices and are then slightly mashed :)
Rating: 9/10 (I love!) Mexican Food)
Booking: Not necessary on a weeknight, might be on a weekend
8 Little Street
Phone Number: 6554 5906
Now, you wanted dessert? Well, ok, we went down to probably the best ice cream shop ever. The Natural Waffle Ice Cream Parlour. Beats Baskin Robbins and boy, Wendy’s holds no candle to it! I will review it for sure next time, I promise, but for now, I hope you will be content with these delicious photos :)
My Banana With English Toffee Swirl which put all Banana Paddlepops to shame and was possibly the best flavour combination I ever had in ice cream. So rich, creamy yet not artificial at all :D
My daddy got the classic delicious Cookies & Cream but dressed it up with hot fudge sauce and nuts. Rock on daddy! :)
I apologise for this photo quality but mum was in dark lighting when I took it etc. etc. BUT, that does not change the fact that she really enjoyed the silky smooth, chocolatey flavour of Swiss Chocolate Chunk ice cream!
You think I am finished yet? Psssht, of course not, you get your food porn fill when I say you are full ;)
Beach. Sand. Surf. How could we possibly not eat a burger during our stay in Forster? C’est impossible! And so conveniently located right at the edge of the beach, lo and behold, Beach Bums Café. Awesome name is a mild description.
You see the circled bit? Yep that is the café. The sign actually reads, Food With A View. And that is an understatement.
Straight from the café, whether you be inside or out, you see straight onto the sand and into the water. I would have taken a picture but there were people sitting outside blocking my window view. Gosh, what-ever. ;)
You go to this café for when you want to be allowed to be nitty, gritty, wet and hungry. The smell of the ocean permeates the air; you go in barefoot and in a string bikini if you want. There are no rules, this is just a simple, awesome post-swim hang-out with plastic chairs and tables, fast service and delicious food.
My mum is not a burger person so she ordered her regular Cappuccino, all vibrant in its cool orange cup :)
Burger time babes. I cannot begin to describe how uber fabulous the burgers are here. They are hearty, they full to the point of collapsing out and come wrapped in baking paper. Awesome-sauce right?
I ordered of course the Vegetarian Burger – Patty, lettuce, without beetroot, onion, tomato, salsa ($7). That salsa, bro, it was incredible, absolutely fan-friggin-tastic!
The bread was soft, the filling was warm and the flavours came together beautifully. Winner :)
My daddy had a hankerin’ for fish so he ordered the Fish Burger – Battered fish fillet, lettuce, tomato, tomato, cheese and tartare sauce ($7). Was he happy? Oh yeah, he most certainly was :D
Ok so, here comes our mistake. Mum, not being a burger person, wanted fries, so we decided to get a family plate and share it. I don’t know how big families are in Forster but day-um, I don’t recall ever seeing such a large platter of chips. It could feed at least 8 people! And we were 3. Oh our valiant effort to atone for our mistake by eating more chips than necessary ;)
Next time, we learnt to get a large and not the Family Fries ($10). But they were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and golden perfection. Oh and thick cut, just how we like them, smothered in tomato sauce :D
What are burgers and fries without a shake right? Daddy and I share a bond through strawberry milkshake. Ahahahahaha, did I say milkshake? I meant thickshake. Strawberry Thicker-Than-Thick Thickshake ($5.50).
Honestly, it felt like we were sucking up ice cream and not a drink, it was that thick. And creamy. And delicious. That strawberry flavour was insanely awesome. I could drink it again and again. And I have the stomach capacity for it, thank god ;)
Rating: 7/10 (in comparison with other cafes overall but highly recommended for its food alone and the relaxed feeling and association with the beach)
Booking: Psssht.. hahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahaha…
Corner of North & Beach Street
Forster NSW 2428
Phone Number: 6555 2840
- http://www.beachbumscafe.com.au/# – menu
Overall, Forster may not have an insane number of cafes or restaurants, but so far from experience, each one is foodie heaven :) – I dare you in fact, to visit Forster and find a bad restaurant!
Besides the above, my family and I also visited another couple of cafes and went to an insanely awesome Italian. But, c’est necessaire that I leave something for next time non?
For anyone in Sydney, truly I reckon you should visit, I mean, you are only a 3-3 ½ hour drive from paradise! :D